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Wildlife populations have declined by half in 40 years
The main statistic from the 2014 Living Planet Report report is the global Living Planet Index (LPI) which shows a 52% decline between 1970 and 2010. This means that animal populations are roughly half the size they were 40 years ago. The 2014 Living Planet Report is the tenth edition of WWF's flagship publication which uses the LPI to track changes in wildlife populations. The biennial report, produced in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London and the Global Footprint Network, uses the global LPI as a measure of the health of over 10,000 populations of more than 3,000 species.
This startling statistic reminds us that the growth in human population and resource use worldwide is destroying the very fabric upon which we survive. Some thought-provoking quotes from Sir David Attenborough in recent years that we ignore at our peril:-
"The future of life on earth depends on our ability to take action. Many individuals are doing what they can, but real success can only come if there's a change in our societies and our economics and in our politics. I've been lucky in my lifetime to see some of the greatest spectacles that the natural world has to offer. Surely we have a responsibility to leave for future generations a planet that is healthy, inhabitable by all species."
"Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, perhaps we should control the population to ensure the survival of our environment."
"Either we limit our population growth, or the natural world will do it for us. And the natural world is doing it for us right now."
External link to: 2014 Living Planet Report
Do we have the intelligence and foresight to do anything other than accrue more "wealth" whilst destroying the planet?
The UN Climate Summit 2014, 23rd September
To quote from the UN Climate Summit website: "Climate change is not a far-off problem. It is happening now and is having very real consequences on people's lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies."
The UN Climate Summit 2014 in New York is an important opportunity to build political momentum towards a global climate deal in 2015. World leaders and leading figures from business and civil society will come together to bring announcements and actions that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015. The summit website is www.un.org/climatechange/summit/ and the social media hashtag for the UN conference itself is #Climate2014 .
Events were held on the weekend of 21st/22nd September across the globe to tell world leaders meeting at the UN summit that there is strong public support for real action on climate change. Hundreds of thousands of members of the public marched or held events in over 2,000 locations including Delhi, Jakarta, London, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, Bristol and Paris to name a few, to show world leaders that there is a massive movement demanding immediate action to address the climate crisis.
Many different organisations were involved including Avaaz, 38 degrees, 350.org, WWF, Christian Aid, and Oxfam. The website for the People's Climate March is: peoplesclimate.org.
The twitter link is twitter.com/peoples_climate and the hashtags are #PCM and/or #PeoplesClimate .
Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) events
To help the commercial, industrial, public sector, not for profit sectors and community generators of renewable heat as well as the energy supply chain, DECC will be giving a series of talks and attending events in autumn 2014.
The non-domestic RHI scheme is for commercial, industrial, public and not for profit sectors as well as multiple homes (including District Heating) who want to install renewable heating systems in their buildings in England, Wales and Scotland.
Owners of participating heating-system installations will receive quarterly payments for twenty years to help cover the cost of installing a renewable heating system. The scheme applies to Air to water heat pumps, Biogas, Biomass, Biomethane injection, CHP, Deep geothermal, Ground and water source heat pumps as well as Solar thermal At the roadshows and events, attendees will also be able to find out about updates to policy, ask questions about the scheme, see case studies of others claiming the RHI and understand how the RHI can benefit their business or organisation.
The SW event will be held at UWE's Exhibition and Conference Centre, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS34 8QZ, on 2nd December. For external link to event web page and booking details click here: eco Showcase. Information on all the RHI events can be found at this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/non-domestic-rhi-events-and-roadshows.
Climate Change: Implications for Business
Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, together with the Cambridge Judge Business School and the support of the European Climate Foundation is summarising the latest climate science for the business community. Short, sector specific briefings and infographics are based on the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). They include topics such as buildings, cities, transport and employment. You can find them from this (external) link: Climate Change: Implications for Business.
UK's renewable electricity more than doubles in 4 years
On announcing the latest publication of energy statistics from HM Government, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said:
"The government's investment in renewable energy is paying off: renewable electricity has more than doubled in just four years, with around 15 per cent of Britain's electricity already coming from clean renewable sources like wind, solar and hydro. This massive investment in green energy is accelerating, with 2013 a record year, with almost £8 billion invested across range of renewable technologies. Having a strong UK renewable sector helps to reduce our foreign imports of energy, improving our energy security, as well as helping us tackle climate change and creating new hi-tech green jobs. A green energy future that once seemed impossible for Britain is fast becoming a reality."
The latest energy statistics can be found on the DECC website from this link: Digest of UK energy statistics.
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1. Management of oursouthwest. From 1999 - 2010 this website was originally managed by Phil Harding whilst a Senior Policy Adviser (climate change, resource efficiency and sustainable development) at the Government Office for the South West (GOSW) in Bristol (UK). GOSW closed in 2011 but this site continues to be managed by Phil Harding on a freelance not-for-profit basis.
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