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It is only right that big energy companies should help fund research into low-carbon alternatives, whatever the environmentalists say. Plus, South Korea's ethical robots

By Philip Ball   April 2007

Gordon Brown’s energy hub

The government’s target of a 60 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, announced in March, is optimistic by any standards. Nor does its disjointed approach to energy research help: specialists on, say, wind power and plastics recycling share the same ultimate goals, but are barely aware of each other’s existence. That’s why the rationale behind the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), announced by Gordon Brown in last year’s budget, is sound. The ETI will provide a hub for all Britain’s non-nuclear low-carbon energy research, whether that means improving the efficiency of fossil-fuel use or…

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