A new public survey by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has found that the majority of the UK public (67%) is unaware that UN climate change talks are taking place in Paris this month. Once all survey participants were made aware of the UN summit, there was also pessimism about the potential for a climate deal to be reached ― with just 19% saying they were confident a deal will be agreed, compared with 64% who said they were not confident it could be reached.
According to the poll, the public views the two biggest barriers to reaching a solution to climate change as the increased industrialisation of poorer countries (20%) and lack of political will (19%). Lack of public concern about climate change also scored highly with 11% and international conflicts were cited by 10% as being the biggest barrier.
The survey found that 47% of the public think developed countries, such as the UK, should face more challenging targets to cut emissions than poorer countries, compared to 25% who said we should not. However 36% said the UK should not fund the construction of low carbon infrastructure in poorer nations compared with 30% who said we should.
Dr Jenifer Baxter, Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: “These results from a survey just ahead of the Paris talks are troubling and the low levels of awareness illustrate how disengaged the public is with political attempts to combat climate change.
“Climate change is one of the biggest threats to humankind and is already causing droughts, flooding, political tensions and deaths around the world. These changes to the global environment could lead to mass migration leaving developed nations living in temperate zones, like the UK, to find ways to manage the health, social and basic needs of an ever increasing population.
“Leaders must show ambition to provide the political framework to make tackling climate change a priority. It is only with this clear vision that engineers and scientists can truly push through with the research, development and deployment of technologies that can mitigate climate change and allow us to adapt to a world that is already facing huge changes.
“It is imperative that the UK provides global leadership setting policies that will move us to a cleaner future. These policies will span from financial incentives and education, to research and development, to energy and environment policy and regulation. It is only a combined systems approach to managing these issues that will result in greater awareness and the development of low carbon, low pollution infrastructure.
“We can successfully mitigate and adapt to our changing climate. We have many existing and emerging technologies that could be implemented. However, without clear political and financial commitment to implement these technologies and make real change in our current polluting behaviours, the future management of utilities, housing, public services, employment and health of the UK citizens will become increasingly challenging.”
The United Nations is holding a climate change conference in Paris on 30 November to 11 December. The conference objective being to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world
The survey of 2,067 people was commissioned by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and completed by ICM Unlimited on 26-27 November 2015.
To download the full results click 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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