The Grenfell Tower inquiry

The Grenfell Tower public inquiry has revealed a catalogue of horrors in the construction trade, implicating manufacturers of plastic insulation that’s widely used to meet regulations focused on reducing carbon emissions and promoting energy efficiency. Barristers have testified that the companies involved viewed the fire safety certificates for their products as marketing tools to be […]

Why Bill Gates can’t save the world

OPINION: Why don’t these billionaire philanthropists like Gates just stop their foundations and pay their fair share of taxes The media everywhere has been fawning over Bill Gates and his new book, How To Avoid A Climate Disaster. But should we really be listening to the world’s third wealthiest man for advice? If his suggestions […]

Microsoft and Musk are working hard on carbon storage – here’s the prognosis

Microsoft has announced it is to use Climeworks’ carbon dioxide removal technology to help it achieve negative emissions by 2030, and to remove the company’s historic emissions by 2050. And Elon Musk has offered $100 million prize for the best scalable technology to achieve the same goal. So, can carbon capture and storage really save […]

The green financing net zero roadblocks are baring themselves

With the economic impacts of the Covid-19 crisis deepening the challenge of reaching international energy and climate goals – according to the annual update on efficiency trends from the International Energy Agency – there are major hurdles standing in the way of the net zero carbon pathways being offered by governments in Europe and the […]

NABERS has officially moved to the UK!

The super-successful building operational energy performance rating scheme pioneered in Australia has launched in the UK following 18 months of detailed trials to adapt it to the UK environment.

The case for green hydrogen in existing gas-connected homes

Last week’s article on The Fifth Estate arguing that hydrogen for homes is a terrible idea needs correcting. Green hydrogen has a firm place in a zero carbon future. Its author, Gabriel Levy, is confining his argument against hydrogen to its domestic use. It will still be widely used by 2050 in industry and transport. […]

How big is your carbon? What one government agency did to measure its impact

Organisations are increasingly developing their own carbon and ecological footprint calculators to measure their impacts. While there are plenty of generic footprint calculators out there, many organisations’ activities are specific to them and it is more appropriate for them to develop bespoke solutions. The Drivers Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), part of the UK government’s Department […]

How to disembody your carbon

Your questions answered about embodied carbon and scope three emissions. Alex Herridge is something of an expert on embodied carbon. He works for one of the water utilities in the UK – Welsh Water. Herridge’s job is to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. He’s employed by The Capital Delivery Alliance, a group of six companies […]

­­­­­­How much extra does it cost to make a building net zero carbon?

What are the real-world implications for achieving new net zero buildings? How can new buildings be designed to reach net zero performance targets and what effect does this have on cost? These are the questions researchers for the UK Green Building Council set out to answer with a deep dive into the implications for two […]

How about a European Bauhaus for co-creating a renovation wave?

Europe’s president Ursula von der Leyen has called for “NextGenerationEU to kickstart a European renovation wave and make our union a leader in the circular economy”.  She promised to set up “a new European Bauhaus – a co-creation space where architects, artists, students, engineers, designers work together to make that happen”. At her first State […]

After Juukan Gorge – can anyone ever believe an ESG rating again?

What do companies do once they’ve been evaluated on their environmental, social and governance (known as ESG) performance? It’s a good question when you think about Rio Tinto following its out-of-the-league act of global vandalism in destroying a 46,000 year old sacred site of major significance in human history just to get to the ore […]

Where’s your lithium from? EU’s New Green Deal to track critical materials

Renewable electricity generation and storage requires huge quantities of mined raw materials. In Europe, most of these elements are currently imported and unsustainably produced. So the European Commission has hatched a new plan for obtaining them within its borders, to make the industry more sustainable and resilient against outside disruptions. The commission has launched a […]

Unlocking the big barriers to an “efficiency first” approach

In Europe the top barriers to implementing the decision-making principle of “efficiency first” in energy system planning and policymaking turn out to be lack of political will, lack of expertise and awareness, professional cultures, die-hard personal habits, and overarching regulatory structure.