Archive for November, 2013

No business plan for a world where temperatures could increase by 2°C

November 14th, 2013 by PwC

Jonathan Grant, director, PwC, said of the latest Climate Change Committee latest report “Fourth carbon budget Review” that “the Committee is right to highlight the danger of changing tack or rolling back regulations, as it could undermine business and investor confidence that long term UK government policy will deliver what is needed to tackle climate change.

“The costs of many forms of low carbon energy are coming down quite rapidly, but whichever path you choose to get to a low carbon future, it still requires substantial investment, and that requires clear, long term policies,” Mr Grant said.

“In the short term, UK energy emissions increased 2.6% last year, much higher than GDP growth, because of an increased use of coal in power generation.” Continue reading

Living Streets Guernsey wishes us to heed message ‘Be Safe Be Seen’ during Road Safety Week

November 14th, 2013 by Living Streets Guernsey

(click image to go to the Road Safety Week website)

(click image to go to the Road Safety Week website – image courtesy of BRAKE)

The UK Road Safety Charity BRAKE co-ordinates Road Safety Week, which is from 18 to 24 November 2013.

This year BRAKE is asking everyone to “pledge to tune in to road safety – that means promising to do your best to keep focused on the task at hand, and never putting yourself and others in danger for the sake of a call, text or other activity that can wait”.

Living Streets Guernsey is once again encouraging organisations to take part in “Bright Day” – a dress down day on Friday 22 November 2013 to emphasise its message BE SAFE BE SEEN.

Tom Le Pelley, Chair of Living Streets Guernsey, said “negotiating Guernsey’s narrow roads is always a challenge and even more so on a dark rainy night when your vision is limited. “Bright Day” is a fun day with a serious message. Everyone taking part is encouraged to dress in brightly coloured clothes to emphasise the importance for pedestrians and cyclists to be visible after dark.” Continue reading

Haiti, Philippines and Pakistan most affected by weather catastrophes

November 14th, 2013 by Germanwatch

(click image to expand)

Destruction caused by typhoon Haiyan in Leyte province photographed on 10 November 2013 (click image to expand – image ©EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection by Joelle Goire)

Germanwatch presented the 9th annual Global Climate Risk Index at the onset of the Climate Summit in Warsaw (COP 19) while overshadowed by the ongoing human catastrophe in the Philippines.

“The index shows that the most severe weather related catastrophes in 2012 occurred in Haiti, Philippines and Pakistan,” said Sönke Kreft, Team Leader International Climate Policy at Germanwatch and co-author of the index.

“The landfall of Hurricane Sandy in the US dominated international news in October 2012.

Yet, it was Haiti – the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere – that suffered the greatest losses from the same event.” Continue reading

Report criticises governments for global fossil fuel subsidies of over $500 billion per year

November 12th, 2013 by Overseas Development Institute

(please click report cover to go to ODI report download page)

(please click report cover to go to ODI report download page)

Just two years ahead of a crucial UN climate change summit, many of the world’s richest countries continue to pour finance into fossil fuel subsidies, with average spending running at US$112 per adult according to a report from the Overseas Development Institute.

The report ‘Time to change the game’ notes that fossil fuel subsidies cost over half a trillion dollars globally every year.

It says that these subsidies create perverse incentives favouring investment in carbon-intensive energy.

The author Shelagh Whitley calls for bold action led by the G20 to phase out these subsidies by 2020, with rich countries making the deepest and earliest cuts.

Ms Whitley said “the rules of the game are currently biased in favour of fossil fuels.” Continue reading

UK Government calls for measures to make Britain global leader in ultra low emission vehicles

November 9th, 2013 by UK Department of Transport

On 7 November 2013, Nick Clegg, UK Deputy Prime Minister, called for innovative ideas from key players in the automotive industry to help the UK stay ahead of global competition and secure its position as global leader in ultra low emission vehicles.

The call came following the UK government’s announcement of a £500 million investment to drive a low carbon revolution.

The investment, which the UK government announced in June 2013, will be used to support the growing market between 2015 and 2020, and is one of the most substantial packages of support for ultra low emissions vehicles in the world.

An electric Prindiville Hummer on Davies Street, London on 1 March 2013 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

An electric Prindiville Hummer on Davies Street, London on 1 March 2013 (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

It will be used to support electric cars and other vehicles that produce almost no carbon, creating jobs and boosting Continue reading

OECD report finds carbon taxes and emission trading least costly option to reduce CO2 emissions

November 9th, 2013 by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

(please click report cover to go publisher's page - image courtesy of OECD)

(please click report cover to go publisher’s page – image courtesy of OECD)

According to a new OECD study, carbon taxes and emission trading systems are the most cost-effective means of reducing CO2 emissions, and should be at the centre of government efforts to tackle climate change.

Effective Carbon Prices shows that taxes and trading systems are preferable to other policies, such as feed-in tariffs, subsidies and other regulatory instruments.

For example, the average cost of reducing a tonne of carbon emissions in the road transport sector can be up to eight times higher when instruments other than fuel taxes are used, according to the report.

Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, said “countries are pricing carbon in a multitude of ways, not always the most effective.” Continue reading

Scottish marine energy expertise extended to Singapore

November 9th, 2013 by The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Ltd

 Stuart Baird, EMEC operations director, speaking at Asia Future Energy Forum in Singapore (click image to expand - image courtesy of The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Ltd)

Stuart Baird, EMEC operations director, speaking at Asia Future Energy Forum in Singapore (click image to expand – image courtesy of The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Ltd)

An international collaboration agreement has been signed between The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) based in Orkney, Scotland, and the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University ([email protected]), Singapore, to support further development of the marine renewable energy industry in Southeast Asia.

EMEC, the world’s first and leading facility for wave and tidal energy converters, will advise the University on the setup of scale test facilities in Singapore; offering a different climate and sea conditions to EMEC’s own scale test sites in Orkney.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by Stuart Baird, EMEC’s operations director, and Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar, Executive Director of [email protected] in Singapore on 1 November 2013 after Mr Baird spoke at the Asia Future Energy Forum, part of Singapore International Energy Week. Continue reading

Nissan’s BladeGlider exploratory prototype electric vehicle revealed

November 8th, 2013 by Nissan Motor Company

The Nissan BladeGlider could represent a future direction for Nissan electric vehicle development. The three-seat vehicle is an exploratory prototype of an upcoming production vehicle.

(click image to expand - image courtesy of and ©Nissan Motors)

Nissan’s BladeGlider prototype electric vehicle (click image to expand – image courtesy of and ©Nissan Motor Company)

Francois Bancon, division general manager of Product Strategy and Product Planning at Nissan, said ‘the goal was to revolutionise the architecture of the vehicle to show consumers how zero emissions can help redefine our concept of vehicle basics.’

BladeGlider’s developmental focus was on aerodynamics to achieve low drag with the front wheels close together, and to generate road-hugging downforce. Continue reading

2013 Guernsey Community Award for corporate social responsibility won by RBC Wealth Management

November 7th, 2013 by RBC Wealth Management

Photo caption (left to right): Jo Porritt from Guernsey Chamber of Commerce presented the award to Alan Pearce and Nicola Carroll from RBC Wealth Management (click image to expand - image courtesy of RBC Wealth Management)

Photo caption (left to right): Jo Porritt from Guernsey Chamber of Commerce presented the award to Alan Pearce and Nicola Carroll from RBC Wealth Management (click image to expand – image courtesy of RBC Wealth Management)

The Guernsey Community Awards saw RBC Wealth Management winning the Corporate Social Responsibility Award for its long-running commitment to CSR in Guernsey.

Nominated by the Guernsey Round Table for its sponsorship of the Harbour Carnival, RBC was praised by the judges for its pairing of community investment with hands-on staff volunteering, helping to build strong relationships with partners in the community and creating a lasting impact.

The Guernsey Round Table also noted that the partnership with RBC ‘goes above and beyond what we expect from a sponsor.’ Continue reading

A book on How to Study Public Life by Jan Gehl and Birgitte Svarre

November 6th, 2013 by Island Press

(click book cover to go to publisher's website)

(click book cover to go to publisher’s website – image courtesy of Island Press)

For decades, renowned architect Jan Gehl has been at the center of creating vibrant, human- scale public spaces in global cities including Copenhagen, New York, and Melbourne.

In his newest venture, together with public-space expert Birgitte Svarre, Gehl explores the field of study that helps us better understand the life that takes place in public spaces and the components that can revitalize neighborhoods.

At the heart of the best urban design projects is a deep understanding of how people live—on that block, in that neighborhood, in that city, in that region.

But life is unpredictable, complex, and ephemeral, so how do you learn to understand it?

In Gehl and Svarre’s book, How to Study Public Life published Continue reading