1. ENERGY POLICY:
Climate body has surprise findings amid Europe-wide debates on fracking
It may seem an odd position by Britain's premier watchdog on climate policies: Fracking for gas may not be so bad after all. In terms of the carbon footprint, it is less damaging than importing gas. That's not the only surprise delivered last week by the Committee on Climate Change, an elite panel of government advisers. Britons are mistaken if they believe their windmills, solar panels, energy-saving regulations and nascent bicycle culture are resolving the nation's carbon problems, the panel said. If you account for the lifecycle of imported goods and fuels, emissions today are 10 percent higher than 20 years ago. Homegrown carbon dioxide pollution has indeed fallen by 19 percent, the report says, but that is more than offset when factoring in the supply chain of imports, including liquefied natural gas.