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We Mean Business release detailed wording of policy asks for ambitious, new climate agreement at COP21



In a briefing sent today to key negotiators at the forthcoming UN Climate Summit in Paris, We Mean Business (WMB) sets out eight key text proposals that the business community is calling to be included in a new, ambitious global climate agreement. WMB hope to work with governments to turn the Paris agreement from a diplomatic settlement between countries into a catalytic instrument for the real economy.

The text proposals, the first ever of their kind, form part of a comprehensive business briefing of the new climate agreement compiled by WMB. They were launched today at a We Mean Business/Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) briefing hosted by the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics where institutional investors and business experts on climate change set out what they expect from Paris.

Launching the proposed policy asks on behalf of We Mean Business, Mark Kenber, chief executive of The Climate Group said: “While climate change is one of the greatest risks we face, tackling it is also one of our biggest economic opportunities. Businesses are already coming together to find innovative ways not only to reduce carbon emissions but also to create new jobs and secure sustainable economic growth at the same time.

“But to go further, business needs the right government policies in place. We Mean Business has today revealed how we can hard-wire those sorely needed policies into the new climate change agreement. We stand ready to work with the UN and both national and local governments to deliver on our promise to future generations that we will keep climate change in check. We look forward to the negotiators responding positively to our proposals.”

Ahead of the COP21 UN climate negotiations in Paris this year, both the UNFCCC and the French Government have welcomed business and investor involvement in the process, as many of the game-changing low carbon technologies will have to be led by them. The companies and organisations united by WMB have taken up this invitation and come to the table not only with their own actions to reduce emissions but with clear policy asks and proposals that will enable the world to do so.

The detailed preferred text to each proposal is included as an appendix to this release along with the We Mean Business letter to negotiators. The full business brief carried out by WMB which includes fall-back positions for each of the preferred text proposals can be viewed here.

The specific policy asks proposed today by WMB would give effect to the following areas where business has asked policymakers to help the private sector go further, faster:

– Increasing the level of urgency and ambition in government action to stabilise global emissions before the end of this decade

– Continuing to implement domestic policies through to 2030 that support bold business action to cut emissions, including:

– Eliminating subsidies that incentivise high-carbon energy

– Enacting meaningful pricing of carbon

– Ending deforestation

– Putting in place robust energy efficiency standards

– Supporting for scale-up of renewable energy

– Ensuring that all policy regimes dealing with fiscal, energy, industry and trade related issues provide actionable incentives for an early transition to a low carbon future

– Establishing a clear long-term global goal that provides the necessary direction to decision makers, such as (net) zero emissions well before the end of the century;

– Enhance existing mechanisms by which we improve transparency and accountability in monitoring climate ambition and action, and ensure a stable and predictable low carbon investment environment;

– Continuing to scale up public finance to support resilience-building and accelerate low carbon investment by the private sector

The transition to a low carbon economy is the only way to secure sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all. To reduce this risk, companies need to find new ways of doing business. The sooner this is accomplished, the less disruptive and more cost-effective the transition will be.

Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA said: “Companies have the potential to unleash a wave of innovation and investment in low carbon technologies, creating new products and services, and generating growth and jobs. To achieve this, the world needs to have the right policies in place. Policies that help scale clean energy, drive energy efficiency and conserve natural resources and send the right price signals to make every investment a low carbon investment. This is precisely what the We Mean Business proposals aim to do.”


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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