Covid-19 cases worldwide reach 3 million

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timeline

Covid-19 cases worldwide reach 3 million

Covid-19 (coronavirus) has now infected 3 million people around the world, with the global death toll more than 200,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The true toll is believed to be much higher, because of inadequate testing, differences in counting the dead, and efforts by some governments to conceal the extent of their outbreaks. The number of dead in the US reached about 55,000 — close to the 58,000 US troops killed during the Vietnam War.

Italy, Britain, Spain, and France accounted for more than 20,000 Covid-19 deaths each. Many governments are working on mobile virus-tracking apps and other technology, keen for automated solutions to the time-consuming task of tracking an infected person’s contacts.

In Australia, which has had about 80 Covid-19 deaths, 1.1 million of the country’s 26 million people downloaded a new contract-tracing app within 12 hours of its becoming available.

New Zealand currently stands at: 1469 infected cases.

Source: Associated Press and Onenews

  • China has reported three new cases (two overseas cases and one from Heilongjiang) and no new deaths.
  • Germany has reported 1,018 new cases and 100 deaths.
  • India has confirmed a total of 27,000 cases and 872 deaths.
  • Malaysia has reported 40 new cases, bringing the total to 5,820. 95 patients were discharged, bringing the number of recoveries to 3,957. Malaysia reported one new death, bringing the death toll to 99.
  • The Netherlands has reported 400 new cases, bringing the total to 38,245. Dutch authorities have also confirmed 45 deaths, bringing the death toll to 4,518.
  • New Zealand has reported five new cases (one confirmed and four probable). Six previous cases were also rescinded, bringing the total down to 1,469 (1,122 confirmed and 347 probable). NZ health authorities have also reported 38 new recoveries, bringing the total to 1,180. One further death was reported, bringing the death toll to 19.
  • Pakistan has reported 605 new cases and a total of 281 deaths.
  • The Philippines has reported 198 new cases, bringing the total to 7,777. The country has reported ten new deaths, bringing the death toll to 511.
  • Singapore has reported 799 new cases, bringing the total to 14,423. Another two deaths were later confirmed, bringing the total to 14.
  • South Africa has reported a total of 4,546 cases and 87 deaths.
  • Spain has reported 331 new deaths, bringing the death toll to 23,521.
  • Thailand has reported nine cases and one death, bringing the total to 2931 cases and 52 deaths respectively.
  • Ukraine reports 392 new cases and 11 new deaths, bringing the total numbers to 9,009 and 220 respectively; a total of 864 patients have recovered.

Source: Wikipedia 27 April 2020.

New Zealand To COVID-19 Alert Level 3, 28 April 2020

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timeline

New Zealand To COVID-19 Alert Level 3, 28 April 2020

The Government put New Zealand out of Alert Level 4 lockdown at 11.59pm on Monday 27 April. We will hold at Alert Level 3 for 2 weeks, before Cabinet reviews how we are tracking and makes further decisions on 11 May.

The Government’s decision today allows many businesses to get going again, and for many people to go back to work. Schools will be able to open soon after we move into Alert Level 3.

At Alert Level 3 we will need to be even more vigilant. All of us will need to unite against COVID-19 by sticking to the rules.

Trees are Vital for our environment

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Environment Videos

Trees are Vital for our environment

Trees are an important part of the CO2 cycle – they absorb upto 25% of all emissions.

They are important to our environment as they contribute by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. During the process of photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we breathe. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen.

This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.” Trees, shrubs, and turf also filter air by removing dust and absorbing other pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. After trees intercept unhealthy particles, rain washes them to the ground.

Without trees, we are in danger of creating an imbalanced CO2 emissions cycle and bombard our atmosphere with higher CO2. Mankind will then suffer the effects.

When carbon dioxide CO2 is released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, approximately 50% remains in the atmosphere, while 25% is absorbed by land plants and trees, and the other 25% is absorbed into certain areas of the ocean. We need to plant more trees every day so the next generation can enjoy a better world.

Source: NOAA. https://sos.noaa.gov/datasets/ocean-a…

Trees are important to our climate

Trees help cool the planet by sucking in and storing harmful greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, into their trunks, branches, and leaves, and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere. In cities, trees can reduce the overall temperature by up to eight degrees Celsius. With more than 50% of the world’s population living in cities—a number expected to increase to 66% by the year 2050—pollution and overheating are becoming a real threat. Fortunately, a mature tree can absorb an average of 48 lbs of carbon dioxide per year, making cities a healthier, safer place to live. 

help filter our AIR

Trees are like the vacuums of our planet. Through their leaves and bark, they absorb harmful pollutants and release clean oxygen for us to breathe. In urban environments, trees absorb pollutant gases like nitrogen oxides, ozone, and carbon monoxide, and sweep up particles like dust and smoke. Increasing levels of carbon dioxide caused by deforestation and fossil fuel combustion trap heat in the atmosphere. Healthy, strong trees act as carbon sinks; absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide and reducing the effects of climate change. 

capture WATER

Trees play a key role in capturing rainwater and reducing the risk of natural disasters like floods and landslides. Their intricate root systems act like filters; removing pollutants and slowing down the water’s absorption into the ground. This process prevents harmful waterside erosion and reduces the risk of over-saturation and flooding. According to the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations, a mature evergreen tree can intercept more than 15,000litres of water every year.

Earthday 2020

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Environment News

Earthday 2020

Earthday 2020 – April 22, 2020 marks 50 years of Earth Day. The first Earth Day sparked the passage in the U.S. of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The urgency has never been greater, and the stakes have never been higher – we are now in an environmental emergency and a climate breakdown. We have two crises: One is the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The other is a slowly building disaster for our climate.

To meet this moment, we must build the largest, most diverse online mobilization in history in defense of the environment. Our world needs a united response for bold action.

  • On Earthday 2020, we say enough is enough.
  • We say we believe in science. We say that everyone can make a difference.
  • We say that the protection of our planet and the wellbeing of the people who live upon it are the top priorities.
  • On Earth Day 2020, we say that we’re committing to vote, we’re registering to vote and we’re showing up to vote.
  • Human health and planetary health are inextricably linked.

Will you join this global movement as we build toward the next half-century of action for our planet?

Over the 24 hours of Earth Day (12:01 am ET – 11:59 pm ET on April 22), Earth Day Network will flood the digital landscape with global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins and more. That’s where you come in.

On April 22, join us for 24 hours of action on earthday.org as we issue a new call to action every hour for 24 hours. Through 24 hours of action, Earthday 2020 will drive actions big and small, give diverse voices a platform and demand bold action for people and the planet.

Over the 24 hours of Earth Day (12:01 am ET – 11:59 pm ET on April 22), Earth Day Network will fill the digital landscape with global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins and more. And tune into Earth Day Live on April 22 -24 as millions of people around the world go online for a three-day mobilization to stop the climate emergency. 

Tune in to Earthday Live April 22-24 to watch, discuss and participate in a Livestream featuring stories, performances, and opportunities for digital collective action.

While Earthday may be going digital, our goal remains the same: to mobilize the world to take the most meaningful actions possible to change the world.

Visit Auckland – Papatūānuku (our earth mother) is Breathing

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Videos

Visit Auckland – Papatūānuku (our earth mother) is Breathing

Beautiful video from Visit Auckland with a poignant message for today’s times – Papatūānuku (our earth mother) is Breathing

Sit at a distance, stand as one.
When the time is right, we welcome you.
But for now, listen. Papatūānuku (our earth mother) is breathing.

All copyright notices can be found on YouTube.

New Zealand COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours

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timeline

New Zealand COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours

New Zealand was moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict, for the next 48 hours before then moving into Level 4 – Eliminate, as New Zealand escalates its response to stop the virus in its tracks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

Due to the early and strong steps we’ve taken, New Zealand is fortunate not to be as hard-hit by the virus as other countries but the trajectory is clear. We are under attack as the rest of the world and must unite to stop the worst from happening here.

If community transmission takes off in New Zealand the number of cases will double every five days. If that happens unchecked, our health system will be inundated, and thousands of New Zealanders will die.

Jacinda Ardern

At Level 3, they asked all non-essential businesses to close. This included bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, pools, museums, libraries, and other places where people gather together. Essential services remained open, such as supermarkets, banks, GPs, pharmacies, service stations, couriers, and other important frontline service providers.  

New Zealand is fighting an unprecedented global pandemic and it will take a collective effort of every single New Zealander doing the right thing to give us our best shot at curtailing community outbreak.

Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand went in level 4 Lockdown 23rd March 2020.

Southland, New Zealand

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New Zealand Southland

Southland, New Zealand

WHERE THE HOSPITALITY EQUALLEDSOUTHLAND’S NATURAL BEAUTY.

The WHO declared Coronavirus a global pandemic

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timeline

The WHO declared Coronavirus a global pandemic

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, and recognised it as a pandemic on 11 March 2020.

As of 24 April 2020, more than 2.7 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in 185 countries and territories, resulting in more than 190,000 deaths. More than 738,000 people have recovered, although there may be a possibility of relapse or reinfection.

Source Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019–20_coronavirus_pandemic

Map © 2020 Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.

Our youth – our hope and joy.

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climate change Environment News

Our youth – our hope and joy.

Talk to our youth, explain to them why our climate change message is important, show them that pollution is now not tolerated and allow them to take steps to protect our planet. We all have a role to play in preventing the polluting of our planet – whether it be in educating, protesting or inspiring.

Climate Impact, since it’s inception has for several months been promoting the message “Stop Polluting our World”, both digitally and also in the physical world. Our aim has been to help to spread the message to all about climate change and the impacts it will have on our daily lives today and tomorrow.

One thing we have been focusing on is litter, as are many others, especially around our home base of Cambridge, New Zealand, where we have been surprised by the constant litter we have seen on or around the roadways. Every time we see rubbish and plastic, we stop and we pick it up.

We have been doing this for months now with my daughter, a young teenager, who has been either with us or overheard our conversations about the climate crisis and the need to take action to protect our towns, country, and the planet.

The other day she returned from walking the dog and to my surprise, she had collected a bag of rubbish from around the local park and brought it home to be put into the bins. I was so proud of her because she had made this decision and taken action by herself. This is what we hope for with our youth – they follow our example, learn and then put it into action.

We must have faith in our youth, they are alot smarter than we give them credit for – they know we have a crisis and must act.

The lesson from this is we need to include our younger generation in this conversation, show them why we need to protect our planet, after all, they are the future of this world. Allow them to listen, understand and then empower them to make their own decisions of what needs to be done.

Take the time to talk to your children and teach them that the planet is important. Pollution is not okay, explain to them we all have a role to play and we must do the best that we can each day.

One day they will surprise you, just as my daughter has!

New Zealand we should Stop, look & Admire more often

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climate change News

New Zealand we should Stop, look & Admire more often

Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how wonderful New Zealand is because we live busy lives, forget to look around and see it. We love living in New Zealand and appreciate its beauty every day.

Once and while look up, stop to remember, you will remember why we fight to protect New Zealand & planet. Please continue to inspire & educate the world.

PLASTIC POLLUTION – 5 Ways you can help tackle it.

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climate change Environment News stopping pollution tips

PLASTIC POLLUTION – 5 Ways you can help tackle it.

A great article from Earthday Blog on plastic pollution. We are going to implement as many of these into our 2020 goals.

The use of plastic in our world is staggering — we as humans have created some 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic, the equivalent 800,000 Eiffel Towers. 

Plastic pollution is a problem because of its long-lasting effects — this petroleum-based, man-made material never fully degrades. According to estimates by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one plastic bottle takes at least 450 years to break down. Recent research suggests that worldwide, only 9 percent of plastics ever made have been recycled.  

With numbers like this, it can be discouraging to try to tackle the problem. We find plastics littered from rivers to streets, ingested by land animals and aquatic species alike. But small lifestyle changes, education and outreach efforts can add up to make a big difference. Here are five individual actions you can take today to cut plastic pollution.

1. Plastic pollution – Reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse

Tossing your plastic package into the recycling bin used to feel like a win, but after China and other Asian countries stopped taking our plastic waste in 2018, these packages have been piling up overseas. The bottom line: Recycling is not as straightforward as many of us once thought

Recycling is tough, but to ensure your recyclable waste gets where it needs to go, check out our 7 common recycling mistakes and tips. Of course, refusing plastics in the first place or opting for alternative products is a surefire way to reduce your impacts.

2. Become a citizen scientist for Earth Day with Earth Challenge 2020 

If you’re itching to become even more active in the fight against plastic pollution, look no further than Earth Challenge 2020, the largest ever citizen science initiative. Earth Challenge 2020 is a mobile app that empowers everyone to be a citizen scientist. Citizen scientists who use the app can enter data and answer a handful of research questions, one of which explores the extent of plastic pollution in their area. 

3. Participate in The Great Global Cleanup

Another exciting opportunity to spearhead the end of plastic pollution is Earth Day Network’s campaign The Great Global Cleanup. This event aims to be “The Largest Environmental Volunteer Event in History” as a celebration of citizen science and the strength of community. There are many existing cleanup events events already in the works. If there is no cleanup already organized in your area, you can register a cleanup of your own. 

4. Support policy change 

While there are many lifestyle shifts and actions that each of us can take as individuals, ending plastic pollution requires a two-pronged approach. This includes innovations in technology and policy changes. The list of cities, states, businesses and entire countries that are placing bans on plastics continues to grow, providing a reason for hope. 

California has become a leader in the United States, becoming the first state to ban single-use plastic bags. Canada also recently pledged to ban single use plasticscompletely by 2021. You can support these global efforts by signing petitions, communicating with your local representatives and supporting coalitions dedicated to stopping plastic pollution.  

5. Take the pledge to End Plastic Pollution

There’s no need to sit idly by while plastic piles up. Knowledge is power, so get educated and spread the word. Take advantage of Earth Day Network’s many resources, such as the Pledge to End Plastic Pollution and plastic calculator. If you enjoy a good read, check out the Plastic Pollution Primer and toolkit

More than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic are not just going to disappear — steer progress the way you want to see it. Between making your weekly grocery lists, volunteering in your community and spreading the word, bringing down plastic pollution is something we can all tackle together. 

Read our other articles on pollution and what you can do about it.

https://www.climateimpact.co.nz/plastics-will-outweigh-fish-in-the-ocean-how-does-it-affect-you-and-what-should-you-do/
https://www.climateimpact.co.nz/wave-goodbye-to-more-single-use-plastics/

The Earthshot prize – Decade of Action to Repair the Earth

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climate change Environment News World

The Earthshot prize – Decade of Action to Repair the Earth

You know things are starting to hot-up about Climate Change with the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — headed by Prince William and Kate Middleton launch “The Earthshot Prize”

“The earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve.” — The Duke of Cambridge @EarthshotPrize

The Earthshot Prize is a multi-million pound prize for “visionaries” working to solve “Earth’s greatest environmental problems,” from climate change to air pollution. It will be awarded to five winners, every year, for the next 10 years. The goal is to provide “at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest problems by 2030.”

Below is information from their website: https://earthshotprize.org

Over the last ten years, the evidence that we face urgent challenges to protect the environment has become indisputable, and it’s clear that the time to act is now. Drawing inspiration from the concept of moonshots, which since the moon landing in 1969 has become shorthand to talk about the most ambitious and ground-breaking goals, Prince William announces the Earthshot Prize: an ambitious set of challenges to inspire a decade of action to repair the planet.

THE EARTHSHOT PRIZE

A set of unique challenges, rooted in science, will aim to generate new ways of thinking, as well as new technologies, systems, policies and solutions.

Just as the moonshot that John F. Kennedy proposed in the 1960s catalysed new technology such as the MRI scanner and satellite dishes, we want our Earthshot challenges to create a new wave of ambition and innovation around finding ways to help save the planet.

The challenges will be a chance for everyone’s voice to be heard, we want to motivate and inspire a new generation of thinkers, leaders and dreamers .

Our prizes will reward progress across all sectors of industry and society, not just technology.

The prizes could be awarded to a wide range of individuals, teams or collaborations – scientists, activists, economists, leaders, governments, banks, businesses, cities, and countries – anyone who is making a substantial development or outstanding contribution to solving our environmental challenges.

So this is a message to all of us – time to take this issue seriously.

Join The Resolution

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Environment Videos

Join The Resolution

People around the world have united to sing Resolution Song. Their goal is to inspire everyone around the world to make New Year’s resolutions to protect our planet from the climate and environmental emergency.

We think this is fantastic, anyway you can get the message out – it can only be a good thing

Here’s how you can join the #Resolution2020 movement and inspire the world to set ambitious New Year’s resolutions to save our planet:

Coronavirus identified in Wuhan, China

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timeline

Coronavirus identified in Wuhan, China

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2). The outbreak was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

The virus is primarily spread between people during close contact, often via small droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, or talking. The droplets usually fall to the ground or onto surfaces rather than remain in the air over long distances. People may also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.

The virus can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours.[16] It is most contagious during the first three days after the onset of symptoms, although spread may be possible before symptoms appear and in later stages of the disease.

Source Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019–20_coronavirus_pandemic

Making sustainable changes this holiday season

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stopping pollution tips

Making sustainable changes this holiday season

Making sustainable changes doesn’t mean you have to give up on your favourite traditions! It’s actually a lot easier than you think, and in most cases a lot cheaper. We’ll be sharing our top three tips for creating an eco-friendly Christmas, that are fun, easy and thoughtful.

sustainable changes Tip #1: Buy local NZ made gifts

Buying New Zealand made gifts minimises your carbon footprint due to no air-travel or long-distance transportation, and it boosts our economy! We love: https://www.greenelephant.co.nz/ an NZ marketplace where you’ll find fantastic eco gifts for everyone!

sustainable changes Tip #2 Opt for eco wrapping

Did you know most traditional forms of wrapping paper are not recyclable? Glitter, plastic coating and certain dyes prohibit wrapping paper from being recycled. Opting for more eco-friendly options like brown recyclable paper, jars, tins or fabric wraps made from old clothes, tea towels or scarves.

These sustainable changes options are not only better for the environment, but make uniquely beautiful christmas presents. Decorate with twigs of rosemary or pohutukawa wrapping to add a touch of festive joy!

sustainable changes Tip #3 Make your own cards

We get it, Christmas cards are great to give and receive but aside from keeping the very touching ones, majority of them are thrown out just a short time after being received. This Christmas, why not make cards out of the ones you received last year? Or use a child’s artwork, or your own artistic skills to create a unique and thoughtful Christmas card

Energy hardship – Redefining measurement

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Energy News

Energy hardship – Redefining measurement

In the last 15 years ‘fuel poverty’ – otherwise known as energy hardship – has been variously estimated at anywhere between less than 100,000 to over 400,000 households. See here for a summary of some of the attempts.

This ‘10% threshold’ discussion below has been written by Ian McChesney. Ian is deeply experienced in the community energy sector, having co-founded CEN member CEA in 1994. He was CEA’s representative on the forerunner to CEN (EECN – Energy Efficiency Community Network) and has recently worked with CEN on their response to the Healthy Homes Standards and the Electricity Pricing Review (EPR).

The Government has accepted the EPR recommendation asking for a better definition of energy hardship to be developed so that New Zealand knows how best to provide energy  for those who need it most, improving the health of our communities.

The fact that we don’t really know an exact number is a stark indication of the lack of clarity and understanding around this issue and why this has been reflected by piecemeal policies.

No one knows better than the energy service providers in the community energy sector just how incoherent home retrofit funding policies have been over the last 10 years. Household eligibility, fundable measures and subsidised rates have chopped and changed with little apparent rationale. And the result of this is that our most at-risk communities desperately need the Government to deliver on its promise of providing wellbeing through eliminating energy hardship.

For example, the winter fuel payment – with its $450M price tag – is a great initiative for those that need it, but it has been applied with such a broad brush that inevitably questions about focus, effectiveness and sustainability have been raised.

Although the lack of an agreed, durable definition of energy hardship isn’t the sole reason for this situation, the reality is that those of us working in the community energy sector see that this inability to anchor regulatory and funding policies within a coherent and stable policy framework is a significant contributor.

Banishing The ‘10% threshold’ – Ian McChesney

To date the fall-back position adopted widely in New Zealand is to define energy hardship by the 10% threshold. This is where a household that spends over 10% of their income on energy is considered to be in energy hardship.

It’s easy to see how the 10% threshold focus took hold – in 2001 the UK government adopted a formal definition of fuel poverty stating that a fuel poor household is one which ‘needs to spend more than 10% of its income on all fuel use and to heat its home to an adequate standard of warmth’.

However, what is far less well understood is how this ‘definition’ has been consistently misused in Aotearoa and why it is ineffectual as a measure of energy hardship.

Here are four key issues:

  1. 10% may have been relevant to the UK, but what about New Zealand? The original concept came about in the early 1990s from fuel poverty pioneer Brenda Boardman. Boardman determined that for the 30% of households in the UK with the lowest incomes, fuel costs averaged 10% of their total expenditure. For all households the average was 5%; hence 10% also conformed with a ‘double the average’ rule-of-thumb for indicating vulnerability. Thus in the context of the UK at that time 10% of expenditure was deemed to be an affordability threshold.

    Yet seemingly there has been little thought as to whether the basis for setting the 10% applies to our own experience in Aotearoa. Comparable expenditure: income ratios appear to be in the range of 7-8%, raising questions from the start whether the 10% threshold ever had any validity here?
  2. Required vs actual energy expenditure – the UK definition specified the 10% expenditure threshold as ‘required’ energy, not actual expenditure. Required energy is that needed to maintain a warm, dry and healthy home, taking account of the efficiency of the house and the cost of energy. Yet the required energy can be a far cry from that actually spent by income-poor and constrained households. In 2009 in the UK, the required energy expenditure for the 20% of households with the lowest incomes was 50% higher than actual expenditure. Yet, as commonly used in NZ, the 10% threshold is based on actual expenditure, largely because this data is readily available whereas determining required energy is complex.  Therefore, a large number of households that are in real energy hardship because they reduce their energy use and live in energy deprivation, are not counted when actual energy expenditure is used.
  3. Defining energy hardship by a single threshold is too simplistic – We know from experience when visiting households that a single threshold – in energy hardship or not – just doesn’t do justice to energy hardship realities. For example, setting single thresholds means excluding households that sit just below the threshold line. But for many of these households their energy hardship circumstances are often just as acute.
  4. The definition is out of date – Tellingly, in 2011, the UK government reviewed the definition of energy hardship, following growing dissatisfaction with the seeming lack of progress towards national fuel poverty goals. It was replaced in England by a low income-high-energy cost definition. Even then, this has not proven to be durable and consultation for a further definition change (to low income- low energy efficiency) was carried out during 2019. In the EU, after much debate, their preferred term ‘energy poverty’ has been given a descriptive definition, and will be assessed by a range of indicators, not just one.

While any one of these issues should be enough to raise serious misgivings about the use of the 10% threshold in New Zealand, with all four combined, it is paramount that we let go of this ‘definition’ for good.  That it has endured for so long speaks volumes about the policy ‘catch up’ New Zealand needs to make

Community Energy Network

CEN comment: By continuing to use the 10% threshold, New Zealand is behind the times and we need to work hard in 2020 to ensure we are achieving the best outcomes for our communities. That’s why we encourage the government to dig deeper to provide a definition that recognises the complexity of energy hardship, will be functional, durable, and useful for establishing effective policy and making the right funding decisions.

Want to learn more? Stay tuned for Ian’s next blog about what a better definition could look like and why CEN advocates for taking a more sophisticated approach to fix this systemic issue.

Single use plastics – Say goodbye to more

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climate change Environment New Zealand News

Single use plastics – Say goodbye to more

Everyone is focused on climate change & global warming, the big issue we face today is man-made pollution and single use plastics need to be addressed.

The more we see governments addressing the problem of pollution the better. Ignoring the problem of plastics pollution is no longer an option.

We are heartened to see that the world is starting to see the impact we have had on the planet over the last 50years.

The New Zealand Government is looking to phase out more single-use plastics, following the success of the single use bag ban earlier this year. 1newsnow reports.

A report titled ‘Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand’ has also been released which outlines how the Government intends on dealing with waste.

The single-use plastics ban is targeted at containers made of hard-to-recycle PVC and polystyrene like meat trays, cups and takeaway food containers.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the ban on plastic bags has already made a difference. 

Many New Zealanders, including many children, write to me about plastic – concerned with its proliferation over the past decade and the mounting waste ending up in our oceans,”

says Ms Ardern.

Roadside collection of recyclables will also be improved for more consistent collections. 

The move mirrors requests from respondents in a 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll in which eighty-two per cent thought the single-use plastic bag ban that came into force in July, should extend to other single-use plastics.

Click here to read the full article

2019 World Population 7.713 Billion

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timeline

2019 World Population 7.713 Billion

By the end of this year the population of the world is expected to be 7.713 billion.

Is climate change real?

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climate change Environment News

Is climate change real?

That is to say – is climate change something we have created as the “human race” or is it a natural phenomenon getting blown out of all proportion?

Personally I am not sure – so join us as we look to investigate the science (and myths) about climate change 2019 and onwards. It is very hard to believe what you read, hear or see with much of the science being skewed to benefit certain causes or create certain messages. We are not saying they are incorrect – but let’s examine the issues and make our own conclusions.

So where to begin on Climate change?

We will go back to basics on climate change by looking at CO2 emissions, what are they? (we’ll look at the breakdown of our atmosphere and what part CO2 plays), How are they building up? What effects do they have now and then in the future? And finally the most important question: Are CO2 emissions causing global warming?

Another important question that we will really try to answer is in regards to the relationship between CO2 and temperature, is there a direct correlation between the “greenhouse effect” and the rising temperatures of the planet or is the scientific community making assumptions that rising CO2 is driving the temperature up? Could it be that our planet is going through a cyclic temperature change therefore creating more CO2 along the way? We can look back to historical data and trends to see any emerging patterns.

Then we will look at population growth of the world, how does more people in the world change the dynamics of climate change? What is the formula for population vs CO2 emissions and how can we change this equation?

Pollution

Then we will look at pollution which we think this is our biggest problem facing the human race today. How has pollution changed our planet and they way we live? How can we fix the issue of pollution?

Finally we will ask the big questions such as is climate change preventable or has it already passed the “tipping point”? How can we help to change things or are the problems bigger than us and need to be fixed by governments?. What should we do to stop climate change?

So visit us every so often or join our mailing list and we will try to provide discussion points and hopefully some answers along the way.

Energy Hardship, living with it in New Zealand

Categories
Energy News

Energy Hardship, living with it in New Zealand

People living in energy hardship live in homes that perform so poorly that the cost of keeping the home warm and dry (and have hot water when they need it) is too high.

Lining up with the dynamics of economic poverty, energy hardship comes from having a home that is hard to heat and keep dry, which then usually leads to the growth of harmful mould. The reason this is so problematic for the health of society is because damp, cold and mouldy homes create the perfect conditions for a large range of diseases, particularly respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and bronchiolitis.

Anyone who is cold becomes more susceptible to these illnesses and it impacts on physical and mental health, particularly for children. This also effects the ability to learn for kids or for adults be able to maintain stable employment and a good level of overall wellbeing.

How do we address the problem

Tackling energy hardship isn’t just about fixing the house. Instead, it is about combining the fixing of the physical infrastructure with behavior change. In CEN’s experience in assessing and insulating over 150,000 New Zealand homes, we have found there are often behaviours that make the housing issues worse. This includes as drying clothes inside, not removing the mould when you see it, and, leaving windows open during the daytime. The ability to pay, at any price, for the energy is also a key issue. It’s why in New Zealand to address energy hardship, we must find ways to make energy more affordable for everyone.

Energy hardship is best addressed when we fix the technical issues with the house, educate the residents to change behaviours and make the energy itself as affordable as possible (more on that latter). 

Why community energy is key for taking people out of energy hardship

The Government implemented the Energy Price Review, which was completed in May 2019. As part of the consultation round during this review, several options for addressing energy hardship were presented. One of the best ideas was to establish an Energy Hardship Group. This is a group made up of Government Ministries, industry stakeholders and, hopefully, NGOs that are working directly with people in the community. These are organisations such as Salvation ArmyFinCapCommunity Housing AotearoaHabitat for Humanity, the Wise Group (mental health) and CEN, of course.

The function of this group would be to advise Government on those policies and funding options that would have the biggest, most effective impact on delivering improved wellbeing of those in energy hardship. As we’ve seen with programmes dealing with homelessness in recent years, when agencies work together to provide a cohesive wrap around service, we see the optimal outcomes.

There are many overseas examples of where this has been done well and CEN advocates that New Zealand must follow these international roadmaps. Programmes such as Home Energy Scotland, funded by the Scottish Government,  and the EU Energy Poverty Observatory, which provides a wide range of both technical, economic and social policy guidance.

By weaving together multiple threads, we can quickly make large inroads into reducing energy hardship. It’ s why the Energy Hardship Group, that has been an accepted recommendation from the EPR report, may well provide the cohesion this approach needs.

Aside from making sure the social services sector work cohesively, housing is healthy and energy affordable, we also need to look at how New Zealand communities can engage in their own energy generation, storage and use. This creates an Energy Democracy – the concept of which will be discussed in our next blog.

Read more on CEN’s latest article on energy hardship – refining measurement

To learn more about the work of CEN, contact us.

Community Energy Network

Energy Democracy, communities owning Energy networks

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Energy News

Energy Democracy, communities owning Energy networks

Energy democracy is the idea that New Zealand can shift from a centralised, top-down provision of energy to one that prioritises deep engagement and local decision-making for communities to literally “own” their energy network.

The reason this is so important is not only because it helps to give a resilient supply of electricity, but it also quickly addresses inequity because all community members can engage in the process.

What does it look like?

The CEN version of energy democracy is about each community owning as much of their renewable energy generation, storage and use infrastructure as they can. This enables them to then make decisions about how much power costs and how to spend any profits on the specific needs of their community.

CEN’s last blog on Energy Hardship was about the need to fix the homes and support the people so that that they can stay healthy in warm and dry homes. Alongside making our homes as effective and efficient as they can be, the cost of energy probably has the biggest impact on the level of energy hardship people face.

Why we need people to get on board…

Right now, many people are disengaged with how they get their energy and what they can do to reduce their costs. CEN even argues that most of us don’t even know how to read and understand our power bills. This makes it hard to talk about the value of making changes to the way we use energy or even to how we produce it.

This lack of engagement is, at least partially, because features of the system, including the different generation profiles, the wholesale market, how the grid is managed, and complicated pricing structures all providing a disincentive for people to get engaged.

If we’re going to address energy hardship and if we want our communities to take ownership of their future and become more resilient, this needs to change.

The international landscape…

The good news is we don’t need to start from scratch. In fact, despite having the world’s first Wellbeing budget, New Zealand is behind the game on uptake of community energy. Most, if not all the countries we would benchmark ourselves against are well advanced in developing a community energy sector. This includes the European UnionUKUSA and even our cousins over the ditch.

The other good news is the Government has accepted many of the Price Review’s recommendations. We are looking forward to supporting the roll out of many of these recommendations.

To learn more about the work of CEN, contact us.

Community Energy Network

New Zealand Government announces New plan for agriculture emissions pricing scheme.

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Environment New Zealand

New Zealand Government announces New plan for agriculture emissions pricing scheme.

This is great to see that the New Zealand government is looking at reducing carbon emissions with the agricultural sector. Surely the” urban sector” carbon emissions are being produced at an alarming rate as well – where is the Urban Emissions scheme?

This type of policy does seem to be a bit of “kick the can down the road” until 2025 when we need to be taking action now if climate change is happening as fast as everyone is predicting.

The New Zealand Government has moved away from radically reforming the way the farming sector could pay for emissions – but is celebrating what it calls a “world-first” partnership with farming leaders in its attempt to reduce agricultural greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide 

The primary sector is still set to pay for emissions, but not until 2025 – with farmers getting off seemingly lightly in the interim.

The sector would work with Government to come up with its own on-farm pricing scheme, aiming to reduce emissions in the meantime. 

A review in 2022 would develop the alternative pricing scheme, access the sector’s progress in reducing emissions and barriers it faces. 

“If the review finds there isn’t enough progress the Government can put the agriculture sector into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) at processor level earlier than 2025,” a statement by the Government said. 

The proposed Emissions Trading Reform Bill also includes pulling agriculture into the ETS in 2025 for livestock emissions and some fertiliser emissions – if the alternative emissions pricing scheme is not developed. In line with the NZ First-Labour coalition agreement, farmers would only pay for five per cent of livestock emissions. 

Farmers have continuously pushed back from being included in the ETS, with Federated Farmers previously saying it “failed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from transport… Universal pricing of methane will be similarly unsuccessful”.

The current ETS puts price on greenhouse gas emissions, intended to create a financial incentive for businesses that emit greenhouse gases, to invest in technologies and practices that reduce emissions, according to the Ministry for the Environment. 

The Government’s announcement today acknowledged the ETS “was originally developed for a small number of big companies, not tens of thousands of individuals”.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was “proud that we have a world-first agreement as part of our plan to tackle the long-term challenge of climate change and we’ve done that by reaching an historic consensus with our primary sector”. 

“For too long politicians have passed the buck and caused uncertainty for everyone while the need for climate action was clear.”

It was a key climate change policy by the Labour Party in 2017 to “restore the ETS, including bringing agriculture into the ETS by the end of our first term, with 90 per cent of emissions free”. 

Article by 1 NEWS NOW, click here to read article

We have joined Genless

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Videos

We have joined Genless

We are pleased to announce that RHD has joined Genless as we believe that we should embrace a lifestyle that uses less energy, to help halt climate change.

We have reduced our car size, monitored our energy and are looking into solar for our workplace.

Gen Less is a lifestyle choice.
A decision to start getting more
out of life by using less energy.

It’s the first generation anyone can join, regardless of age.

It unites individuals, organisations, businesses and the government in New Zealand to live and work in more climate-friendly ways.

And by being in Genless, you are choosing to take meaningful, ongoing action to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions from energy use.

Because if we’re going to stop climate change, we need to do it together.

Watch their video below, it’s very cool.

Aspire Marketing Brand

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Portfolio

Aspire Marketing Brand

Aspire is a Wellington, New Zealand based boutique marketing solutions provider, offering a portfolio of services to clients across Australasia. These services range from the strategic level marketing planning, through to tactical implementation.

I have been involved with Aspire for over 20 years.

Ecoplus Systems Website

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Portfolio

Ecoplus Systems Website

Ecoplus Systems, a company based in Auckland who  supply innovative and performance tested suspended ceiling systems, acoustic ceiling solutions and decorative wall treatments.

I have designed, constructed and built the website on a propriety CMS system.

MSA National Brand Design

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Portfolio

MSA National Brand Design

MSA National Australia is a national Law Company with over 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry providing mortgage documentation and settlement services to funders, mortgage managers and originators.

I worked with MSA National on a new brand design in 2014 and continue to manage their design & web today. The brand project included logo design, brand standards, stationery, and website.

Espresso Mechanics Website

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Portfolio

Espresso Mechanics Website

Construction of Espresso Mechanics website in WordPress. The Website features a full Machine section – with downloads and in-page design.

Repay Brand Design

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Portfolio

Repay Brand Design

Repay was established to provide the opportunity for New Zealanders, with a student loan and their supporters, to use insurance premiums as a way to reduce the outstanding debt. I was commissioned to create the brand, collateral and web design.

Morgan Pools

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Portfolio

Morgan Pools

I was asked Create a responsive version of their website to modernise the website. This project was completed for Tosco Communications.

Acre of Roses Logo

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Portfolio

Acre of Roses Logo

Logo and collateral design for Acre of Roses, a floral boutique business in Trentham, Australia.