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THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS - page 21 / 62

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They include a major expansion of nuclear power, the use of GM crops to boost biofuel production and reliance on technologies which critics say are unproven.

The Department of Health's report says people are learning to live with the consequences of climate change and are taking precautions against skin cancer and other increased risks of disease, but more measures are needed to combat the threats.

One of the main threats could be vector-borne diseases transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks, which are climate-sensitive and can increase or arrive in the country as a result of climate change. There are fears that malaria could re-establish itself unless vigilance is maintained to prevent the malaria-carrying mosquitoes surviving.

Experts believe the risk of malaria becoming endemic in Britain is still remote, but more cases could be imported by travellers returning to Britain.

Climate change might also increases water-borne diseases in Britain. Secure sanitation should safeguard supplies of drinking water but possible contamination of storm-water outflows could carry disease into rivers and basements.

Global warming could also increase the number of storms and floods in Britain. An increase in the frequency of severe winter storms could lead to a rise in personal injuries from flying debris and falling trees.

But there is a silver lining - milder winters could continue to see a drop in winter deaths and ease pressure on the NHS, which used to suffer an annual winter emergency. Some estimates suggest that the number of cold-related winter deaths could fall by up to 20,000.

The main findings

* There is a one in 40 chance that south-eastern England will experience a serious heatwave by 2012, and there is a serious risk of a substantial rise in heat-related deaths.

* Increased exposure to sunshine and ultraviolet light will lead to more skin cancers.

* Risk of flooding will increase, threatening the supply of clean water in rivers.

* Vector-borne diseases are likely to become more common in the UK, with higher risk of diseases such as malaria, being imported from around the world.

* Periods of very cold weather will become less common, while we will see an increase in periods of very hot weather.

* The number of deaths occurring in winter will continue to decline as the climate warms.

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Los Angeles Times: China seen as a roadblock to U.N. climate report

Beijing wants the U.S. and Europe to bear most of the blame and costs for controlling global warming.

By Alan Zarembo, Times Staff Writer May 3, 2007

China, on pace to become the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, has emerged as the major stumbling block in approving a United Nations report on how to stabilize global warming and generate the trillions of dollars needed for the endeavor. The report, to be released Friday in Bangkok, Thailand, is the third of four installments being

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