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Climate Focused Companies React to Brexit

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EU UK

Both Britain and Europe will experience significant implications following the announcement that the UK public voted to leave the EU. Energy, climate change, and environment focused companies have had their say on what the result could mean for the future, and what should happen next.

In a briefing note headed “Brexit Shakes Up Energy and Climate Landscape but Fundamentals Unchanged” released this afternoon the think tank E3G set out that while the result will trigger a protracted exit negotiation process, in the interim there is no change to existing rules and that the fundamentals remain unchanged:

– The global climate crisis demands that the UK and the EU accelerate the decarbonisation of their economies. The UK and EU must continue to work together and with international partners – as they have done in recent years – to strengthen global efforts on climate change. The UK’s domestic Climate Change Act remains in place and the UK will ratify the Paris Agreement.  EU climate targets and the EU commitment to implement the Paris Agreement still stand.

– Both the UK and other EU countries already benefit greatly from an integrated energy market, and these benefits will continue to grow through the energy transition. The underlying economics point to a mutual interest in continued UK participation in the integrated European energy market.

– The UK and EU will have strong drivers to maintain investment and jobs despite the economic uncertainty created by the referendum.  Core economic drivers for creating a modern clean energy and transport system have strengthened rather than weakened.

The institutional investors group on climate change (IIGCC) called for the government to quickly enact the 5th carbon budget as a test of the government’s intent. CEO Stephanie Pfeifer, said: “We urge ministers to bring forward proposals that fully reflect the independent scientific advice of the Committee on Climate Change.

This call to enact the 5th carbon budget was echoed by Aldersgate Group Executive Director Nick Molho, who said “it is in the UK’s economic and environmental interest to engage positively in international negotiations on climate change and other environmental issues and support the growth of its low carbon economy through national policy.”

Renewables UK struck an optimistic note, with Chief Executive Hugh McNeal saying after the result: “Our focus will continue to be on delivering power to the UK at the lowest cost. Our future is bright; the European and global opportunities remain immense for the industries I’m proud to represent.”

Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has said the result “is likely to put an upwards pressure on energy bills” due to reduced investor confidence, but that climate change legislation “are mostly enshrined in British law” and that “it seems likely that the strong cross-party majority in favour of reducing emissions” would seek to defend them.

Environmental groups have largely focused on the risk to the UK’s environmental regulations on clean air and water in their response. Greenpeace UK’s John Sauven noted: “Many of the laws that make our drinking and bathing water safe, our air cleaner, our fishing industry more sustainable and our climate safer now hang by a thread.”

Client Earth’s CEO James Thornton said the result left uncertainty. He said: “Now as the UK prepares to go it alone, we have no idea which laws will be retained since those who campaigned for Brexit did not have a united position. They failed to make clear during the campaign which environmental laws would be kept. We therefore call upon all parties to promise to maintain existing protections.”

Green Alliance Director Matthew Spencer noted that: “The public did not vote for a race to the bottom, they will expect standards of environmental protection to be at least as strong in the UK as they are in France and Germany.

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

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Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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