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Economy

Countdown to historic climate meeting in Paris

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Climate negotiators meet in Bonn from today for a final round of discussions before a historic meeting starts in Paris in six weeks, where a new global climate agreement is expected to be approved.

By early October, 146 countries, representing almost 87 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, had submitted their climate targets to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

These country climate targets – called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs – will be the cornerstone of a new global climate deal to be agreed in December at a meeting of the 196 Parties who are members of the UNFCCC.

Dr Stephen Cornelius, WWF-UK’s chief adviser on climate change said: “The countries’ pledges to cut emissions are a major step forward but don’t take us far enough to prevent dangerous climate change. The next steps we take must be fair and deliver a safe future.”

Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative said: “Even as momentum outside of the UN climate negotiations has been steadily building – among faith groups, business and civil society – inside the negotiations progress has been slow and must now switch into high gear.

“Clearly, there is quite a bit of work still to be done to get the fair, ambitious and transformational climate deal the world needs. We must leave Bonn with a much stronger draft agreement than what we have at the moment, especially in terms of ensuring ambition and fairness throughout,” she said.

Tasneem Essop, head of WWF’s delegation to the UNFCCC said, “Coming out of Bonn, we will need a draft agreement that is easy to use as a basis for resolving issues that need political will to anchor ambition in line with the  latest climate science for limiting global warming.” This must include:

– Clear commitments that climate finance will be scaled up in regular cycles from the floor of $100bn in 2020;

– Equity and fairness reflected adequately throughout the new agreement;

– A Strong process for review and ratcheting of targets;

– As a stand-alone provision, a permanent international mechanism to deal with Loss and Damage due to climate change.

– Explicit adoption of a strong global goal for Adaptation to drive increased adaptation action and support to help those facing the portion of climate change impacts that are already unavoidable.

While most of the focus in the negotiations is on what countries will do after 2020, it is vital that attention be kept on pre-2020 actions, said Essop.

“Science tells us that in order to keep global warming to well below 1.5 or 2 degrees, emissions must peak before 2020. These pre-2020 actions will need to provide a strong foundation given the already inadequate commitments made by governments through the INDC’S for the post-2020 period,” she said.

The current draft agreement contains many of the right elements for pre-2020 action. “We must move to implementation through scaling up efforts on renewable energy and energy efficiency and in the land-use sector, if we are to close the emissions gap,” said Essop.

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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