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No More Than The Cost Of A Year’s Stamps: The UK Public’s Willingness To Pay To Fight Climate Change

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Just days after Prince Charles’ landmark speech about the perils of climate change at COP21 in Paris, new research reveals just how little UK citizens are willing to pay out of their own pockets to fight it.

In the first study of its kind, Tanya O’Garra and Susana Mourato of the London School of Economics and Political Science asked over 1,000 adults how much they would be willing to contribute personally to a variety of projects designed to help developing countries adapt to climate change.

The answer: not very much.

The results of their study, published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, show that their respondents were willing to pay about £27 ($29.37) more income tax each year to support adaptation efforts in developing countries. To put that figure into perspective, £27 is around what most of us spend on postage stamps each year – and less than one third of the $100–$150 per capita World Bank estimates suggest is actually needed to help developing countries cope with change.

But just as interesting to the researchers as the sum itself was learning what informed their respondents’ decisions. O’Garra and Mourato noted that respondents admitted that they did not actually know much about climate change and its main cause, carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, 31% of the people they surveyed believed nature to be the main cause of climate change, something which had major implications for how committed people were to fighting its effects in far-flung regions.

“A belief that climate change is caused by nature allows some people to absolve themselves of responsibility toward those who will be negatively impacted by climate change,” they write.

Overall, the results of O’Garra and Mourato’s study confirm that willingness to pay (WTP) for adaptation in developing countries is strongly influenced by income, which is expected, but also by beliefs about whether climate change is happening, as well as existing preferences vis-à-vis support for adaptation.

The results also have implications for those trying to raise public awareness of the effects of climate change. Based on what we can learn from this study, it’s clear that climate change communication should become more targeted – and connect with the beliefs and values of different groups – rather than simply provide more information.

* Read the full article online here.

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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