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Top articles of the week: October 25



This week on Blue & Green Tomorrow, a major new divestment campaign was launched by the ethical banking reform group Move Your Money to coincide with Good Money Week.

We also reported on the predicted growth of the green bond market, which is expected to reach $100 billion (£62bn) next year. In other news, according to a new report by online positive investment marketplace Ethex the UK’s positive investment market has grown to £3.25 billion.

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

Ilaria Bertini: 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. Read more.

2. International tensions as talks to protect Antarctica begin

Ilaria Bertini: Twenty-five member nations of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) are set to discuss the creation of two large marine protected areas to protect the Antarctic environment from fishing and other commercial activities, but the move is being opposed by Russia and China. Read more.

3. Positive investment market grows to £3.25 billion

Tom Revell: The UK’s positive investment market has grown to £3.25 billion, with 1.75 million investors and savers directly supporting businesses that create social and environmental impact, according to a new report. Read more.

4. Fossil fuel divestment campaign targets high street banks

Tom Revell: Customers of Britain’s biggest banks are to demand that high street institutions stop using their savings and investments to finance the fossil fuel industry, in a major new divestment campaign launched on Monday. Read more.

5. Scotland to charge 5p for single-use plastic bags

Ilaria Bertini: Scotland will from today require all retailers to charge customers a minimum of 5p for each new single-use carrier bag, in an effort to reduce plastic pollution and clean up streets. Read more.

6. Green bond market predicted to grow to $100bn in 2015

Charlotte Malone: The green bond market continued to see strong growth in the third quarter of 2014 and will reach $100 billion (£62bn) next year, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative. Read more.

7. UK and China to share expertise on sustainable cities

Charlotte Malone: 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. Read more.

8. WWF: ‘warm homes, not warm words’ the key to tackling climate change

Tom Revell: The development of warm and affordable low-carbon homes must be a national priority if the UK is to curb its contribution to climate change, according to a new report from WWF. Read more.

9. Farming organisations claim pesticide ban threatens UK agriculture

Charlotte Malone: A new report commissioned by UK farming bodies has claimed that EU plans to ban pesticides could reduce crop yields, causing food prices to go up and threatening food security. Read more.

10. Salone del Gusto opens in Turin with focus on family farming and biodiversity

Ilaria Bertini: The 2014 edition of Salone del Gusto, a food and biodiversity event organised by the Slow Food movement, officially opened in Turin, Italy, on Thursday. Read more.

Photo: Sanja Gjenero via Free Images


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




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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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



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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