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Economy

Stakeholder Quotes: FSB Announces Membership of Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures

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Yesterday afternoon the Financial Stability Board (FSB) announced the membership of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, launched by Mark Carney during COP21 and chaired by Michael Bloomberg. The full press release is on the FSB website and attached.

Also yesterday,  Carbon Tracker Initiative and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, two non-profits who seek to promote transparency in relation to climate risk, announced they will tomorrow (Friday) launch proposals for risk reporting by fossil fuel companies. The “Considerations for reporting disclosure in a carbon-constrained world” paper is designed to assist the TCFD members in assessing the energy transition risk and ‘stranded asset’ danger inherent in the business-as-usual strategies of many fossil fuel companies.

Newly appointed Task-foce members:

Jane Ambachtsheer, Partner, Chair – Responsible Investment, Mercer: “Understanding the investment impacts of climate change is a growing priority for our clients. The Task Force represents the next step on the journey to heightened climate risk management, and we are pleased to be able to participate in its work”.

Michael Wilkins, Managing Director, Global Head of Environmental & Climate Risk Research, S&P: “We are delighted to play a part in this important Task Force which brings together some of the world’s leading experts on climate change related risk. While climate change is a hot topic at the moment, it is all the more important that industries and investors understand its associated risks in order that they can be managed in the future. S&P’s membership demonstrates the depth and breadth of our research and our long-standing expertise in the market.”

Martin Skancke, Board Chair of Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI): “I am delighted to be asked to contribute to this important work. Proper measurement and management of carbon-related risks is a central challenge for investors, with wider implications for financial stability. The priorities of the task force are also well aligned with the work and priorities of the PRI.”

Stakeholder responses:

Mark Campanale, founder and executive director of Carbon Tracker: “Climate disclosure by fossil fuel companies is crucial as investors appraise all the risks facing the sector post Paris.  Volatility in the energy sector and reaction by shareholders illustrates the importance of managing the orderly transition for investors to avoid any ‘shocks.’  We welcome the full range of experts on the panel look forward to providing technical support where needed. It will be important to understand which individual fossil fuel companies may be at risk, as well as management’s plans for addressing the looming issue. They also should allow for a system-wide overview of how the transition is progressing over time.”

Ben Caldecott, Programme Director, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford: “The Task Force has a unique opportunity to help correct some significant failures in the way that companies currently disclose data on environmental performance. The current reporting paradigm – where only some companies annually disclose data; where reported data might not be relevant for assessing the environmental performance of assets; where reported data may be inaccurate and out of date; where companies have to spend a significant amount of time filling in forms for different reporting systems; and where third parties spend significant effort trying to assure reported data – could be very significantly improved. The FSB has brought together an impressive collection of key people and organisations able to identify and push forward much needed reforms.”

Paul Simpson, CEO, CDP: “With the Paris Agreement charting a new direction for the global economy, the taskforce has an opportunity to enhance the capital markets’ knowledge of the financial risks of climate change and build on current best practice in climate disclosure. Under the chairmanship of Michael R. Bloomberg and expert guidance of the members, we believe the TCFD can deliver what the market needs by getting the G20 to adopt its recommendations. We look forward to working with the taskforce to make that happen.”

The Task Force has also launched a new website (http://www.fsb-tcfd.org/) and twitter account (https://twitter.com/FSB_TCFD).

 

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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