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Economy

World leaders unanimously approve historic deal: #GlobalGoals

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It’s not often that the entire globe can agree on a deal that is politically challenging and technically complex. That is what happened today when the UN unanimously approved a new sustainable development deal. The deal is our best chance to eliminate poverty, promote prosperity and protect the environment.

The world is facing urgent issues that threaten the well-being of communities and the long-term health of the environment. This historic 15-year plan is the right deal at the right time that commits all countries to ensuring food, water and energy security for generations to come.

Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International said: “Game-changing government decisions that benefit both people and the environment come along very rarely and never before at this scale and level of ambition. Today’s decision is about survival. It’s a history-making moment that could fundamentally change how we treat our planet and all of its people.”

With global issues requiring global attention, it is only fitting that the agreement – Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – became official at a gathering of so many world leaders.

Sustainability and the environment are at the centre of the plan. With most people that live in extreme poverty relying on nature for their livelihoods, the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets can help improve lives by protecting the ocean, freshwater and forests. This is a better agreement than we ever would have expected, and it gives us hope we can make the significant changes needed to help people and the planet.

“This plan is about survival and prosperity,” continued Kakabadse. “By accepting nature’s central role in supporting human well-being, the deal will ensure that people around the world will live happier, healthier, more prosperous and hopeful lives.”

In order to give the deal any chance of helping the 8.5 billion people that are expected to be living on the planet when the plan comes due in 2030, countries must now move quickly toward implementation. Leaders must show the same level of commitment to accomplishing the plan as they did toward reaching the initial agreement.

“Now world leaders must sustain this political courage at home and make the right choices, committing to a total economic, social and environmental overhaul. Today’s celebration must translate into delivery and quickly. For these goals to become a reality, decision-makers must demonstrate their intention to implement the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals is real and make their efforts transparent through careful follow-up and review,” said Kakabadse.

Just as much as the sustainable development plan is meant to benefit the entire world, all countries have responsibilities to make the plan a reality. Countries from the North, South, East and West must play their part. Completion of a new global climate agreement is also necessary for the development deal to reach its goals.

Getting countries to provide the trillions of dollars in funding will be difficult, but just as important is making sure that the money is spent in smarter ways by making different choices. It is critical that money moves away from wasteful, harmful practices – like reliance on fossil fuels – and moves toward sustainable policies that help the environment and support livelihoods.

“Today’s celebration must translate into delivery and quickly. For these goals to become a reality, decision-makers must demonstrate their intention to implement the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals is real and make their efforts transparent through careful follow-up and review,” said Kakabadse.

WWF has worked from the beginning of the process to make certain that the plan puts the planet on the path toward truly sustainable development and that it includes the environmental elements that give it the best chance for success. WWF will work to ensure that leaders live up to their commitments while also partnering with governments, business and communities to see the job through.

“Bottom line: the world came together today and demonstrated that real solutions are both conceivable and attainable when we work as one and put politics aside. Now let’s make this happen together,” Kakabadse concluded.

Yolanda Kakabadse is WWF’s International President and the former Ecuadorian Minister of Environment.

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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