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Audi, Seat, Skoda and VW commercial vehicles affected by diesel scandal: September round up

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Volkswagen has appointed a new Chief Executive, Porsche boss Matthias Müller. Olaf Lies, a Volkswagen board member and economy minister of Lower Saxony says VW staff acted criminally over emission cheat tests. Today 1.2m vehicles are reported to be affected across Audi, Seat, Skoda and VW commercial brands. The crisis motors on. One can’t help but feel Volkswagen executives sitting in the boardroom plaintively saying: “Are we nearly there yet?”

VW’s share price reached a 5-year peak in April 2015 of €253.2 and hit a low of €95.19 on Tuesday (down 62% in six months). So far…

How we have reported on the developing story. In happier, sunnier times…

– Ecotricity and Volkswagen unite to offer 100% renewable travel

– Blue & Green’s top 10 electric cars: #5 Volkswagen E-Up!

And then…

– Volkswagen faces penalties for diesel emissions scandal

– Vigeo downgrades Volkswagen’s rating

– Volkswagen’s Scandal: Should this be a surprise?

– Dieselgate: other car manufacturers ‘on the same line’ as Volkswagen

– Dr Konstantinos Chalvatzis: EU’s ‘engine’ stalls in Volkswagen scandal

– Sustainable leadership means engaging honestly with your stakeholders: VW failed the test

– Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace demand answers from Transport Secretary on VW scandal

– Volkswagen didn’t keep it real

– Has Volkswagen caused a pile-up in the auto industry?

Timeline of a corporate governance scandal, regulatory failure and public relations disaster:

– 2007: Suspect software first installed for the purposes of ‘internal testing’ only. Bosch allegedly warns VW not to use software illegally.

– 2008 : VW announces new ‘Clean Diesel’ cars

– 2009-2015: Clean Diesels win several environmental awards, receive tax breaks

– 2011: Alarms raised that software may infringe legislation by VW employee

– 2012-2014: evidence mounts of issue

– 2014: Researchers in US, commisioned by International Council on Clean Transportation, test vehicles – findings of 40x emissions

– May 2015: New tests by US authorities

– July 2015: Environmentalist questions by Green Party

– September 3: VW confession to US authorities

– September 18: Authorities go public with findings

– September 20: CEO Winterkorn issues statement saying he is ‘sorry’

– September 21: Stock sinks by 17%

– September 22: 11-million vehicles world-wide affected – stock sinks a further 20%

– September 23: CEO Winterkorn resigns

– September 24: EU urges probes across all 28 states

– September 25: New chief executive, US ban of VW diesels until 2016

– September 28: Criminal probe by German prosecutors

–  September 29: VW removed from the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices

– September 29: On Newsnight Volkswagen board member says staff acted criminally. Volkswagen announces plans to refit 11m cars

– September 30: Audi, Seat, Skoda, VW commercial vehicles also affected (1.2m in the UK)

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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