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20th Anniversary Of Execution Of Nigerian Environmental Activist

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Today, Friends of the Earth Nigeria / Environmental Rights Action and social and environmental activists from around the world will gather in Port Harcourt City, Nigeria. They will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa and eight more Ogoni people at the hands of the Nigerian dictatorship of Sani Abacha.

Known around the world for his struggle with oil giant Shell, Ken Saro-Wiwa is now a figure acclaimed globally for showing how people power can beat polluting corporate giants and dirty energy.

The social and environmental crisis and injustice exposed by Ken Saro Wiwa in the oil-rich and massively polluted Niger Delta are still ongoing; the people of Ogoniland are still suffering from the effects of fifty years of land, air and water pollution by the oil industry.


“Ken Saro Wiwa’s legacy is not only a major source of inspiration to the people of Nigeria, it also serves as a beacon of hope to people across the world struggling for environmental justice,” said Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon.

Dr Dixon continued “Across the world we still see environmental activists under threat, persecuted and vilified for defending their communities and homeland. The freedom to challenge corporate and political power is a vital part of our democracy and we must ensure that people around the world have the ability to pursue these same rights. We must hold companies to account here in Scotland if they are found to be complicit in human rights abuses or environmental injustice abroad.”

Friends of the Earth Netherlands, along with four Nigerian farmers, brought a lawsuit against Shell in The Netherlands for oil pollution in three Nigerian villages. This is the first time that a Dutch company has been brought before a Dutch court to account for environmental damage caused abroad. A judgement is expected on Friday 18 December.

“Oil companies such as Shell continue to dodge their responsibility. They must prevent further spills, clean up, and provide adequate compensation to people affected by oil pollution in Nigeria, ” said Godwin Uyi Ojo, executive director of Friends of the Earth Nigeria / Environmental Rights Action.


A British lawsuit resulted in 76 million euros compensation for the farmers and fisherman of the Bodo area, in Ogoniland, whose livelihoods were destroyed by two oil spills. Shell’s initial offer of compensation was 5,500 euros.

Four years after the 2011 publication of a groundbreaking report by the UN Environment Programme UNEP on oil pollution in Ogoniland, the report’s recommendations have still not been implemented and the people of Ogoniland continue to wait for  justice and a chance to escape the devastation of the oil industry.

The resilience of the Ogonis and persistent pressure by local and international civil society is however starting to bear fruit : the recent elected Nigerian government of President Buhari committed to the implementation of the UNEP report. With an initial pledge of 10 million USD there are high expectations that the proposed governing body to oversee the clean up will be inaugurated soon.

”Because the UNEP report recommendations still have not been implemented, the Ogonis remain shortchanged and justice denied. Shell and the other companies, as well as the Nigerian government should immediately implement the recommendations. Shell should also compensate communities affected by continuing oil spills and agree to pay their share of the full cost of cleaning Ogoniland and other affected areas of the Niger Delta, ” said Godwin Uyi Ojo, executive director of Friends of the Earth Nigeria / Environmental Rights Action.

Kenule Beeson Saro Wiwa, October 10, 1941 – November 10, 1995.

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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