Friday, May 22, 2015

Church of England cut its investment in fossil fuel companies

To address the issues of climate change, one of the world's wealthiest religious institutions, the Church of England is to sell of investments in coal and tar sands.

The withdrawal from the most polluting fossil fuels such as coal burnt for energy and oil from tar sands is a success for campaigners suggesting institutions to get out of such investments. Different church dioceses worldwide follow the divestment.

The lead bishop on the environment at the Church of England, Bishop Nick Holtam states that climate change is the most pressing moral issue in our world.

Deputy Chair of the Church's Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) Richard Burridge claims that climate change is already a reality, and the Church has a "moral responsibility" to speak and act on environmental issues to protect the poor, who are the most vulnerable to climate change.

Burridge added that this responsibility involves not only the Church's own move to reduce their own carbon footprint, but also how the Church's money is invested and how they engage with companies on this vital issue.

The Church Commissioners and the Church of England Pensions Board announced in a statement that the institution is to sell £12m in holdings in thermal coal and tar sands.

It said no direct investments should be made in any company where over ten percent of revenues come from extracting thermal coal or the production of oil from tar sands.

Furthermore, the Church of England's national investing bodies on ethical investment - the Church Commissioners, the Church of England Pensions Board and the CBF Church of England funds, are to increase their low-carbon investments, and it will engage with companies and policy makers ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Director of Investments at the Church Commissioners Tom Joy said that they need governments meetings in Paris at the end of this year to agree long term global emissions targets with a clear pathway to a low carbon future.

The Church of England announced last December that it was in the process of filing shareholder resolutions on climate change at BP and Royal Dutch Shell.

The owner of approximately £9 billion in investments that fund its work and clergy pensions, the institution previously led a shareholder push to urge oil and gas giant British Petroleum (BP) to be more open about how climate change might affect its business.

The announcement comes before Pope Francis' release of an encyclical setting out Roman Catholic doctrine on environmental issues, which is likely to make waves on the global warming debate.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Haney Energy Saving Group: Solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 finally takes-off in China

The Swiss-engineered aircraft Solar Impulse 2, which aims to travel around the world using only solar power, has finally taken off on its sixth flight from Chongqing to Nanjing China according to The Haney Energy Saving Group report. It arrived at Chongqing airport from Myanmar on March 31.

The flight was delayed for three weeks due to bad weather conditions. The plane isn’t meant to fly in stormy weather so the team must wait for weather forecasters to give the go-ahead.

Bertrand Piccard, co-founder of the project, is piloting the plane for the 1,190-kilometer flight to the eastern city of Nanjing.

The journey is expected to take 20 hours and 29 minutes, depending on weather conditions that could force the aircraft to change its direction from the straightest path between the two cities. It is expected to arrive in Nanjing about 9pm Abu Dhabi time.

Nanjing will be the last stop of the aircraft in Asia before Andre Borschberg, chief engineer and co-pilot, is set to make a trans-Pacific crossing to Hawaii that is expected to take at least five days.

Solar Impulse 2 is capable of flying over oceans for several days and nights and is expected to travel 35,000 km around the world and is scheduled to take in 12 stops, with a total flight time of around 25 days over the course of roughly five months. It will pass over the Arabian Sea, India, Myanmar, China and the Pacific Ocean.

The team behind Solar Impulse 2, which has more than 17,000 solar cells built into its wings and fuselage, hopes to promote green energy with its round the world attempt.

The aircraft store up energy during the day, in order to power the motors that carry it through the night.

After traveling around the globe, the aircraft is expected to arrive back in Abu Dhabi, UAE in late July or early August where it started its voyage on March 9.