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Economy

New Report Finds Largest Global Miners Failing To Handle Major Climate Risks

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A new report, analyzing a group of the largest metal and mining companies, with combined market capitalization of US$329bn, has found they are failing to adequately manage carbon and water risks, with most unsupportive of new climate regulation.

The report uses data from CDP, the only global environmental disclosure system, and assesses whether the companies are taking action such as setting meaningful emissions reduction targets, conducting water stress evaluation or preparing for the expected tightening and expansion of carbon regulation set to emerge from COP21 in Paris.

Collectively, the 11 companies in the report account for around 85% of emissions among large, listed miners in one of the highest emitting sectors. The findings of the research include:

– No company achieved the top tier of grade (A or B) for all five criteria. All except two had a ‘D’ grade or below in at least one area;

– Only six of the eleven miners disclose meaningful GHG emission reduction targets;

– Glencore and First Quantum Minerals were the worst ‘across the board’ performers;

– Most (9 out of 11) large miners oppose new climate regulation. Only two appear to be ‘supportive of climate regulation’;

– US$10bn in earnings is at risk across the 11 ranked companies if a carbon price of US$50 per tonne is introduced as already accounted for by some companies;

– Almost 50% of company facilities are located in areas with medium or high water stress;

– Glencore is the clear laggard on carbon regulation readiness, due to its opposition to carbon pricing and dismissal of the concept of stranded assets;

– More than half the companies are involved in coal production, and together they represent 40% of the global seaborne (export) market in coking coal and 27% in thermal coal.

James Magness, CDP Head of Investor Research, said: “This research is a canary in the coal mine for investors. It shows that the world’s biggest mining companies, currently worth over US$329 billion, are unprepared for the transition to a low carbon economy. Although there are clear signs of progress by some companies in areas such as energy efficiency and water resilience, the sector as a whole needs to up its game. As a first step, all the large miners should be reporting meaningful GHG emission reduction targets and doing more to back new climate regulation.”

Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer of CDP added:  “As the world prepares for a binding climate deal in Paris, this research highlights both risks and opportunities for extractive sector investors. It is the latest in CDP’s sector research series and is an ideal tool to help investors make smarter investment decisions and to engage their investees on these issues. As shown by the recent growth of initiatives such as the Montreal Pledge and the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition, major investors now appreciate the impact of environmental factors on the bottom line, and they need reliable environmental data to accurately assess these financial risks and opportunities.”

Donald Macdonald, chair of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change added: “There is growing concern amongst investors about the long term sustainability of the mining sector so we warmly welcome this valuable research from CDP which used in connection with our guidance – Investor Expectations of Mining Companies: Digging deeper on carbon asset risk – will give investors excellent tools for progressive engagement with these companies.”

Disclosure to CDP is critical to achieving the highest level of data quality, as risk for non-responders cannot be assessed. The largest non-responders included Norilsk Nickel, Grupo Mexico and KGHM Polska Miedź. The research is available free for investors who are signatories to CDP.

CDP Superleague of Diversfied Miners

Further to the tragic Samarco mining disaster in Brazil, the report also separately investigates potential industry exposure following new analysis of tailings dams across the sector.

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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