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Initiative Launched to Help Polluting Regions

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A new global initiative called the Energy Transition Platform has been formally launched. The project has been set up to support governments across the world in developing and implementing pioneering energy policies. The project specifically targets carbon intensive and highly industrialised states and regions to help them become cleaner and more sustainable.

The highly industrialised German region of North Rhine-Westphalia has partnered with The Climate Group and Stiftung Mercator to launch the Energy Transition Platform.

Since it was announced earlier this year, partner regions from across Europe, North America and Australia have joined the initiative, including Alberta, the Basque Country, California, Hauts-de-France, Lombardy, Minnesota, Silesia, South Australia, Upper Austria, and Wales.

Speaking at the international dialogue and public launch event in Düsseldorf, Johannes Remmel, Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection from lead government North Rhine-Westphalia, said: “Even as an industry heavy region, we strongly believe that decarbonising and growing our economy go hand-in-hand. There is a clear competitive advantage to be had in driving low carbon growth, and while there are challenges to overcome along the way, there are also significant opportunities to be seized.

“By supporting state and regional governments in developing and sharing innovative clean energy policies, the Energy Transition Platform is an initiative that allows us to address these challenges collaboratively and build strong international partnerships as we do.”

North Rhine-Westphalia, one of the most economically important states of Europe and largest industrial state in Germany where a third of the country’s electrical power is generated and over a third of national emissions are produced has continued its pathway to integrated climate and energy policies. The government initiated its Climate Protection Plan last year to meet binding climate protection targets of reduced emissions by 25% by 2020 and by at least 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director at The Climate Group, said: “State and regional governments everywhere have – and continue – to drive clean energy investment and transform the energy mix with affordable, reliable and sustainable energy. They are crucial for delivering the actions needed to fulfil the targets of the Paris Agreement and support pre-2020 climate mitigation efforts.

“The Energy Transition Platform is a way for partner regions to develop and implement the most effective and forward-thinking climate and energy policies. These heavy industry economies with high potential for emissions reduction are pivotal in getting more governments involved in collective low carbon growth, and moving us toward achieving net zero emissions by 2050. If they can do it, so can the rest of the world.”

The Energy Transition Platform will analyse successful models in improving energy systems and will facilitate the adoption of emerging policy models by state and regional governments worldwide. It will also demonstrate the need for scaled-up action at the national and international level. The initiative aims to build international partnerships, enable in-depth global peer learning and analyse experiences to accelerate the transition toward a clean energy landscape.

Dr. Lars Grotewold, Director Centre for Climate Change at Stiftung Mercator, said: “State and regional governments are a decisive governance level for the implementation of national policies and international guidelines, and vice versa they can drive the ambition on overarching governance levels.

“Finding and scaling solutions for low carbon growth for highly industrialised regions is pivotal for delivering the necessary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. We believe the Energy Transition Platform will be an effective tool for mutual learning and delivering joint efforts for a climate-compatible future.”

The adoption of the Paris Agreement reached at COP21 in December 2015 was made possible, in part, by the effective mobilisation of non-state actors, including state and regional governments who continue to drive and deliver climate action. Their role in global efforts were formally recognised and the Agreement stipulates a need for greater collaboration across different levels of governance to empower sub-national actors to do more.

The Energy Transition Platform is an initiative of the The Climate Group and part of The Climate Group States & Regions Policy Innovation program that addresses the urgent questions and obstacles governments face in delivering ambitious climate targets. The project is funded by Stiftung Mercator.

To find out more on the Energy Transition Platform, visit the website here.

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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