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The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group calls on G20 Leaders to fulfil their six-year-old pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies

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The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) is calling on G20 leaders, on the eve of their annual meeting beginning in Antalya, Turkey, on Sunday, to send a decisive signal to business, investors and governments by agreeing to accelerate the elimination of perverse fossil fuel subsidies.

The G20 was one of the first international bodies to put fossil fuel subsidy reform on the global agenda. As early as 2009 they committed to “phase out and rationalise over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”. Yet, six years later, over $500 billion of public resources are being spent annually on subsidies to coal, oil and gas– four times the amount of subsidies to renewable energy.

Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies would not only substantially contribute to the much-needed greenhouse gas emissions reductions that are required to hold global surface temperature rise below 2 degrees. It would also benefit the wider economy.

The CLG, which brings together 23 leading global companies, is urging G20 leaders to turn their commitments on fossil fuel subsidies into practical action. The Group has called upon world leaders to adopt carbon pricing policies over the last decade and believe that the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies is an integral part of the proper costing of high carbon externalities in economies.  Pledges on fossil fuel subsidy reform will help to build momentum for climate action in the final days leading up to the UN climate change conference (COP21) in Paris later this month and create the foundation for real progress post-Paris.

The CLG is calling on businesses, global investors and governments to endorse the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform Communiqué, which will be presented to the UN by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on the opening day of the Paris conference on 30 November 2015. The Communiqué promotes policy transparency, ambitious reform and targeted support for the poorest. It has already been endorsed by 25 countries (including G20 nations France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the United States and the United Kingdom) and leading business and investor organisations.

The voice of business has become a powerful force for progress in climate mitigation, since the sizeable opportunity in low-carbon industries has become clear: fuelling jobs, innovation and top-line growth. The elimination of fossil fuel subsidies by governments, especially the G20 major economies, sends business a signal of long-term certainty and enhances investment decisions towards low carbon energy.

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, said: “As we approach the Paris climate talks and a turning point where the transition to a low-carbon future becomes inevitable, it is becoming ever more clear that fossil fuel subsidies, which we know both hinder the development of low carbon solutions and disproportionately benefit the well-off in society, need to be put in the past. I am delighted that together with other members of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, we have the opportunity to endorse the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform Communiqué and add our voice to this critical issue.”

Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO, EDF, commented: “In a few days, COP21 will bring together Heads of State, business leaders and civil society groups with the hope that the negotiations between 195 countries will give us a framework to decarbonise our economies. In order to catalyse change we are convinced that we need a carbon price to enable deep decarbonisation pathways through innovative low carbon solutions as well as the elimination of subsidies for fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. That is why we support this initiative through The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group because like the other member companies, we believe that carbon pricing combined with fossil fuel subsidy reform is a significant pathway to real decarbonisation.”

Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Director of the CLG said, “The G20 has the opportunity to convey the long-term direction in which public investment is heading. With energy prices at an all-time low, now is the right time to phase out fossil fuel subsidies with a gentler impact on consumers and national economies. Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies is key to ensuring an orderly economic transition towards decarbonisation. Accelerated actions towards a phase-out of subsidies would generate 12% of the total abatement needed by 2020 to keep the door open to the 2°C target.”

The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group was the first business organisation to support the Friends of the Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform Communiqué, during Climate Week NYC 2015. Earlier this month, the CLG initiated a letter to G20 and EU Finance Ministers signed by global groups working with thousands of leading businesses worldwide, urging them to create the conditions for a smooth, just and rapid transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. The letter particularly asked for clear and time-bound commitments on carbon pricing and the phasing out of perverse fossil fuel subsidies.

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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