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#COP21: Young Cleantech Innovators From 6 Continents Meet In Paris For #Climathon

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With the UN climate change summit now under way, a dozen teams of young innovators hailing from six continents will today meet in Paris for the final stage of Climate-KIC’s Climathon. The students and budding entrepreneurs all have promising ideas to counter climate change with disruptive technological and social inventions. Should there be a deal at the COP21 summit next week, it will take exactly these kinds of transformative new innovations and business models to implement it.

The young innovators, from countries as diverse as Australia, China and Ethiopia, have been invited by the EU’s main climate innovation initiative, Climate-KIC, and are set to learn and exchange effective ways to pitch their cleantech ideas to investors at a special boot camp in central Paris.

Ideas are the oxygen of growth in the zero carbon economy, and following today’s event the young innovators will present their radical ideas to an audience of business leaders and investors at the Grand Palais tomorrow (5 December) — to see if they can turn their ideas into reality. The events in Paris are the first opportunity for the participants to meet in person since they met online during Climate-KIC’s 2015 Climathon, a global 24-hour hackathon to seek out some of the best new cleantech ideas.

Hunger to succeed

“There’s a real hunger to succeed and a desire to have impact that we have so far seen with the Climathon contestants. This really highlights the unprecedented opportunity we have to create a prosperous zero carbon future, driven by innovation, jobs, and investment,” says Ebrahim Mohamed, Climate-KIC’s education director. The participating teams have all won the national editions of Climate-KIC’s Climathon, which was held in June, and have since started to turn their concepts into real startup companies.

“Climate-KIC is seizing the zero carbon opportunity for Europe, but we can’t do it alone. That’s why we’re reaching out to innovators around the world. We need to feed organisations around the world with disruptive, scalable, commercially-viable ideas to address climate change,” he said.

24-hour global event

Twenty major cities from six continents including national capitals such as Beijing, Washington DC, New Delhi, Addis Ababa and London came together for 24 hours on 18 June. Entrepreneurs, students and policy makers worked together — collaborating online — to find new solutions to their local, city-level, climate change problems ranging from sea-level rise to the conservation of biodiversity.

The focus in each city was predefined by local climate change challenges, ranging from finding ways to counter threats posed by sea-level rise in Boston, USA, to developing the best solutions to find ways to empower the citizens of São Paulo, Brazil, to improve the conservation of its biodiversity.

Building a zero carbon economy

Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero carbon economy. The organisation addresses climate change across four priority themes: urban areas, land use, production systems, decision metrics and finance. Education is at the heart of these themes to inspire and empower the next generation of climate leaders.

Climate-KIC runs programmes for students, start-ups and innovators across Europe via centres in major cities, convening a community of the best people and organisations. Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

The twelve global winning teams attending the events in Paris come from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Beijing (China), Boston (USA), Canberra (Australia), Copenhagen (Denmark), Frankfurt (Germany), London (UK), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Wellington (New Zealand), Walbrzych (Poland), Washington (USA) and Winterthur (Switzerland).

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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