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#COP21: Coalition Of Atoll Nations On Climate Change Unveil “Pacific Rising”

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Today, as negotiators from around the world meet in Le Bourget on the outskirts of Paris to forge an agreement that will address climate change, leaders of five island nations that constitute the Coalition of Atoll Nations on Climate Change (CANCC) have announced the founding of “Pacific Rising”, an initiative intended to secure the survival of the people living on these low-lying islands.

At an event co-hosted with the Prince Albert II Foundation, Conservation International and the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice; Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Tokelau and Tuvalu announced their joint initiative as a moral imperative to save their hundreds of thousands of citizens across the Pacific and Indian oceans from the inevitable disaster caused by the impacts of climate change.

“Pacific Rising”, much like the “Marshall Plan” that helped Europe recover from the devastation of World War II, is global in its scope of participation needed to save the people of these low-lying nations from rising sea levels caused by climate change. It differs from the Marshall Plan, in that the leaders of the CANCC are designing it to stop a refugee crisis and save the lives and culture of their people before the full weight of the disaster strikes.

Most barely rising three meters above sea level, projections indicate that the rising ocean will overtake the islands by the middle of the next century. These predictions however, do not account for the increased severity of storms, also a byproduct of climate change, that can take lives, destroy infrastructure and agriculture and affect fresh water resources that have sustained islanders for thousands of years.

The leaders of Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Tokelau and Tuvalu taking charge: they are acting now, for their very survival to design adaptation strategies for the CANCC nations to address the impacts of climate change. “Pacific Rising” would work on three fronts to preserve lives, livelihoods and cultures in the Pacific:

– Developing technology, including investment in renewable energy, Internet access and as-yet undefined systems for raising coastal elevation and shoreline protection.

– Fostering enterprise, by building partnerships for sustainable business initiatives at local and national levels in order to bolster the resilience of island economies in transition.

– Preserving culture through education, training, health and maintaining cultural heritage amid a possible mass migration of people.

At its heart, “Pacific Rising” is an investment in the people affected by climate change; to aid their survival of climate change threats, build up their livelihoods, educate and strengthen the health of their communities and preserve their cultural heritage.

While the deal coming from COP21 remains to be seen, it cannot provide immediate relief from the danger faced by atoll nations. “Pacific Rising”, however, will provide the path for the global action needed to ensure that it can be compared to the ‘Marshall Plan’ in the future in regard to its scope, and more importantly, its success.

Image: © Charly W. Karl/Flickr Creative Commons

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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