CURRENT NEWS 29-04-21

  • Written by Andrew Davis
  • Posted on Apr 30, 2021
  • Articles

New Climate Change Targets

The Prime Minister has announced new targets for greenhouse gas emissions to enhance the country’s response to climate change.  The ambition, which will be enshrined in legislation, is to reduce emissions by 78% of 1990 levels by 2035.  This will require a major acceleration towards renewable energy, electric vehicles and home heating.  President Biden has also announced that the United States will reduce 2005 levels of emissions by 50% by 2030.

Pick for Britain abandoned

The Government has announced that it has scrapped the Pick for Britain campaign it launched last year.  The attempt to recruit British workers to replace Europeans to harvest fruit and vegetables in the context of Brexit and new immigration controls has been a dismal failure.  Around 70,000 seasonal workers are needed as pickers and packers, the vast majority of whom have traditionally come from Eastern Europe, but numbers fell sharply after Brexit.  But no more than 5% to 10% of that number of British workers answered the call and most of them left after days or weeks, unable or unwilling to undertake the hard manual work involved.  Numbers of short-term immigrants under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) have been increased to meet the shortfall.

ARK Eel Project

Action for the River Kennet, along with other charitable groups in the Thames catchment, has launched a project to find out more about the European eel.  It was once common in the Kennet and Pang rivers but is now critically endangered.  One reason for the steep decline is the man-made barriers in the rivers that prevent them moving within the river system, so volunteers will be surveying the rivers identifying barriers such as weirs and dams.

Beetles to pee themselves to Death!

Up to 25% of global food production is lost to beetles every year, leading to the use of pesticides that damage biodiversity, the environment and human health.  Now scientists at the University of Copenhagen have identified the hormones that regulate urine production in beetles, raising the prospect of their use to control populations.  The beetles would die of dehydration caused by excess urination.