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Civil Engineering in the papers today - Thursday 27 November 2008

The UK could meet its ambitious pledge to slash greenhouse gas pollution even if ministers give the go-ahead to expanding Heathrow airport, the government's climate change adviser has signalled...

...This week the chairman of the government's Environment Agency, Lord Smith of Finsbury, joined critics who say that adding a third runway at Britain's biggest airport would destroy the government's promise to tackle climate change, and increase local air and noise pollution to intolerable levels - The Guardian

Seven London bridges were granted graded listings yesterday to protect them from unsympathetic development. On the advice of English Heritage, Grade II listings were given to Chelsea, Lambeth and Richmond Railway bridges - The Guardian

Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, has launched a state-backed mortgage lender to help finance the purchases of a slew of properties expected to come to the market in the future. Abu Dhabi Finance has an initial capital of Dh500M (£89M) paid by its shareholders, which include Mubadala, the Gulf state's sovereign investment fund, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and three big developers - The Financial Times

Atkins relied on the Middle East for much of its growth in the six months to September, and said prospects for the rest of the year remained positive both there and in the UK. The design and engineering consultancy capitalised on its long-established practice in the Gulf to boost sales to £739M, up from £666M in 2007. Pre-tax profits rose from £42.7M to £50M - The Financial Times

Water group United Utilities posted a solid operating performance in the first half of 2008 but the shares fell on worries over next year's pricing discussion with Ofwat and concerns over bad debts. Customer debts increased in absolute terms but the level as a proportion of revenue was approximately 3.5%, similar to the figure seen in its last full-year results. The shares slid 26p to 618p - The Daily Telegraph

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