Episodes

  • Do digital devices reduce energy and emissions? Our climate podcast digitalisation episode finds that the answer’s not as clear as you might think

    Video-conferencing should be good for the environment. Instead of business teams commuting to a single office in vehicles that emit greenhouse gases, they can meet virtually on screen. But if they don’t have to come to an office, the team might end up living far apart, even in different countries. So their occasional meetings could generate a still greater amount of carbon emissions.

    That’s the kind of dilemma we’re looking at in our climate podcast digitalisation episode. Is the production and use of digital devices good for the environment—because we don’t need to cut down a tree to make the paper for you to read the news, for example. Or are there just so many of these devices that they end up consuming more resources than ever.

    You’ll find out on Climate Solutions.

    Subscribe to the entire series of Climate Solutions from the European Investment Bank, the EU climate bank. Learn what you should do to fight climate change in the oceans, on the road, on your dinner plate and even in the windowbox of your apartment.

    In the climate podcast digital episode, you’ll find out:

    ·        some studies say that the carbon dioxide emitted by digital technologies has increased by around 450 million tonnes since 2013 in OECD countries

    ·        but others indicate that emissions have flattened out in recent years, because ICT equipment is more energy efficient

    ·        the connection between Abraham Lincoln’s second inauguration, Lewis Carrol’s publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and the theory formulated by a British economist named William Stanley Jevons that explains why more efficient digital devices might lead to an apparently paradoxical increase in emissions

    ·        why the circular economy could be key to ensuring that the production and use of digital devices doesn’t increase greenhouse gas emissions in the long run

    If you’ve got something to say about climate in general or this podcast in particular, let me know @EIBMatt on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Climate Solutions.

     

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  • When we cool or heat our buildings, we waste a lot of energy—and release emissions that damage the climate. Our climate podcast energy efficiency episode shows how you can turn that around

    When I was a kid, my dad used to go around the house switching off lights and shouting that we were wasting electricity—in those days that meant we were throwing away money. My eight-year-old daughter goes around the house switching off lights, shouting that we’re wasting electricity—which today means we’re harming the climate.

    Energy efficiency is a crucial part of the fight against climate change. In our climate podcast energy efficiency episode, we’ll show you how to reduce the energy you use to cool or heat your home—and the impact that can have on climate change.

    Subscribe to the entire series of Climate Solutions from the European Investment Bank, the EU climate bank. Learn what you should do to fight climate change in the oceans, on the road, on your dinner plate and even on your digital devices.

    In the climate podcast energy efficiency episode, you’ll find out:

    ·       The electricity and fuel used to heat, cool and light buildings account for nearly 40% of energy consumption in Europe. It’s responsible for around 35% of greenhouse gas emissions. Buildings are the single biggest consumers of energy, so making them more efficient can have a big impact on the race to meet climate goals

    ·       75% of buildings and housing could be made more energy efficient. But less than 1% of housing is renovated each year for energy efficiency

    ·       The European Union wants to cut overall emissions by 40% by 2030 and it wants to increase energy efficiency by more than 30%.

    ·       One energy efficiency programme operated by the European Investment Bank, ELENA, has worked on 95 projects so far. These projects will eventually lead to over €6 billion in investment in energy and transport efficiency. That will save more than 3,600 GWh of energy and 1.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year

    If you’ve got something to say about climate in general or this podcast in particular, let me know @EIBMatt on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Climate Solutions.

     

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  • Cleaner urban transport can be a big part of halting climate change—and saving our lungs. Our climate podcast urban transport episode lays out a roadmap to climate-friendly mobility

    We know that cleaner, electric urban transport will be a big improvement for our cities. But it’s not always clear how we get there. Our climate podcast urban transport episode lays out the benefits of cleaner mobility for the climate—and our health.

    Subscribe to the entire series of Climate Solutions from the European Investment Bank, the EU climate bank. Learn what you should do to fight climate change in the oceans, on the road, in your home and even on your digital devices.

    In the climate podcast urban transport episode, you’ll find out:

    ·       An electric vehicle isn’t only cleaner than an internal combustion vehicle, it’s also more efficient. Electric vehicles consume one-third of the energy of traditional cars.

    ·       The number of electric cars is growing exponentially. In 2018, the number of electric vehicles on the road surged to 5.1 million, up 2 million from 2017. Most of those electric vehicles, 45%, were in China, with the European Union making up 24% and the United States 22%. Of course electric vehicles still represent only a small fraction of the more than 1 billion cars on the road.

    ·       Europe has also made progress addressing the other part of the electric puzzle: the charging infrastructure. The number of charging stations in the European Union surged from a mere 3 800 in 2011 to more than 150 000 expected by the end of 2019. The rollout is being fuelled by projects like Enel X Mobility, which plans to install 14 000 charging stations in Italy by 2022. The European Investment Bank is supporting that project with a €115 million loan.

    ·       Electric vehicles still face many challenges. For one, the cost of batteries has to come down for electric cars to be as affordable as conventional cars. Progress on this is encouraging. Electric car prices have fallen 85% from 2010 to 2018.

    ·       In Europe, emissions from electricity production have fallen steadily, from over 500 grams of carbon per kilowatt hour in 1990 to less than 300 grams of carbon per kilowatt hour in 2016. That decline means that electric cars are responsible for less emissions per kilometre driven than conventional cars, throughout the European Union.

    If you’ve got something to say about climate in general or this podcast in particular, let me know @EIBMatt on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to

  • Why is it so important to know how green a bond is? Our climate podcast green finance episode explains this is crucial to the fight against climate change

    Any kid with a paint set knows there are lots of different shades of green. So if I try to sell you a “green bond” to help fight climate change, can you know how green it really is?

    Our climate podcast green finance episode will tell you how big institutions have figured out a set of rules to make sure that you—or the pension fund or bank that buys them for you—will be able to tell just how green your green bond is.

    That’s more important than it might sound. Because fighting climate change is a lot of things—it’s urgent, it’s crucial to the survival of humanity, and it’s really, really expensive.

    If we’re going to hit our climate targets, we need to invest trillions of euros in renewable energy and energy efficiency, in adaptation projects that protect us from the impact climate change is already having—and we need to develop new technologies that none of us have even thought of yet.

    All this costs a lot of money, and we won’t raise that money unless we can demonstrate to investors that it’s being spent on climate projects with a real impact. That’s what you’ll find out about on our climate podcast green finance episode.

    Subscribe to the entire series of Climate Solutions from the European Investment Bank, the EU climate bank. Learn what you should do to fight climate change in the oceans, on the road, in your home and even on your digital devices.

    In the climate podcast green finance episode, you’ll find out:

    ·       What are green bonds? Green bonds are bonds whose proceeds are allocated to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

    ·       Before we get to green bonds, we’ll also explain what bonds are. A bond is a financial instrument that’s sold by a company or an institution or even a country. The investor buys the bonds, because the issuer—the seller of the bond—agrees to pay back the investor’s money plus interest at a set time in the future. Green bonds do all this, but with a cool twist.

    ·       What is a sustainability awareness bond? Sustainability Awareness Bonds are financial bonds whose proceeds go to projects that contribute to sustainability objectives, beyond climate change mitigation (because mitigation is for green bonds). Sustainability awareness bonds deal with other issues related to the environment.

    If you’ve got something to say about climate in general or this podcast in particular, let me know @EIBMatt on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Climate Solutions.

     

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  • We don’t have to choose between protecting nature and economic growth. Our climate podcast biodiversity episode details the economic value of nature

    Some people say we face a straight choice between innovative, thriving human communities and saving the natural world. Our climate podcast biodiversity episode proves that’s not true.

    When we invest in and maintain our biodiversity, we expand our way of thinking about economics. Biodiversity is our natural infrastructure. It’s just as important to economic development in the decades ahead as the infrastructure we build with concrete, steel and fibre optic cables.

    Our climate podcast biodiversity episode looks at the massive contribution biodiversity makes to our economy—and demonstrates that while we’re waiting for the great innovations that will solve the climate crisis, we can slow climate change by protecting and investing in nature.

    Subscribe to the entire series of Climate Solutions from the European Investment Bank, the EU climate bank. Learn what you should do to fight climate change in the oceans, on the road, in your home and even on your digital devices.

    In the climate podcast biodiversity episode, you’ll find out:

    ·        The economic importance of protecting pollinators like bees. Pollination of crops is essential to the fruits and vegetables grown across the world. Globally, crop pollination contributes the equivalent of €150 billion every year. That’s a real, tangible value created by biodiversity with very low costs. It’s also a fun way to silence your grumpy old uncle who thinks protecting nature should take second place to economic growth.

    ·        There are only 50 countries in the world with a GDP bigger than those tiny little crop pollinators.

    ·        The combined value to the world’s economy provided by ecosystems is called ecosystem services. They contribute $125 trillion to $140 trillion a year. That’s seven times the GDP of the United States. (How do you like that, grumpy old uncle?)

    ·        Commercial forestry can support sustainable landscapes and foster rural economic growth and employment. Global demand for wood, renewable fibre and other forest products is growing, driven primarily by biodegradable packaging, soft tissue products and renewable energy.

    ·        More good news. In the EU, forests and other wooded areas account for over 40% of the land. In recent decades, afforestation has increased this area by about 0.4% a year. The actual volume of the EU’s forests is also rising. Only 60% of the annual forest growth is harvested.

    If you’ve got something to say about climate in general or this podcast in particular, let me know @EIBMatt on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Climate Solutions.

     

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  • The blue economy must be a priority to protect the oceans from plastics and waste. Hear how you can help in our climate podcast oceans episode

    Blues singers usually wail about a lover who ain’t treatin’ them right, but on this episode of the Climate Solutions podcast we sing the blues for the ocean.

    Our climate podcast oceans episode looks at the unexpected ways in which we’re polluting the oceans—and the way that pollution plays a role in climate change. We also give you a checklist of things you can do to hold back the tide of pollution.

    Subscribe to the entire series of Climate Solutions from the European Investment Bank, the EU climate bank. Learn what you should do to fight climate change in the oceans, on the road, in your home and even on your digital devices.

    In the climate podcast oceans episode you find out:

    ·        What we need to do on land to save the seas

    ·        About 40% of the plastic that ends up in the oceans comes from trash discarded in or near rivers by the two billion people who lack waste collection services. Of all the plastic arriving in the oceans from rivers, 90% comes from just 10 rivers, mainly in Africa and Asia.

    ·        The oceans contain trillions of miniscule pieces of plastic, as well as giant “garbage patches,” the biggest of which, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, covers an area three times the size of France.

    ·        What are microplastics? Microplastics are tiny plastic pieces polluting the oceans. Microplastics account for the large majority of plastic debris on the oceans’ surfaces. Microplastics include broken-down plastic waste, synthetic fibres and beads found in personal hygiene products. They harm marine life, which mistake them for food, and they’re consumed by humans through seafood and tap water.

    ·        Which of the following is getting a €214 million clean-up backed by the European Investment Bank? My kitchen drain, or the Kitchener Drain, a 69-kilometre network of canals in Egypt’s Nile Delta.

    If you’ve got something to say about climate in general or this podcast in particular, let me know @EIBMatt on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Climate Solutions.

     

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  • Hear how developing countries are working to protect their economies—and their people—from climate change in our climate podcast development episode

    To those of us in the developed world, climate action means switching to electric vehicles, taking a bike or public transport… Or maybe eating tofu, but let’s not go there.

    These are very important things to do, but they’re also what some people call “First World problems”. In the developing world, climate action means building better roads.

    Developing countries need better roads to protect them against the disastrous human and economic effects of climate change that occur when roads are flooded, covered by landslides or interrupted by unusable bridges. This adaptation to climate change ensures that infrastructure and people are better prepared to cope with extreme weather and protected from its consequences.

    This episode of the Climate Solutions podcast tells you what adaptation is and gives you concrete examples of how it works in projects financed by the European Investment Bank, the EU bank, in countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

    Subscribe to the entire series of Climate Solutions from the European Investment Bank, the EU climate bank. Learn what you should do to fight climate change in the oceans, on the road, in your home and even on your digital devices.

    In this episode you’ll find out:

    ·        What is climate adaptation? Climate adaptation moderates harm or finds beneficial opportunities that result from changes in natural or human systems caused by actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects. (You can hear some more about adaptation in episode one of Climate Solutions, which is on urban development and looks at how your city is fighting climate change with adaptation projects.)

    ·        How long are roads meant to last? Roads are built to last from 20 to 50 years and to withstand extreme weather events that occur only once in 50 to 100 years. Climate change means that these events will become more severe and more frequent. That’s a problem in developing countries, because design and maintenance of roads are sometimes underfunded and are not always based on recent extreme weather predictions. At the same time, existing infrastructure may degrade faster due to harsh weather conditions, resulting in the need for earlier upgrade and replacement.

    ·        What is capacity building? Capacity building is the process by which skills, experience and technical and management capabilities are developed. Capacity building is often the result of the something called technical assistance, where international organisations give advice on how to prepare projects, so that they can then get funds from banks and other development institutions.

    If you’ve got something to say about climate in general or this podcast in particular, let me know @EIBMatt on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Climate Solutions.

     

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  • Hear how agriculture can feed a growing population and cut its impact on global warming in our climate podcast agriculture episode

    We all know that climate has a big impact on our food. After all, if there’s no rain and sunshine, crops don’t grow. But increasingly we’re learning that the way we grow our food has a big impact on the climate. In fact, we’re at a crisis point.

    This episode of our Climate Solutions podcast looks at some of the research and innovation under way that’s rethinking what we eat and how we produce it, so that it will have a less damaging effect on the climate.

    Subscribe to the entire series of Climate Solutions from the European Investment Bank, the EU climate bank. Learn what you should do to fight climate change in the oceans, on the road, in your home and even on your digital devices.

    In this episode you’ll find out:

    ·        How often a forest the size of Luxembourg is destroyed to make way for agriculture

    ·        How more efficient agriculture could cut the roughly 30% of food that is currently lost or wasted

    ·        How big data is helping farmers track and better target their production. You’ll hear about GPS soil sampling that allows farmers to create soil fertility maps with information about a field’s nutrients, its pH level and other data. That enables farmers to make better decisions about which seeds to plant, where to plant them, and what kinds of fertiliser to use

    ·        How many data points per year does an automated milking system store on a single cow? The answer is 200 000—but we’ll also tell you what they’re for

    ·        How many people in the world are undernourished? It’s 821 million, and we’ll lay out some solutions to help feed them

    ·        We’ll also have reassuring news for gastronomes. France throws away an estimated 10 million tons, or 10 billion kilos, of food each year—but the government has passed laws to ensure that restaurants and supermarkets give that food to needy people, rather than tossing it. We like that, because why, oh, why would anyone throw away French food?

    If you’ve got something to say about climate in general or this podcast in particular, let me know @EIBMatt on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Climate Solutions.

     

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  • Hear how urban planners are confronting the effects of global warming on our climate podcast adaptation episode.

    Cities are where most of us live. They’re also where we’re most likely to be affected by climate change in the form of increasingly frequent floods and super-high temperatures, both of which are a big cost to the economy and, even worse, cause death.

    So, if we can agree that we don’t want people in our cities to die faster than they already do, let’s look at what we can do to reduce the impact of climate change on urban areas.

    This episode of the Climate Solutions podcast tells you about some of the big projects going on in this area, in particular in some cities you may know—Florence in Italy, and Athens in Greece, with brief stops in the Netherlands, Spain and France. At the end of the episode, you’ll bet a checklist of things you can do to help your city cope with climate change.

    Subscribe to the entire series of Climate Solutions from the European Investment Bank, the EU climate bank. Learn what you should do to fight climate change in the oceans, on the road, in your home and even on your digital devices.

    In this episode you’ll find out:

    ·        What is climate mitigation? It’s something that cuts the amount of greenhouse gas emitted, such as a wind farm or an energy efficiency renovation.

    ·        What is climate adaptation? This is a project that doesn’t necessarily change the amount of greenhouse gas emitted, but instead focuses on helping a city cope with the effects of climate change. We look at a project in Florence that deals with adaptation to the increasing flooding caused by climate change.

    ·        What’s the difference between climate mitigation and adaptation?

    ·        What is Green-Blue infrastructure? Green-Blue infrastructure is a city planning term that means incorporating natural landscapes into public spaces (green) and combining them with good water management (blue).

    If you’ve got something to say about climate in general or this podcast in particular, let me know @EIBMatt on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Climate Solutions.

     

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  • Climate change is humanity’s biggest problem. The Climate Solutions podcast tells you exactly what you can do to fight climate change. From the way you heat your home to the food you eat and the digital devices you use, Climate Solutions is your checklist for climate action.

     

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