Leading environmental organizations today launched FlightPath 1.5, an international campaign aimed at solving the defining global climate change issue of 2016: reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the airline industry.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations (UN) decision-making body charged with regulating aviation emissions, takes up the issue in September. If it fails to take bold steps, aviation emissions are projected to triple by 2050. Aviation, a top-ten global polluter, was not directly addressed in the landmark COP21 Paris climate agreement agreed to 100 days ago today.
In response to the growing urgency to address aviation emissions, FlightPath 1.5 is focused on ensuring that ICAO and its 191 Member States adopt a meaningful new agreement in 2016. The time window for action is tight: October 7, 2016 is the last day of the two-week ICAO Assembly, and the next Assembly won’t happen again for another three years. Inaction by ICAO threatens to directly undermine efforts to limit planetary warming to no more than 1.5°C. The Paris Agreement set the 1.5°C target to avoid a climatic tipping point of irreversible climate impacts.
The launch of FlightPath 1.5 builds on ICAO’s recent release of a Draft Resolution on a Market-Based Measure (http://bit.ly/1S6zorq) and the upcoming Global Aviation Dialogues (http://bit.ly/1UjlW6M), at which government, industry, and civil society stakeholders will discuss the Draft Resolution beginning this week.
FlightPath 1.5 calls for capping and cutting emissions of the entire international aviation sector and is advocating for an aggressive and transparent ICAO deal that:
Initially caps net carbon emissions of international aviation at 2020 levels;
Encourages airlines to meet the cap by cutting their own emissions and lets them use market-based measures as well – but only if those measures deliver high-quality emission reductions and low-carbon biofuels that promote sustainable development; and,
Reviews the cap regularly, so that over time, aviation’s climate pollution can be ratcheted-down in line with the Paris target.
In the lead-up to the ICAO General Assembly, FlightPath 1.5 will spend the next 200 days urging world leaders to confront the aviation emissions climate gap and educating the public about the importance of this unaddressed issue. The campaign is spearheaded by the Aviation Environment Federation, Carbon Market Watch, Environmental Defense Fund, The International Council on Clean Transportation, Transport & Environment, and World Wildlife Fund.
Statements from FlightPath 1.5 Members
James Beard WWF-UK’s climate change specialist said: “The Montreal ICAO meeting this autumn must match the ambition shown in Paris if we are to achieve the climate goals that 197 countries signed up to just 100 days ago.
“The Government played an important role in Paris and we urge UK climate and transport ministers to keep up this momentum in the lead up to the Montreal talks.
“The aviation industry has to play its fair share in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It’s time for ICAO to plot a flight path towards the 1.5oC climate target agreed in Paris. Any use of biofuels and carbon credits will have to achieve real emissions reductions and lock in sustainable development.”
Brad Schallert, Senior Program Officer for International Climate Change Policy at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said: “World leaders committed to a 1.5°C target in Paris to safeguard families and communities from the impacts of climate change. Now, countries need to fulfill their Paris promises by ensuring that the aviation industry does its fair share. ICAO’s draft global market-based measure is an important step in reaching agreement in October, but the text does not currently align with the environmental goals of the Paris Agreement. Governments should come together over the coming months to improve it.”
Tim Johnson, Director for Aviation Environment Federation said: “Curbing aviation emissions will require more than currently available technological improvements, making a market-based measure an essential tool to efficiently incentivise the industry to achieve deeper cuts. We can’t assume that the biofuels and other radical technological breakthroughs will automatically materialize and put aviation on a flightpath in line with 1.5°C. A well-designed market-based measure is the safety net the aviation industry needs.”
Bill Hemmings of Brussels-based Transport & Environment said: “The agreement in ICAO must be a starting point, not the end, of greater ambition in Europe. With the EU having committed to a 40% emissions reduction by 2030, all sectors including aviation must contribute. The ICAO Agreement must recognize the need for developed countries to do more, and Europe must take up the baton with more effective measures to reduce the rapid growth in the emissions of its aviation sector.”
Annie Petsonk, International Counsel at Environmental Defense Fund said: “The recently proposed CO2 aircraft standard won’t drive emissions down in this fast-growing sector. U.S. President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau just announced their commitment to get a deal at the ICAO Assembly this year. We call on them and other world leaders to agree a market-based measure that truly delivers.”
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!