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EU’s Finding Not In Sync With The Paris Agreement



EU Grunge FLag by Nicholas via Flickr

EU financial institutions and funds channel billions of euros into fossil fuel projects, while EU policies and laws allow for yet more public money to flow into fossil fuels through the back door.

[Brussels 1 September 2016]  This is the conclusion of a briefing on the various forms of fossil fuel subsidies in the EU, published by Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe today, ahead of the upcoming G20 summit where the topic will be discussed.

The briefing “Connecting the dots – EU’s funding for fossil fuels” provides a snapshot of the numerous ways the EU channels public money into fossil fuel investments.

It shows that the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, have channelled more than €12 billion to fossil fuel projects between 2013 and 2015 while two of the EU’s most influential funds, the Connecting Europe Facility and European Structural and Investment (ESI) funds, have earmarked over €1.6 billion for fossil fuel infrastructure from 2014 to 2020. In addition, EU policies such as the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) and rules such as those on State aid continue to allow EU countries to support controversial fossil fuel projects with tax payer’s money.

The briefing comes ahead of the G20 leaders’ summit in Hangzhou, China on 4-5 September, where G20 leaders will discuss fossil fuel subsidies, climate finance and swift ratification of the Paris Agreement. As European Commission and Council Presidents Juncker and Tusk prepare for the upcoming summit, the briefing is published together with a letter calling on the EU to incite concrete action to tackle fossil fuel subsidies and align the EU’s public funding with the Paris Agreement.

Maeve McLynn, Finance and Subsidies Policy Coordinator at CAN Europe said: “The EU proudly stipulates that it has been a leading voice in advocating for strong climate action internationally. It has also pledged to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies, including fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.  However, the briefing published today shows that the EU is way off track to achieve this goal, and that its public funding is out of sync with the Paris Agreement”.

She continued: “The Hangzhou summit is an opportunity for all G20 leaders to pave the way for a smooth and prosperous transition to zero carbon economies. We expect the EU to take a lead position for stronger G20 climate leadership through achieving a 2020 deadline to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. It is also high time that the EU puts its money where its mouth is, by urgently reforming its policies and tools that both directly and indirectly support the fossil fuel industry”.


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




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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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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