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Economy

#COP21: Forest Leaders Urge Governments to Take Firm Action on Climate Change

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“We need a global agreement at COP 21 with clear actions and firm commitments, outlining effective pathways to address climate change,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International ahead of the upcoming PEFC Forest Certification Week.

Gunneberg went on: “These commitments must recognize the multiple benefits of forests and encourage policies that promote sustainable forest management and the use of certified forest products. This will enable PEFC as the world’s leading forest certification system to further enhance its contribution to tackling climate change, safeguarding forest ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods.”

With the start of the 2015 Climate Conference (COP 21) in Paris, the contribution of forests to tackling climate change is high on the agenda of PEFC Forest Certification Week, the annual gathering of the world’s leading experts in sustainable forest management certification. Scheduled to coincide with COP 21, the meeting will bring together more than one hundred experts, including the heads of national forest certification systems of some forty countries.

Sustainable forest management, and the use of products certified to originate from sustainably managed forests, are considered key elements in mitigating climate change. Forests not only store carbon, but also supply wood, which itself stores carbon, and can be used as a substitute for fossil fuels and for non-renewable materials such as plastics, steel or concrete. Different from such alternative materials, wood products from sustainable forests are essentially carbon neutral: the carbon released at the end of their life cycle has previously been captured while the tree was growing.

Among the many contributions that forest certification can make to mitigating climate change, the experts will hone in on three key issues in more detail:

1) How can we further improve access to certification for the many small-, family- and community owned forests, thereby optimizing their impact whilst securing sustainable livelihoods?

2) How can we best fine-tune sustainable forest management requirements for future impacts of climate change?

3) How can we further encourage companies, governments and consumers to increase their use of certified forest products to take direct and immediate action on climate change?

“Companies, governments and consumers around the world already value the contribution that PEFC provides to protect forests and fight climate change. The recent PEFC/GfK Global Consumer Survey demonstrated that consumers want companies to label their products, and companies are increasingly adopting procurement policies that specify PEFC. Governments around the world recognize the credibility that the PEFC label provides, with most recently the UK government highlighting that PEFC has the highest level of compliance with its respective sustainability criteria,” said Mr. Gunneberg.

“In Paris, we now need firm commitments that clearly recognize the multiple benefits that sustainably managed forests provide. We need firm action that promotes the uptake of public policies promoting sustainable forest management, forest certification, and the use of certified forest products. We need to send strong signals to the private sector and consumers alike to act on their preference, to choose certified forest products over non-renewable materials, and to make a conscious choice for PEFC-certified products to ensure a more equitable sustainable future for our planet,” emphasized Mr. Gunneberg.

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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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