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Committee on Climate Change requests New Auctions for Low-Carbon Power, Organisations Respond

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Wind turbines by USFWS via flickr

RenewableUK, WWF UK and Scottish Renewables have responded to reports released today by the Committee on Climate Change.

Maf Smith, the deputy chief executive of RenewableUK, has commented on the series of reports released today by the government’s advisory body, Committee on Climate Change, regarding new auctions for low-carbon power. His full comment can be seen below:

“The CCC is right to highlight the fact that new auctions for low-carbon contracts can help drive down the cost of people’s electricity bills.”

When it comes to putting the consumer first, onshore wind deserves a clear route to market, as it’s the cheapest way to generate new power.

“The UK Government’s leading role in securing the global agreement on climate change in Paris is being backed up by firm action at home. Renewables are playing a major role in our commitment to decarbonise, as well as delivering affordable, home-grown power to British homes, factories and offices”.

Also in response to the “Next steps for UK heat policy” report, Emma Pinchbeck, Head of Energy and Climate at WWF-UK commented: 

“The message from the independent experts on the CCC is loud and clear: while a 38% reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 is a huge UK success story, we can’t afford to delay in delivering further reductions. Investors, businesses and citizens need more action to protect them from the dangers of climate change – yet the CCC estimates that current plans will only get the UK halfway towards delivering its Climate Change Act commitments. There are disturbing gaps in energy efficiency and heat policy  – so rather than setting new targets, Ministers first need to focus on delivering on existing ones.  We urgently need a plan setting out how to meet the carbon budgets that are now enshrined in law.

“Every challenge in climate and energy policy presents an exciting opportunity for growth. As it develops an emissions reduction plan, the Government should explore innovative technologies to take carbon out of the atmosphere; it should set out new ways of targeting heat policy effectively; and it should engage strongly with European initiatives like the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.”

Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy at Scottish Renewables has also commented:

 “The Committee’s advice on the day the landmark Paris Agreement is ratified could not be clearer – the UK Government must urgently get on with the job of meeting its emission reduction targets without delay.

“Already behind on its climate and renewable energy targets, we agree that the Government needs a clear strategy to decarbonise heat – which makes up almost half of the energy used in the UK.

“As part of a package of support Government must now reform the Renewable Heat Incentive to ensure the roll-out of low-carbon heat networks and technologies.

“The provision of a route to market for our cheapest forms of low-carbon electricity generation – onshore wind and solar – is, we agree, key to meeting what the Committee calls our ‘already stretching’ emissions goals. Excluding these technologies, as the CCC states, increases costs for consumers.

“The renewables industry is poised to work with the UK Government to achieve these ambitions, enabling us not only to meet our legally-binding climate targets, and those set through the Paris Agreement, but also increase the UK jobs and investment renewable energy is already delivering”.

Environment

Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness

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Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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Environment

6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move

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Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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