Zero Carbon Retrofits by the Millions
- Diligent efforts have been made to establish high energy efficiency standards for new buildings, but with very little impact because this typically represents an extremely low percentage of buildings, in Europe a mere 1%. We have to retrofit millions of older buildings to slash energy usage (causing about 40% of European emissions), but how? Here’s an exciting and doable plan for millions of homes of low-income people. A fabulous project for multiple reasons! We all need this! Read the entire article and share- this model is great!! Actually, we simply can’t reach carbon goals or stop needing natural gas without this type of plan! – Editor
Energy Leap- Ikea helps sell insulation to Dutch – and UK could be next
The Dutch consortia Energiesprong (Energy Leap) could give zero carbon retrofits (for low-income homes) across England, using innovative wrap-around insulated panels, if EU funding is approved. More than 100,000 homes across the UK could be given a carbon-neutral retrofit by 2020. (Energy Leap) initiative involves completely wrapping houses with insulated panel-facades that snap on like Lego. Insulated roofs adorned with 24 high-efficiency solar panels each are fastened on top, while heat pumps, hot water storage tanks and ventilation units are stored in garden sheds. The deceptively simple idea behind the initiative has been to finance the roughly 300,000 mass-produced (10-day makeovers) renovations from the estimated €6bn of savings from energy bills that they will make each year.
With support from the Dutch government, Energiesprong dangled the carrot of secured long-term contracts for a market of up to 2.3m homes, and then asked a depressed construction sector what solutions they could come up with. The result was the beginnings of a reindustrialisation of the Dutch building sector, with construction companies taking 3D scans of houses to offer factory-produced refurbishments tailored to each house’s dimensions. Trade unions have enthusiastically signed up to Energiesprong.
Must read Article
Zero on the Meter; the new standard for all rental-and owner-occupied housing in the Netherlands.
(This includes a vibrant online community for private home owners with an energy-neutral home or remodeling plans.)
“We see sustainability as a driver of building a new and better IKEA.
It is a driver of a renewal of our business, renewal of our products and a driver of innovation of all kinds.”
– IKEA might lead the pack even more! Some smart cookies are running this company! Their entire “embodied energy,” from raw materials to disposal, being equal to one-half of Sweden’s total emissions is a critical analysis, and a wake-up call to every organization, including governments. Buying, consuming, and disposing of goods from around the world is a huge part of GHG emissions, yet often doesn’t even make the list of GHG sources! – Editor
IKEA may tighten carbon rules to protect environment
IKEA Group, the world’s biggest furniture retailer, may introduce an internal carbon emissions price to help its drive to protect the environment and create a “new and better” company. IKEA is also on target to invest $1.5 billion in solar and wind power by 2015 (goal of net zero by 2020), and bought a higher proportion of its wood and cotton from sustainable sources in 2014. After attending a U.N. summit on climate change in New York, Agnefjall said the Swedish furniture giant will consider internal carbon pricing — a system that can give incentives to shift investment from fossil fuels.
About 150 major companies worldwide, including Google, used some form of internal pricing of carbon emissions in 2013 (called “shadow prices”), mostly for long-term planning, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project. The price varied widely, from $6 to $60 a tonne.
IKEA will study how a shadow carbon price “will affect the choices of materials, the investments we’ll make with suppliers.” IKEA has already invested heavily in greener energy. It has 700,000 solar panels on its stores and a commitment to own and operate 224 wind turbines.
IKEA is one of very few companies to assess its entire greenhouse gas emissions — from raw materials to the disposal of its products. For 2013, it put its worldwide total at 28 million tonnes, equivalent to half of Sweden’s total emissions.
– But not all company decision-makers are awake to the fact their children will always live on this planet. – Editor
Walmart Owners Investing Millions Into Anti-Solar Activities
The heirs and still majority owners of the Walmart fortune, the Walton family, have been spending millions of dollars in recent years funding a huge number of anti-solar energy groups, according to a recent study from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). “The Waltons claim to have a deep commitment to sustainability, but their support for anti-solar initiatives tells a different story. The Waltons are investing in efforts that both undercut clean energy and prevent average Americans from benefitting economically from solar power.
– A good example for promoting solar that could apply elsewhere. – Editor
Tokyo in the spotlight as citizen groups start generating solar power
There are currently 20 citizen groups operating or in the planning stages for solar power generation businesses funded by private contributors in Tokyo. Large companies do not get involved in solar projects in Tokyo because they are too small in scale. Tokyo may be an excellent place for citizen-supported power generation projects, which are less focused on making major profits than are large companies. At Tokyo Citizens Solar LLC, a limited liability company established in Setagaya Ward in July, numerous representatives of citizen-supported power generation efforts have joined as employees in the hope that the company will be a “platform” for finding ways to solve problems together.
For Setagaya Energy for All – with model homes, energy-shift workshops, etc. Good ideas!
“Climate change is a global problem.
Its impacts do not respect national borders.
No nation can deal with it alone.
We must work together, building joint capabilities to deal with these emerging threats.”
Chuck Hagel, U.S. Defense Secretary
US Defense Secretary Hagel Outlines Military’s Response to Climate Change “Threat Multiplier”
While U.S. politicians continue to disagree on global warming and its potentially catastrophic consequences, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has just released a report saying climate change will have serious implications for national security. Hagel said the U.S. military refers to climate change as a “threat multiplier” because it has the potential to exacerbate many of today’s challenges – from infectious disease to terrorism. Hagel added that the potential consequences of climate change means politics or ideology must not get in the way of sound military planning. “In the past, the Pentagon’s response to climate change has focused chiefly on preparing military installations to adapt to its effects, as in protecting coastal naval bases from rising sea levels. But the new report calls on the military to incorporate climate change into broader strategic thinking about high-risk regions — for example, the ways in which drought and food shortages might set off political unrest in the Middle East and Africa.”
For the report Department of Defense: 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap
and For the Dumb Award:
The U.S. House of Representatives, however, has actively acted to prevent the military from considering these risks. Back in May, the House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) that would have forbidden the Pentagon from using any of its funding to address the national security impacts of climate change.
Who Will Pay for the Costs and Damages of Climate Change?
Canadian oil and gas companies could be liable for billions of dollars of damages per year for their contribution to climate change caused by toxic greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study. The global financial cost of private and public property and other damage associated with climate change in 2010 has been estimated at $591 billion, rising to $4.2 trillion in 2030. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu recently called on global leaders to hold those responsible for climate damages accountable. “Just 90 corporations – the so-called carbon majors – are responsible for 63 per cent of CO2 emissions since the industrial revolution,” Tutu was quoted as saying. “It is time to change the profit incentive by demanding legal liability for unsustainable environmental practices.”
and for the report- Payback Time? What the Internationalization of Climate Litigation Could Mean for Canadian Oil and Gas Companies
A Shift from Fossil Fuels Could Provide $1.8 Trillion in Savings, Two New Reports Conclude
A worldwide transition to low carbon fuels could save the global economy as much as $1.8 trillion over the next two decades, according to two reports published by the Climate Policy Initiative.
By switching to renewable energy sources, the high costs associated with extracting and transporting coal and gas could be avoided. This would free up funds to bolster financial support for wind, solar and other renewables – with enormous sums left over.
Moving to a Low-Carbon Economy: The Financial Impact of the Low-Carbon Transition
“When all of these factors are taken together, we find that transitioning to a low-carbon electricity system could actually increase the capacity of the global financial system by as much as $1.8 trillion between 2015 and 2035.”
Moving to a Low-Carbon Economy: The Impact of Policy Pathways on Fossil Fuel Asset Values
– This article is a fine explanation of the conflict of modern agriculture and our vital need for an array of pollinators, very much worth reading, giving details of fundamental issues with pollinators. We are meant to give kudos to Cascadian Farms, yet its parent company, General Mills, is mostly not organic and justifies toxic GMO’s and their poisons, so it’s no accident the film doesn’t mention pesticides or GMO’s or moncultures! The short video can warm our hearts- a small plane spewing out massive amounts of wild flower seeds to help a variety of pollinators, with cheering crowds. Watch it but toxic Big Ag is behind it. – Editor
Serious about saving the bees? Time to rethink agriculture
We need multicultural pollinator communities if we want to keep eating our favorite foods. This is where the “stop spraying and plant some flowers” campaign comes in. Is it really that simple? Well, yes. But also, no. All these wild pollinators, particularly native bees, need habitats full of plant and structural diversity, which you don’t get in monocultures. Wild pollinators love fruit tree blossoms, but they can’t eat, sleep, and nest inside an almond blossom. They need all the other food and shelter in natural vegetation too. A group of scientists combined data from all these studies and found that wild pollinators had a universally positive effect on fruit production in 41 global crops, regardless of how many honeybees were around. No to insecticides and yes to flowers. Reducing pesticide use, especially neonics, is a given. (And) different kinds of resources need to be within flying distance — that’s less than a mile for most insects. Piles of messy leaf litter, dead wood, and ‘weedy’ ground covers are where many insects hide over winter and feed in between crop blooms. We also need to rethink farms as ecosystems, not production lines.
Watch Cascadian Farm’s publicity to save the bees