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Policies Are Critical to Helping Wind and Solar PV to Become a Bigger Part of the Energy Mix



|| Thursday: October 03: 2019 || ά. As the contributions of solar PV and wind power to electricity systems keep growing around the world, governments and industry must address the critical work of integrating these variable renewables into their electrical grids. This work is essential to make sure that countries can benefit from higher shares of renewable power while ensuring grid stability and avoiding shortages.

For this reason, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the International Energy Agency:IEA convened a one-day ministerial Conference in Berlin on Tuesday, October 01 to share best practices and innovative ideas to fully grasp the opportunities of wind and solar.

The Global Ministerial Conference on System Integration of Renewables was attended by high-ranking officials and industry CEOs, including, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and State Secretaries from the countries of Sweden, Thailand, Japan, Morocco, Poland, Switzerland and the United States. It was co-chaired by Mr Peter Altmaier, the German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director.

“Germany’s energy transition rests on three pillars: expansion of solar and wind energy, digitalisation in the energy sector and sector coupling. We want 65% of our electricity to be renewables-based by 2030.” said Mr Altmaier. “The use of renewable energy is growing everywhere around the world. It will, therefore, become ever more important for us to engage in cross-border co-operation and share and discuss best practices with other countries.”

Dr Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said, “Wind and solar are critical pillars of the world’s efforts to tackle climate change, reduce air pollution and provide energy access to all. Their declining costs are a huge opportunity. But power systems need to become more flexible and market designs must be adapted in order to avoid unintended impacts on electricity security.”

The IEA has been working on system integration for almost 15 years and is expanding its efforts. In particular, it is preparing a major new study on electricity security to help countries to better manage the impact of energy transitions, guard against new cyber-security threats and develop resilience to extreme natural events.

Renewable electricity is a key driver of clean energy transitions. After stalling last year, global capacity additions of renewable power are set to bounce back with double-digit growth in 2019, driven by solar PV’s strong performance, to reach almost 200GW. But more will be needed to reach long-term climate and sustainable energy goals. Renewable capacity additions need to increase by more than 300GW on average each year between 2018 and 2030 to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, according to the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario. Wind and solar account for 80% of that growth.

Unlocking this potential will require governments to set out the right frameworks to handle these growing shares. That means long-term planning, in which the design of grids and markets fully takes account of the shifting landscape.

Today, 25 countries have 10% variable renewable electricity in their mix. Several countries have committed to long-term targets for very high shares of renewables or, even, full reliance on these sources. By 2030, more than 50 countries will have reached wind and solar electricity levels of 10%. Germany is already moving towards more than 50% by that year and the European Union aspires to reach 35%.

These ambitions mean current system integration ideas need scaling up from successful pilots to clear legislative programs that ensure effective uptake of renewable sources in line with global energy and climate ambitions. Today's conference highlighted that these efforts need to fit into wider all-energy strategies, that consider economic sectors affected by energy transitions, as put forward in Germany’s recent Climate Action Law proposal, for example.


The IEA continues to take a leading role in supporting global energy transitions through data, expert insights and clear policy advice, taking all technologies and sectors into account.

Following the success of this event, the IEA will convene a second Global Ministerial Conference on System Integration of Renewables in Paris in September 2020 at which the major report on electricity security will be launched. In the report, the IEA will develop fact-based insights and put forward key policy recommendations on how infrastructure, markets and institutions can adapt to the evolving challenges of electricity security in the 21st century.


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The African Development Bank to Boost Climate Change Adaptation Funding to $12.5 Billion



|| Thursday: October 03: 2019 || ά. Mr Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank, pledged to boost funding commitments by $12.5 billion to help countries adapt to the effects of climate change between 2020 and 2025. Addressing the UN talks on climate change adaptation, last week Mr Adesina said that the Bank was doubling commitments to climate finance to $25 billion for the five-year period, half of which would fund climate adaptation.

“This is where the rubber meets the road.” Mr Adesina told members of the Global Commission on Adaptation. “Because many of the countries are facing extreme weather patterns and they can't wait any more, we've decided to launch the Africa disaster risk facility to ensure these countries get the resources they need to insure themselves against catastrophic risk events.”

The Countdown to the Climate Adaptation Summit: the Launch of the Year of Action, was organised by the Global Commission on Adaptation, which seeks to prepare cities and farmlands for a hotter world. The Bank’s project involves building early warning systems so that African governments know of emerging threats and an insurance scheme to provide pay outs when drought, floods and other calamities strike.

Policy-makers generally take two approaches to climate change. Mitigation involves cutting emissions of heat-trapping gases to limit temperature rises while adaptation is the process of preparing for a warmer planet. Mr Bill Gates, a philanthropist and member of the Commission, warned that farmers could see their crops dwindle by as much as 30 per cent over the next 30 years and that Africa could be hit hardest.

“Look at the world's poorest people, the majority of them are the smallholder farmers. And yet, they are going to be the first and the ones with the worst impacts, which leads to malnutrition and to instability.” said Mr Gates.

Mr Gates, a Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said that enhancing crop seeds, developing finance and insurance packages and new agricultural systems and policies could ready farmers for a riskier future. The targets are focused on finance and investment, agriculture and feeding populations, nature-based solutions, water, cities, locally-led action, infrastructure and preventing natural disasters.

Mr Ban Ki-moon, the former UN Secretary-General and Chair of the Commission, called for action to ready the world’s 300 million small-scale farmers for land degradation, drought and other impacts of climate change. “Without urgent action to help the world’s small-holder farmers we risk undermining our food security for generations to come.” Mr Ban told delegates on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

 “Today’s financial commitments are a positive step forward but, more must be done to ensure the world’s farmers are equipped for long-term sustainable, climate-smart production.” In a Report this month, the Commission said that spending money on climate change adaptation would pay off. Investing $01.8 trillion in adaptation can deliver $07.1 trillion in benefits between 2020 to 2030, according to the Report.

Mr Axel van Trotsenburg, the Aacting CEO of the World Bank, discussed the institution’s road map for raising cash to help governments prepare for climate change and pave the way towards a stronger, safer, more resilient world.

“Good adaptation can deliver good development outcomes. Done well, it can help avoid economic and material losses, protect people against life-altering shocks and promote investment.” Mr Van Trotsenburg said in a statement.


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Valio Brings Recycled Plastic to Food Packaging


|| Thursday: October 03: 2019 || ά. Valio is among the first food companies to begin using recycled plastic. This development in packaging is part of a larger goal: the food company wants to cut milk’s carbon footprint to zero by 2035.

Plastic is needed for all food products, that keep food in good condition for a long time, as without the plastic protection, the food would spoil before it, even, reaches the fridges at home. Packaging has a vitally important task to prevent a larger environmental hazard: food waste. Plastic becomes a problem, if, it ends up in the environment.

Every one of us can help with our own actions and recycle. It’s now possible to use recycled plastic in food packaging. Valio’s new packaging for its cheese products are now made from, at least, 90% recycled plastic. Over 50% of Mifu slice and Mifu jauhis packages’ plastic is recycled. The Company intends to ramp up our recycled plastic usage in the future.

‘’Using recycled plastic reduces the plastic industry’s environmental emissions by 40-60 percent compared to making the plastic from fossil oil. Our goal is that in 2020, all Valio sliced cheese packages in Finland are made from at least 50-percent recycled plastic. In the future, roughly, 10 percent of all our packaging plastic in Finland will be recycled. That matters a lot when it comes to the environment.’’ says Ms Juhana Pilkama, Package Development Manager.

‘’All recycled plastic is sorted, washed carefully and checked for material. Sorting machines handle possible mistakes, which does come with an additional cost but, that is the lesser of two evils, compared to throwing all your plastic in mixed waste. In the future, we intend to clarify the recycling instructions we print on our packages to make recycling easier.’’ Says Ms Pilkama.

Valio has worked, over the years, to reduce the amount of plastic and to develop our packaging materials. In 2015, Valio introduced 100-percent plant-based cartons to Finland’s stores. These cartons are made out of wood and the thin protective plastic film from the sugarcane industry’s waste, i.e, excess plant parts. The caps are fully plant-based.

‘’Packages have an environmental impact of only two percent of the entire food product’s environmental load when it comes to carbon dioxide. Despite that, we want to reduce our packaging’s environmental load further. At the same time, we are working with dairy farms, among others, to reduce milk production’s climate emissions.’’ Says Ms Pilkama.

In 2019, Valio is discontinuing its use of black-dyed plastic in Finland. Current recycling devices can not identify the black colour, which means black plastic packages don’t get recycled.

About Valio: Valio offers the taste of Nordic nature since 1905, is a brand leader and the biggest dairy business in Finland and a major player in the international dairy ingredients market. The company is owned by dairy co-operatives comprising some 5,100 dairy farmers. Wellbeing is at the heart of Valio’s world leading technology innovations, expertise and products that are made from clean Finnish milk and other ingredients. Our product development follows in the footsteps of Nobel Prize winner A. I Virtanen, and the company holds 350 patents in 50 countries. Our efforts to improve animal wellbeing are resolute, and we know that only healthy cows can produce premium milk products. Valio’s milk ranks among the cleanest in the world, and we have zero tolerance for antibiotic residue in milk.

Valio has net sales of EUR 01.7 billion and is Finland’s biggest food exporter. Valio products are found in some 60 countries and account for 30% of Finland’s total food exports. Valio seeks strong growth in international markets and has subsidiaries in Russia, Sweden, the Baltics, USA and China.


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Nuclear Technology Showcase Brought Together Industry Expert to Develop Better Ways of Working Together



|| Thursday: October 03: 2019 || ά. A special demonstration event, held in the UK, which brought together nuclear innovations and advanced digital technology to help solve some of the world’s most complex challenges is being hailed as the blueprint for launching similar events in the USA and Canada. Forth Engineering was chosen by Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, to showcase nuclear technological expertise at this event, which attracted experts from as far afield as USA, Canada, Japan, Sweden and Spain, as well as, from across the UK.

Atkins, one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, chose Forth as the venue because, as well as, wanting to display its own latest technologies, it, also, wanted to shine the spotlight on some of the UK’s leading SMEs. Speaking at the Nuclear Technology Showcase event, held at Forth’s headquarters in Cumbria Ms Julianne Antrobus, Global Technology Director for SNC-Lavalin Atkins, said that she was delighted by what had been achieved by bringing together some of the world’s leading innovators to look at potential future collaborations.

She said, “There has been a great vibe today with, really interesting conversations starting on how different technologies can be applied and integrated to address a number of our clients’ greatest challenges. Listening to the conversations has been incredible and I am extremely excited about what we are going to achieve as a result of the event.”

Many exhibitors praised the setting at Forth, with the trade stands, presentations, discussions and demonstrations taking place in an industry setting around Forth’s Deep Recovery Facility, the largest covered research, training and testing pond in the UK, holding more than two million litres of water.

“This has been the perfect setting. This represents what is real and happening now. This is at the coalface of meeting today’s challenges and paving the way for the future. The event has worked really well.’’

Latest technologies from SNC-Lavalin Atkins were among those being demonstrated. These included an Advanced Portable Polymer Tester, which was launched less than a year ago. Mr Andy Drugan, of Atkins, explained how the technology, which has, already, been successfully used in nuclear power stations in Canada, is applied to test the condition of cables without the need to shut down supplies.

The tester clamps the cable, heats it to a constant temperature and, after applying an indent, then, measures the recovery time to check the condition of the cable with real-time results displayed on a screen on the tester. As well as significantly reducing costs by not involving any downtime in production while the testing is taking place, if, the cable achieves a good result, then, there is the option to extend its lifetime, which, also, increases efficiency.

Robotics was part of the event. Attendees were able to remotely control a specialist robotic arm developed by robotics company Kinova, designed to access areas, where people are unable to reach. It’s operated by an easy-to-use controller, similar to a hand-held gaming controller, to enable users to direct it instinctively. It can be programmed with barriers to prevent it touching or accessing certain off-limits areas.

Shadow Robot Company, an SME with headquarters in London, demonstrated its tactile telebot developed in conjunction with HaptX and SynTouch, both based in the USA. The Shadow robot hand, designed to have the level of dexterity and manipulation ability of a human hand, is operated remotely by a person wearing a special high-tech glove from HaptX.

Only three of HaptX glove prototypes exist in the world and one was on display at the event at Forth to show how the technology works. Without needing to put a human being into a hazardous situation the glove operates the robotic hand remotely from as far afield as the other side of the world through digital connectivity.

The Shadow's robotic hand with tactile sensors made by Syntouch on its fingertips is calibrated to work with the HaptX glove. The person wearing the HaptX glove can control the Shadow hand from a remote location to pick up and manoeuvre items, meaning it can be used in nuclear decommissioning for Post Operational Clean Out:POCO. 

Dr Radhika Gudipati, Business Development Manager for Shadow Robot, said, “It means there is no need for a person to carry out the task in a hazardous environment and no time needed, such as, them to get suited up for the task, the robot can get straight to work on the task. The Tactile Telerobot adds a layer of safety between the human and the harsh environment.”

Forth Engineering Cumbria Ltd is an award-winning UK advanced technology solutions business with bases at Maryport and Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria.

Forth’s Avexis robot is a previous winner of the Best Academic Collaboration Award at the Innovus Awards backed by the National Nuclear Laboratory and The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute to showcase pioneering technology being used in industry.

Caption: Dr Radhika Gudipati: Business Development Manager: Shadow Robot:::ω.

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Al Gharbia Pipe Company Commences Commercial Production


|| Thursday: October 03: 2019 || ά. SENAAT Group, one of the largest industrial investment holding companies in the UAE, announced last week that Al Gharbia Pipe Company reached an operational milestone by commencing commercial production of large diameter, high-quality sour grade steel pipes in Abu Dhabi.

Al Gharbia Pipe Company, a sub-contractor of Habshan Trading, will begin work to supply conductor pipes for Hail and Ghasha off-shore sour gas fields by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company:ADNOC. Established as a joint venture between SENAAT and two of Japan’s leading companies in the steel sector, JFE Steel Corporation and Marubeni-Itochu Steel, Al Gharbia Pipe Company is the first industrial joint venture to take place between Abu Dhabi and Japan in the UAE, that will strengthen the rich history of commercial projects connecting the two nations.

The 200,000-square metre plant, which broke ground in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi in 2016, is the UAE’s first large-diameter, sour service capable, welded steel pipe project, that has been set up with an AED 01.1 billion investment to strengthen the country’s industrial supply chain in line with Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy 2021.

Engineer Mr Aqeel Abdulla Madhi, the Chairman of Al Gharbia Pipe Company, said, “The successful commencement of production and the first order awarded by ADNOC at Al Gharbia Pipe Company demonstrates our commitment to local production of high-quality steel pipes. For the first time, this is being done on a commercial scale, at the state of the-art facility, to meet the growing demand, arising from the regional industrial sectors, including, oil and gas, construction and transport. The project further strengthens the UAE’s industrial capabilities and the Made in-UAE brand, while helping reduce dependence on sour grade steel pipes import and reinforcing the country’s export potential, creating jobs and business opportunities.

As Abu Dhabi moves towards realising its Vision 2030, the industrial sector remains at the heart of this country’s plan for economic diversification and growth and SENAAT will continue to play a vital role in driving forward this mandate.”

Commenting Engineer Mr Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, CEO of SENAAT, said, “This is a major achievement for the Al Gharbia project and we are very proud of the immense contribution everyone has made to reach this important milestone.  Al Gharbia is a game-changing initiative for developing a vibrant industrial sector, that further strengthens the Emirate’s economic diversification programme in line with Economic Vision 2030 and the Industrial Strategy 2021. It plays a pivotal role in catalysing In-Country Value by further strengthening the local industrial manufacturing ecosystem to achieve a competitive and resilient economy.’’

The plant’s new line is designed to make pipes up to 13.0 metres length with an outside diameter ranging from 18 to 56 inches and the maximum wall thickness of 44.5 millimetres. Once fully operational, the plant’s annual production capacity is set to reach 240,000 tonnes, of which around 40 per cent will be exported to neighbouring markets in the GCC and greater Middle East, as well as, North and East Africa.

Early this year, Al Gharbia Pipe Company received an approval from American Petroleum Institute:API to supply products to oil and gas industry, in addition to an approval from ADNOC for sour and non-sour pipes, which qualifies Al Gharbia as a potential supplier for ADNOC projects with a high In-Country Value  score.

Strategically located in KIZAD, Al Gharbia Pipe Company benefits from its proximity to Khalifa Port, which is fully equipped to handle all types of cargo and has access to a specially designated eight-lane highway, the Modular Path, for moving over-sized equipment in a fast, safe and economical manner. The exceptional infrastructure and transportation network, as well as, seamless logistical services offered by KIZAD, will make a significant difference to Al Gharbia’s business operations, providing easy access to receiving the raw material for the production purpose and export the finished products to regional and international markets.

SENAAT currently manages nearly AED 27.3 billion of industrial assets and has invested in the non-oil sector an average of AED 01.6 billion a year over the last 10 years. Over the years, SENAAT has made remarkable progress in developing a modern industrial base for a diversified futuristic economy capable of competing on local, regional and global level. 

About SENAAT: SENAAT is one of the UAE’s largest industrial holding companies, managing assets for the Government of Abu Dhabi. SENAAT is fully owned by Abu Dhabi Government and has been mandated to create, acquire and optimise industrial businesses in Abu Dhabi and beyond to maximise shareholder value. It is a key contributor to Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the Emirate’s economy away from its reliance on the hydrocarbon sector by developing a strong industrial capability. SENAAT currently operates in four of the key industrial sectors listed in Abu Dhabi 2030 – Metals, Oil and Gas Services, Construction and Building Materials and Food and Beverage Manufacturing. SENAAT contributes to the socio-economic development of Abu Dhabi, in a profitable manner, while developing human capital.

SENAAT, which translates as ‘Industries’ manages nearly AED 27.3 billion of industrial assets and has invested in the non-oil sector an average of AED 01.6 billion a year over the last 10 years. SENAAT employs nearly 23,000 people across its portfolio of eight companies and its leadership is made up mainly of Emirati nationals. Its subsidiary companies benefit from SENAAT’s unique ability to source innovation, create and grow businesses and provide proactive, strategic input through to commercial productivity. SENAAT aligns itself with its portfolio companies to build world-class companies.:::ω.

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UK Cottam Coal-Powered Power Station Powers Down After Half a Century: The Days of Dinosaur Economics Are Truly Over: The Future Economics Is Clean Green Circular and Sustainable




|| Tuesday: October 01: 2019 || ά. It was seen as a ‘beacon’ on North Nottinghamshire’s skyline for the past 50 years, Cottam Coal-Powered Powered Station has, finally, switched off its massive generating plant the final time. Since it started generating in 1968 the station has produced nearly 500 terawatt hours of electricity, enough to single-handedly power the UK for around 18 months. It was originally planned to operate for 30 years. Cottam coal-fired power station was commissioned in 1968 by the Central Electricity Generating Board and has a generating capacity of 2,000 megawatts:MW

And, this is a testament of the irreversible path, that the UK and the rest of the world’s business, trade and commerce will have to take. Coal is the past and is now dinosaur economics. Anyone, who fails to see, accept and respond to this inevitable path is doing nothing but blindly chopping away at their own self-interest because the world can not keep burning fossil fuel any longer and renewables have achieved the market advantage of becoming terribly competitive. The future economics is and can not but be clean, green, circular and sustainable. It is time to depart from dinosaur economics into the green.

The power station has been a key part of the local community for more than 50 years and many local and national contract partners have, also, become an integral part of the Cottam team, supporting its operation. The station’s staff have been preparing for the eventual closure of the site for, almost, two years. And Cottam’s management team have worked closely with the site’s unions to ensure the minimum disruption for staff.

Cottam’s plant manager Mr Andy Powell said, “Since the official announcement of the site’s closure earlier in the year, we have been working with the Cottam team to ensure they secure the right future for them.”

Taking control of their futures, the Cottam team set up their own People Hub to work with staff to explore new opportunities within EDF Energy and a number have joined the team building and, eventually, operating the country’s first new nuclear power station in a generation at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

Some have stayed closer to home and moved across to West Burton A coal station, which, currently, has capacity market contracts to operate until September 2021 or to the West Burton B Combined Cycle Gas Turbine station, which started operating in 2013.

All the apprentices have secured roles at EDF Energy sites, continuing to build exciting futures with the UK’s largest low carbon generator. “It is a sad day but, I am immensely proud to have been part of the Cottam family since I started as an apprentice here and now as plant manager.’’

“This place has been a key part of the landscape for the past 50 years, supporting the economy and, actually, has gone far beyond its original projected operational life and as we have seen the final days of power production the plant has been running better than ever. And that is testament to the professionalism of the team here, who have maintained and operated this site with skill and care since 1968.”

Caption: Cottam Coal-Powered Power Station shuts down: Image: EDF Energy

Readmore :::ω.

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United States of America: The Regional Future for Coal Is One of Continuing Decline If Not Complete Obsolescence: New Report Finds Coal-fired Power Generation Collapsing Across the Southeast



|| Tuesday: October 01: 2019 || ά. Abundant gas supplies have transformed the electricity-generation sector in the traditionally coal-dominated Southeast U.S. Planned new solar construction in the region will add momentum to the energy transition and likely lead to the zeroing out of all coal generation in a number of states in the near future, finds a Report, released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis:IEEFA.

The Report is based on data and industry trends from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The Report ‘Coal-Fired Power Generation Is In Freefall Across the Southeast U.S’ examines the regional transition away from coal from 2008-2018, showing how the surge in gas supplies from hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has irreversibly altered the outlook for electricity generation.

This is outpacing, even, the accelerating national trends over the past 10 years. In 2008, states in the region generated 52% of their electricity from coal, compared to a national average of 48%. By 2018, while the national average fell to 28%, in the Southeast it dropped to 22%.

“An essentially two-stage transition is eroding coal’s market share in what was once a bastion of coal-fired power generation.” said Mr Dennis Wamsted, an IEEFA Analyst and Lead Author of the Report. “A time will come soon, certainly, within the next decade, when coal power will disappear entirely from some of these states. And the regional trend, broadly speaking, is toward less and less coal-fired generation everywhere we looked.”

The Report details a growing wave of coal plant retirements and a flood of planned new solar capacity. It notes that coal-fired generation, already, has fallen below 15% of total generation in three states, Florida, Mississippi and Virginia, where it appears to be moving inevitably toward zero. In the six other states studied, coal now accounts for less than 30% of annual generation in five. Only Kentucky still derives more than 50% of its electricity from coal and, even there, coal generation has fallen by almost 36% in the last 10 years.

The Report examines each of the nine states in depth, analysing coal plants still in operation and the competitive challenges they face, particularly, from plans to build more than 21 gigawatts of new solar in the region over the next five years.

In addition, the Report details state-specific developments, that will continue to undercut coal generation, such as, competition from Georgia Power’s two new nuclear units, growing corporate demand for renewable energy resources in Virginia and elsewhere and the push by NextEra Energy subsidiary Florida Power and Light to become the nation’s leading solar utility.

“The regional future for coal is one of continuing decline, if, not complete obsolescence.” the Report concludes.

Readmore :::ω.

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Green Mountain Power Utility Announces Divestment From Fossil Fuels: Companies Have to Fundamentally Change Their Business Practices: Companies Like the Insurance Sector Where the Top Ten Companies Are Putting $50 Billion Into Fossil Fuels




|| Monday: September 30:2019 || ά. At Financing the Future, a Climate Week Symposium, held on Thursday evening, Ms Mary Powell, the President and CEO of Green Mountain Power, announced that the Vermont utility would be divesting its pension fund from fossil fuel companies. With the reinvestment of about $13.5 million, the company’s $180 million pension fund will be 99.2% divested by the end of September.

The final 0.8% of investments will be divested by the end of 2020. “You can count on one finger the number of U.S utility company pension funds, that have divested from fossil fuels.” Said Mr Bill McKibben. The event drew several hundred participants from activist, business and government circles to Riverside Church in upper Manhattan. It focused on the third goal of the Paris Agreement, namely: making finance flows consistent with keeping global warming well-below two degrees Celsius.

Opening the symposium, New York City Comptroller Mr Scott Stringer said, “We have to draw the line somewhere, tinkering around the edges won’t push polluters far enough; companies have to, fundamentally, change their business practices.”

Mr Stringer said that the New York City government was committed to divesting from fossil fuels while doubling investments in green energy, including, ‘blue bonds’ for water resiliency projects. He added that he would, also, continue to fight plans to build the Williams Pipeline.

U.N Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Chief Economist Mr Elliot Harris underlined the importance of both government policies and private sector mobilisation to achieve change. “Right now, we are investing the green on top of the brown, if, we were to shift all that to sustainable, we could solve the problem.” he said. “The money is there.”

A panel of experts, including, one executive from Paribas BNP, provided updates on the divestment movement. Ms Lolita Jackson from New York City’s Climate Policy and Programmes described a growing number of international initiatives, such as, the C40 Cities‒municipalities, that were aligning policies with the Paris Agreement. She noted that pension funds in Pittsburgh and Montreal had decided to divest from fossil fuels.

“Governments like mine, Canada, will talk about oil sands and LNG but, when your house is on fire, you don’t add more fuel.” said Mr Tzeporah Berman from Mr Berman said that efforts were underway to roll out an international Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty for signature in 2020.

Noting that Australia is the third largest exporter of fossil fuels after Russia and Saudi Arabia, Mr Richie Merzian, from the Australia Institute, said that sovereign wealth funds could be key, especially, in countries with pro-fossil fuel policies. “Even, funds in Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Kuwait are starting to divest from fossil fuels.” he said.

A second panel moderated by Mr Tom Sanzillo, the Finance Director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis:IEEFA focused on fiduciary duty to address climate risk. “Investors need to expect more and tolerate less.” said Ms Kathy Mulvey from the Union of Concerned Scientists. “They need to put the burden of proof on the companies to demonstrate that they are reducing emissions.”

Ms Diana Best from Sunrise Project said that not only banks and shareholders, but insurers need to step up. “The top ten insurance companies are putting $50 billion into fossil fuels, in fact, passive investment in fossil fuels has, actually, increased since Paris.” she said.

Climate attorney Ms Lisa Hamilton said that litigation against fossil fuel companies would only increase. “Ten years ago, it seemed like an abstract threat many years down the road, now, there is measurable risk. We are, almost, in 2020.” she said. Not only coastal communities were suing fossil fuel companies for damages but, those along the Mississippi river and in forested areas vulnerable to drought.

The event concluded with a spoken word performance by Grammy-winner Mr Malik Yusef. “You don’t have to do this by yourself, it’s a big fight. In small doses, we are powerful.”

Co-sponsors of the event included: Divest Invest,, The Australia Institute, Green Faith, Riverside Church, Carbon Tracker Initiative, Fossil Free California, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, The Sunrise Project, Union of Concerned Scientists,, New York City Mayor’s Office and Oil Change International.


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It Is Time the World Eliminates the Contradictions Shown by World’s States and Governments: The United Nations Summit to Push for Development Finance Breakthrough Because in a Money-Based System Nothing Happens Unless Investments Are Made



|| Thursday: September 26: 2019 || ά. A sustainable world economy, one, that preserves the planet and improves lives everywhere, is, also, a huge opportunity to create new jobs and market opportunities, worth trillions of dollars, according to the United Nations. But to make it happen, the international community needs to rapidly scale up investment. That is where things do not shape up: the world economy is made up of many national economies, working together, where each nation decides how to conduct its economy and there the world is seeing the contradictions at work.

The states and governments gather at the United Nations and agree on grand declarations and sign agreements and treaties etc and, then, they go home: at New York UN Headquarters they agree to invest more on green and renewable energy while at home they decide to invest on opening more coal-powered facilities! At Paris climate treaty signing they agree to reduce carbon emissions while at home they continue their support for fossil-fuel transport system, they fail to do anything to remove diesel vehicles off the roads. This contradiction is at the heart of this dangerous paralysis in the world system while the earth is being choked off and humanity is headed to definitive extinction!

In a bid to convince nations to spend their money in areas, that support the 17 comprehensive Sustainable Development Goals, the UN is bringing leaders from governments, business and the financial sector together in New York today, for the first High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development since the adoption of the ground-breaking Addis Ababa Action Agenda in 2015, which set out a series of bold measures to overhaul global finance practices and direct funds towards tackling a range of economic, social and environmental challenges.

The UN estimates that achieving the SDGs could generate some $12 trillion of value across the global economy and create 380 million new jobs by 2030. But realising this objective will take annual investments, across all sectors, of $05-07 trillion: currently, investment levels are falling far below that level.

Several reasons have been put forward to explain the shortfall, including, uneven economic growth, and increasing inequality. Other factors include trade-restrictive measures, rising debt levels and falling foreign direct investment, which are hampering the ability of many countries to invest in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr Liu Zhenmin, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, told UN News in a text interview, that, given the transformational changes required and the vast financing needs, private resources will have to complement the public money, that represents the backbone of available resources. “In light of the significant challenges we face, the sustainability transition in financial systems is not happening at the required scale, nor at the required pace.’’ he said.

The Under-Secretary-General recognised that interest and investment in the Goals are rising: the financial industry is increasingly factoring climate-related risks into its investment decision making processes, and digital tools and financial innovation are unlocking new sources of financing for sustainable development.

In Africa, projects supported by the World Bank are demonstrating the positive impacts, that sustainable development can have on communities. The island nation of  São Tomé and Príncipe, highly vulnerable to floods, coastal erosion and natural disasters, is benefiting from the West Africa Coastal Areas Management Program, which is helping the government to incorporate climate risks when planning infrastructure such as roads and public buildings and ensure that they are built at a safe distance from the shoreline.

Morocco, one of the countries on the frontline of climate change, is facing severe coastline erosion, rising temperatures and reduced rainfall. World Bank-supported programs have helped the Moroccan government to factor in the impacts of climate policies on different sectors of the economy and major energy savings have been made by using renewable energy systems and improving energy efficiency.

“Achieving sustainable development requires a long-term perspective.” said Mr Zhenmin. “Public and private incentives need to be aligned with sustainable development, so that all financing decisions incorporate sustainability as a central concern.“

It is expected that the conference will serve as a call for collective action to spur Member States and the private sector, to announce fresh measures and concrete actions, that will increase financing for sustainable development.


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Innovation Competition Highlights £32 Billion Market Opportunity for Global Floating Off-shore Wind Market




|| Wednesday: September 18: 2019 || ά. The Floating Wind Joint Industry Project:JIP, managed by the Carbon Trust, has launched the Floating Wind Technology Acceleration Competition to accelerate the development and commercialisation of floating wind. The Carbon Trust, together with 14 leading off-shore wind developers represented by the Floating Wind JIP, will select the best ideas with a particular emphasis on mooring systems and operations and maintenance.

With a fund of £01 million from the Scottish Government, the competition will award innovations, that will drive the floating wind market forward to help meet decarbonisation targets and open up a £32 billion market opportunity. Analysis by the Carbon Trust has shown that, while floating off-shore wind is a nascent sector, it is forecast to deliver up to 12GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.

Realising this scale of deployment cost effectively will require innovative solutions to de-risk the technology and reduce costs. Joint industry partnerships have delivered targeted and effective research and development projects, that have contributed to the rapid cost reductions, seen across the off-shore wind industry over the last decade. However, a number of challenges for the floating off-shore wind sector need to be overcome to allow large scale deployment of this technology.   

The objective of the Floating Wind Technology Acceleration Competition is to attract ideas both from within the off-shore wind industry and across a wide variety of other sectors, including, marine, automotive, oil and gas, aerospace, robotics and manufacturing. It is, specifically, seeking technologies to address four key challenge areas:

::: Technologies, that will enable effective and safe major component exchange off-shore, for example, by compensating for the relative motion between the vessel and turbine during OandM.

::: Developing cost effective and safe disconnection and re-connection operations when turbine foundations are towed to port. This includes novel ‘out of service’ arrangements, which ensure mooring lines and electrical array cables safely remain secured in-situ while the turbine is in port.

::: New methods for cost effective, safe and reliable monitoring and inspection of large numbers of mooring lines, power cables and foundation structures.

::: New methods, materials or technologies, that reduce the cost of mooring systems through easier and safe installation and:or reduced maintenance requirements.

Innovators will, also, be able to make applications in a miscellaneous category to enable additional novel ideas to be considered. 

The challenge areas were identified through previous work undertaken by the Floating Wind JIP. The Summary Report from Phase One of the Floating Wind JIP summarises the technology challenges in the floating wind sector across electrical systems, mooring systems, infrastructure and logistics.

This Report highlighted the need for dedicated solutions for off-shore wind mooring systems, in particular, the use of synthetic mooring line materials compared to conventional steel chain or wire moorings and efficient means of installation and maintenance. The Report, further, identified the need to develop efficient manufacturing processes and develop cost effective means of maintaining floating offshore wind structures.

Scotland’s Energy Minister Mr Paul Wheelhouse, said, “I am delighted to announce the £01 million Floating Wind Technology Acceleration Competition that Scottish Government are partnering with the Carbon Trust to deliver.  Given that 80% of offshore resource across the world is in deeper water, floating offshore wind will undoubtedly play a key role in renewable generation in the future.

Finding solutions to the key challenges identified as part of the competition will facilitate faster deployment of commercial level floating offshore wind farms, allowing this technology to reach its potential.”

Mr Jan Matthiesen, the Director of Off-shore Wind at the Carbon Trust, said, “Off-shore wind in Europe has delivered cost reduction at a scale, that no one anticipated, cementing its role as a truly competitive energy generation technology. It is now cheaper than building new conventional power plants. Floating wind is a proven technology and promises to be the next renewable power success story, but to meet the scale of ambition we need to accelerate cost reduction.

By 2030, the Carbon Trust estimates that a further 12GW of floating wind capacity could be built globally, requiring around £32.4 billion of capital investment. This rapid growth provides opportunities to participate in this exciting new sector and we welcome ideas from across industry to support this important sector.”


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Dinosaur Economics Has No Place in a Future of Green Clean Circular and Sustainable World: University of California Divests: $13.4 Billion Endowment to Be Fossil-Free by the End of the Month


|| Wednesday: September 18: 2019 || ά. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis:IEEFA has done a short good news piece, based on The Los Angeles Times, on something wonderful happening in California. According to it, the University of California has decided to accept the reality that its funds could make the same but better money moving them into other investment assets away from fossil fuel. That’s a great deal of money: $13.4 billion from one University.

The world hopes that other educational institutions across the US and the rest of the world follow this inspirational reality: no one needs to keep their funds locked into something, that does so much harm to the earth and the ecology and web of life.

It is well beyond time that all this gigantic amount of money, invested in this dangerous harm, the entire range of fossil fuels and coals, across the world is divested and moved away and reinvested into clean, green, circular and sustainable economic and financial assets.

The world and world humanity have no other choice to turn away from these dangerous and devastating ways of doing business, trade and commerce. It is time to act and to do so wisely, prudently and pragmatically with a moral force, choice and vigour, for we can not keep on chopping at ourselves and expect and wish that, somehow, we will be saved from harm: harms shall happen to us because it is our very own selves, to which we are doing the self-harming chopping. We have no time to waste: time to get on the path of clean, green, circular and sustainable economics. Today.:::ω.

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Mongolia: Growth Has Been Robust the Fiscal Balance Has Improved and Gross Reserves Have Increased: But Remains Vulnerable to External Shocks




|| Wednesday: September 18: 2019 || ά. The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund:IMF has concluded the Article IV consultation with Mongolia, in which the Agency said that Mongolia’s economy has recovered vigorously from the recent downturn. Economy growth accelerated to 08.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019, over fiscal balance turned into surplus in 2018 and gross international reserves have increased by $02.5 billion since 2016.

The recovery stems from a stronger policy framework, significant official financing and a rebound in external demand. Notwithstanding the progress, Mongolia remains vulnerable to external shocks, given its high debt levels and the economy’s dependence on mineral exports. Structural reforms progressed in several key areas: the budget process is more resilient to political pressure and quasi-fiscal activities were curtailed.

To achieve sustainable and inclusive growth, it is necessary to advance the current reform efforts by strengthening the rule-based fiscal policy framework, ensuring financial sector soundness and improving governance.

Economic outlook remains strong, despite some headwinds. Growth is expected to remain above 06.5 percent in 2019 and moderate to around five to six percent over the medium term. The primary headwinds are weaker export growth and slower credit growth. Partially off-setting these headwinds, fiscal policy is expected to loosen in 2019 and 2020 relative to the six percent primary surplus seen in 2018.

The moderation in growth will contribute to a reduction in the double-digit current account deficit and allow inflation to converge toward the target of eight percent. Projected strong FDI and improving current accounts will support further reserve accumulation but, the trend will likely be reversed from 2021 onward due to looser domestic policies, the end of large-scale concessional financing from donors, and continued reluctance to allow exchange rate flexibility.

Risks are tilted towards the downside in the near-term. Shocks to mineral demand can lead to sharp fall in exports, weakening growth outlook and fiscal accounts. A slowdown in growth could trigger financial instability given still inadequate capital buffers at some banks and over-indebted households. Current fiscal and external buffers are still inadequate in the event downside risks materialize. On the upside, successful completion of the OT investment and key infrastructure projects could boost investor confidence, improve productivity, and attract FDI on new mining projects.

In its assessment the Executive Board welcomed Mongolia’s economic recovery underpinned by the Fund-supported program. Growth has been robust, the fiscal balance has improved, and gross reserves have increased. However, Directors noted that the economy remains vulnerable to external shocks with still high debt and exposures to shifts in commodity demand. They emphasised the need for continued strong commitment to sound macroeconomic policies to increase buffers, reduce vulnerabilities, and achieve high, inclusive, and green growth. Directors encouraged the authorities to take measures to complete financial sector reforms to enable the completion of the sixth review of the EFF-supported programme.


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UK Local Authority Response to the Climate Emergency: A Framework for Action in London: November 20



|| Wednesday: September 18: 2019 || ά. More than half of the UK’s local authorities have now declared that we are facing a climate emergency, making this one of the fastest growing environmental movements in recent history. Practical measures to move beyond climate emergency declaration to a climate emergency response. Carbon Trust is hosting this Event at Dorset House in London on Wednesday, November 20, 09:30-13:30.

This Event is, primarily, intended for local authorities but, also, open to the wider UK public sector audience. It is free for the public sector. With the UK’s new legally binding net zero target, local authorities now have a real opportunity to take the lead on carbon emissions reduction.

They can only do this by treating it as an urgent strategic priority, translating the declaration of climate emergency into a tangible and practical emergency response.

The aim of this interactive workshop is to discuss how local authorities can move from climate emergency declaration to action.  The Event will outline the Carbon Trust’s framework for action on climate change mitigation and adaptation at the local level.

The session will deep dive into some of the key aspects of developing a Climate Action Plan, both for the local authority estate and the wider geographic area, that they represent. The session will, also, provide attendees with the opportunity to network, share experiences and best practice.


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City of Helsinki Launches Local Sustainability Programme in Response to Citizen Concern About Climate Change




|| Sunday: September 15: 2019 || ά. Cities house more than half of the world’s population and are responsible for over 70 per cent of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions. The City of Helsinki recognises that cities are at the forefront of combating climate change and implementing innovative policies. The City is aware of the need of systemic change in habits and the programme is the latest initiative to support its 2035 carbon neutral target.

In developing Think Sustainably, The City has recognised the unique role, that cities play in creating solutions to enable change in everyday lifestyles to address the global climate crisis. The Think Sustainably service empowers residents and visitors to make informed daily choices, rating the Finnish capital’s restaurants, attractions, shops and accommodation against bespoke sustainability criteria. According to a Survey, carried out by the City of Helsinki in 2018, two thirds of residents identified the climate crisis as their major concern when thinking about the future of the city.  

In response, Helsinki has launched Think Sustainably, the world’s first online service, that enables making sustainable choices as easy. Think Sustainably provides residents, visitors and business owners with practical tools to rethink their daily behaviour and make more sustainable lifestyle and business decisions.

Services filtered through the online programme include restaurants, shops, events, experiences and accommodation, each benchmarked against tailor-made criteria developed by the City of Helsinki in collaboration with the independent think tank Demos Helsinki, local interest groups and sustainability experts.

The service, also, includes a route planner feature, that enables choosing emission-free transportation options to the wide variety of experiences on offer in the city. The route planner provides CO2 emissions in grams per person per trip. Currently gathering feedback from users, the Think Sustainably service is publicly available with plans to roll the programme out further and review its impact in 2020.

Ms Kaisa-Reeta Koskinen, the Director of the City of Helsinki’s Carbon Neutral Helsinki Initiative, said, “The shift towards carbon neutrality requires both major structural changes and everyday actions. Individual choices matter: According to recent studies, in order to   stop further climate warming, every Finn should reduce their carbon footprint from 10.3 tonnes to 02.5 tonnes by the year 2030.

If, one person in each of the 02.6 million households existing in Finland would reduce their carbon footprint by 20 per cent, we would reach 38 per cent of the goals set for Finland in the Paris climate agreement for reducing emissions.”

The process of developing the Think Sustainably service included researching the most significant factors of ecological sustainability related to different service categories. These dealt mostly with greenhouse emissions caused by energy production, the impacts of mobility and food, waste management, factors related to circular economy, protecting biodiversity, accessibility, and employment and preventing discrimination.

The criteria encourage all the service providers to improve their action towards a sustainable way of operating and has already resulted in several service providers making changes, such as, switching energy and heating contracts to more environmentally friendly options.

The aim of the criteria was, also, to be accessible to many different types of service providers because the City of Helsinki believes that everyone should have the opportunity to be part of a bigger wave of change.

Ms Tia Hallanoro, the Director of Brand Communications and Digital Development at Helsinki Marketing, said, “Locals in Helsinki are very concerned about climate crisis, over two thirds of us think it’s the most worrying thing affecting our future. Many feel frustrated that there’s nothing they can do to stop it. There’s a great demand for the frustration to be channelled into something productive that allows us to rethink our lifestyle and consumer patterns. As a service, Think Sustainably gives you concrete tools for that. We certainly need everybody on board.”

In June 2019, Helsinki was crowned as the most innovative region in the EU by the European Commission and is a European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019. The City is the first European city and, the second globally, after New York, to report voluntarily to the UN on its implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and leads the way in experimenting with sustainable policies and initiatives.

In addition to offering emission-free public transport options throughout the centre of the city, Helsinki is home to Flow Festival, one of the world’s leading carbon neutral music festivals; the Nordic region’s first zero waste restaurant Nolla and non-profit foundation Compensate which was established to fight climate change by using compensation payments to donate towards international carbon sink projects.

Ms Laura Aalto, CEO at Helsinki Marketing, said, “Helsinki is the perfect test-bed for solutions that can later be scaled-up for the world’s megacities. Operating like a city-scale laboratory, Helsinki is eager to experiment with policies and initiatives that would not be possible elsewhere. The City is able to effect change in this way because of its compact size, well-functioning infrastructure and well-developed knowledge-economy cluster. Helsinki is not finished developing its sustainable policies but is ready to make systematic efforts, both big and small, which work towards achieving a more sustainable world, we hope that others can also learn from our experiments.”

The version of Think Sustainably launched in June 2019 is a pilot service and for now includes 81 participating service providers. The programme will be further developed to include a larger range of sustainable choices from restaurants to mobility.

Helsinki Marketing is a company owned by the City of Helsinki. It is responsible for operative city marketing and business partnerships for Helsinki. Helsinki Marketing interacts with local residents, visitors, decision-makers and experts.


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U.S Is Expected to Install a Record 14.6GW of Wind Capacity in 2020



|| Friday: September 13: 2019 || ά. The U.S wind market will add a record 14.6GW of capacity in 2020 but major bottlenecks in both logistics and interconnection mean another 08.1GW will either not qualify for the federal production tax credit:PTC at full value or be cancelled, according to the latest research by Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables.

Developers are rushing to complete projects by the end of next year to qualify for 100% PTC or, $24:MWh for electricity sent to the grid over their first decade of operation. The bottlenecks, however, are delaying the amount and timing of wind capacity, that will come online.

Wood Mackenzie’s forecast assumes 06.6GW of projects scheduled for 2020 will not reach completion by the end of this year but will connect to the grid in 2021. In the Report, it estimates that, roughly, 01.5GW of additional capacity will be cancelled outright, typically, ahead of project construction beginning, with any attached off-takers likely choosing solar PV resources for subsequent PPAs to replace the lost generation.

“Although, the PTC phase-out schedule has been in place since 2015, eventual off-takers were slow to act on procuring new capacity, yielding relatively subdued installation totals in 2017 and 2018.” said Mr Anthony Logan, Senior Analyst and Lead Author of the Report. He added that deals with virtually every off-taker category have increased dramatically in the last six to 12 months.

Wood Mackenzie forecasts the U.S will add 12.3GW of wind power in 2021, before bottoming out at 05.9GW in 2024. The 2021 forecast would be the third highest for any year in the U.S, surpassed only by the 2020 forecast and 13.1GW in 2012.

Solar PV, which benefits from the 30% solar Investment Tax Credit:ITC, is beginning to compete with on-shore wind on cost. While, also, phasing down starting in 2020, the ITC will settle at a permanent 10% in 2023 for utility-scale projects after the wind PTC disappears, meaning PV will, often, win out versus wind, according to Mr Logan.


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Petersham Nurseries Richmond Striving for Green So Must Every Business Commerce and Trade Organisation



|| Friday: September 13: 2019 || ά. Established 15 years ago this May, Petersham Nurseries Richmond has pioneered sustainability, since its inception, consistently striving to build on its reputation for behaving in a natural and responsible way. All business, trade and commerce agencies and organisations, including, all others ought to do the same for Global Warming and Climate Change has been wreaking havoc across the earth. Unless humanity is committed to change the way we do business and exist we stand to bring ourselves, as well as, the entire web and ecology of life on earth to extinction.

Take an example of this Nursery: what would anyone say to the people running it, if, they invest all human, creative, financial and natural resources to produce plants, only to keep them for a few months for display purposes and, then, destroy them! This would be properly called madness. Except, we are doing this kind of activities everyday. The good mobile phone is no good in few months because these phone companies are bringing new models, which they are imposing on the market! Why do people need to buy mobile phones few times a year! But this goes to show the entire ‘mindset’ of the consuming and greed culture, that capitalism has built itself around. However, we can not escape the consequences of Climate Change. Either we change and adapt or we get ourselves extinct. The choice before humanity is this terrible: it is either we must change and become clean, green, circular and sustainable or we perish from this earth, taking every beautiful thing down with our demise.  

Facing the news that every year in the UK alone, more than 10 million tonnes of food is wasted throughout the supply chain, Petersham Nurseries Twickenham has made various changes throughout 2019 to reduce their food waste and ensure that over 80% of it is recycled or disposed of by sustainable means.

Food waste: ORCA is an anaerobic food waste digestive system, that was installed in July 2019, primarily, for the disposal of restaurant plate waste. Using the same principles as the human body, the machine creates the perfect thermophilic biological environment for micro-organisms to digest food waste, turning them into a liquid, which is safe to put down the drain and, in turn, this reduces the number of vehicles having to collect rubbish from site.

Composting: For a number of years compostable waste from the kitchens has been taken routinely into the Petersham House Garden, where it is composted by its Head Gardener.  As of this year, in addition to using this compost on site in the plant nursery and owners’ garden, surplus bags are, also, being offered free of charge to the local community.

Repurposing beeswax: The Nursery Team has created a homemade furniture polish, using unfilterable beeswax from Petersham’s onsite hives, citrus skins and wasted olive oil from diners’ tables. Petersham’s Resident Beekeeper has, also, developed a beeswax film, that can be used in the kitchen, instead of clingfilm.

Donating: Surplus food is, also, taken to The Vineyard Centre, a Richmond-based community centre, that helps vulnerable individuals overcome crisis and reconnect with society.

Wine Corks: At the start of the 2019 Petersham Nurseries enrolled with Recorked, the UK’s leading natural wine cork recycling programme. All corks are donated to Recorked, which, then, resell or supply free corks to charities and schools for use in craft projects. For every cork collected, a % of their profit is donated to nominated charities.

Uniforms by Eko-Chef: Petersham’s chefs all wear jackets made from recycled bottles and waste polyester fibre. This goes to show that all it takes for us to seek to be clean, green, circular and sustainable is to change the mindset and mind frame so that we look at the way we think, the way we question and analyse, the way we do and the way we exist so that we could recraft the paradigm by which we do and exist.


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Finnvera and the European Investment Fund Signed an Agreement on EUR190 Million Financing for Finnish SMEs



|| Wednesday: September 11: 2019 || ά. Finnvera and the European Investment Fund:EIF have signed a guarantee agreement, that will provide growth-driven Finnish companies access to new loans up to EUR190 million over the next two years.

Following the signing of this agreement, Finnvera will introduce a new guarantee product for SMEs. The guarantee is intended to facilitate SMEs’ access to loans for various purposes, such as, investments, working capital and product development.

The EIF will provide a counter-guarantee to cover 50 per cent of the guarantees given by Finnvera to SMEs. It is estimated that, at least, 2,000 Finnish enterprises will benefit from the financing, made available by the agreement.

This financing is made possible due to the Guarantee, that has been provided by COSME and the European Fund for Strategic Investment:EFSI, set up under the Investment Plan for Europe or the Juncker Plan. COSME or, the programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, is designed to improve access to finance for SMEs.

The SME Guarantee Facility is an 80 per cent guarantee for SME bank loans of no more than EUR150,000, with no collateral required. This facility is intended to cater to the needs of growth-driven, profitable SMEs, that have been in operation for more than three years.   The 80-per cent guarantee, given by Finnvera, is significant for companies in the service industry, trade or IT sector, that are unable to offer adequate valuable security for banks. In addition, Finnvera does not require a self-financing share from the companies applying for the SME Guarantee.

“As stated in the Government Programme, our objective is to support the provision of a more diverse range of financing alternatives to start-ups and SMEs. The agreement between Finnvera and the European Investment Fund is, particularly, important for regional growth-driven enterprises, that lack adequate valuable security.” says Ms Katri Kulmuni, Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs. 

“The EFSI financing for Finland, approved by the European Investment Bank Group, amounts to more than EUR2 billion.  Relative to our population, this is the largest sum of all EU countries. Relative to our gross domestic product, we are in eighth place, which can be considered a good achievement.” she says.

“Growth often requires financing, and one of our key objectives is to enable the growth of Finnish SMEs. The agreement with the European Investment Fund provides growth-seeking SMEs better opportunities of getting a bank loan. Applying for our new SME guarantee is very easy: the lending bank applies for the guarantee from Finnvera, on behalf of the company.” says Mr Juuso Heinilä, the Executive Vice President at Finnvera.

About Finnvera: Finnvera provides financing for the start, growth and internationalisation of enterprises and guarantees against risks arising from exports.   Finnvera strengthens the operating potential and competitiveness of Finnish enterprises by offering loans, domestic guarantees and export credit guarantees. The risks involved in financing are shared between Finnvera and other providers of financing.

About the European Investment Bank:EIF: The European Investment Fund:EIF is part of the EIB Group. One of its key tasks is to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises across Europe by providing them access to finance. The EIF develops and offers risk and growth capital, guarantees and micro-financing instruments targeted at this specific market segment. By doing so, the EIF fosters EU objectives, notably in the field of entrepreneurship, growth, innovation, research and development andω.

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IFS Analysis: Chancellor Ends Austerity for Public Services But Risks Breaching the Current Fiscal Rules



|| Wednesday: September 04: 2019|| ά. The Chancellor Mr Sajid Javid has announced an increase in spending on public services for next year. Day to day spending on public services will grow by 04.1% or, around