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Civil Engineering in the news today - Monday 12 January 2009

The government is to close a key support programme for renewable energies almost a year before it launches a new regime, creating a funding black hole that the industry has warned could lead to thousands of green job losses...

As Gordon Brown hosts a jobs summit specifically to discuss the creation of green jobs to combat the 100,000 job losses a month caused by the recession and safeguard the economy's long-term prosperity, it emerges that the government is planning to close the major part of its controversial low carbon buildings programme in June - The Guardian

The retrenchment of the struggling hedge fund industry has led to a rapid fall in rents paid for the most expensive offices in central London. Rates for prime offices in London's West End dropped by almost a third last year - Financial Times

The closing case for a third runway at Heathrow airport will be made by business and union leaders today as the Prime Minister prepared to give his go-ahead to the plan. The endorsements from influential groups, which argue that the airport's expansion is crucial to the economy, come as advertisements from airline chiefs are to be displayed, reiterating their desire for the extra runway - The Daily Telegraph

The poorest people in Britain will be hit hardest by the impact of climate change, according to a study. A report by Oxfam and the New Economics Foundation (NEF), said that the poorest tend to live in less energy-efficient housing, have less access to insurance in the event of floods and less money to adapt to higher prices of fuel and food - The Daily Telegraph

Scientists have issued a new warning about climate change after discovering a sudden and dramatic collapse in the amount of carbon emissions absorbed by the Sea of Japan. The shift has alarmed experts, who blame global warming. The world's oceans soak up about 11bn tonnes of human carbon dioxide pollution each year, about a quarter of all produced, and even a slight weakening of this natural process would leave significantly more CO2 in the atmosphere. That would require countries to adopt much stricter emissions targets to prevent dangerous rises in temperature - The Guardian

Plans to build vital facilities to help Britain secure its energy supplies at a time of increasing fears about reliance on Russian gas are in doubt as a result of the credit crunch, energy groups warn. Stag Energy says the credit crunch is making it harder to raise the £600M for the Gateway project to build a storage facility beneath the Irish Sea. It received planning permission for the project in November - The Guardian

A huge hole could be opened up in Dorset's Jurassic Coast, despite the fact that it is one of the most heavily protected stretches of shoreline in the world. The company which owns the site is planning a new quarry at the isle of Portland, using permission granted in 1951, long before the area was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a European Special Area of Consercation and a Regionally Important Geological Site - The Times

Fears were raised yesterday over a decision to restart a potentially dangerous decommissioned nuclear power plant in the centre of Europe because of a shortage of gas caused by Russia's dispute with Ukraine. Slovakia, defying undertakings given when it joined the European Union, said that it would reactivate a Soviet-style nuclear generator that has a record of safety problems because it had received no Russian gas since last Thursday - The Times

Italy is to reopen medieval and Renaissance inland waterways so that tourists can travel over 500 km by boat from Lake Maggiore to Venice via Milan. This summer engineers will start clearing eight kilometres of canals from the southern end of Lake Maggiore at Sesto Calende to Somma Lombardo - The Times

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