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Last Updated: Monday, 25 October, 2004, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Daffodils and cod 'under threat'
Could daffodils become a thing of the past?
UK cod and chips, spring daffodils and Scottish ski resorts could be no more by 2050 if nothing is done to fight global warming, says a new report.

The Energy Saving Trust says village greens could be left as little more than deserts while scorpions and sharks become new features of British life.

The trust said people could stave off the bleak vision by taking action now.

It argues people can help by simple measures like home insulation and switching off lights.

The trust, set up by the government after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to counter the causes of climate change, is launching Energy Efficiency Week, organised by the trust.

Chief executive Philip Sellwood said: "It is a big issue and it is getting bigger, but one which you can do something about - in your house, in your car..."

Termites could arrive with the heat waves, says the report

The dire predictions of what life could be like in 2050 without action comes in a report jointly produced with the UK Climate Impacts Programme.

It says warmer winters might threaten favourite flowers such as daffodils, bluebells and crocuses.

Dwindling British cod stocks could be hit further by warmer seas while different shark species could be seen off Scotland and sting rays off the English south coast.

Hotter weather could also make it harder to maintain golf courses and hay fever, poisonous spiders and termites could become increasingly problems in the UK.

Building dangers

The report also starkly warns that about 200bn of assets, including more than two million homes, would be at risk from flooding and coastal erosion.

And the national bill for subsidence could top 600m a year.

The report paints a frightening picture but its authors stress it also shows people how they can fight the problem.
Scorpions, poisonous spiders and termites
Sharks and stingrays on the coasts
Vineyards in northern Scotland
No Scottish ski resorts
Village greens like deserts
Flood risk to more than 2m homes

Among the suggested measures are: switching televisions and videos off standby; insulating cavity walls and lofts; turning thermostats down one degree; and choosing high efficiency boilers and appliances.

Environment minister Elliot Morley praised the report saying: "The message to the public has to be that individuals, as well as governments and corporations, can make a real difference."

He urged people to adopt one of the suggested measures as part of the "Big Turn Off" planned for this week.

Stamp duty rebates?

Mr Morley said the government was changing building regulations to promote energy efficient housing, had provided tax incentives and was joining the new European emissions trading scheme.

He argued it was "worth looking at" demands for stamp duty rebates for energy efficient homes, although it would be a decision for the Treasury.

Saying campaigners needed to show the economic benefits of the move, the minister added: "Just saying give us the money or give us a discount does not work in my experience."

Buy energy efficient appliances
Use cars less
Insulate cavity walls and lofts
Switch TVs off standby

Mr Sellwood said he had been downbeat on the chances of the rebate a year ago but now believed government departments wanted the change and the Treasury was considering the move.

The trust is commissioning special research into the idea, which it believes would prove popular with the public and not cost the government money.

Mr Sellwood said the average household produced six tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions - one of the greenhouse gases blamed for climate change - every year.

"If you carry out some reasonably low cost and in some cases no cost measures, we can reduce that fairly easily by 10% and save between 150 and 200 per house a year, every year," he argued.

Going further could reduce emissions by two tonnes of carbon dioxide per house, he suggested.


Research conducted for the trust suggests people are aware of global warming but most still believe it is not something that will happen in their lifetimes.

Mr Sellwood said people could sadly not judge how green their homes were from utilities bills, which needed to become simpler and easier to compare.

He believed the government's target of reducing emissions by 20% on 1990 levels by 2010 was achievable.

But there was still much to be done on raising the amount of energy generated by renewable sources from the current 3% to 10% in 2010 and 15% in 2015.

Mr Sellwood said the trust did not have a stance on whether to expand nuclear power.

But he added: "There are enormous gains to be made on managing demand, conserving energy before we have to go down that route.

"If we actually carried out basic energy efficiency, lost cost/no cost measures throughout the housing stock, that would replace the output of nuclear [currently 20% of the energy supply."

Big News Network Britain advised to conserve energy - 27 hrs ago
MENAFN Britain advised to conserve energy - 28 hrs ago
Washington Times Britain advised to conserve energy - 28 hrs ago
Daily Star Climate Change Threat To Traditions - 52 hrs ago
Guardian Unlimited Dire warnings from global warming report - 55 hrs ago
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