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Economy

Comment: Progress Of UN Climate Talks In Paris – Lord Nicholas Stern, Michael Jacobs & Edward Cameron

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A day later than expected negotiators at the Paris summit are hoping to wrap up a global agreement to curb climate change this Saturday. Statements below follow a press conference held earlier today in Paris, at the Le Bourget venue where the talks are taking place.

Professor Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics:“In many ways this summit has already been a success with more than 180 countries having submitted pledges for action. Over 150 world leaders participated in the opening of the summit and announced a range of initiatives such as Mission Innovation. There has been good will and a spirit throughout these two weeks of negotiation. All these are signs of success.

“There has been good progress on agreeing the text of the new agreement. For instance, the current draft contains only about 50 bracketed words or sections, whereas the previous draft had about 350. It’s not over yet. It’s a critical last 24 hours or so, but at the moment it looks rather promising.

“At present, the text of the agreement contains lots of things that are of real value. I think Paris, with fingers crossed for the next twenty four hours, could be a real turning point. Then of course the question is how do we accelerate from here, be it on innovation, finance, creativity, investment and so on.”

Michael Jacobs, Senior Adviser, the New Climate Economy project: “The timetable has slipped from what was, as everybody knows, a very ambitious intention to finish on time. But what is really important is that there is enough time to gain all parties’ consent.

“This is an agreement that has to be achieved by consensus of all the parties. So it is not a surprise at all that they are going to ensure they have the time to get that consensus. I don’t read anything into this extra delay. Those of us who took bets on the final outcome, very few people had 6pm on Friday. You could get pretty good odds on it last week from climate aficionados.

“The other thing we need to remember is that this is not the finished text and therefore we shouldn’t be commenting on it as if it is. There is a lot of negotiation to do and it is not over until it is over.”

Edward Cameron, Managing Director, Business for Social Responsibility, Policy Lead, We Mean Business: “We’re seeing the core building blocks of a new economy coming from this process. Business has come here in unprecedented numbers, to demonstrate their own commitment to acting on climate, and to work with governments to create a truly catalytic instrument for the real economy.

“To make that a reality, we were looking for a number of components. First of all, we were looking for genuine ambition. I think we see that not only in the new text, but in the more than one hundred and eighty national climate action plans that countries tabled coming into Paris. We also see ambition happening as a consequence of movement on climate finance. This is not just about mobilising $100 billion per year, but is about creating a leverage mechanism to bring private finance into this equation so that we get to trillions and not just billions.

“We are not there yet – there are many, many points of divergence that need to be resolved over the next 36 hours. What I would say, however, is that countries have already shown tremendous courage coming into this COP. Many of them are breaking long-standing political taboos, many of them have taken on a leadership role that would have been frankly impossible a number of years ago. What we want to see is for that courage to hold over the next twenty four to thirty six hours.”

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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