Regional round up
ClimateNE annual event showed how businesses can make and save money
The key messages from the economic implications of climate change study were revealed to North East businesses at our annual event on 11 June in the Discovery Museum at Newcastle. Over 140 attendees heard how climate change can present commercial opportunities and help business save money. Download the presentations and other materials from the day at http://tinyurl.com/makemoneyfromclimatechange
Climate change can offer commercial opportunities, but businesses need to act now
The Economic Implications of Climate Change - North East Study, commissioned by ClimateNE and conducted by ARUP and Cambridge Econometrics, shows that tackling climate change and moving to a 'low carbon economy' could boost Gross Value Added (GVA) by 0.8 per cent by 2020, and adapting to the physical impacts of climate change could provide a benefit to cost ratio of seven to one.
Andrew Sugden, Director of Membership & Policy at the North East Chamber of Commerce, commented: “The study clearly indicates that failing to adapt and build resilience will hinder our ability to realise the economic opportunities presented by the move to a low carbon economy. While the data from the Study is important, to capitalise fully on the economic potential identified we now need North East businesses to bring their considerable acumen and entrepreneurial skills to bear and begin to develop and exploit the genuine commercial opportunities that tackling and responding to climate change can present.”
Read the full article at http://tinyurl.com/2bno49b
Survey reveals business attitudes, perceptions, exposure and vulnerability to climate change and related legislation
Despite recent controversy around climate change science 71 per cent of surveyed businesses believe climate change is real and happening. Nearly 40 per cent believe climate change presents risks, and 43 percent believe it presents opportunities. 27 per cent believe that climate change is already affecting their business.
The survey included over 300 telephone interviews with senior personnel from businesses located across North East England. Working with the North East Chamber of Commerce, CBI, FSB, HSBC Bank and Barclays Commercial Bank, ClimateNE commissioned the research to Hexham-based firm Public Knowledge, the public sector division of Dipsticks Research Ltd, an agency conducting quantitative and qualitative research projects across the UK and Europe.
Download the survey executive summary at www.climatenortheast.com/contentControl/documentControl/survey%20exec%20formatted.doc
North East businesses recognise importance of using ICT to help reduce environmental impacts
A student at the University of Liverpool has conducted a study assessing the options available to North East organisations seeking means to reduce their environmental impacts. The study identified that organisations in North East England are increasingly motivated to seek solutions that reduce the environmental impacts of operations. 43 per cent of respondents regard ICT management strategies as very important. However the majority of respondents were less inclined to agree, suggesting that there is a lack of awareness regarding the potential benefits of adopting green ICT.
For detailed information contact Mohamed Gadema on 0191 237 0598 or email him at email@example.com
Online carbon measuring farm tool benchmark
Experts behind a unique online carbon measuring tool for farmers, developed with Teesside's biofuels' industry, are hoping their system will become the benchmark for the whole of Europe.
Farming Footprints, a joint venture between agricultural supply merchants Farmway and Stockton energy consultants Five Bar Gate, have launched a system thought to be the first online calculator for a crop’s carbon emissions at farm level.
Driven by the growing biofuels industry, it could be invaluable for North East farmers supplying energy crops for Wilton’s Ensus bioethanol plant and forthcoming projects on Humberside. It can also be used to assess the carbon lifecycle of food crops. Its Teesside inventors are registering the system as a voluntary scheme with the European Commission.
Read more at http://tinyurl.com/34upd2v
Upland farming traineeship launched at Winshields Farm on Hadrian’s Wall
Richard Benyon MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary For Natural Environmental and Fisheries visited Winshields Farm to launch an Upland Farming Traineeship and meet the trainees and the farmers participating in the scheme. He also saw first-hand how Northumberland National Park supports local businesses and communities.
Cllr John Riddle, Chair of Northumberland National Park, said: “This project initiated by Northumberland National Park Authority starts the process of providing a future generation of people with a strong motivation to succeed in farming the Northumberland Uplands. Over the last decade it has become increasingly obvious that there is an aging upland farming community in Northumberland National Park. The farming community is particularly concerned about the lack of opportunity for people to learn the upland farming skills of their fathers and grandfathers and where the next generation is coming from”.
Mr Benyon said: “I am impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the trainees who are entering an industry which is noted for hard work and long hours. The legacy of a project such as this can be far reaching, not only revitalising the upland farming community but also providing skills which are vital to maintaining the special qualities of the National Park and developing the careers of those taking part. I congratulate Northumberland National Park Authority and everybody else involved in initiating such an innovative worthwhile scheme and I wish everybody every success over the coming months.”
Coalition Government confirms climate change is priority
Following the General Election in May, Caroline Spelman MP was appointed Secretary of State for Defra and Lord Henley became the junior minister for climate change adaptation. The Coalition Programme for Government confirms that climate change is a priority, calling it: “one of the gravest threats we face”.
The Adapting to Climate Change (ACC) team, which is situated within Defra, is running a Business Engagement and Skills Project. It aims to ensure that UK businesses are well-prepared for the impacts of a changing climate and are best placed in a global economy to maximise opportunities and minimise costs. The project will engage with priority sectors at the national level in collaboration with other Government departments (such as BIS and DECC) and external stakeholders (such as trade associations and professional bodies). For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tourism businesses and climate change in the South West
A survey commissioned by Climate SouthWest Tourism Sector Group and undertaken by the University of Exeter showed that 56 per cent of respondents have already been affected by severe weather and 63 per cent think that their businesses will be affected in the future, with flooding the highest concern. However, when asked about what adaptation actions they have implemented, only 46 per cent of respondents had implemented any measures.
Read the full results at www.oursouthwest.com/climate/registry/100400-tourism-survey-report.pdf
Climate UK web portal launched
Climate UK is the national network of climate change partnerships from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Climate UK aims to share knowledge and learning about tackling the consequences of climate change in the UK and to maximise the benefit from each Partnership's work. The group is chaired by Richard Cresswell, Director for the Environment Agency in the South West, facilitated by the UK Climate Impacts Programme and supported and part-funded by Defra (Adapting to Climate Change Programme). Climate UK now has a single web portal with links to each of the partnership’s websites, making it easier to find out about current activity and responses to climate change around the UK.
Visit the web page at www.climateuk.net
Woodland Carbon Code on track for early 2011 launch
The Forestry Commission (FC) has confirmed that the Woodland Carbon Code is on track for launch in early 2011. The Code will provide market assurance on the quality of woodland creation projects that aim to deliver abatement of carbon dioxide. The registry, that the FC will run, is being designed and the UK Accreditation Service has put out invitations to tender to allow potential accreditation companies to come forward. An independent review of how ‘additionality’, a key criterion for any carbon code, has also been commissioned.
To find out more email email@example.com
Panorama – What's Up With the Weather?
Despite governments, scientists and campaigners telling us the world's climate is changing, increasing numbers of us simply don't believe in global warming.
Panorama reporter Tom Heap speaks to some of the world's leading scientists on both sides of the argument, to find out what they can agree on and uncovers some surprising results.
Watch it at. www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00swp0k/Panorama_Whats_Up_With_the_Weather
UK 'needs new climate policies'
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has said that changes in policy are still needed to meet climate targets, despite emission reductions brought about by the recession.
It is the Committee's second annual report to parliament, and follows a year in which UK greenhouse gas emissions plummeted by 8.6 per cent, mainly due to the recession but also because of increased fossil fuel prices.
CCC chairman Lord Adair Turner said: "The recession has created the illusion that progress is being made to reduce emissions. Our analysis shows that this is almost wholly due to a reduction in economic activity, and not from new measures being introduced to tackle climate change.
"So we are repeating our call for new policy approaches to drive the required step change, in order that the UK can ensure a low-carbon recovery."
Visit the CCC website at www.theccc.org.uk
European and international news
Cutting buildings’ energy use is top priority for firms
Improving buildings’ energy efficiency is by far companies’ preferred option for reducing their carbon emissions, according to a global survey of 2,882 energy management and facilities executives.
Seventy-one percent of respondents said they are paying more attention to energy efficiency now than they were one year ago and 85 per cent indicated that energy efficiency is a priority in planned new construction and retrofit projects.
Cost savings is consistently the most important driver for energy efficiency investment (97 per cent). Other factors included greenhouse gas reduction (74 per cent); enhanced public image (74 per cent), and attracting and retaining customers (69 per cent).
Read more at http://tinyurl.com/32lxds9
Corporate CO2 emissions can be reduced with telepresence technology
According to a new study of large companies using telepresence technology, US and UK businesses that substitute some business travel with telepresence can cut CO2 emissions by nearly 5.5 million metric tons in total.
This is the greenhouse gas equivalent of removing more than one million passenger vehicles from the road for one year – and achieve total economy-wide financial benefits of almost $19 billion, by 2020.
The Telepresence Revolution was commissioned by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and sponsored by AT&T.
Read more at http://tinyurl.com/342yq26
Adapting homes: New 'smart' roof saves energy in hot and cold climates
US Scientists have developed a roof-coating from waste cooking oil that can ‘read’ a thermometer, reflect heat in summer and retain heat in winter. The material could reduce roof temperatures in warm weather by 50 to 80 per cent and increase roof temperature in cold weather by up to 80 per cent. Commercial availability is expected in 2013.
Read the full article at www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-03/acs-nr030910.php
Disaster makes US think again about cleaner energy
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is making Americans think more about a clean energy future – but not yet to the extent of having to pay for it, or to tackle climate change, one of the leading US thinkers on global warming policy said.
The Independent reported that US citizens are "horrified" by the pollution in the Gulf of Mexico, and are starting to think more about cleaner energy sources such as wind and wave power, said Eileen Clausen, president of America's foremost climate think-tank, the Washington-based Pew Center on Global Climate Change.
Read more at http://tinyurl.com/395bs6mEvents
Climate Change and its Global Implications for people, ethics and equity
This international conference on climate change will be held at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia from 8 to 10 July 2010.
The Climate Change Conference is for any person with an interest in, and concern for, scientific, policy and strategic perspectives in climate change. It will address a range of critically important themes relating to the vexing question of climate change.
Read more at http://on-climate.com/conference-2010
The 2010 Behaviour, Energy and Climate Change Conference
The fourth annual conference, which will be held in 14 to 17 November in Sacramento, California, will focus on understanding the nature of individual and organisational behaviour and decision-making, and using that knowledge to accelerate our transition to an energy-efficient and low carbon economy. Read more at http://peec.stanford.edu/events/2010/becc/
CBI Climate Change Summit 2010
The UK's transition to a low-carbon economy will require the Government, businesses and consumers to work together to reduce emissions. Decisive action must be taken to make fundamental and long-lasting changes to how we work and live.
The next steps must be to ensure the policies and tactics for tackling emissions are framed within the context of an increasingly competitive business and civil environment. Significant investment is required in technology, energy generation and transport, among other areas and these must be delivered cost effectively with a clear return both in terms of energy savings and financially.
This event will take place on Wednesday 17 November at the IET, Savoy Place in London.
Find out more at http://climatechange.cbi.org.uk/events/00387