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Fossil fuel companies recognise climate risks but fail to disclose them to investors – report

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A new survey from Carbon Tracker has revealed that while companies are well aware of the impacts of climate change and the effects carbon-cutting policies will have on fossil fuels reserves, only 7% integrate the risks into corporate project and capital expenditure assessments.

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The survey, led in partnership with CDP, Ceres and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), analysed disclosures of 81 fossil fuel companies that had already answered questions on climate change in questionnaires by the CDP – formerly Carbon Disclosure Project.

The new report found out that while 99% of sampled firms recognise climate change poses risks to their business, only 7% of them properly provide investors with data on possible stressed scenarios and vulnerability of future reserves.

Economists and financial experts have often warned over the risk of ‘stranded assets’ – in case climate policies are put in place to avoid a dangerous warming of more than 2C. This would mean many identified oil, gas and coal reserves would have to remain underground.

Founder and executive director of the Carbon Tracker Mark Campanale said, “Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, acknowledged last week that the majority of oil reserves are ‘unburnable’ and that when it comes to the environment, there is a ‘tragedy of horizons.

“To ensure financial actors look more to the long-term on these matters, regulators must increase scrutiny on how climate risk is properly disclosed by listed fossil fuel companies, the most affected sector.”

Paul Simpson, CEO at CDP added, “Stranded assets present a material risk to the global economy which has parallels with the risks that precipitated the financial crisis in 2008. Institutional investors need better disclosure from fossil fuel companies on the potential of their reserves to be stranded and details of how they intend to respond to this risk.

“Given that current accounting rules do not require this, institutional investors and financial market regulators must also take urgent action to ensure this risk is assessed, disclosed and managed.”

The report suggests that companies report on the carbon emissions potential of their coal, oil and gas reserves and resilience plans in a low price and demand scenario, while regulators should also demand the disclosure of more detailed information on how companies intend to act in a 2C warming scenario.

Photo: Bernardo62 via Flickr

Further reading:

Investors asked to disclose climate change risks

Majority of investors unaware of ‘foolhardy addiction’ to climate risks

Climate change a ‘firmly established’ material risk for mainstream investors

The story of unburnable carbon

Carbon Tracker’s latest analysis is a warning to fossil fuel investors everywhere

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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