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EU Emission Targets Don’t Meet Paris Agreement Goals

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EU countries’ climate targets are too weak to prevent devastating climate change.

According to Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, the Commission missed an important opportunity to scale up EU climate action in today’s proposal by failing to introduce a ratchet-up mechanism to increase targets over time and by refusing to set the lowest starting point for emission reductions in 2021.

The Effort Sharing Regulation proposal presented by the European Commission today outlines how to break down the EU-wide target to reduce emissions from transport, buildings and farming by 30% by 2030 into national targets for the 28 Member States. Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe argues that the bloc-wide pledge is outdated, as it was defined by the EU Heads of State and Government more than a year before the Paris Summit, and it is not aligned with the objectives to limit temperature rise well below 2°C, let alone 1.5°C enshrined in the Paris Agreement.

“The proposal aims to put into effect a pledge that is out of line with the Paris Agreement,” Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe said. “Each EU country will have to scale up its efforts to keep the Paris Agreement goals within reach and avoid runaway climate change. For each EU country an increase of efforts would open up opportunities for green growth, better public transport, cleaner air and water, less energy poverty and more jobs.”

While the European Commission was not entitled to propose a higher target, it could have devised other means to scale up EU’s insufficient climate action. However, it missed an opportunity to establish a ratchet-up mechanism that would allow to update the legislation automatically when the EU’s target is increased.

“The proposal lacks a crucial element that would allow to automatically strengthen inadequate national targets when the overall EU commitment is revised. After all the rhetoric on the need to increase ambition through regular reviews that the EU pushed for in Paris, failing to include a review mechanism in our own laws sends a wrong signal abroad ,” Trio added.

Moreover, for the total amount of carbon each country will be allowed to emit after 2020, the starting point for calculating reductions is as important as the target. The Commission opted for starting at the average emission levels in 2016-2018. Compared with the Commission’s proposal, a more ambitious approach that would put the starting level closer to where emissions will actually be in 2021, would further reduce the EU’s emissions by at least 850 million tonnes.

The Commission missed an opportunity to substantially boost emission cuts by setting the starting point for reductions as ambitiously as possible.

“Opting for a more ambitious approach would cut greenhouse gases more than the 2014 emissions of Germany and France combined, having a great positive impact for the climate,” Trio concluded.

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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