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#COP21: ‘We should be taking action against climate change today,’ says Cameron

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Responding to the Prime Minister’s remarks at the opening of COP21, Matthew Spencer, director of Green Alliance said: “David Cameron has made a passionate case for the UK Climate Change Act to be used as a structure to strengthen the international climate agreement. Without a review mechanism like the UK’s carbon budget, the Paris deal could lock out any chance of staying within 2 degrees of warming.

“It’s a great shame that he doesn’t talk about his determination to tackle climate change when he is on British soil. As the Prime Minister said, we’ve got the technology to act and the knowledge of what inaction means. It’s his reticence to give his cabinet clear marching orders on climate change which explains the growing gap between the UK’s international leadership and declining business  confidence in UK low carbon policy.”

David Nussbaum WWF-UK’s Chief Executive said: “The Prime Minister’s assurance that taking action against climate change is ‘not difficult, it’s doable’ is a welcome sign that the Government is ready to get down to business in Paris.

“With their opening speeches, leaders have injected significant political energy at the start of the talks to give negotiators a mandate to leave Paris with a clear plan that will close the emissions gap, protect the vulnerable and ensure that the resources needed to address climate change are delivered.

“These talks will be judged not on words alone but also on the actions that each country, including the UK, takes to decarbonise their economies.

“In the run up, we have seen encouraging signs by the world’s biggest economies that can bring us a step closer to a future powered by renewable energy.

“The UK’s announcement that it will become the first major economy to phase out coal from its energy sector is one piece of this puzzle. The ball is now in the Government’s court to bring a strong deal home from Paris.”

The UK, Germany and Norway announced that they will support the Colombian government in its ambitious plans to protect rainforests which will protect biodiversity as well as contribute to tackling climate change.

David Nussbaum said: “This partnership is a great example of the kind of commitments we need to ensure climate action before 2020 and to increase or accelerate national emissions saving targets.

“The Governments of Colombia and the UK, along with Norway and Germany, have shown leadership and I hope many will follow their lead – from forest and donor nations alike.”

Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “That husky must be turning in its grave.  David Cameron shamelessly tells the world he is committed to tackling climate change and urges everyone else to get on with it when his own energy policy will deliver the opposite, with dreams of nuclear that won’t come true, baseless assumptions about fracking actually working and cuts all round for renewables.

“Since the election, the UK Government have made changes that guarantee we will not meet climate or green energy targets.  This is a problem for Scotland with our target of 100% renewable electricity in just 5 years’ time.  Our very successful industry will be set back years because of the Tories’ ideological objection to windfarms and solar.

“Communities and individuals who wanted to do their bit to tackle climate change and benefit from the renewable energy revolution have been seriously undermined by the Treasury’s drastic cuts to support mechanisms.“

“In Scotland we’ll stop burning coal to make electricity next March and the priorities will be to boost energy efficiency and renewable energy, on the way to a fossil-free Scotland.  Sadly the UK’s backwards policies will slow down our ability to play to Scotland’s energy strengths and frustrate communities who are planning to make their own energy.”

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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