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#COP21: New Draft Climate Change Agreement Online

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Commenting on the new draft text circulated today at the UN climate talks in Paris, Germana Canzi, senior international analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), said: “The French Presidency has done a very good job in moving negotiations forwards and ensuring there is positive momentum towards a deal after the ambition generated by global leaders last week.

You can read the draft text here.

“Ministers have clearly made huge progress in the last few days, but there are still issues to be resolved, including on the long-term goal that is ultimately needed to solve climate change.

“Many countries have come into negotiations recognising that a clean energy transition and a decoupling of emissions from economic growth are underway already, but Paris could be a key accelerator towards the end of the fossil fuel age.”

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change said: “It appears that all the key ingredients remain in the mix that could deliver a robust agreement providing the kind of signal investors want from Paris. It is encouraging that text which would establish a clear long term decarbonisation goal over a defined timetable remains a possibility. Since time is of the essence, we hope that all Parties will regard this draft agreement as a good basis for the final stretch of negotiations.”

Friends of the Earth CEO Craig Bennett said: “The final climate deal must include a commitment to keeping global temperature rises below 1.5 degrees. Nations that have grown wealthy from burning climate-changing fossil fuels, have to do most to cut emissions if this is to be achieved. Unfortunately the draft text lacks the commitments to keep temperature rises to that level – or even to two or three degrees of warming.

“The devastating floods hitting communities across the UK should be a wake-up call to David Cameron. His government must back a 1.5 degree target – and end its fixation with dirty fossil fuels. The good news is that millions of people worldwide are way ahead of politicians – they will keep on making their voices heard for a cleaner, safer future.”

Christian Aid’s, Senior Climate Advisor, Mohamed Adow said: “The new Paris Outcomes text represents good progress. It is much cleaner and presents clear options to help ministers get tougher and resolve the sticky issues.

Lots of brackets have been taken out and the substance is progressing. In particular, progress has been made on climate adaptation and capacity building. But still more attention needs to be given to adaptation finance to give effective support to the most vulnerable countries.

“The next 24 hours are critical. This is where the real negotiations will begin. We really need countries to fight to keep in the high ambition options on climate finance, the long term decarbonisation goal and a ratchet mechanism to ensure the agreement evolves to meet the needs of a changing world.”

Mr Adow also welcomed the announcement earlier today by the US that it would be doubling its adaption funding. He said: “It is welcome to see rich countries at these talks stepping forward to provide practical support which will make a real difference to some of the poorest people facing droughts, floods, sea level rise and extreme weather events.

“This shows that countries are engaging with each other and rich nations are listening to the needs of the poorest. Starting to deliver on previous finance commitments will build trust between countries at this crucial juncture. This will hopefully now start a snowball effect with other rich countries potentially following suit.”

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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