COP26 in Glasgow was long heralded as the last chance for the world to come together with a plan to preserve the climate, and the world as we know it, for future generations. The conference concluded with a pact claiming to keep alive the goal of limiting temperature rises to 1.5C; a result which has been met with guarded optimism given that, at the start of the conference, the world was facing warming of at least 2.4C.
Insights: Eco & Sustainability
There’s nothing new under the sun – a brief look at historical climate change patents – Part 6: Catalytic Converters
Catalytic convertors are good for the environment. Catalytic convertors are also bad for the environment; it depends what criteria you choose to assess good and bad. One thing we know is that patent applications have been filed in this technology for more than 100 years.
There’s nothing new under the sun – a brief look at historical climate change patents – Part 5: Biofuels
Reducing humanity’s reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Biofuels such as biodiesel and bioethanol represent more sustainable alternatives to their fossil fuel counterparts: petrol and diesel. Lifecycle analysis shows that biodiesel and bioethanol also on the whole have superior environmental performance when compared with fossil fuels in areas such as global warming, fossil depletion and ozone layer depletion1. Is this technology new? Of course not.
There’s nothing new under the sun – a brief look at historical climate change patents – Part 4: Electric Vehicles
Electric cars are the headline act in modern climate change technology. Glamourous innovative rock stars like Tesla are pushing the boundaries of innovation to enable us all to lose our dependence on the internal combustion engine. When did innovation in electric vehicles start? Quite a long time ago.
There’s nothing new under the sun – a brief look at historical climate change patents – Part 3: Ocean Energy
Interest in the renewal generation of ocean energy, that is, converting energy of the ocean into useful electricity, has been lower than the interest in more mature renewable technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines. Nevertheless, as anyone who has ever been knocked over by a wave, or tried to swim against an ocean current, can attest, the ocean is a vast reservoir of energy.
There’s nothing new under the sun – a brief look at historical climate change patents – Part 2: Wind Turbines
We investigate the history of the icon of modern renewable technology, the wind turbine.
Following the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, our attention is drawn to the ten-point recommendations in the COP26 Special Report on Climate Change and Health. One of the points proposes the transition from polluting fossil fuels to renewable energy for household heating. In the UK, 14% of greenhouse gas emissions come from heating in homes, so addressing heating will play a big role in reaching the net zero goal. Recent soaring gas prices in the UK provide additional motivation to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. By decarbonising the power supply, the UK will not only address climate change and improve public health, but also protect customers from volatile fossil fuel prices.
At the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties this week, countries from around the world come together in Glasgow to debate solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. One problematic area is the world’s energy needs. Many experts see geothermal energy as an essential component in the future energy mix. Georgia Ainscow discusses this alternative source, which utilises the Earth’s internal heat.
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