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In the papers today - 13 July

Rock group Pearl Jam has promised to donate $100,000 (£54,456) to several groups that focus on climate change, renewable energy and other environmental causes as part of an effort to offset carbon emissions the band churns out on tour. 'Our carbon profile strategy is the newest component of our ongoing efforts to advance clean renewable energy and carbon mitigation,' the Seattle-based band said in a statement on its website. Cascade Land Conservancy and EarthCorps, which work to protect and replenish forests near Seattle, are among nine organisations to receive donations. - Guardian
Eurotunnel's decision to seek legal protection before last-minute negotiation with creditors could backfire, it emerged yesterday. Ahead of talks to halve its 9.1bn euros (£6.3bn) debt the Channel tunnel operator applied to the French commercial courts on Tuesday for legal protection from creditors - similar to the US Chapter 11 bankruptcy provisions. However, as the talks with junior bondholders, who are owed 2.7 bn euros, went to the wire of a midnight deadline, it emerged that only one firm had been granted the 'safeguard procedure' under French laws in force since January - 90% of application failed. If Eurotunnel's application failed the company would faced being wound up. If talks with creditors fail, Jacques Gounon, Eurotunnel chief executive, could start the process for securing bankruptcy protection as early as today or on Monday, sources said. But the process could take several days or weeks. - GuardianEnergy minister Malcolm Wicks yesterday welcomed plans to build a £400m gas-fired power station in the south of England. Scottish and Southern Energy and Ireland's ESB International announced proposals for the 850 megawatt combined cycle gas turbine plant near Southampton less than 24 hours after the government published its energy review highlighting the need for new capacity. 'A major part of the energy review was about enabling the power industry to deliver reliable and low carbon energy supplies for the UK over the long term.,' Mr Wicks said. 'This announcement by SSE and ESBI confirms that there is a significant appetite to invest in energy in the UK and is a very welcome development. - GuardianThe number of complaints about water companies has risen by 10% in the past year, according to the Consumer Council for Water. United Utilities and Severn Trent Water saw the biggest increase in dissatisfied customers in the past six months up to 31 March 2006. - MetroLondon's congestion charge will rise to £25 for large 4x4s and other fuel-hungry cars, under plans by Mayor Ken Livingstone to penalise vehicles with high levels of carbon dioxide emissions - The TimesIt will cost up to £1.4bn to upgrade Britain's electricity network if a new fleet of nuclear power stations is built, say the national Grid.The power network operator believes the extra investment is essential if the UK's electricity system is to cope. The news follows the government's announcement that it will ease the way for the construction of new nuclear power plants to replace the existing ageing ones. New nuclear plants are likely to be built at or near current sites where there is existing infrastructure and planning approvals are easier to obtain. Despite this, National Grid has calculated that there will still be significant extra cost associated with upgrading the transmission networks to cope with the new nuclear plants. - Telegraph

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