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In the papers - Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Britain needs a new network of motorways and A roads to cope with 12 million extra cars and a 43 per cent increase in traffic over the next 30 years, according to a new study. It adds that, without a significant investment in new routes, most of the motorway network will degenerate to conditions experienced on the western section of the M25, which is congested throughout the day – The Times

David Cameron, the Conservative Party leader, signalled a key change of approach towards nuclear power yesterday by saying that it should be able to compete on a level playing field with other forms of energy. Previously, the Tories had said that they viewed nuclear as a last resort, but Mr Cameron more favourable stance came as a last resort, but Mr Cameron's more favourable stance came as he also emphasised the need for a push on green energy – The Times

Construction of a £1bn pipeline connecting new gas import terminals at Milford Haven in Wales to the national transmission network was completed yesterday. The companies building the two liquefied natural gas terminals that will feed it have been less successful. South Hook, operated by ExxonMobil, is expected to begin operating next summer. BG Group, the biggest shareholder in Dragon LNG, says it expects its terminal to open in the first half of next year - The Financial Times

China and India should be spared the full burden of fighting climate change, the United Nations said yesterday in an agenda-setting report published just days ahead of an intergovernmental conference to agree a successor to the Kyoto protocol. The report of the UN Development Programme recommends that countries such as China and India should be allowed to increase their emissions to 2020, then reduce them by only 20% compared with 1990 levels by 2050, while the rich industrialised countries shoulder a cut of 80% - The Financial Times

Industries that use large amounts of energy, such as those in the steel and cement sectors, should be spared strict carbon-emissions caps to prevent them leaving Europe, says an EU commissioner. Manufacturers of items such as aluminium, steel, base chemicals and semiconductors should be granted free permits to emit greenhouse gases under the bloc's emissions trading scheme (ETS), Günter Verheugen, Commission vice-president with responsibility for industry and enterprise, told the Financial Times - The Financial Times

Germany is set to pass laws that will stipulate the use of renewable energy in new homes and force car owners to prioritise low emissions, as part of the most comprehensive steps to date by any leading industrialised country to cut greenhouse gases. Angela Merkel, German chancellor, confirmed yesterday that her cabinet would on December 5, on the eve of the United Nations' meeting in Bali, adopt the country's biggest package of climate measures, aimed at cutting greenhouse emissions by 36% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels - The Financial Times

Jarvis, the rail infrastructure company that narrowly avoided bankruptcy, blamed last week's shock profit warning on the "opaque" nature of its Network Rail contracts as it reported first-half losses of £3.3m. Richard Entwistle, chief executive, said the group had set its rates for the procurement of work with Network Rail without full visibility of the nature of the contracts - The Financial Times
WS Atkins, the engineering consultancy, pleased investors with the first buy-back in its history as it continued to put its involvement in Metronet, the failed rail maintenance consortium, behind it. The group unveiled a £100m share buy-back and a 25% increase in the interim dividend alongside strong first-half results - The FinancialTimes

Severn Trent managed to increase interim profits in spite of the widespread flooding in large parts of England earlier in the summer. Higher water costs and lower energy prices helped lift pre-tax interim profits by 14.2 per cent to £250m on revenue of £774m at the company that last week revealed its was faces charges relating to falsifying leakage data - The Financial Times

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