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Economy

Blue & Green Daily: Tuesday 21 October round up

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Today on Blue & Green Tomorrow, UKSIF chief executive Simon Howard explained the thinking behind Good Money Week’s major rebranding.

We also reported on the troubling news that 2014 is set to be the warmest year on record, while Green party MP Caroline Lucas called for politicians to divest their pension fund from the fossil fuel industry.  

UK and China to share expertise on sustainable cities

UK experts are to travel to China and deliver workshops on sustainable cities and regeneration strategies, as the Asian country’s huge urban population is set to grow while its pollution crises worsens.

Badger cull fails to hit target for the second year

The badger culls supported by the government to tackle bovine TB have proved unsuccessful after shooters failed to kill the minimum number of badgers required for the cull to be considered ‘effective’. Animal rights campaigners are now calling for Defra to ‘kill the cull’.

2014 set to be the warmest year ever

This year is on track to be the hottest on record, with September registering the highest temperatures ever recorded for the month, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

Caroline Lucas calls for MPs’ pension fund to cut out fossil fuels

Green party MP Caroline Lucas has written a letter calling for MPs to cut fossil fuel investments out of their pension fund on ethical and financial grounds.

Good Money Week: ‘Finance affects everybody’

Simon Howard has sat at the helm of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) for 18 months. Before that he gained over twenty years of investment management experience, in a City career that took him from Liverpool Victoria to 3i Asset Management, via Friends Provident. 

Smallholder engagement needed to cut Amazon deforestation

To stop the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and curb deforestation’s contribution to climate change the Brazilian authorities must improve engagement with smallholder farmers, according to new research from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).

Wind energy could generate almost 20% of the world’s electricity by 2030 – report

Global wind power capacity could reach 2,000 gigawatts by 2030, significantly reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) by more than 3 billion tonnes a year, creating millions of jobs and supplying up to 19% of global electricity, according to a new report. 

Public urges finance experts to cut the jargon

The majority of the British public believes that the government and other institutions must cut the jargon and do more to effectively communicate financial information, according to a new poll.

Good Money Week: ‘Finance affects everybody’

Simon Howard has sat at the helm of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) for 18 months. Before that he gained over twenty years of investment management experience, in a City career that took him from Liverpool Victoria to 3i Asset Management, via Friends Provident.

Europe 2030 emission targets need to go further, says IPCC vice-chair

Vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) professor Jim Skea has criticised the EU’s 2030 emission reduction target, arguing that it does not go far enough. 

El Niño worsens economic damage from flooding, study finds

Africa, Australia, western US and parts of South America are among the world’s areas most at risk of the effects of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which significantly worsens extreme weather and its economic impact.

Blue & Green holiday cottages: Old Smithy Barn, Staffordshire

Old Smithy Barn is a superb contemporary conversion with spacious beamed rooms, lots of character and a delightful enclosed garden. It is available to book now through cottages4you.

Photo: Sanja Gjenero via Free Images

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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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