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Economy

#COP21: Friends of the Earth Scotland, Proposed Paris Agreement Should Be Rejected

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As the Paris climate change conference was presented a final proposed agreement with the aim of being signed off later today, Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “Despite the hype, if this proposal is agreed, the Paris climate talks will have failed to tackle the climate crisis and the needs of those most vulnerable to its impacts.

“Using bullying tactics and throwing in some vague pledges, rich countries have created an agreement that spells bad news for people and the planet. This proposal should be rejected so a better version can be developed overnight.

“By delaying critical action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and failing to put sufficient finance on the table leaders have effectively signed a death warrant for millions of the poorest people around the world.”


Key problems in the draft agreement:

– The agreement aims to keep global warming well below 2 degree but only a very weak “to pursue efforts” to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degree

– Instead of percentage reductions or a date to end the use of fossil fuels we have only a peak in global emissions “as soon as possible” and net zero emissions by 2100.

– A very weak facilitative dialogue on critical pre-2020 action, no obligation to actually improve these plans


– There is no legally binding way forward to address the problem of lack of ambition of current national contributions towards post-2020 action. At the earliest in 2018 there will be a stocktaking but without the obligation to increase efforts and without taking into account support for developing countries. A global stocktake will be done by 2023 and then every 5 years

– A very weak mechanism on Loss and Damage – the recognition that some of the impacts of climate change are irreparable – is in the draft Agreement. However, the text specifically excludes compensation and liability for people who suffer these impacts.

– The only legally binding obligation on finance in the draft Agreement is for developed countries to report on the finance they provide – there is no obligation to actually provide it.

“While world leaders remain at loggerheads over the key issues, tens of thousands of people all over the world have been taking to the streets to demonstrate their commitment to the climate movement. It’s clear that the fight for climate justice does not end in Paris. Communities around the world are already taking action to put an end to the dirty energy sources that are polluting our planet and building a better future around clean, community owned renewables.

“We always knew that this conference would not do enough and we’ll be working with others across Europe to make up for the lack of will from world leaders.  Friends of the Earth Scotland will be fighting fossil fuels, including fracking, promoting community renewables and campaigning to shift investment out of fossil fuels.  Yesterday we launched our new Fossil Free Scotland campaign which aims to make Scotland fossil free within a generation.”

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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