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Economy

Report: building climate resilience essential to business survival

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A new report argues that businesses need to begin building their climate resilience if they are to survive in the future. The paper explains that $200 billion (£130bn) of investments will be needed each year globally to combat $1 trillion (£650bn) of losses from climate impacts within the next two decades.

The report – Climate change and business survival – has been published by Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute and Mott MacDonald. It explains that investing in improved protection and better emergency planning will enable businesses to cut potential losses in half.

According to the research, of the $200 billion (£130bn) of investment needed per year, a third is likely to offer strong return on investment. Despite the benefits, a $130 billion (£84bn) per annum global funding gap is highlighted. While the report notes that measures to protect against social and environmental losses will offer “only a marginal business benefit”, it adds that such a move is “essential for business continuity as climate change worsens”.

The paper has been published ahead of a UN conference on climate change taking place in December in Paris. It is hoped that the world’s governments will agree on a universal treaty that will see global warming limited to 2C.

Dr Aled Jones, director of the Global Sustainability Institute, said, “Whilst we expect major steps forward in international policy on climate change at the Paris Conference of Parties at the end of 2015, business needs to be thinking strategically about building medium and long term business resilience now.

“A lot of the necessary action makes business sense today but increasingly the dynamic of public and private collaboration will be an essential part in delivering solutions.”

A separate study had previously noted that the cost of climate change could increase significantly over the coming decades and become a “serious challenge” for businesses by 2040. The Carbon Trust recently argued that businesses are “living in two realities”, recognising the risks of climate change and other sustainability issues but failing to take adequate action.

Photo: Lisa Murray via Flickr

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Further reading:

$100 million climate resilience fund launched to help poor countries

‘Living roofs’ help build resilience to changing climates

Study: cost of climate change to become ‘serious challenge’ by 2040

UN calls for investment in disaster resilience as costs reach $300bn per year

Major investors support BP climate resolution

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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