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Economy

100 Reasons Cities are Winning the Climate Fight

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Today the Cities100 publication, developed by Sustainia in collaboration with C40, a network of the world’s greatest cities taking action on climate change, and the philanthropic association Realdania, names 100 concrete city solutions to climate change that can be scaled and replicated across the world. These solutions have been found after reviewing more than 216 submissions from 94 cities across all regions in the world.

In Johannesburg, South Africa, the city is issuing green bonds to finance climate mitigation projects for more than $143 million, enabling them to accelerate the roll out of 42,000 building smart meters, 43,000 solar water heaters and deployment of 152 hybrid buses.

Meanwhile in Yokohama, Japan, the city is running out of land to depose of ash from waste incineration, and has initiated a plan that teaches manufacturers to use recycled and recyclable materials during production. The initiative also urges businesses to sell eco-friendly products and services, which will lead to fewer resources imported, used, and, ultimately, wasted, and has already reduced waste by 1.61 million tons. 

The 100 solutions point to the reality that meaningful action can, and is, taken outside of the national arena. City governments are smaller, more nimble than their national counterparts. They are directly accountable to their local constituents and are more invested in the people and places they serve.

Regardless of wealth or resources, size or location, cities around the world are learning from one another, adapting global best practices to fit local circumstances, and demonstrating they have the power to take action to build a smarter, more resilient, and resource-efficient world.

“Cities are the true change makers. In the new Cities100 publication, it is remarkable to see how creative solutions and developments in particularly financing, projects incentivizing behavior change and flexible transportation are pushing the standard perception of cities. They are not only making a difference for the planet, but also safeguarding the quality of life for their inhabitants.” says Laura Storm, CEO of think tank Sustainia behind the publication.

“Congratulation to all the cities selected to be presented in Cities100! This marks an important acknowledgement of both small and large cities’ commitment all over the world to fight climate change. And doing so in a way that serves as inspiration for others. As the growing urban population worldwide tells us, our future will be an urban one.

“Therefore we need the commitment from cites to make sure it can also be a sustainable one. Surely cities can’t fix climate change by themselves, but cities100 proves there is hope if they work together, and if they collaborate with nations, businesses, civil society and citizens.” Says Jesper Nygaard, CEO, Realdania

“In this urban age, it is simply not possible to tackle climate change without strong and urgent action in cities. Mayors have the opportunity to help set the world on a climate safe path. Fortunately, working together, they are up to the challenge.” Says Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40

By identifying 100 readily available solutions for cities the Cities100 partners wish to highlight the potential for transformation ahead of the much-anticipated climate change negotiations, COP21, in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015. The partners behind Cities100 are C40, Realdania, and Sustainia. The Cities100 publication will also be presented at the Sustainia COP21 event on December 6th in Paris.

 

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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