Planning in the media

As negotiators wrangled at the Copenhagen climate change conference, 56 newspapers in 45 countries publishing in 20 languages ran an unprecedented joint editorial demanding action from world leaders.

Like most of the newspapers The Guardian, the UK's signatory, published the editorial on its front page. It argued that "the question is no longer whether humans are to blame but how little time we have left to limit the damage" following a response that has so far been "feeble and half-hearted". The editorial also warned: "The transformation will be costly but many times less than the bill for bailing out global finance - and far less costly than the consequences of doing nothing." However, according to a poll published by The Sunday Telegraph nearly one in two voters believes that there is no proof that mankind is causing global warming. Some 39 per cent said climate change has not been proved to be man-made, while seven per cent denied that it is happening at all. The poll's findings prompted energy secretary Ed Miliband to comment that it is vital to give people a positive vision of a low-carbon future. "If Martin Luther King had come along and said 'I have a nightmare', people would not have followed him," he added.

Residents who allow wind farms to be built in their area would be given ownership of individual turbines and the profits from them under Conservative plans, according to The Daily Telegraph. Shadow energy secretary Greg Clark told the paper that people oppose wind farms because they fear a negative impact on property values, the potential for noise and a change in the landscape. They should be told that "if we were to host one, we would have cheaper electricity, a substantial stream of revenue from business rates and we might own one or more turbines", he said.

Tesco is planning scores of new supermarkets across the country ahead of the introduction of a competition test to limit openings, according to The Times. The country's largest retailer has 76 applications outstanding compared with about 45 lodged by Asda and Sainsbury's between them. But a Tesco spokesman told the paper: "We have not increased the volume of applications made. We are just getting on as usual with developing our pipeline of stores. Far from preparing for a so-called competition test, we remain strongly opposed to it because we believe that it is anti-competitive and bad for consumers."

With the onset of the 30th anniversary of the right to buy, The Observer looked at consequences of the controversial policy. "This year the number of council houses sold off passed the two million mark. So too did the numbers of people across the UK on waiting lists for a council house, up almost ten per cent in a year. Some inner city areas would need decades to clear their backlog. With building all but stopped in the recession, there is a crisis in homes and the finger of blame is pointed firmly at that 'social revolution' of 1979."


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