Philippines pumps money into electric tricycle plan

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Manila: The Philippines government has jump-started a programme to put thousands of electric tricycles on the country’s roads with the release of a half-billion peso counterpart fund.

In a statement, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it had recently released P505.6 million (Dh41.7 million) to the Department of Energy to cover the government’s funding share in a project that will launch more electric-powered tricycles or “e-Trikes” on Metro Manila’s roads. “Electronic tricycles are a viable, energy-efficient solution to a long-standing problem, as many of the tricycles still in operation are major sources of pollution that compromise air quality in the metro,” DBM Secretary Florencio Abad said.

Australia endures ‘angry summer’

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Sydney: Australia has endured another “angry summer” with more than 150 temperature records smashed, a new report said on Monday, with a warning that heatwaves and sweltering conditions will only get worse.

Among the records broken, Perth had its hottest night ever at 29.7 Celsius (85.4 Fahrenheit), Adelaide recorded its warmest February day (44.7 Celsius) while Sydney went through its driest summer in 27 years, the independent Climate Council watchdog said.

It follows Australia experiencing its hottest year on record in 2013, according to official figures.

Fight climate change on war footing

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Thanks to widespread industrialisation and its inability to impose the necessary checks and balances to put practical curbs on it, nations like the US, India and China have ended up on the wrong side of the fence in their fight to control pollution.

Today, economically advanced countries have recognised that pollution is a growing problem from which they cannot hide. There is no option left but to tackle the challenge on a war footing.

Thames flood defences among schemes hit by coalition funding cuts

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Avoidable damage estimated to cost £3bn as projects at Heathrow, Dawlish and Somerset Levels delayed or downsized

Planned defences along the length of the flood-hit Thames Valley were delayed and downsized after government funding cuts following the last election, the Guardian can reveal.

The schemes, totalling millions of pounds, include projects near Heathrow, near David Cameron's country home in Oxfordshire and in the constituency of the minister who oversaw annual flood budget cuts of almost £100m.