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In the papers - Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Energy regulator Ofgem said yesterday that £5bn should be spent on upgrading the UK's gas distribution networks, adding about £2 a year to the average bill – Financial Times

The shadow of the property crash of the early 1990s is looming over the industry as deal volumes collapse to a third of their previous level and property funds take further drastic steps to prevent a liquidity crisis – Financial Times

Flood insurance could become prohibitively expensive or even unavailable unless the Government takes a long-term and coordinated approach to managing the increasing risks of floods, insurers will warn today – Financial Times

The government earned £35.6bn in "green" taxes last year – a slight drop on the previous year, official figures showed yesterday – Financial Times

Exploration companies need oil prices of $70 a barrel to match the returns they made at $30 a barrel only two years ago because of the sharp increase in costs and higher government licence fees, according to analysis from Wood Mackenzie – Financial Times

Brad Pitt launched his own regeneration project for Katrina-ravaged New Orleans yesterday, unveiling designs for a range of eco-friendly, flood-proof homes. Pitt, who had ambitions to be an architect if he had not taken up acting, commissioned 13 architectural firms to produce houses that would incorporate solar power and other environmentally-sound designs – The Guardian

A struggle by nations to secure sources of clean water will be "potent fuel" for war. the Asia-Pacific Water Summit heard yesterday. The Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon, told delegates that the planet faced a water crisis that was especially troubling for Asia – The Times

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