Dalelorenzo's GDI Blog
12Aug/210

The Deadly Herbicide Report You Need to Read

It was 2015 when the International Agency for Research on Cancer( IARC) determined glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, as a probable human carcinogen. 1

Since then, Bayer, which in 2018 acquired Monsanto and all of their Roundup-related legal difficulties, has faced jury decisions worth a combined $2.4 billion from people who alleged that exposure to glyphosate justification their cancer, solely non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 2

In June 2020, Bayer agreed to pay between $8.8 billion and $9.1 billion to settle 125,000 Roundup disputes that have been filed, which account for about 75% of the Roundup/ cancer suits. 3 Another $1.25 billion was to be set aside by Bayer to cover future Roundup claims, but despite the settlement -- the largest in Big Pharma history -- Bayer declared no immorality. 4

Through all of the high-profile lawsuits, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency remained steadfast in the support services of glyphosate. In an assessment on glyphosate, the final draft of which was released in April 2019, the EPA felt the chemical “is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”5

It turns out, nonetheless, that a hidden EPA report from 2016 spot the opposite -- that glyphosate did appear to be linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 6

Internal EPA Report Links Glyphosate to Cancer

The freshly exhausted confidential EPA report7 was included in an flaunt by investigative reporter Sharon Lerner in The Intercept, who wrote :8

“The internal report which was marked “confidential, ” found that the four highest-quality studies' all reported hoisted threats of NHL associated with exposure to glyphosate even after controlling for other pesticide exposures’ and concluded that research studies' require indicative evidence of carcinogenic capacity between glyphosate revelation and increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.’

But the EPA never published this clear expression of concern. Instead, it subsequently exhausted the reporting of 2016 and 2017 that clearly reaped on the earlier paper -- various slice have identical wording -- but reached the opposite conclusion: that glyphosate is' not a probable carcinogen.’”

Lerner spoke with Genna Reed, a senior adviser at the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientist, who stated that the EPA cherry-picked data from the internal report. “They only employed the pieces of the meta-analysis that fit the conclusion they wanted to support ... There is obviously a need for more firewalls to prevent political interference with the science.”9

Internal Report May Support Glyphosate Proposition 65 Appeal

Not simply did the EPA continue to support glyphosate’s safety for years after the internal report disclosed evidence indicative of its carcinogenicity, but they croaked so far as to block warning labels in California when the state announced today that it missed warning labels on it within the state. 10

As background information, glyphosate was officially added to California’s Proposition 65 schedule of carcinogens in July 2017, and warning labels stating that glyphosate may cause cancer were supposed to be added to makes beginning in the summer of 2018.

The descriptions, however, were halted when Monsanto challenged the California rule in court. In February 2018, a federal referee temporarily boycotted California’s plans to add cancer warning labels on glyphosate-based makes, 11 which the EPA subsequently backed up.

Then, in August 2019, the EPA stated they will “no longer approve commodity labels claiming glyphosate is known to cause cancer, ” adding that that is “a false claim that is not encounter the labeling requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act( FIFRA ). ”1 2

In 2020, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra registered an appeal to challenge the EPA ruling, and it’s possible that the uncovered report may act in the appeal’s favor. According to Sustainable Pulse: 13

“Now, with the brand-new internal report denying EPA’s public findings -- which the Court used as the basis to not require a Prop 65 warning for glyphosate -- the request can gather the carpet out from under the assertion that there is no evidence glyphosate is a carcinogen.”

Bayer to End Residential Sales of Glyphosate

The EPA, unwavering in their endorsement of glyphosate, re-registered the chemical for another 15 years in 2020.14 Bayer, however, appears to have grown attentive after the cloudburst of lawsuits.

In July 2021, they announced they would be halting suburban sales of its glyphosate-based products in the lawn and garden grocery with “new formulations that are dependent upon alternative active ingredients starting in 2023. ”1 5 They met sure to point out that the sales will be stopped for solely litigation purposes: 16

“This move is being made alone to manage litigation risk and not because of any safety concerns. As the vast majority of claims in the prosecution come from Lawn& Garden market consumers, this action mainly eliminates the primary source of future asserts beyond an presupposed latency season. There will be no change in the availability of the company’s glyphosate formulations in the U.S. professional and agricultural markets.”

It’s a positive step in the right direction, but glyphosate will still be available for agricultural marketplaces, which becomes up a significant portion of its utilization, and going to be able be sprayed in academies, parks and other public settings.

Farmers may apply glyphosate to agricultural crops such as genetically engineered soybeans at a rate of 0.75 pounds to 1.5 pounds per acre, 17 developing serious environmental and public health concerns. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety , was contained in a news release: 18

"Bayer's decision to end U.S. residential sale of Roundup is a historic victory for public health and the environment. As agricultural, large-scale use of this toxic pesticide continues, our farmworkers remain at risk. It's time for EPA to act and restrict glyphosate for all uses."

Journalist Disinvited From Media Ag Conference

Carey Gillam, an investigative correspondent, was invited to speak at the Agriculture Media Summit in Kansas City, an occasion for agriculture and livestock novelists. With lengthy know on using data obtained via Freedom of Information Act( FOIA) seeks, Gillam was asked to do a proposal about pursuing FOIA request.

However, once her list appeared on the agenda, the sponsors -- which included Big Ag calls like Syngenta, Corteva and Koch -- pushed back and said they did not want her to speak. Gillam had recently written an article for The Guardian about Syngenta potentially misinterpreting data relating to their paraquat weedkiller. 19

Gillam is the author of "Whitewash -- The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science, " and has previously gone on record about how Monsanto tried to discredit her for writing critical cases about the company and its harmful makes. 20 In an interrogation with The Disinformation Chronicle, Gillam spoke about the significant influence of firms on the media and their role in spreading disinformation and censorship: 21

“We're seeing this more and more with corporate money at play in journalism powwows. Two years ago, I wrote about Bayer striving force within the Foreign Press Association and the Foreign Press Foundation.

I had internal documents that showed that, in exchange for very generous donations, Bayer would be involved in setting agendas for journalistic conferences and getting a say in award champions. They were going to pick what kind of stories are applauded and promoted.”

Going even deeper, internal documents from Monsanto’s “intelligence fusion center” exposed a strategic response aimed to discredit writers or anyone who they regarded a threat by bringing in third-party participates. 22 “They’ve done this to both researchers and many other journalists.

A key lesson is a front group that calls itself the American Council on Science and Health. These radicals do the dirty work so a company can show above the fray, ” Gillam said. 23

Playing' Whack a Mole’ in Disinformation Campaigns

Gillam shared three internal Monsanto documents with The Disinformation Chronicle, which detail the company’s game plan for shaping sure their narrative -- and their narrative simply -- is heard. The first, designation “Let Nothing Go, ” means that every negative news story or social media announce must be countered.

“Anywhere that anything compromising or negative about this corporation might show, they required person on their team or a third party to counter it, ” Gillam said. “This is why they needed so many different actors around the world to be constantly monitoring social media. This continues to happen.”2 4

The use of third-party participates like the American Council on Science and Health is preferable, since it removes Monsanto( or now Bayer) from those discussions, which would clearly be biased, and starts it seem as though safety commodities are coming from independent sources.

The second substantiate, “Whack a Mole, ” is a nod to “whacking down anybody who is raising any questions or concerns or pointing to any potential problems with Monsanto.”2 5 Monsanto’s so-called “stakeholder mapping project”2 6 was first uncovered in France, but Monsanto likely had various indices to track beings in countries throughout Europe.

The hit lists contained hundreds of figures and other personal information about columnists, politicians and scientists, including their sentiments about pesticides and genetic engineering. 27 Gillam justified: 28

“This is what they were doing and they secured is not simply professors, but dieticians and nutritionists. Parties who have some expert and look independent, but they're out to whack down anyone who has Monsanto doesn’t like.”

The third document references “Project Spruce, ” an internal code name for Monsanto's defense directive to protect the company against all realized threats to its business, 29 including claims that Roundup justifications cancer.

“Through Project Spruce they worked with a third party in a deep, coordinated effort to smear, disrepute and try to shut down the concerns that Roundup movements cancer, ” Gillam said. 30

Equally disturbing, she says that internal reports too expose Monsanto’s efforts to manipulate search engine optimization on Google. As an example, she said that anyone searching for information on her diary on Google would instead be directed to negative publicity affixed by the Monsanto-directed third parties. 31

Disinformation Is the New Normal

We’re living through a experience when access to independent information and science is getting increasingly more difficult to find. If you want to learn about the real health risks of herbicides like glyphosate or pesticides also is set out in the ag business, you can’t rely on Bayer or the EPA but, very, must dig beneath the surface.

It’s an inauspiciou detail but a significant one, and it applies not only to information about herbicides, fungicides and pesticides but virtually any topic of significance. Gillam knows this all too well, and she offers the following advice for anyone endeavouring the truth: 32

“If you're a book, you just have to make everything with a grain of salt and do your best to check, and double check, and triple check it. Go instantly to the source.

Look up and read research papers for yourself, and try to see if the source of information you’re relying on has some controversial ties-in that may bias the information ... This is a really frightening age of disinformation, and we all have to be very careful and prudent when we are trying to discern the truth.”

Read more: articles.mercola.com

5Aug/210

‘Measure everything’: How life cycle emissions data can catalyse a net zero built environment

'Measure everything': How life cycle emissions data can catalyse a net zero built environment

Granular analysis of life time emissions of six buildings offers clues for how carbon-intensive buildings sector can meet global climate goals

One year after finalising an innovative framework for measuring buildings' full-life cycle emissions, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has put it to the test in a major study that sets out how the building sector's extensive emissions footprint could be reduced even as construction activity ramps up around the world in the coming years.

The report, published this week by the WBCSD and engineering consultancy Arup, analyses the environmental performance of six modern building projects against the WBCSD's new Building System Carbon Framework, which calculates the emissions of a building across its full life cycle, as opposed to just operational emissions, the approach taken by most industry assessments.

The analysis of the lifecycle emissions of four office buildings in London, a residential timber tower in Amsterdam and a mixed-use building in Copenhagen, provides a unique snapshot of the industry's current performance and the barriers it must overcome to reduce its emissions in line with net zero goals. Not only do the findings highlight areas where the industry could focus its initial decarbonisation efforts, they provide tangible evidence of how building lifecycle assessments can provide a granular view detailing where decarbonisation action can and should be targeted.

The findings hammer home the case for the sector to move away from its focus on operational emissions and take a more holistic approach to environmental reporting, with the analysis confirming that emissions from the energy use in a building represents just half an average project's climate impact. Embodied carbon, generated in construction, upkeep, and end-of-life of a building project is responsible for the rest, according to the findings. A fifth of buildings' life cycle emissions is the result of maintenance and refurbishment, meaning 30 per cent is caused by the start and end of life of any given building. Moreover, 70 per cent of embodied carbon originates from just six materials.

With the built environment estimated to be responsible for 38 per cent of global emissions, and rising, the importance of forging new pathways to decarbonise building construction, operations, maintenance, and decomissioning can not be overstated. Construction is expected to rise to meet the demands of a growing global population through to 2050 and it is critical that companies and policymakers have a crystal clear understanding of the impact buildings are having on the environment if they are to have a shot at meeting global climate goals. As the old addage goes, you can't manage what you can't measure.

But as things currently stand, the industry is ill equipped to meet its decarbonisation challenge, with weak carbon accounting practices providing operators with just a partial picture of buildings' climate impacts. In a statement released yesterday to coincide with the report, the WBCSD estimated that less than one per cent of building projects around the world currently calculate and report their full carbon footprint.

Roland Hunziker, director of sustainable buildings and cities at WBSCD, argued the construction industry would need to start measuring the full carbon footprint of their assets if the world is to reach global climate targets. "The report shows that if all parties in the building value chain collaborate and focus on whole life carbon emissions reductions, we can start setting this important sector on a path towards net zero," he added.

Whole lifecycle carbon assessments should be done "as a matter of course" for new buildings, the report argues. "Measure everything, at all stages, on all projects," it urges. Without a solid body of evidence, industry players will not be able to take action to reduce embodied emissions, it notes.

"We have to consider carbon like we currently consider money," said report author Chris Carroll, building engineering director at Arup. "The idea that you would build a project and not know how much it costs financially would seem incredible."

The report authors concede that creating lifecycle assessments for buildings will not be easy, in particular for first movers, due to limited data collection and sharing by different players in the sector. The report itself is proof of this issue, with the authors revealing that pulling together the six case studies proved a difficult and time-consuming process due to a lack of appropriate and consistent data. While there are currently barriers to collecting accurate and consistent carbon intensity data for buildings from both an embodied and operational perspective, data associated with building components and materials is of "particular concern", it notes. There are similarly long-standing concerns across the industry around the so-called 'performance gap' where buildings result in higher levels of energy use and emissions than expected once they are in operation, which requires sustained data collection after the building has been completed to track and address.

As such, the report's authors argues that players across the built environment sector must work together to plug data gaps and increase data creation and sharing related to both building materials and energy use.

"The industry currently doesn't know where it stands when it comes to carbon emissions, making it difficult to set meaningful targets and drive progress," Caroll warned. "We must see more data sharing, more collaboration and transparency to be able to achieve the decarbonisation that the world demands of us in the next few decades."  

Despite the considerable challenges facing the built environment over the coming years, the WBCSD and Arup remain positive about the sector's potential to abate its enormous carbon footprint. It is possible for the building sector to halve its embodied and operational carbon by 2030, it contends, providing relevant carbon data is "systematically" collected, shared, and then utilised at the beginning of a project.

This data collection drive should be complemented by firm targets for emission reduction for the sector, it notes. The WBCSD has nominally endorsed the World Green Business Council's 2030 emissions reduction targets, which calls for all new buildings, infrastructure, and renovations to have at least 40 per cent less embodied carbon and all new buildings to have net zero operational emissions. However, the study argues the baseline for the target needs to be made more explicit and notes that there is potential for the goals to be refined on a region by region and building category basis.

Simple global targets for emissions reduction for the buildings industry will incentivise the construction sector to quickly adopt new ways of designing efficient buildings with sustainable resources, the report notes. Headline targets should also encourage universal measurement of carbon emissions and allow industry players to plot their short and long-term priorities for reducing them, it adds.

Elsewhere the report calls for green building organisations to sharpen up the definition of a 'net zero building' and clarify the rules around carbon offsetting in the building sector. The six case studies highlight how offsetting will have to play a role for the majority of buildings that claim to be net zero, and so a framework must be made to introduced to ensure emissions reduction projects are robust and valid, it notes.

Despite the small sample size of the six projects studied, and their relatively similar geographies, Arup and WBCSD insist the findings provide an "indicative picture" of the challenges the building sector faces around the world, and the UK government would do well to explore the report's conclusions as it finalises the long-awaited Building and Heat Strategy. At any rate, the message is clear: an intense data collection drive for building emissions needs to start now to give the sector - and by extension, the planet - a shot at capping global temperature rise at a safe levels. Data collection and entry may not be sexy, but it could potentially be world saving.

If you want to find out more about every aspect of the net zero transition and what it means for your organisation you can now register for a free pass to this year's Net Zero Festival.

Read more: businessgreen.com

18Jul/210

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14Jul/210

‘Net zero doesn’t solve the problem’: Five key lessons from the CCC’s climate risk assessment

'Net zero doesn't solve the problem': Five key lessons from the CCC's climate risk assessment

There are many urgent takeaways from the Climate Change Committee's striking UK environment preparedness rating - here are the top five

Every five years the Climate Change Committee( CCC) attends a root-and-branch review of the UK's preparedness for intensify climate bangs, such as heatwaves, avalanches, commotions, shortages, coastal erosion, and their threats to public health, food insurance, power supplies, homes, departments, and infrastructure.

And every five years, the letter has been clear: the UK is woefully unprepared for all of these risks, and the frequency and harshnes of these threats is exclusively growing.

To no one's surprise that was the conclusion of the CCC's latest rating today, a 1,500 -page review, which sets out the austere and inevitable affects from climate change impacts that the UK is already facing, and does not hold back in criticising the authorities concerned for its failure to take these threats dangerously in its policymaking and public messaging. "This needs to change, " the CCC said.

It is arguably the most openly critical the CCC has ever been of the government, but from glancing through today's report - and the myriad challenges, forks, economic opportunities, and costs of inaction it sets out - it is easy why the resentment is building at the advisory body.

The UK is clearly lag mischievously in its preparations for the inevitable impacts of rising temperatures, and the report contains numerous important tasks for anyone with even a uncertain interest in tackling climate change impacts and driving the net zero transition( i.e. everyone ), but most immediately for all levels of government and all sizes of business. Here are some of the top takeaways.

1. Damaging climate significances are inevitable, went and here today

Far too often, climate change is still thought of by many as a problem primarily mischief other more vulnerable parts of the world, which will certify itself at some undetermined quality in the future. But today's CCC report is a striking compendium of data and analysis that should in all rights throw that argument of supposing to bed once and for all.

The UK is already facing significant impact from rising temperatures: increasingly serious fills are leading to billions of pounds worth of damage each year; heatwaves are slapping millions of pounds more off the country's previously sluggish productivity; and sea, strength, and food supplies are under increasing menace. To make just one of the many specimen listed in the report, there are at present an up to 50 per cent chance of a major, prolonged heatwave pas every summer in the UK. Not simply are these threats and many more getting worse as temperatures rise, they are inevitable, given the emissions the world has already liberated. Yet efforts to adapt to the changing climate and be enhanced resilience are not keeping with the growing threats, according to the CCC.

So urgent are these threats, in fact, that the CCC is calling on the government to immediately address eight priority risk areas "at the latest in the next two years". Indeed, 60 per cent of the risks and opportunities assessed in the report have been given the highest urgency score. These include risks to soil state from increased submerge and shortage, jeopardies to natural carbon stores and sequestration from variou lucks that could be used to lead to increased CO2 emissions, threats to health from overheated the house and builds, wildfires - particularly in the rapidly heating south of England - and threats to food supplies and vital assistances due to climate-related supply series collapse.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution either, it alarms. Constituents of the south of the UK are expected to get far hotter more frequently, while some regions are expected to see more extreme cold and others are set to face shortages and increased avalanche jeopardies. The result? More hot and cold-related extinctions, increasing failings to power supplies and other key infrastructure assets, reductions in the value of wheat and other menu exports, millions of brand-new subsidence declarations - the schedule goes on and on.

The extent of the atmosphere impacts once baked-in to 2050 is "shocking", according to CCC chief executive Chris Stark. "This is a real thing now , not some concern for the future, " he emphasised. "It really has to be factored into the planning for the kind of economy and society that we want to have."

Drier summertimes, wetter wintertimes, higher oceans: this is a crisis in urgent need of both national leadership and regional planning.

2. The government is not taking climate resilience seriously fairly

It is difficult to recall the CCC being quite as overtly critical of the government than on the issue of climate adaptation and resilience. Frustration at the inaction on this critical issue has clearly been building - two years' ago CCC chair Lord Deben likened the government's preparedness for climate bangs to that of the hapless references in the BBC sitcom Dad's Army.

But today, on top of once again calling for action, the CCC has ramped up the rhetoric further. For one, the report lists a number of specific areas of government policy failure. So we speak that there was no mention of change and resilience in the UK's recently revised Nationally Judged Contribution( NDC) to the Paris Agreement, which viewed the UK adopt a 68 per cent of cases decarbonisation target for 2030. Neither was there any consideration of these climate menaces and their implications in the Future Homes Standard consultation, the 2017 Industrial Strategy, Parliament's pioneering Climate Assembly initiative, or the doomed Green Homes Grant scheme. But perhaps most egregiously , not even the fiercely seen review of the costs of delivering the UK's 2050 net zero target currently being developed by the Treasury is expected to incorporate any assessment of the costs and benefits of environment adaptation.

In short, consolidation of atmosphere adjustment is broadly absent from almost all the government's flagship climate programmes. Why? Stark reasons that resilience and adaptation assessments are pictured by politicians as less-glamorous cousins to provoking net zero missions and clean tech assets, while the long-term planning expected fell outside conventional ballot hertzs, leading to limited political persuade for the government to act. But as the failure to take seriously the threat and requisite of resilience prepare the way for pandemics has been demonstrated, it is critical these risk kindness are treated as a priority.

"There is a wilful distaste to factor some of the issues here into policymaking, and I think we have to accept that the government is not as focused on this as it should be, " Stark said. "So we're emphatically trying to throw open some of these issues by putting more focus on the changes that come ahead, so that they feel more political heat for that. It's important - that is part of the process of acquiring better plan in this country."

3. Net zero is unachievable without environment change

The wide-ranging poking of the CCC's report is to stress that improving the resilience of the UK to existing and growing climate impacts should not play second fiddle in climate policy, but that it is of equal usefulnes to the urgent need to reduce greenhouse emissions.

That is because regardless of whether the UK contacts net zero radiations by 2050 or not, myriad and costly impacts of rising temperatures are still going to occur, and surely are already starting to happen. And that is assuming the world can move on to a 2C global warming pathway. If the global economy stays on track for 3C of warming or worse, then climate resilience values become even more important. Moreover, the failure to adapt threatens to derail the UK's chances of achieving its net zero and sort destinations by leading to increased emissions.

So-called nature-based solutions to climate change - harnessing trees, clays, and seagrass to such up carbon - are very much in vogue at the moment, and are increasingly being looked at by fellowships seeking to offset their own radiations while boosting biodiversity. These numerous negative radiations solutions are also key to the UK's overarching net zero strategy - by 2050 some 80 megatonnes of CO2 sequestration is likely to be needed either directly or indirectly from mood, such as through trees or even bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, according to the CCC. Yet as today's report makes clear, the changing climate threatens to inflict significant damage to these natural assets in the UK, potentially eroding their capabilities as carbon sinks.

To take merely one example, UK peatlands are currently "liable to collapse" due to rising hot and drought, according to the CCC's is chairman of modification Kathryn Brown. Today only five per cent of upland peat in the UK is in good condition, and the government has committed to restore another five per cent, yet 100 per cent of the members of these peat fields need restoring by 2045 to stumble climate targets, she excused. It is a task that becomes even more challenging as temperatures increase.

Stark's message was, well, stark. "We cannot expect quality to mop up all that carbon if it's very dry for the trees to grow. We need to think about the various kinds of net zero economy we're going to have in the future, and we need to build in extra resilience to climate change impacts, " he said. "We will flunk on net zero, and we will fail to improve the environment overall if we don't factor in the changes in the atmosphere that are coming by 2050. "

4. Covid-1 9 stress the importance of atmosphere change

Of course, one would hope PPE dearths, recurred omissions to take early action to control margins and foist social regulations, and the inability to provide clear world counseling on how best to minimise the risk presented by Covid-1 9, would offer bountiful enough evidence of the importance of planning and lotion. And as many have pointed out, the long term threats to public health and the economy are even greater from climate change than they are from coronavirus, preparing the need to bolster resilience self-evident. As a brand-new report today from credit ratings giant Moody's today spotlit, 12 world-wide areas carrying a total of $2.1 tr of indebtednes face high-pitched or very high natural capital peril, while a further 16 areas accounting for $8.3 tr in debt face moderate exposure to intensify natural capital-related risks.

But as well as hoping political and business leaders take greater heed of the need to plan ahead, the pandemic has also come about a number of crucial changes to our lives that require consideration when it is necessary to atmosphere adaptation.

Most clearly, since millions of workers in the UK were forced to carry out their jobs from dwelling where possible, the public has been anticipating with the inadequacy of their dwellings when facing very hot and very cold temperatures. The climate resilience of our homes was already a growing problem for the UK's notoriously inefficient and climate-vulnerable housing stock pre-pandemic, but with adaptable and hybrid working now likely to become the norm for many in future, it further underscores the need for resilience-focused retrofits to existing houses and proper adaptation projecting during the development of brand-new homes and infrastructure.

The CCC's report contains some startling data on the fatigues of the UK's current building stock. During 2010 's heatwave, the loss in productivity that ensued is estimated to have cost the UK PS7 70 m. And while in 2019 simply five per cent of people succeeded exclusively from home - which are often more inadequately kitted-out for dealing with extreme heat than offices - that figure has been closer to 30 per cent at times in the last year. Moreover, during last year's heatwave, there were an estimated 2,500 heat-related deaths in England, greater than at any time since records had been launched in 2003.

Clearly the fiscal and health benefits of addressing this problem are significant. What is needed to fix the problem, then, is better building regulations and planning, to ensure existing dwellings are provided with adequate colors from urban trees, for example, and that the 300,000 brand-new dwellings the government wants to build every year are not situated on flood plains and are properly prepared for both freezing and red-hot temperatures, according to the CCC.

"We've built over half a million homes since the last Climate Change Risk Assessment that were not adapted to the kind of higher temperatures that we will see in the future - poor ventilation , no screens and windows, for example, " clarified Stark. "That means that all of those homes face a costly retrofit. That kind of cost is unnecessary. So we need to be planning that from the off."

5. The benefits of action outweigh the costs

The CCC's report makes a pretty good gash at gauge the costs of continued inaction on climate resilience, as well as the costs and benefits of taking action to address these escalating hazards. Yet still, there remains quite a large number of jeopardies and opportunities relating to climate adaptation for which the CCC said it did not have enough data to offer clear reckons, further highlighting the challenge in addressing the problem.

Even so, for those risks it was able to analyse, the CCC procured the public and economic benefits of investing rapidly to boost climate resilience and adaptation outweighed the upfront costs - and certainly the catastrophic costs of inaction. The number of high-cost threats that are likely to exces PS1bn could triple with simply 2C of warming, before climbing still further if the world remains on track to outperform the temperature the specific objectives of the Paris Agreement, according to the CCC.

What is needed now is a plan to fund these efforts, such as by unlocking financing from the private sector organizations through 'resilience bonds', ensuring environment resilience is a major factor in shaping the government's strategy new environmental land use planning remittances regime, and establishing new partnerships to accelerate the development of flood defence systems, the report suggests.

Not exclusively is boosting resilience "essential" for the future of the UK economy, but it is almost always a no-brainer, win-win investment, according to CCC adaptation committee chair Baroness Brown. "It's perfectly illogical that we are not doing it, " she said. "The challenge we have with adaptation is it's easy to put over. Now, we're talking about doing things that will make a big difference in 10, 20 or 30 years' age, and which - if we take action now - we know it's less costly than waiting for him the situation to get worse."

Almost every facet of UK society is on the cusp of unprecedented change as the net zero transition amass pace. But perhaps too often, these are viewed as fiscal switchings, while the huge changes to the climate that are now inevitable are remain poorly understood. But as the CCC's report makes clear today, these two issues - atmosphere impacts and the net zero transition - are inseparable. Should the UK, and indeed the world countries, fail to meet the challenges of one, it will flunk at the other too.

Read more: businessgreen.com

10Jul/210

Gurugram most suitable city to live in the Covid-era, says Square Yards’ Suitability Index report

Gurugram-based integrated real estate startup Square Yards has exhausted a Covid Suitability Index report on Friday.

According to the report titled “Suitability Index: The COVID Perspective”, Gurugram is the most suitable city to live from a Covid perspective as compared to Mumbai and Bengaluru.

The report uses the four prime parts - Population Density, Covid Infected Cases, Hospital Infrastructure and the Open Areas Ratio - and the COVID status to ascertain the suitability of these cities.

The East zone in Gurugram, the Western and Central neighbourhoods in Mumbai and Mahadevapura zone in Bengaluru were found to be the most suitable to live from a Covid perspective.Square Yards

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The second billow of the coronavirus pandemic overwhelmed the country's healthcare infrastructure like ever been. Both Mumbai and Bengaluru had only 1.3 and 0.30 Covid hospices accessible respectively per 10,000 parties, as per the report, while Gurugram outshone both with 2.5 infirmaries per 10,000 people.

Contrary to common notion, the report suggests that Mumbai has the highest open arena fraction among the three metropolis at 45 percent. Mumbai is also the most densely populated at 60,000 people/ sq km while Gurugram had the lowest population density at 4,200 people/ sq km.

The COVID-suitability heat map for each metropoli has indicated that across all cities, suitability increased as parties moved away from the city centres and older parts of the city towards most peripheral places.

Not simply are these cities the top real estate ends in the country but were also some of the top metropolitans to be severely hit by Covid. This is where the relevance of a Suitability Index kicks in.

The need for one’s own' home’ has gained an all-new dimension since 2020, the report says, due to the changes brought in by the pandemic. This study is to try to at impelling the home-buying process in the Covid era slightly more pragmatic.

It spotlights sure-fire meaningful parts that today's end users need to acknowledge while deciding to buy the right home in a pandemic like situation. These include factors such as population density, open area ratio and hospital infrastructure that could be of far more importance than distance from toil or affordability when deciding where you live under the current scenario.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

Read more: yourstory.com

22May/210

‘The sky’s the limit’: How ‘cheap, abundant’ renewables could boot fossil fuels from the electricity sector by mid-2030s

'The sky's the limit': How 'cheap, abundant' renewables could boot fossil fuels from the electricity sector by mid-2030s

Carbon Tracker study detects solar and wind power potential is 100 seasons as much as world vitality necessitate

Solar and wind power could propagandize fossil fuels out of the electricity sector by the mid-2 030 s and out of the energy supply system altogether by 2050, as clean-living energy costs continue to plummet and governments pursue programs designed to ditch fossil fuels for inexpensive, home-grown renewables.

That is the compelling conclusion of a new analysis from the Carbon Tracker think tank, which today argues that startling decline in the cost of solar and wind power over the last three years has unlocked a huge energy reserve that could encounter global exertion request 100 seasons over.

The report, entitled The Sky's The Limit, bickers the present renewables grocery has only scratched the surface of total renewable funds, with merely 0.01 per cent of cases of solar and 0.16 per cent of cases of breath possible tapped thus far. It calculates the world's attainable reserves of solar and wind power stand at 5,800 petawatt hours( PWh) and 900 PWh yearly, using current scavenge intensity engineerings, figures that dwarf the 65 PWh used by the world-wide power arrangement in 2019.

As such, the specialists predict exponential expansion for the solar and wind power areas , noting that "humans specialise in extracting cheap energy, and fast".

The business and energy opportunity presented by clean energy development is significantly larger than that of fossil fuels distillation and yield, the analysis calculates, including there is potential to generate more solar power in one year than could be generated from burning all known fossil fuel reserves.

Harry Benham, report co-author and chairman of think tank Ember-Climate, highlighted the fact that merely a fraction of the world's substantial renewable resources required to be sounded to oust fossil fuel power. "The world does not need to exploit its part renewable resource -- really one per cent is enough to replace all fossil fuel usage, " he said. "Each year we are fuelling the climate crisis by burning three million years of fossilised sunshine in coal, oil and gas while we use simply 0.01 per cent of cases of daily sunshine."

The proportion of the world's solar and wind resources that are more economically competitive than fossil fuels is growing as renewable rates continue to decline, review reports indicates. Roughly 60 per cent of the world's solar resource and 15 per cent of the members of its jazz source is currently economically competitive compared to fossil fuels, and the report projects that by 2030 100 per cent of solar asset and 50 per cent of gust source could weaken fossil fuels.

"The fossil fuel era is over, " the report states. "The fossil fuel industry cannot compete with the technology learning arcs of renewables, so necessitate will surely precipitate as solar and gale continue to grow. At the present 15 to 20 per cent growth rates of solar and breeze, fossil fuels will be propagandized out of the electricity area by the mid-2 030 s and out of total energy supply by 2050. "

The report categorises countries into four key groups based on their potential to harness solar and wind sources relative to their domestic consumption and concludes that Africa is a "renewables superpower" due to its vast solar possible and relatively low energy demand.

However, while most countries in sub-Saharan Africa have renewable energy potential 1,000 times greater than energy demand, Japan, South Korea, and many countries in Europe have possible that is lower than 10 eras current requirement, review reports determines. As such, it advises these nations face "touch political choices" about how to sounds their renewable resource more effectively over the years ahead.

The UK is placed in the "replete" category, with the researchers calculating it has technological renewables possible this is only over 10 hours demand.

"We are entering a new date, comparable to the industrial revolt, " Carbon Tracker energy strategist and contribute generator Kingsmill Bond said. "Energy will collapse in price and become available to millions more, particularly in low-income countries. Geopolitics will be changed as societies are freed from expensive imports of coal, oil and gas. Clean renewables will crusade catastrophic climate change impacts and free the planet from deadly pollution."

Any analysis about the planet's immense potential renewables ability surely invites cautions about the reliability of a grid that is reliant on 100 per cent renewables and the land use impact of increasing solar and wind capacity by an order of magnitude. But the report argues that the rise of the offshore wind industry and rapid improvements in solar efficiency mean that "land is no constraint" to the development of renewables. The moor for solar power alone to satisfy world-wide exertion request - nearly 450,000 kilometres squared, or 0.3 per cent of all territory - is smaller than the footprint of fossil fuels today, it calculates. Meanwhile, there is growing confidence across much of the vigor manufacture that a combination of fast-maturing energy storage technologies, light-green hydrogen, and adaptable grid organisations could enable renewables-dominated grids.

The challenge of retiring the fossil fuel industry in the room of a few cases decades remains daunting in the extreme, but as Carbon Tracker's latest report highlights the energy industry's fundamental economics are only moving in one direction.

Read more: businessgreen.com

3May/210

Amazon reportedly tried to force Ecobee into sharing user data

Ecobee has been asked to share "proactive state" data, even when users aren't using the Alexa command.

What you need to know

A new report from The Wall Street Journal claims Amazon tried to use its power to put pressure on Ecobee to collect private user data.
Ecobee decided against complying with the demand as doing so would violate customer privacy.
The Canadian company also worried that Amazon could use the data from its users to create competing products.

Amazon leveraged its dominance to put pressure on Canadian smart thermostat maker Ecobee to share data from its devices, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. The report claims Amazon asked Ecobee to serve data from its Alexa-enabled devices even when customers weren't using them.

Ecobee apparently refused to share data with the tech giant, fearing that complying with the demand would violate the privacy of its customers. The company also worried that Amazon might use the data to build products to rival its best smart thermostats. It was revealed last year that Amazon used third-party seller data to develop rival products using its Amazon Basics brand.

Apart from Ecobee, Amazon is said to have asked a few other Alexa-enabled-device sellers to provide "proactive state" data, which would give the tech giant access to information such as the temperature of a user's home and which doors were locked or unlocked.

An Amazon spokesman, Jack Evans, told the WSJ that the company uses the proactive-state data only to "improve the customer experience and make better recommendations." He added that customers are informed that their data will be shared with Amazon when they link their accounts.

While the report says the two companies are still negotiating, Amazon had told Ecobee that it might not be able to continue selling its products on Amazon's retail platform if it refused to provide the data. The retail giant also threatened to not retain Alexa certification on future Ecobee models.

Read more: androidcentral.com

16Apr/210

“What’s a Good Conversion Rate for My Landing Page?” [Conversion Benchmark Report 2021]

You might’ve noticed that 2020 was an interesting year for sell.( Yeah, that’s the word for it. Interesting .)

For some purveyors, the effects of a global state crisis felt( and continue to feel) insurmountable.

For others, the pandemic encouraged creative thinking to take advantage of new opportunities. There are even a lucky few marketers who just noticed it--at least in terms of their shifts. And an even luckier few benefited instantly.( That elusive product-market fit time kinda slogs itself out when you’re peddling business informal pajamas .)

The truth, though, is that the gulf between top-performing digital marketing campaigns and the rest of the pack has never been wider. Wherever you land on this spectrum, the pandemic shake-up means that the race you face is fiercer than ever before. The more successful businesses in your industry aren’t sitting on their hands in 2021 -- they’re looking for ways to give themselves an advantage in the post-COVID world and edge out their entrants.

And that’s why it’s never been more important to ask yourself this question 😛 TAGEND

“What’s a good, bad, or average changeover proportion for my arrival pages? ”

How do your pages stack up against the competitor? How do "youre staying" the captain, or reducing disparities between yourselves and the best performers? And how has the digital sell terrain changed between the simpler daytimes of 2019 and today?

That’s where industry standards come in--and that’s why we’re thrilled to bring you a fresh( and free) Conversion Benchmark Report for 2021. It facilitates answer all these questions and more.

Introducing the 2021 Conversion Benchmark Report

This year’s Conversion Benchmark Report utilizes machine learning to analyze more than 33 million alterations across 44 thousand Unbounce-built landing pages. In words of sample size, we analyzed more visits to these bring sheets than the populations of Canada, Hong kong residents, France, Mexico, Laos, and Ireland compounded.

You’ll find median conversion proportions broken down to 16 key industries.

In many cases, we’ve got wide enough sample sizes to sort them into subcategories more, so you can see how your brother’s pest control service meters up against your sister’s HVAC company.( Or how your uncle’s cybersecurity software proselytizes against your huge aunt’s cloud statement platform. Quite their own families you have .)

Why do we report on median instead of average( planned )? Our goal is to provide you with a realistic picture of where you stand, so this year’s report rosters median conversion rates as our measure of central predisposition instead of the planned. We concluded this reduces the impact of outliers( like sheets that alter five times better than the rest) on the final benchmarks.

Benchmarks can energize your post-pandemic rebound strategy in four large-scale styles 😛 TAGEND

They’re a kind of competitive knowledge. They help you determine gaps between your performance and what the rest of your industry considers to be a good conversion rate. Paired with AI, they let us deliver actionable insights you can apply today. The data doesn’t time show how you’re accomplishing, it can be the starting point of finding out why--and then realizing smart-alecky changes.They discover data-supported best practices, and you’ll waste little hour and traffic testing unproven optimizations that our machine learning analysis shows don’t undoubtedly operate. They help you build a culture of endless improvement in your organization. It’s harder for your team to be happy with “just okay” if they’re seeing something to strive for.

Let’s rundown some of the deeper insights, how we got' em, and how you can apply them.( If you’ve got an itchy mouse-finger, you are eligible to rush right into the Conversion Benchmark Report now. It’ll open in a new invoice .)

Conversion Intelligence Insights: Beyond the Benchmarks

Benchmarks are tremendously helpful, for all the reasons we just talked about.( If you work for an agency, you already know this. They’re a baller method of demonstrate the value of what you do--and facilitating consumers determine their genuine alteration capability .)

Beyond industry averages, though, the Conversion Benchmark Report contains dozens of data-backed insights that you can use to build variants and improve your alteration charges. Using A/ B testing or--much easier, if you’re short on time or traffic--Unbounce’s Smart Traffic, you are eligible to have variances operating today based upon understands in the report.

Start by exploring review reports, improved some variants, automatically optimize' em exploiting AI-powered implements like Smart Traffic, learn brand-new things about what’s working, then rinse and repeat. That’s the formula for an approach to commerce we’re calling conversion intelligence. You’ll save day, elevate changeovers, and increase revenue and ROI.

Traffic Insights: What Channels Deliver the Highest-Converting Visitors in My Industry?

You asked for it! New for the 2021 report, we’ve layered in some data-backed penetrations about what traffic paths are most popular( and act best) in many industries. Is paid probe truly all it’s cracked up to be? Or are email and social unsung heroes you should be exploiting more often? And should you spend your time optimizing for mobile or desktop?( The refute ... will surprise you .)

Of course, in many of the industries we analyzed, paid inquiry ads are by far the dominant way of driving brand-new traffic. That may not be surprising--PPC has historically been the primary squander instance for bring pages--but take a look at the diagram from business services below 😛 TAGEND

Not only is the median conversion rate for pilgrims that collected from social media( 6.0%) twice that of paid traffic( 3.0% ), but top musicians achieve shift proportions well into the double toes. Our best guess why? These business services sheets are built solely to target and convert social guests, parallelling channel and property sheet to deliver maximum relevance.

This is just one industry, but the Conversion Benchmark Report handles many others to give you the best sense of what directs deserve your time( and coin) and which ones you can safely reject. Jump into the report if you’d like some suggestions on how to apply these learnings.

Reading Ease Insights: How Do I Best Communicate with My Target Audience?

In copywriting roundabouts, the received profundity is that clarity comes above all else. If you’re looking to put up the fewest snags possible between gathering and volunteer, it frequently stirs smell to keep things basic.

Our data, nonetheless, complicates this equation. Is simple ever better? Nope. It turns out that different industries tend to convert more often at different reading levels( and some see weaker relationships between conversion paces and readability than others ).

In other paroles, ensuring the readability of your sheets is key for some purveyors, and relatively irrelevant for others. Cybersecurity companies, for instance, don’t appear to benefit from simpler language, while arrival pages promoting mobile apps do.

How’d we get these numbers? Our machine learning analysis enabled us to look at photocopy from 34 thousand sheets. Each sheet is ascribed a Flesch reading ease score based on the average number of syllables per words and texts per sentence. More syllables and more terms imply more ... harder.

Here’s roughly how the scoring breaks down 😛 TAGEND

Word Count Insights: What’s the Best Length for My Landing Pages?

While the data shows the best practice that shorter pages tend to convert better, many manufactures have sweet discerns in which they can break the rule--if you’re going to create a long-form landing page, you should go this long.

At what length do territory sheets for family services convert best? The graph provides answers.Depending on your furnish and manufacture, you may find that you need to use more commands to get your point across, but graphs like the one above can let you know what’s ideal. For family services, that’s 300 -5 00 messages( if you can’t get it shorter than 150 names ). For other industries, it can be more or less. Whatever the instance, procreating variances based on our obtains can definitely be a good candidate for A/ B testing or Smart Traffic.

Conversion Type Insights: How Do I Choose Which Types of Landing Pages Convert Best?

It may seem obvious that a click-through page is gonna outperform one that asks your visitors to fill out a constitute. Clicking a button feels a heck of a lot less like commitment than sharing swathes of personal info, after all.( People have been objecting this out since, uh, forever .)

But there’s actually a lot of nuance when it comes to conversion types that can be effectively applied to your campaigns to improve campaign performance. For instance, did you know that in the finance and insurance industry, organizes proselytize best when "youre using" two lands?

Or that desegregating severals shift types--as in, “I’ll precisely throw in this phone number to be safe”--tends to produce weaker develops?

What if your industry doesn’t appear in the report? With machine learning helping us to sort thousands of landing pages in a logical behavior, we’ve increased the number of members of manufactures handled from 10 to 16, and including subcategories( verticals) whenever sample sizes allow.

If you don’t see yourself represented, compare your conversion charges to industries with similar publics and conversion objectives. While we don’t actually recommend likeness between unusually unrelated manufactures( except for fun ), let your judgment be your usher.

Sentiment Insights: What Sentiments Might Refer to Better Conversion Proportion?

You likely know in your intestine that people’s feelings can impact their decision to buy, but which ones actually drive transitions on your land pages? To find out, we extended an ML-powered sentiment analysis that looked at emotion-associated messages that might relate to healthful transition rates--and which might even be slackening you down.

( Spoiler: Using trust texts isn’t always advisable. “Trust us.”)

If you’re lead an ecommerce business( especially in the midst of a pandemic ), you might be allured to press down hard-bitten on those hurting stages your visitors may be feeling. Why not hammer home all their upsets before promising aid? Isn’t that B2C Marketing 101?

Turns out , not so much. Look at the graph below.

When it comes to ecommerce alterations, it is about to change that conversation that shows negative feelings( like texts associated with sadness and fright) can correlate with lowered conversion rates. Our advice: Stay positive, stick to benefits, and restrain' em clicking that “Add to Cart” button.

You can explore this instance, and many others, in the report.

A Conversion Intelligence Approach to Your Next Campaign

When it comes down to brass tacks, all this benchmarking is valuable merely so you can use it to build a better changeover machine from what you learn. How do you do it?

Learn. Explore the revelations from the 16 industries in the report. How are your landing pages stacking up against the baseline? Are you way out ahead? Are you falling behind? Start with your industry, sure, but take a look at others too. There may be insights that are worth exploring outside your own arena.Build. Apply the data sees to your own expeditions. Create a variant( or more than one variant) of your page that they are applicable some of the insights we’ve plied. For example, you might dial down the language until you punched the optimal Flesch reading score.( You can use the free readability formula implement here to test it for yourself .) Optimize. Keep in imagination that our data analysis divulges the progress and predispositions rather than absolutes. You’re starting informed choice when you apply these discovers, but testing is still your best way to confirm. If you’re using the Unbounce Builder, precisely publish your discrepancies and turn on Smart Traffic. It’ll use machine learning to automatically decide which variant is right for which visitors.Learn( Again ). Keep it up! The report is based on aggregate data, but your optimization exertions produce fresh discovers that are now specific to your expedition. Use them to deploy variants relevant to your presents and customers and further increase the conversion filch you’ve already achieved with Smart Traffic.

In short-lived, this year’s report use AI to identify opportunities you simply couldn’t spot without the processing power of a machine. But you’re the special ingredient here: by pairing your knowhow and insight with AI-based technologies, your market stretches smarter.

Whether you sell "bizcaz" PJs, software that makes people perform awake on Zoom when they’re actually sleeping, or something absolutely more practical--are you confident enough to swagger into your next gather, grab your suspenders, fuel those finger-guns in your boss’s direction, and make everyone know about your team’s big win?

Take a nincompoop at the 2021 Conversion Benchmark Report, and let us know what you think in specific comments below.

Read more: unbounce.com

19Mar/210

‘Opportunity to reset’: How MPs are urging the Treasury to use tax policy to drive green recovery

'Opportunity to reset': How MPs are urging the Treasury to use tax policy to drive green recovery

Environmental Audit Committee Chair Philip Dunne talks to BusinessGreen about the need for 'a tax system fit for net zero Britain' and the right time to judge whether the government has delivered on its light-green retrieval predicts

MPs are urging the government to use the upcoming Budget to usher in a major alteration of the tax system to align the UK's spending plans with its net zero and biological diversity commitments, alerting experience is running short to deliver on its promise of a dark-green economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee( EAC) today launched a wide-ranging report on the government's lettuce recuperation agenda which says major reforms to UK taxation and the speedy release of long-awaited policy approaches will be central to laying the foundations of a greener, job-rich economy that protects nature.

Among a long list of proposed actions, it calls for cuts in VAT for light-green produces, the creation of a new National Nature Service to help protect wildlife, and scoping work to explore the potential for implementing an economy-wide carbon tax and carbon territory adjustments to drive investment in low-toned carbon infrastructure and action 'carbon leakage' from the UK economy.

Other recommendations include urgently delivering clear strategies to deliver new carbon capture and storage( CCS) and hydrogen projects, specifying clear and ambitious targets in the delayed Environment Bill, lay the foundations of domestic EV battery manufacturing at magnitude, and aligning the UK's net zero and sort agendas.

It likewise calls on the government to "rigorously" assess its PS27bn road building programme against the UK's air quality, atmosphere, and biodiversity objectives before individual programmes continue - a recommendation that follows disclosures arising from an on-going law challenge that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps overrode official advice that the controversial program should be reviewed on environmental grounds.

Philip Dunne MP, chair of the EAC, said the Covid-1 9 pandemic was a symptom of the wider environmental crisis the world currently faces, and should be treated as a "wake-up call" for Ministers to set the UK on a far more ambitious pathway to a net zero release, biodiverse future.

"The economic recovery will mold our national economy for decades to come, and it necessary that tackling climate change and rebuilding nature is at its core, " said the Conservative MP for Ludlow. "There will be no inoculation against runaway climate change, and it is our responsibility now, abusing the opportunity of the economic recovery, to set the UK on track for net zero."

The Chancellor is set to deliver the Budget on 3 March, and the EAC implored Rishi Sunak to grasp the opportunity to bring forward a raft of proposals to encourage green behaviour change and drive investment in low carbon engineerings and nature-recovery efforts.

One of the main recommendations in the report centres on slashing VAT on green concoctions for house energy efficiency upgrades and low-spirited carbon construction measures, as well as for repair services and products containing reused or recycled fabrics to boost uptake and investment in circular economy endeavors - a suggestion that was propagandized up the agenda earlier this month with the launch of a brand-new safarus by the Daily Express similarly calling for VAT to be axed on dark-green products.

The EAC also repetition calls for an overhaul and increase for the troubled Green Homes Grant programme, following weeks of negative headlines arising from administrative problems with the arrangement and approval from the government last week that it is withdrawing over PS1bn from the initial budget of the stimulus package.

Further tax motivations is appropriate to be given to ultra-low emission vehicles to boost uptake, while other current environmental taxes - such as Air Passenger Duty - should be reformed in order to better reward and drive efforts to develop greener aircraft technology, the EAC argued.

And, the Committee urged the government to begin scoping work on an economy-wide carbon tax - which it said would be "one of the most economically efficient ways to incentivise low-toned carbon choices" - in addition to looking at the potential merits of carbon territory adjustments.

"A tax system fit for net zero Britain is key, " said Dunne. "It will encourage innovation, give confidence to the sector and patronage a corporation to fix the low-carbon transition. There are endless initiatives that can lead to a greener future and the Chancellor should use his upcoming Budget statement to start this process."

Whether or not the Chancellor will take up the recommendations remains an open question. The report follows criticism from the government's spending watchdog, the National Audit Office( NAO ), last week which accused the Treasury and HRMC of having exclusively a "limited understanding" of how the UK's tax regime patronizes atmosphere and environmental objectives. Meanwhile, political opponents have thrown the authorities concerned for failing to deliver a multi-billion pound lettuce stimulus program similar to those adopted by Germany and France.

As such, calls are growing for the government to deliver on its promised 'build back better' agenda on variou figureheads. The EAC's calls for VAT reform resemble those which have frequently come from a range of business and environmental groups over the past year, such as Green Alliance, the REA, and even the Sustainable Restaurant Association( SRA ), while proposals for an overhaul of carbon pricing program and the urgent verification of a raft of decarbonisation policies have widespread backing from business leaders.

Dunne told BusinessGreen he was looking to the upcoming Budget for the government to set a more ambitious course for a light-green retrieval, as he said there was a need for a "wider debate" about how taxation could be used to support the UK's net zero transition.

"What it is essential to do as we pate towards net zero Britain is to open up a debate across the country about how should tax policy and concedes - incentives as well as retributions - be directed to help people change behaviour, " he said.

Green asset

The report also takes aim at the Bank of England's money programmes, following criticism from green campaigners that in the wake of the first Covid-1 9 lockdown last year the central bank did not place enough 'green strings' to the financial and lend supporter it offered to struggling high carbon companionships, such as airlines.

Going forward, the Bank should therefore ensure it includes climate and nature objectives in future pandemic-support programmes, such as requiring that recipients publicly disclose the climate threats facing their business in line with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure specifications, according to the report. It should also be given a specific mandate to help drive the net zero transition, and reduce the carbon intensity of its corporate ligament portfolio, the report added.

Meanwhile, the report says the government should ensure its proposed National Infrastructure Bank( NIB) escapes a same fate to its effective predecessor - the Green Investment Bank - which was sold off to the private sector in 2017. It calls for an "unequivocal guarantee", potentially in law, that the NIB will remain a populace academy for the long term, adding that it should be given a mandate to promote projects focused on nature recovery, in addition to its proposed net zero mandate.

'Opportunity to reset'

The government has repeatedly sought to position its pandemic recovery plans as an opportunity to build a greener economy, particularly given the UK is set to co-host the critical COP2 6 UN climate change summit in Glasgow later this year. Last-place time, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to "build back better" from the crisis, before unveiling his 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution in the autumn.

But amid several adjournments to crucial cyberspace zero programs - such as the Transport Decarbonisation Plan - as well as the contentious withdrawal of funding from the government's flagship Green Homes Grant scheme last week, environmental groups have questioned the Treasury's commitment to delivering a genuinely dark-green recovery.

"What such reports to consider ways to point towards is that some things[ the authorities concerned] have doing well, and some things they may have been disconcerted and haven't gone to plan, " reasoned Dunne. "So there's an opportunity to reset and get back on board."

Caterina Brandmayr, head of climate policy at Green Alliance, said the EAC's report "rightly articulates the spotlight on what the government still needs to do to deliver a light-green recovery".

Harnessing the Budget and forthcoming net zero strategies to deliver an environmentally responsible stimulus would "benefit businesses and communities across the country, and ensure the UK is seen as an environmental world leader as it prepares to host firstly the G7 and then COP26", she said.

Responding to today's EAC report, nonetheless, the authorities concerned vowed it was committed to a light-green retrieval, and foreground its plans to launch the UK's firstly sovereign light-green attachment this year and acquaint mandatory climate danger revealings across the economy by 2025.

"We're committed to building back better and greener from the pandemic, which is why the Prime Minister's Ten Point Plan will employ the UK at the forefront of the world-wide lettuce industrial coup and make hundreds of thousands of green occupations, while the Treasury's Net Zero Review is examining how the transition to net zero should be funded, " the government said in a statement.

Green homes award fiasco

But concerns and confusion continue to surround the government's flagship programme that was meant to be at the heart of its much-trumpeted 'green recovery' agenda.

The PS1. 5bn Green Homes Grant scheme was launched last-place summertime in a bid to provide discount vouchers that would reduce the cost of energy efficiency modernizes on homes. However, the arrangement has suffered from a multitude of difficulties from the beginning, with entrants facing administrative hurdles in accessing the programme and procure accredited tradespeople to carried out under the residence refurbishes, while there have been reports of installers themselves losing money, faculty, and business due to late pays through the scheme.

And in a surprise move last week the government sanctioned plans to remove potentially over PS1bn from the scheme's budget that remains unspent by the end of March. The authority blamed householders' reluctance to have tradespeople enter their homes as the primary motive of the Green Home Grant Scheme's travails, but this explanation was roundly disagreed by business groups and political opponents.

The EAC has kept a close gaze on the scheme, earlier this month revealing simply over 21,000 vouchers towards the cost of home improves have been issued to date, a fraction of the government's ambition to hand out 600,000 lettuce improvement vouchers.

Dunne too told BusinessGreen that in the evidence he had seen from applicants to the scheme nobody had cited Covid-1 9 frights related to installers participating their residences as a core problem. "The fact that merely a third of those applying for vouchers have had them approved tells a slightly different story, " he said.

For its part, the government said it would "continue to bring forward bold measures to cut emissions, with plans to invest PS9bn in improving the energy efficiency of buildings forming part of our wider commitment to end our contribution to climate change by 2050 ".

However, while BusinessGreen has repeatedly sought to confirm whether or not the government's goal of improving 600,000 residences through the Green Homes Grant scheme remains in place given its drastically reduced budget, BEIS has yet to provide clarification.

The EAC today therefore reiterated its demand for the authorities concerned renovation the anxious arrangement, and give it beyond its current March 2022 cut-off date in order to provide businesses and householders the long-term certainty they need to hire and train additional installers and submit applications for vouchers.

Fund evaluation

Whether the UK government can deliver a truly light-green convalescence from the current economic crisis remains to be seen, but with its leadership on climate change under the spotlight in the run up to COP2 6, it will be under significant influence to back up its encouraging 'build back better' rhetoric with discernible activity. The latest controversy over the Green Homes Grant, recent failures scrutinizing this reputational impairment incurred by allowing the progress brand-new coal mines, and the huge pipeline of long-awaited light-green policy decisions, have all served to undermine confidence that Minister have the key priorities straight-out, with the Treasury widely considered to be one of the key barriers to the development of a believable light-green recovery strategy.

For Dunne, however, the window for action is still open, and the coming weeks and months now offer a critical opportunity to set the government's recovery efforts on an daring lettuce track. The upcoming Budget and following few months therefore look set to provide the clearest exam hitherto of whether the government's light-green recovery predicts will be met.

"That will be the time to assess how effective[ the government's endeavours] ought to have, " said Dunne.

Read more: businessgreen.com

8Mar/210

Vaccination and Censorship: The Truth Will Set Us Free

On December 22, 2020, a nonprofit limited company based in Great Britain that calls itself the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH)1,2,3 published a report titled "The Anti-Vaxx Playbook."4

It contains false and misleading information about the Fifth International Public Conference on Vaccination, which was sponsored by the 39-year-old U.S. nonprofit educational charity the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), and held online in October 2020. Promotion of the CCDH report resulted in the spreading of fake news and misinformation by mainline media outlets in Great Britain and the U.S.5,6,7,8,9

NVIC's pay-for-view digital conference10 was transparently open to the public and featured presentations by 51 speakers from the U.S. and other countries discussing vaccine science, public health policy and law, informed consent and civil liberties.

Dedicated to "Protecting Health and Autonomy in the 21st Century," the conference was made available on February 2, 2021 for free viewing online. Go to NVIC.org11 to access the conference website and watch all of the presentations.

CCDH Misinformation Campaign Designed to Discredit, Destroy NVIC

Influence Watch, which monitors individuals and groups that influence12 public policy, describes CCDH as a "London-based advocacy group that targets accused 'hate groups' and individuals for de-platforming campaigns to remove them from major social media outlets" and "has ties to the left-wing British Labour Party and British left-progressivism."13

The anonymously funded CCDH also has an office in Washington, D.C. and the defamatory publicity campaign created in December 2020 was designed to not only discredit NVIC's four-decade public record of working within the U.S. democratic system to secure vaccine safety and informed consent protections in public health policies and laws, but to destroy our small charity.

The misinformation campaign was spearheaded by the CEO of CCDH, who is a political operative14 personally affiliated with Great Britain's socialist Labour Party.15,16,17

The report deceived readers by describing NVIC's 2020 conference as a meeting "recently held in private over three days," which implied secrecy,18 even though the event was transparently open to the public just like the four previous vaccination conferences NVIC hosted in 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2009.19

One British tabloid read the report and described NVIC's public conference as a "private conference call" where "secret plans" were plotted to "launch the largest ever misinformation campaign about vaccines."20

Last summer, CCDH published their first report alleging that Big Tech companies operating social media platforms make big profits by allowing individuals and organizations criticizing vaccine science, policy and law to message on their platforms,21 and should take stronger action to censor online public conversations about vaccination that do not conform with the "scientific consensus that vaccines are safe."22,23

That July 2020 report was promoted by mainline media outlets in Britain24,25,26,27 and the U.S.28 However, CCDH's report published five months later in December 2020, which created fake news and misinformation about NVIC's conference, contained even more inflammatory rhetoric.

It demonized those who criticize vaccine safety as "malignant actors,"29 and CCDH demanded that companies and governments virtually eliminate individuals or groups publishing information online that fails to align with government and industry narratives about vaccination and public health policy.

In that report, CCDH ordered Big Tech companies and governments to censor and punish dissenters, charging that "anything less than the dismantling of these individuals' profiles, pages and groups and permanent denial of service, now they know what is happening, is willing acquiescence."30

On January 18, 2021, the anonymously funded CCDH once again publicly attacked the National Vaccine Information Center, this time for applying for a U.S. Paycheck Protection Program loan to secure the continued employment of NVIC's 21 workers during massive nationwide unemployment caused by lockdowns.

The British nonprofit company appeared to suggest that the U.S. government should not have been viewpoint-neutral in granting relief loans, but should have applied an ideological litmus test to NVIC's loan request that was made to retain employees during catastrophic economic hardship caused by lockdowns that have affected donations to charities.31

CCDH CEO Imran Ahmed said, "Lending money to these organizations so they can prosper is a sickening use of taxpayer money."32 Once again, mainline media outlets in Britain and the U.S. widely promoted CCDH's allegations.33,34,35,36,37

Six months of orchestrated public attacks on NVIC by CCDH have generated hate mail to our small charity, which was founded and has been led by parents of vaccine-injured children for four decades.38

Strong Freedom of Dissent History in US

I was born into a post-World War II generation in the U.S., a generation known for challenging the status quo and exercising the right to dissent, which is protected under the U.S. Constitution.39

Whether it was advocating for the right to listen to rock 'n' roll and joining antinuclear protests in the 1950s,40,41 or marching in support of civil rights and opposing an undeclared war in Asia in the 1960s,42,43 or women fighting for equal opportunity and pay and consumer activists working for environmental protection and car safety laws in the 1970s,44,45,46,47 or mothers protesting against drunk drivers48 and choosing a drug-free birth and breastfeeding for their babies in the 1980s,49,50 the baby boomer generation has been known for exercising freedom of thought and speech. 

Contentious social, political and health issues of the 20th century sparked heated debates on college campuses,51 where students could still explore, critique and openly search for truth, and in mainline newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations, where point/counterpoint examination of controversial topics was the hallmark of good journalism because public debate is the hallmark of free speech.

The America where I grew up in the mid-20th century was a beacon of hope for people living behind the Iron Curtain52 and in other totalitarian or authoritarian societies,53 where exercise of freedom of thought, speech and conscience and the right to dissent and peacefully assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances had been eliminated, where people had been turned into silent indentured servants working to serve a small ruling class in control of the state.54

Statists, who believe that economic control and planning must be in the hands of a highly centralized government,55 are always afraid of the truth, afraid that people armed with knowledge will act together to challenge control of the state by a powerful and privileged few.

Without Debate, Without Criticism 'No Republic Can Survive'

I was in junior high school when President John F. Kennedy addressed the American Newspaper Publishers Association in 1961. He said:56

"Without debate, without criticism no administration and no country can succeed and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy.

And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment — the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution — not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply 'give the public what it wants' — but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion."

He closed with these words:

"So it is to the printing press — to the recorder of man's deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news — that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help, man will be what he was born to be: free and independent."

That speech given 60 years ago was a ringing endorsement for freedom of the press. Yet, in the 21st century, it is becoming clear that there are political operatives and corporations seeking to censor freedom of thought and speech by citizen journalists publishing analysis and perspective on the worldwide web, an electronic communications network that has been the world's biggest forum for free speech over the past quarter century.57,58

Right to Dissent, Freedom of Speech Under Assault in America

The right to dissent59 and exercise freedom of thought, speech and conscience60 is under assault in America,61 even though these cherished civil liberties are codified into the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. And civil liberties are under assault internationally in other nations with representative democracies, as well.62

Today, political operatives are pressuring government, media corporations and other institutions to eliminate freedom of speech, especially public conversations about vaccine science, policy and law.63,64,65

Spirited public debate about vaccine safety and mandatory vaccination laws has been going on for more than two centuries.66,67 What is the justification for censoring that public conversation now and punishing those who engage in it with economic and social sanctions?68,69

And if the public conversation about vaccination and health can be censored, what topic will be the next one put on the "no fly" list?70,71

NVIC: Working to Reform Vaccine Policy and Law for Decades

I am a co-founder and president of the highly rated nonprofit educational charity established in 1982 and known today as the National Vaccine Information Center.72,73 Our mission is to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education. NVIC does not make vaccine use recommendations. We advocate for the human and legal right to make informed and voluntary decisions about vaccination without being coerced or punished for the decision made.74

Our not-for-profit charitable organization was established for one reason: We were mothers and fathers of children brain injured by the highly reactive pertussis vaccine in the DPT shot and we wanted a safer pertussis vaccine to replace the one that had hurt our children. That goal was accomplished after 14 years of consumer advocacy when a less reactive acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine was licensed for babies in the U.S. in 1996.75

We also wanted parents to have access to accurate and full information about the risks and complications of both diseases and vaccines before children are vaccinated, so parents and pediatricians could work together to identify those children who are more susceptible to vaccine reactions and protect their health.

That is why we worked with Congress to secure vaccine safety informing, recording, reporting and research provisions in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, a law in which the U.S. government officially acknowledged for the first time that vaccine safety should be made a national priority because federally licensed and recommended and state mandated childhood vaccines can and do cause permanent injuries and even death for some children.76,77,78

We are not all the same. We do not all react the same way to pharmaceutical products,79,80,81 which is why our organization has strongly supported research into genetic, epigenetic, environmental and other risk factors that make some individuals more susceptible to adverse responses to vaccination.82,83

We believe every life is important, and that the lives of those harmed by vaccines and infectious diseases should be equally valued and protected.

We believe that consumer advocacy has and should continue to play an active role in holding pharmaceutical companies and government agencies accountable for vaccine product safety, and we are dedicated to working responsibly within the democratic system of this Constitutional Republic to make health policy and law safer and more effective for everyone.84,85,86

Since 1988, I and other NVIC representatives have served as consumer members of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee, FDA Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, Vaccine Policy Analysis Collaborative and other federal and state public engagement projects discussing vaccine science, policy and law issues with vaccine developers, federal and state health officials, medical trade and pharmaceutical industry representatives, and members of other nonprofit organizations.87,88,89

My 22 years of service as a consumer member on federal advisory committees and public engagement projects includes four years as a member of the Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Forum at the National Academy of Science, where I helped to coordinate public workshops on vaccine science, policy and law issues90 and was an editor for the report on Risk Communication and Vaccination published by the National Academy Press. That report importantly stated:91

"The goal that all parties share regarding vaccine risk communication should be informed decision making. Consent for vaccination is truly 'informed' when the members of the public know the risks and benefits and make voluntary decisions.

The discussion of mandatory vaccination at the workshop suggested that it may interfere with informed consent and may damage trust and deter effective communication, and thus needs to be carefully weighed against its benefits."

We believe the human right to freedom of thought, speech and conscience should be respected, not devalued. As public health regulations and laws are being created during the coronavirus pandemic to restrict or eliminate civil liberties,92 we should be encouraging people to have civil conversations about vaccination, health and autonomy. Americans should be welcomed by legislators to participate in — not be shut out of — the democratic law making process.93

When people feel disenfranchised and believe that those in power do not care about their lives or the lives of their children, that is when trust in government is lost and people let fear, anger and despair control their actions. Empowering people with knowledge and the hope they can help effect meaningful change if they do it in a rational and constructive way has always been one of NVIC's guiding principles.94

Fifth International Public Conference on Vaccination Features Principled, Courageous Speakers

I want to thank the generous sponsors and attendees of the Fifth International Public Conference on Vaccination: Protecting Health and Autonomy in the 21st Century, who helped to make it financially possible for NVIC to host a virtual conference last fall.95

The conference had been scheduled for two years to be held in October 2020 in a hotel in the Washington, D.C. area. When travel and social distancing restrictions were enacted in the spring of 2020, we had to make a choice between canceling the conference or pivoting to a pay-for-view online public conference.

We chose to hold the conference online because we knew that the controversial issues being debated in the public square this year needed a public forum where well-anchored information and perspective could be presented.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the more than two dozen principled and courageous scientists, physicians, holistic health professionals, authors, attorneys, faith leaders, parents of vaccine injured children and civil and human rights activists, who represent diverse areas of expertise and participated in our conference.96

NVIC Will Not Abandon Our Mission

No matter how many political operatives, corporations and institutions threaten and try to discredit NVIC and our work in order to silence us, we will not abandon our 40-year mission dedicated to preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defending the ethical principle of informed consent. We are moving forward with faith and resolve that we can secure a future for America that protects health and autonomy in the 21st century.

Because we know that if the state can tag, track down and force individuals against their will to be injected with biologicals of known and unknown toxicity today, then there will be no limit on which individuals' freedoms the state can take away in the name of the greater good tomorrow.

Be the one who never has to say you did not do today what you could have done to change tomorrow. It's your health. Your family. Your choice. And our mission continues. No forced vaccination. Not in America.

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