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COP21: Lord Howard – Paris climate deal ‘in British interests’

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Commenting ahead of the opening of the UN climate talks in Paris on Monday, which will be attended by over 130 world leaders including David Cameron, Lord Michael Howard of Lympne (pictured) said a new global deal on climate change is ‘manifestly in the interests of the British people and British business’.

“History shows that true environmental leadership comes from the political Right; we should not forget that Lady Thatcher was the first world leader to propose a United Nations convention to limit climate change, nor that Sir John Major signed that convention on behalf of Britain,” he said.

“David Cameron has, commendably, continued that tradition of stewardship, and through pledging financial support to help the poorest nations protect themselves against climate impacts he is living up to the promises that Sir John and I, as Environment Secretary, made at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.

“A strong agreement to limit climate change is manifestly in the interests of the British people and British business, offering protection against climate impacts and opportunities for innovative companies, and I wish the Prime Minister well as he heads to Paris for the opening of negotiations.”

Dr Camilla Toulmin, Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) highlighted the links between global poverty eradication and a positive agreement in the talks.

“Eyes will be on David Cameron to back up his commendable commitment to overseas aid with the leadership needed to secure a deal in Paris.  In the Prime Minister’s own words, ‘there can be no attack on poverty without an assault on climate change’,” she said.

“Heading to Paris Cameron faces a very different challenge from the Copenhagen climate summit which was dominated by the old divides of the developed North and developing South that have more or less evaporated.  The world has moved on and all countries now recognise it is in their interests to set a clear trajectory for a cleaner future where the majority of climate risks can be contained. This is Cameron’s chance to clear up recent uncertainties about UK commitment to a low carbon economy.”

Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said that the prospects for a new global climate deal in Paris are good.

“Just six years ago I was standing in the diplomatic wreckage of the Copenhagen summit; and if anyone had told me then that governments would be making another serious attempt to secure a global agreement in 2015, I’d have directed them towards the men in white coats,” he said.

“But so much has happened in those six short years: the first evidence that global economic growth is decoupling from emissions growth, China cutting its coal consumption, the costs of clean energy falling, and growing signs of climate change impacts in the world around us.

“Finalising the agreement in Paris won’t be easy – the one safe prediction we can make is that there will be sleepless nights, tears and anger along the way – but in 2015, all of the world’s major governments see a global deal as being in their national interest, so you’d have to say the odds look pretty good.”

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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