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Climate pledges don’t go far enough, say scientists

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Climate change pledges made by countries ahead of a UN summit later this year are not ambitious enough to limit warming to the internationally agreed 2C, according to scientists from the Climate Action Tracker (CAT).

CAT as an independent scientific analysis produced by four research organisations – Climate Analytics, Ecofys, NewClimate Institute and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research – tracking climate action and global efforts towards limiting temperature increase. Scientists have previously warned that temperature increases of more than 2C could lead to unpredictable and severe effects.

The scientists involved aim to assess how ‘fair’ the action of each government is when compared to what it should be doing to limit climate change with the 2C aim in mind.

Niklas Höhne, of the NewClimate Institute, said, “Assessing the fairness of climate action is particularly important because of the number of higher pledges that are conditional on other governments making comparable efforts.

“Everybody has a different way of deciding what is a ‘fair’ effort on climate change. Some consider it fair that those who have made a bigger contribution to the problem, or have a higher capability to act, should do more. But even if that were agreed, how much more should they do?”

CAT has analysed the intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) submitted to the UN. In some cases, where submissions have yet to be made, it has assessed a country’s announced policies.

Many of those assessed have been rated as ‘medium’. While this is an improvement for several countries that have previously had their climate efforts rated ‘inadequate’ the pledges still do not go far enough.  Bill Hare, of Climate Analytics, explained that the proposals are “still a long way from being 2C compatible”.

The EU’s INDC, which pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, was rated as ‘medium’. CAT argues that overall the emissions reductions are “not yet sufficient” and current policies are projected to only cut greenhouse gas emissions by 23-35%, and as a result do not put the EU on a trajectory to reach either its 2030 or 2050 target.

The only countries to be ranked as a ‘role model’ are Bhutan and the Maldives, while ten government pledges are labelled ‘inadequate’, including major economies Australia, Canada, Japan and Russia.

Photo: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Further reading:

Study: climate action can add 1m jobs by 2030 across EU, US and China

Study: climate change policies could have positive effect on UK economy

207 global cities say climate change is a threat to local economy

Leading economies issued pathways to climate change targets

US signs climate change deal with China to promote renewable energy

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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