Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How to reduce UK transport carbon emissions by 76 per cent by 2050

Researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York have achieved a significant breakthrough in climate change policy by showing how to make drastic cuts in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from transport.

The study goes beyond the science and paints a picture of what a low carbon transport future would look like. What emerges is vision of a less stressful, quieter, healthier, more resilient and confident society.
Transport is a major source of greenhouse gases and it is increasing emissions faster than any other sector of the economy. Growing levels of car use, road freight and flying have created difficulties in reducing transport's greenhouse gas emissions.
But the York project has shown a phased programme of technological, financial and behavioural changes could secure the following potential cuts in (CO2) emissions compared to business-as-usual approach:
  • 100 per cent in road transport (cars and lorries)
  • 100 per cent in rail transport
  • 56 per cent in aviation
  • 49 per cent in shipping
The resulting overall reduction for transport in the UK by 2050 is 76 per cent.
The project took an evidence-based approach that meant reductions were included only if there was already-available experience showing that they could be achieved.
The research suggests that if the measures were implemented, there would be substantial economic benefits for individuals and businesses as well as a significant fall in road deaths and injuries. There would also be large reductions in noise and air pollution and dramatic changes in urban design and planning to provide substantially improved opportunities for walking, cycling and community cohesion.
Professor John Whitelegg of the Stockholm Environment Institute and co-author of the study said:
"This project marks a significant break with traditional thinking that regards transport as too hard to deal with when it comes to greenhouse gas reduction. We have shown that the potential is much greater than anyone previously thought and that reductions in emissions go hand in hand with improvements in air quality, health and economic success."
The project adopted an innovative approach in specifying the reduction potential from spatial, technological, fiscal and behavioural changes. It identified the maximum degree to which these can be applied in a phased programme of action over the next 40 years.
The policy recommendations include a number of radical but achievable measures including:
  • Spatial planning to create neighbourhoods and communities where it is possible to reach destinations on foot or by bicycle and public transport
  • New approaches to the regionalisation of production and consumption to bring about reductions in road freight
  • Increases in the cost of transport to implement the so-called "polluter pays principle"
  • Full de-carbonisation of the UK electricity supply system (as envisaged by the Climate Change Committee)
  • Full conversion of all cars to Plug In Electric Vehicles or Hydrogen Fuel Cells utilising de-carbonised electricity.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The carbon footprint of World Cup 2010

While South Africa and the rest of the continent may be pursuing renewable forms of energy, the world's biggest sporting event will have anything but an environmental benefit with a report saying the carbon footprint of World Cup 2010 will be six times that of the last competition four years ago in Germany.
However, it's not just the influx of fans flying in from around the world to see the games, contributing to the footprint, in fact the majority of carbon was caused in the build up to the tournament.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Flexible paving slab harnesses kinetic energy of people walking!

Every time the rubber Pavegen stone is stepped on, it flexes 5mm and the dynamo technology stores the kinetic energy produced. Five paving slabs distributed over a section of a pavement will provide sufficient power to illuminate a bus information panel overnight. 

How about using those in the dance floors in clubs?!

Read more here:

"The Bridge" is the largest homeless center to achieved LEED rating

The building targets a LEED Silver rating and includes a green-roofed dining room within an open courtyard, ample daylighting, which reduces energy consumption and enhance the connection to the outside world. The Pavilion reuses an existing warehouse and can accommodate 200 people. It contains ceiling fans and radiant heaters for temperature control. And finally, the greywater system is said to save more than 1.5 million gallons of potable water per year.

Read more here:

Showing the Benefits of ‘Green’ Retrofits

This new report will reveal the savings which have been made due to retrofitting buildings in New York City via a public database of several hundred retrofitted buildings. 

This will definitely be a big step forward in better understanding building energy usage and proving that building more efficiently is really worth it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The story of stuff...

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever..

Watch the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GorqroigqM

The story of bottled water

"The Story of Bottled Water, released on March 22, 2010 (World Water Day) employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over five minutes, the film explores the bottled water industrys attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to take back the tap, not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all.

Our production partners on the bottled water film include five leading sustainability groups: Corporate Accountjavascript:void(0)ability International, Environmental Working Group, Food & Water Watch, Pacific Institute, and Polaris Institute."

See the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se12y9hSOM0