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Economy

International Consultation Opens on Water Climate Bond Standard

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The Climate Bonds Initiative and consortium partners Ceres, World Resources Institute & CDP have released for public comment, the world’s first standard for low carbon and climate resilient water bonds. The proposed Water Climate Bond Standard will bring a focus on vulnerability assessment and climate mitigation and adaptation planning to the fixed income space. It will allow investors to easily prioritise projects that are seriously considering their climate impacts and climate resilience.

The Water Climate Bond Standard has been developed by a Technical Working Group (TWG) and Industry Working Group (IWG) overseen by the consortium partners. The TWG comprises internationally recognised academics and experts and the IWG has representation from investors, public utilities, water NGOs and international policy bodies.

The proposed Standard will certify water investments that have:

– carried out climate vulnerability assessments considering past, present and future climate risks and environmental losses and,

– created resulting adaptation and/or mitigation plans.

The Water Climate Bond Standard will now undergo a 60+-day period of international public consultation, seeking investor, industry and stakeholder comment.

Commenting on the release of the Draft Standard, Betsy Otto, Global Director, World Resources Institute –Water Programme, said: “We need to ensure that green investments in water infrastructure are truly green. This means meeting water needs while reducing carbon emissions, and using strategies that adapt to widely variable future water conditions, such as intense storms, floods, and droughts. These new Standards help set a higher bar for the investments we need to be making in the future.”

Cate Lamb, Head of Water, CDP added: “Water is one of the critical sustainability challenges of the 21st century. The Water Climate Bond Standard gives a robust and transparent guide to sustainability features of water projects, processes and infrastructure seeking investor support in the bond market. CDP welcomes their release for stakeholder consideration.”

Sharlene Leurig, Director of the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Program at Ceres: “Strong investor interest in the green bonds market demands a high degree of rigor in performance reporting and the ability to differentiate truly green, climate adaptive projects from those that are green in name only. This standard is a first step to define what it means to be a climate-responsive water project, and Ceres and its investor partners welcome the insight of other market actors in the design of this critical global response to climate change.”

Justine Leigh-Bell, Senior Manager, Climate Bonds Standards Programme, said: “This Water Standard is another stage in Climate Bonds efforts to develop sound, transparent guidelines around green bonds. Building the capital commitments needed to address water based security, sustainability and climate issues requires clear assurance frameworks for institutional investors on what constitutes a climate water bond. The release of this Standard marks a significant milestone in building these frameworks. “

Following the conclusion of the consultation period in February 2016 the proposed criteria will be reconsidered in light of the comments received. A revised Draft will then be submitted to the Climate Bonds Standard Board for consideration.

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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