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#COP21: 10 Global Cities Win Prestigious C40 Cities Awards

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Today, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) announced the winners of the third-annual C40 Cities Awards, recognizing ten global cities for their leadership in tackling climate change across key sectors. The Awards ceremony was held on Thursday night in Paris during the COP21 climate negotiations.

Winning cities, including Boston, Johannesburg, Rotterdam and Nanjing each demonstrated exceptional innovation and ambition to build low carbon and climate resilient urban communities. Winners were recognised for a diverse set of world-class policies, projects or programs, including Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan, which sets a roadmap for it to become the greenest city in the world by 2020, and Wuhan’s ecological restoration of one of the city’s largest landfill sites.

Felipe Calderón, former President of Mexico and Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate serves as Chair of the C40 Cities Awards Jury Panel, who selected the winners from among 33 finalists announced in October, 2015.

“As leaders from around the world meet in Paris to agree binding emission targets, the efforts of these 10 Award-winning cities remind us that innovation drives results, and concrete solutions and actions – that improve the health, well-being and economic opportunities of urban citizens — can be implemented right now. I thank our esteemed Jury Panel and commend my fellow mayors for their leadership and commitment to tackle climate change. By taking local action, we are having a global impact,” said C40 Chair, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes.

This year’s winners in the ten award categories are:

– Boston (Smart Cities & Smart Community Engagement)

– Cape Town (Adaptation Implementation)

– Johannesburg (Finance & Economic Development)

– Nanjing (Transportation)

– New York (Building Energy Efficiency)

– Rotterdam (Adaptation Planning & Assessment)

– Stockholm (Sustainable Communities)

– Vancouver (Carbon Measurement & Planning)

– Washington, DC (Green Energy)

– Wuhan (Solid Waste)

“The C40 Cities Awards recognizes mayors who are doing the hard work of taking action on climate change — and delivering results. The solutions highlighted through the Awards offer models for other cities to follow, and it is great to see the number of applications increase each year — a sure sign that our progress is accelerating,” said C40 President and UN Secretary General Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg.  “Cities are leading by example, and tonight’s winners are at the forefront of that work.”

“Just as the global environmental leaders gather in Paris today, BYD is determined to actively participate to promote the sustainable development of the world. The technological innovation resulting from BYD’s 16,000 engineers and researchers can be seen in our public transportation solutions, including pure electric buses and taxis, now found in more than 160 cities globally,” said Chuanfu Wang, Chairman and President of BYD Co. Ltd. “BYD sends our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to global sustainable development, especially the 10 C40 Awards winning cities – each city has set a fine example for others to follow. BYD would be proud to work with these cities to apply more advanced technologies and solutions to make the world more green.”

C40 received more than 200 applications from 94 cities for the 2015 Awards; these were reviewed in partnership with sustainability think tank and consultancy Sustainia.  Of the ten awards categories, four are open to C40 Cities and those that are part of the Compact of Mayors, a global coalition of mayors and city officials committed to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change and track their progress transparently.

C40 Cities Awards winners represent leading projects in urban sustainability, but city climate action is accelerating around the world – according to recent C40 research, C40 cities have taken 10,000 city climate actions since the last major COP in Copenhagen.

The 3rd Annual C40 Cities Awards was made possible thanks to support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and global electric vehicle leader BYD Company Ltd.

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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