A new research report, “The Contribution of Low-carbon Cities to Brazil’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Goals” released today explores the significant opportunities for urban GHG emissions reductions in Brazilian cities, and highlights how these efforts can support broader national development goals as the urban population continues to grow.
The report outlines specific opportunities for further action, including increasing mitigation ambition in the buildings, transportation and waste sectors; it also notes the importance of ensuring that climate policies in Brazil support urban development efforts, which will address poverty and equity issues.
The report, written by Coppe UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Stockholm Environment Institute, found that Brazil has a rapidly growing urban population – projected to reach 90 percent by 2020 – and demonstrates that infrastructure choices made to support this urban growth could significantly affect GHG emissions.
Climate action has long been a priority for Brazil. Brazil was the first major developing country to set an emission reduction target under the Copenhagen Accord, pledging to reduce emissions by 36.1 – 38.9 percent below a business-as-usual scenario.
Although Brazil has already made strides in reducing emissions from deforestation and integrating renewables in the power supply, there is room for Brazilian cities to take action and enhance mitigation ambition, particularly in the buildings, transportation and waste sectors. The report highlights that, following the Brazilian Labelling Program guidelines, Brazilian cities could achieve energy savings of 50 percent in new buildings and 30 percent in retrofits.
Infrastructure improvements to transportation and decreased reliance on personal vehicles, as outlined in Brazil’s national plan for improving urban mobility, are projected to reduce GHG emissions from road transport by 19.5 Mt CO2e by 2020. Additionally, a National Policy for Solid Waste will decrease waste generation, increase recycling and reuse, manage and dispose of solid waste properly and provide universal basic sanitation.
To complement and expedite the progress Brazil is already making, the report highlights the following opportunities for Brazilian cities to achieve low-carbon urban development:
– Work with the national government to enhance cities’ strategies – national policy changes are necessary to further unlock cities’ GHG emissions reduction potential.
– Align transportation policies with spatial planning to increase accessibility and connectivity while reducing emissions; explore shared mobility.
– Expand reforestation efforts to balance emissions and reduce uncertainty about water supply.
– Leverage political influence to raise the ambition of national mitigation commitments and push for a stronger international climate agreement.
Read the full report here.
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
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
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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