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Most Popular News Articles 2015

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In 2015 we published  3,545 articles. This is the year’s top 10 news articles according to the wisdom of the Blue & Green crowd. Our own Marbles Awards, Climate Change Agreements, Market Solutions to Inequality, Dale Vince, Shell and Renewables, Amber Rudd and Energy Policy, Antarctica Ice Shelf Collapse, Pope Francis and laudato si’, Consumer Rights Act, Fossil Fuel Divestment and Osborne’s Assault on the Green Economy.

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Blue & Green Launches First Annual Awards: The Marbles

Blue & Green Tomorrow has today launched the Blue & Green Marbles, its annual awards. Next year there will be seven awards. But for the first year to get the ball, or marble, rolling, we are looking for the United Kingdom’s Sustainability Personality of the Year. Read more.

Cameron, Clegg And Miliband Sign Joint Climate Change Agreement

In an unusual move of political consensus the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition have agreed to work together across party lines to tackle climate change. Read more.

Just Index: A Market Solution To Inequality?

Paul Tudor Jones founded the Tudor Investment Corporation hedge fund in 1980, now worth $13.5 billion (£9bn). In 1988 he used his accumulated wealth to found the Robin Hood Foundation alleviating poverty in New York. Today he is focused on the Just Capital, to create an index that rates companies according to the social justice of their actions. Read more.

What The Papers Say. Dale Vince And The Supreme Court

Yesterday’s the Supreme Court decided that the ex-wife of Ecotricity founder can make a financial claim against him. Kathleen Wyatt, 55, took legal action against Dale Vince OBE, 53, in 2011. The couple were married in 1981 and divorced in 1991. Mr Vince is now reported to be worth £107m after founding green energy company Ecotricity in 1995. Read more.

Shell CEO: We Can’t Ignore The Importance Of Renewable Energy

Shell boss Ben van Beurden has told an OPEC meeting that traditional energy sources must integrate and work together with clean technologies to provide sustainable and economically-sensible power for the future. Read more.

Amber Rudd’s Speech On A New Direction For UK Energy Policy

Amber Rudd: “Tough on subsidies. Concentrating on technologies that will deliver at scale. New gas replacing coal. Getting new nuclear off the ground. Reducing the costs of offshore wind. And unleashing innovation to discover the clean and cheap technologies of tomorrow.” Read more.

Antarctica Ice Shelf At Risk Of Collapse

An ice shelf twice the size of Wales depleted by 4 metres between 1998 and 2012 and is at risk of collapse, according to a study by the British Antarctica Survey. Read more.

Pope Francis: Care For Creation, Sustainable Development And Climate Change

Pope Francis will write a letter to 1.2bn Catholics all over the world, emphasising the importance on sustainable living, eradicating poverty and calling on world leaders to address climate change. Read more.

Consumer Rights Act 2015 Comes Into Force October 1st

New legislation will come into effect this Thursday under The Consumer Rights Act 2015. The new rules are set to replace eight current pieces of legislation, including The Sale of Goods Act (1979), The Supply of Goods and Services Act (1982) and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (1999). Older consumer laws don’t take into account a lot of recent development, such online/mobile shopping. Read more.

World’s Largest Insurance Company Allianz Divests From Coal

The world’s largest insurance company, Allianz announced that it will pull the plug on investments in coal companies and increase investments in wind energy. Allianz is one of the largest financial institutions in the world managing €2 trillion. They estimate the decision will result in a shift of €4 billion. Read more.

Summer Budget 2015: Renewables Climate Change Levy Exemption To Be Scrapped

Chancellor George Osborne has delivered the first majority Conservative government Budget since 1996, including plans to scrap an “out-dated” Climate Change Levy exemption on renewable electricity. Read more.

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New Zealand to Switch to Fully Renewable Energy by 2035

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renewable energy policy
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Eviart / https://www.shutterstock.com/g/adrian825

New Zealand’s prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern is already taking steps towards reducing the country’s carbon footprint. She signed a coalition deal with NZ First in October, aiming to generate 100% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2035.

New Zealand is already one of the greenest countries in the world, sourcing over 80% of its energy for its 4.7 million people from renewable resources like hydroelectric, geothermal and wind. The majority of its electricity comes from hydro-power, which generated 60% of the country’s energy in 2016. Last winter, renewable generation peaked at 93%.

Now, Ardern is taking on the challenge of eliminating New Zealand’s remaining use of fossil fuels. One of the biggest obstacles will be filling in the gap left by hydropower sources during dry conditions. When lake levels drop, the country relies on gas and coal to provide energy. Eliminating fossil fuels will require finding an alternative source to avoid spikes in energy costs during droughts.

Business NZ’s executive director John Carnegie told Bloomberg he believes Ardern needs to balance her goals with affordability, stating, “It’s completely appropriate to have a focus on reducing carbon emissions, but there needs to be an open and transparent public conversation about the policies and how they are delivered.”

The coalition deal outlined a few steps towards achieving this, including investing more in solar, which currently only provides 0.1% of the country’s energy. Ardern’s plans also include switching the electricity grid to renewable energy, investing more funds into rail transport, and switching all government vehicles to green fuel within a decade.

Zero net emissions by 2050

Beyond powering the country’s electricity grid with 100% green energy, Ardern also wants to reach zero net emissions by 2050. This ambitious goal is very much in line with her focus on climate change throughout the course of her campaign. Environmental issues were one of her top priorities from the start, which increased her appeal with young voters and helped her become one of the youngest world leaders at only 37.

Reaching zero net emissions would require overcoming challenging issues like eliminating fossil fuels in vehicles. Ardern hasn’t outlined a plan for reaching this goal, but has suggested creating an independent commission to aid in the transition to a lower carbon economy.

She also set a goal of doubling the number of trees the country plants per year to 100 million, a goal she says is “absolutely achievable” using land that is marginal for farming animals.

Greenpeace New Zealand climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson believes that phasing out fossil fuels should be a priority for the new prime minister. She says that in order to reach zero net emissions, Ardern “must prioritize closing down coal, putting a moratorium on new fossil fuel plants, building more wind infrastructure, and opening the playing field for household and community solar.”

A worldwide shift to renewable energy

Addressing climate change is becoming more of a priority around the world and many governments are assessing how they can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and switch to environmentally-friendly energy sources. Sustainable energy is becoming an increasingly profitable industry, giving companies more of an incentive to invest.

Ardern isn’t alone in her climate concerns, as other prominent world leaders like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron have made renewable energy a focus of their campaigns. She isn’t the first to set ambitious goals, either. Sweden and Norway share New Zealand’s goal of net zero emissions by 2045 and 2030, respectively.

Scotland already sources more than half of its electricity from renewable sources and aims to fully transition by 2020, while France announced plans in September to stop fossil fuel production by 2040. This would make it the first country to do so, and the first to end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Many parts of the world still rely heavily on coal, but if these countries are successful in phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable resources, it could serve as a turning point. As other world leaders see that switching to sustainable energy is possible – and profitable – it could be the start of a worldwide shift towards environmentally-friendly energy.

Sources: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-06/green-dream-risks-energy-security-as-kiwis-aim-for-zero-carbon

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-hydrocarbons/france-plans-to-end-oil-and-gas-production-by-2040-idUSKCN1BH1AQ

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Economy

How Going Green Can Save A Company Money

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going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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