Hydrogen is a volatile gas with an image problem, but hydrogen evangelists think this could be the ‘magic molecule’ which will solve the world’s air pollution and cut carbon emissions dramatically. Manuela Saragosa presents the final part of this special series on energy from Italy, where hydrogen has been pumped into the existing gas network. Could a hydrogen boat replace the diesel belching cruise liners and ships along the canals of Venice?
Presenter: Manuela Saragosa
Producer: Nina Robinson
Photo Credit: Nina Robinson/BBC
Is the UK up for sale?
Jaguar Land Rover, Cadbury, Weetabix are but some of the many British brands now owned by foreign corporations. The UK has one of the highest rates of company takeovers by new overseas owners. Sometimes these deals rescue a struggling business and save jobs. And sometimes they provide welcome investment for fast growth. But is there also the risk of Britain suffering a permanent loss of technology and know-how, or even a threat to national security, such as when the company targeted for takeover is in the defence industry? And what about the emotional side of takeovers? Research suggests they can be a huge burden for executives, and staff may be reluctant to cooperate with previous competitors, jeopardising the sales targets of the new owners. Ruth Alexander asks if the UK is selling its family silver, and whether this matters in a globalised world. Is Britain for sale, or inviting investment? Or has Britain already been sold, with 54% of shareholdings of UK public companies now foreign-owned? She talks to current and former CEOs and to academics, to find out why so many British companies are being bought, what this says about the UK,, and what impact it has on jobs and the future of the economy.
Presenter: Ruth Alexander
Producer: Arlene Gregorius
Picture Credit: Getty
Australia is stubbornly sticking to providing much of its power through coal. While many countries around the world are eschewing fossil fuels, (because of their environmental impact), the Australian government continues to give the all-clear to new coal mines, including one called the Carmichael mine. It’s being constructed by the Indian company, Adani. Much of the coal it produces will be exported to Asia. The mine was an issue in the country’s 2019 general election, and has been the site of many protests. Heidi Pett has visited the area in Queensland where the mine is being built – speaking to locals who’re on both sides of the heated debate about Australia and its continuing reliance on coal.
Presenter: Heidi Pett
Producer: Phoebe Keane
Picture Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Gettty Images
Zimbabwe's Food Crisis: Can Old Crops Fix New Problems?
Every day people dig into sadza, a maize based meal, but there’s a problem. Zimbabwe’s getting much drier and maize can’t cope. Crop failures have partly contributed to food shortages this year leading to more than 7 million people needing food aid. The economic crisis has made the situation more serious and things will only get worse as the climate heats up. How can Zimbabwe feed itself? It turns out grains like millet and sorghum could hold the key. Unlike maize, these small grains are indigenous to the region. For In Business, Charlotte Ashton meets the remarkable business people fighting to put them back on Zimbabwean plates. From convincing smallholder farmers that traditional crops are the way forward, to advertising the health benefits of small grains to busy parents, this is a campaign for hearts and minds as much as full bellies.
Presenter: Charlotte Ashton
Producer: Phoebe Keane
Picture Credit: BBC
Germany’s Energy Transition
Germany has long been considered a leader in renewable energy – a model even for others to follow with its subsidies for wind and solar. Householders were encouraged to put solar panels on their rooves as early as two decades ago. But its so-called “Energiewende” or “energy transition” from fossil fuels to renewables is facing challenges and the country still relies on coal for 30 per cent of electricity generation. That will be phased out within the next eighteen years and nuclear energy will end too by 2022, leading to fears within industry about adequate energy capacity. Meanwhile the German government has admitted that it won’t meet its climate emissions targets for 2020. Caroline Bayley has been to the industrial Ruhr region to an enormous open cast mine, as well as to Steinfurt, a rural area where they’re pushing community renewable energy schemes and to the former coal town of Bottrop which is undergoing its own energy transition.
Presenter/Producer: Caroline Bayley
Picture Credit: BBC