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Prime Minister Asked to Step In and Save British Wildlife

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Over the past few weeks the UK Government has been under escalating pressure from the public to protect our much-beloved British wildlife and save the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU). World Animal Protection has been campaigning to ensure the world-leading police unit, dedicated to tackling wildlife crime in the UK and abroad, is saved and on Wednesday in Prime Minister’s Questions David Cameron was asked exactly what he planned to do to uphold his commitment to fight wildlife crime.

The NWCU’s future has become uncertain due to Government spending cuts resulting from the Autumn Spending Review, and its current funding runs out in March, with Ministers still refusing to answer what the future hold.

A host of wildlife experts including Dr Jane Goodall, Joanna Lumley, Kate Humble, Ben Fogle, Steve Backshall, Simon King, Mark Carwardine, Simon Reeve, Dr Charlotte Uhlenbroek and Deborah Meaden joined our campaign to urge DEFRA and the Home Office to renew funding and protect British wildlife.

The work of the NWCU, on a shoe-string budget of £427,000 is frankly remarkable, and as such it richly deserves to be a treasured institution.

Wildlife crime is abundant across the UK and internationally with animals being harmed, persecuted and taken from the wild. Animals are hunted, smuggled, butchered for their body parts or kept alive in order to be sold on. The NWCU is absolutely critical in the fight against wildlife criminals. Without them, wild animals will be at a much greater risk of suffering cruelty.

The Government, and the whole of the UK, and the international community, depends on the NWCU to provide a centralised intelligence and investigations unit to deal with the complex array of wildlife crimes happening at home and abroad.

The unit provide expert advice and coordinate the work of police forces up and down the UK in tackling a complex array of domestic wildlife crimes.

On top of their domestic work the NWCU help tackle the international illegal wildlife trade which the UK is a hub for. In 2015 the Unit led the seizure of more than 400 items banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Even considering scrapping a unit that we all rely upon to tackle wildlife crimes is frankly nonsense. Especially when you consider that the UK Government has already committed £13 million to projects around the world tackling the illegal wildlife trade.

How on earth at the same time can they be contemplating getting rid of a vital unit in the UK that only costs £427,000 a year to run?

Last week 62 MPs joined Word Animal Protection in the Houses of Parliament to urge the Government to Save the National Wildlife Crime Unit.

The Prime Minister, was asked to step into the debate and save the Unit himself. When asked by Labour MP Jim Dowd during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Cameron praised the work of the unit domestically and around the world but could only say that a decision is “still to be made about the future”.

Time is now running out for the NWCU but you can help in these last few days by signing and sharing our action, using #SaveTheNWCU on Twitter. Click here for more about the campaign.

 

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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