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Economy

ET Index blog series: Are we reducing risk at the individual level or the collective aggregate level?

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As we have examined in the two previous blog posts, there is a subtle – although very much related – difference between financial ‘carbon risk’ and general ‘climate change risk’. Sam Gill, CEO of ET Index writes.

‘Climate change risk’ represents the threat of global civilizational collapse and the mass suffering that will ensue. While ‘carbon risk’ represents the dual threat of the financial implications of being the wrong side of an inevitable shift away from fossil fuels in a scenario where action is taken to mitigate climate change. ‘Carbon risk’ also represents the financial ramifications of the ensuing financial losses from the impacts of climate change occurring in a scenario where no action is taken to mitigate climate change.

Given the overwhelming evidence that climate change needs to be tackled, the only rational action of a fiduciary (person responsible for managing money on people’s behalf) is to invest to minimise individual ‘carbon risk’ exposure and minimise collective ‘climate change risk’ exposure. Failure to pursue either of theses strategies is ultimately not in the long term interests of the people whose money is being managed, or indeed society at large.

As the UN Principles For Responsible Investment’s Martin Skancke has pointed out there needs to be a distinction between initiatives that reduce carbon risk at the individual level and those that reduce climate change risk at the aggregate level.

Not all concepts and mechanisms are created equal in their ability to effect change. As I suggest in my book Environmental Tracking 3.0 (Available as free PDF or in hard copy from Amazon) the investment community holds the key to tackling climate change since it has the ability to redirect the trillions of dollars flowing through the financial system to create the incentives so badly needed to affect change.

The philosophical question we have to ask ourselves is a simple one. If we are going to begin to shift trillions of dollars away from high carbon companies towards low carbon ones, in order to create the incentives required to bring about a transition to a zero carbon economy, do we want that to be done in an open, transparent and focused way in order to maximise impact? Or do we want it to be done in an opaque, disjointed fashion where it is not clear if we are achieving the desired effect of mitigating climate change or carbon risk?

In the last post in this series we will explore precisely how Environmental Tracking has been designed by the independent not-for-profit Environmental Investment Organisation as a tool to fulfil this objective.

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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