Highlights from BRICS 8th annual summit

first_imgThis year marks the 10th anniversary of the BRICS co-operation mechanism. Comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the bloc unites the world’s five major emerging economies.At the end of the eighth BRICS summit on 16 October in Goa, India, held under the theme of “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions”, the bloc issued the Goa Declaration.Brazilian President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Jacob Zuma attended the summit.#5GoalsfromGoa announced by PM @narendramodiFor positive direction & strong momentum of intra-#BRICS engagement. pic.twitter.com/pkZ6Wp2f1j— BRICS 2016 (@BRICS2016) October 17, 2016New Development BankBRICS members were satisfied with the approval of the first batch of loans by the New Development Bank (NDB), particularly in renewable energy projects in BRICS countries.On a global scaleThe group said it was grateful to former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon for his contribution in the past 10 years and congratulated António Guterres on his appointment as the next UN chief, pledging continuous support for the world body.Regarding the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the declaration urged developed countries to honour their commitment to earmark 0.7% of gross national income for official development assistance to developing countries.The five BRICS leaders also welcomed the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda adopted during the Hangzhou Summit and committed themselves to its implementation. In addition, the bloc pledged to enhance consultations and co-ordination on the G20 agenda, especially regarding issues of mutual interest to their countries.In particular, the member countries would continue to work closely with G20 members to strengthen macro-economic co-operation, promote innovation and sustainable trade and investment to propel global growth, improve global economic governance, enhance the role of developing countries, strengthen international financial architecture, support industrialisation in Africa and least developed countries, and enhance co-operation on energy access and efficiency, according to the Goa Declaration.World securityBRICS strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, particularly attacks against its members. It said there was no justification for acts of terror.Member countries agreed to strengthen co-operation in combating international terrorism at the bilateral and international levels. They called on all nations to adopt a comprehensive approach to ending terrorism.The environmentProtecting the environment is important to BRICS members. The bloc welcomed the Paris Agreement and urged countries to implement it by providing financial resources, technology and capacity building assistance to support developing countries.The leaders also emphasised that the comprehensive, balanced and ambitious nature of the Paris Agreement reaffirmed the principles of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, including the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances.Watch:Source: South African Government News Agency and SouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

Is Passivhaus Right for a Cold Canadian Climate?

first_imgSuperinsulation and lots of south-facing glazingI’ll remind you that we are using the following: R-100 ceiling, R-56 above-grade walls, R-28 below grade walls, and R-28 under-slab insulation. We are also having significant south glazing and minimal north glazing. We will be installing the highest efficiency fiberglass windows and we expect the airtightness of the house to meet the Passivhaus standard of 0.60 air changes per hour at 50 pascals.The bottom line here is that Saskatchewan is a lot colder than Germany. The number of heating degree days in Germany in 2014 was 3,100. The number of heating degree days in Saskatoon in 2014 was 6,035. Well, that’s about twice as much, which would account for our need for twice the heating energy – makes sense! Therefore, I have a hard time understanding how the standards for a German Passivhaus can be applied to a very cold Canadian climate.If we look at our expected total energy consumption (84.04 kWh/m2/year), however, we are actually significantly lower than the Passivhaus standard of 120 kWh/m2/year. [Editor’s note: The Passivhaus limit of 120 kWh/m2/year refers to total source energy, not site energy. For a discussion of the difference between source energy and site energy, see Understanding Energy Units.]This raises the question: In Germany, what accounts for the 105 kWh/m2/year difference? Is their appliance energy use and hot water use that much higher? Or is this particular standard higher to account for the larger homes and buildings that are typically built with Passivhaus?Anyway, what do these numbers really mean, except to compare apples (Germany) to oranges (Saskatchewan)? We weren’t going to be pursing Passivhaus certification anyway. (The approximate price tag for certification is $10,000, and I’d rather put that money into solar panels). But I think it provides an interesting discussion. Wood heat will be importantFirst, let me explain a couple things. One, we expect to use our wood stove a lot in the winter. I love a wood fire; there is something incredibly comforting about watching wood burn.Two, I do think that the annual appliance use is on the high side, and I would also argue that our total space heating is also a bit high when comparing it to the Mill Creek NetZero house, an eco-house project using the same wall system in a similar climate.Nonetheless, let’s give these numbers some context:Our home’s projected annual energy use for space heating = 31.13 kWh/m2/yearOur home’s annual energy use for space heating (not counting wood stove heat) = 10.18 kWh/m2/year. Compare this to the Passivhaus limit for annual space heating of 15 kWh/m2/year.The average Canadian home’s annual space heating use is 137.2 kWh/m2. (Holy crap, that’s high!)OK, so you can look at the comparison numbers I’ve provided above for Passivhaus and the average Canadian home versus our place at 31.13 (overall heat requirement) and 10.18 (electrical space heating requirement). Both of these numbers are a lot less than the Canadian average. I’ll use the 31.13 number because it is the highest possible use we would need in an extremely cold year without using any wood heat. That is 77.3% less than the average house in Canada! Pretty awesome! And yet, it is twice as high as the Passivhaus standard! A number I can live withIn the end, we will be building a highly efficient, superinsulated house that will consume about 75% to 80% less energy than the average Canadian house. We truly won’t know our overall energy consumption until we actually live in the house, so all of these numbers are just estimates.Yes, you can build a “true” Passivhaus on the prairies, but you’d be looking at making huge financial investments and sacrificing comfort to meet the standards.I’m reminded of a discussion I had with a local energy efficient home builder recently. He said: “Anyone can build an extremely energy-efficient house with enough money. But to build one on a budget — now that is something impressive.”In the end, we are building on a budget, which should come in at or below the cost of building your average stick-framed house and our energy bills (100% electric) should be in the range of $100 per month. I think I can live with that. BLOGS BY KENT EARLE Heating a Superinsulated House in a Cold ClimateChoosing a Superinsulated Wall SystemHow Small Can We Go?Picking High-Performance WindowsLet Construction BeginMaking an ICF FoundationDealing With Really Bad Water Strict energy limits are tough to meetAnother major criticism of the Passivhaus standard concerns the annual source energy limit and the annual heating/cooling consumption limit. These standards are very strict, at 120 kWh per square meter per year and 15 kWh per square meter per year. But is this possible in a very cold Canadian climate?Indeed this has been shown to be possible in a handful of projects in Canada. But not that many. Why is that? Recently we’ve run our numbers through the HOT2000 software, a Canadian tool for energy-efficient homes used to calculate energy consumption. It’s not as thorough as the PHPP Passivhaus software, but it’s pretty good, and it’s a lot cheaper to have done.OK — so here are our numbers:House size: 1,240 square feet (main floor) + 1,240 square feet (basement) = 2,480 square feet of treated floor area = 230 square meters of treated floor area.Estimated annual space heating requirement: 7,159 kWh (or 31.13 kWh/m2/year).Estimated annual electrical space heating (not counting expected wood stove use): 2,342 kWh (or 10.18 kwh/m2/year).Estimated annual energy use for domestic hot water: 3,409 kWhEstimated annual energy use for appliances: 8,760 kWhTotal annual energy use: 19,328 kWh (or 84.04 kWh/m2/year). Kent Earle and his wife, Darcie, write a blog called Blue Heron EcoHaus. The blog documents their journey “from urbanites to ruralites,” as they plan to build a net-zero superinsulated house on the Canadian prairies. RELATED ARTICLES Are Passivhaus Requirements Logical or Arbitrary?Redefining PassivhausCan Foam Insulation Be Too Thick?Net-Zero-Energy versus PassivhausPassivhaus Buildings Don’t Heat ThemselvesPassivhaus Crosses the AtlanticPassivhaus For BeginnersUnderstanding Energy Units This is something I’ve been wrestling with since we decided on building a superinsulated, highly energy efficient home. And really this is something that I think a lot of builders, architects, and designers of eco- and green homes have been debating since the Passivhaus concept came to North America in the past few years.When we initially got going on our project, I was pumped on the possibility of “not needing an active heating system,” as Passivhaus enthusiasts have touted. However, that really is not quite true. Although many of these Passivhaus homes in Europe don’t necessarily use a boiler or furnace as we do in Canada, they do still technically require some way of heating.Often that is a heating coil attached to the existing ventilation unit that warms the incoming ventilated air. For our house, the possibility of using such a system simply made no sense.Passivhaus often justifies some of its standards on “user comfort.” Certainly, I agree that user comfort is critical. However, in order to meet some of the rigorous standards of Passivhaus, people have tended to sacrifice comfort to meet the certification. For example, in our project, yes, we could have used this method of heating as a secondary option, but it would not be sufficient to meet all of our heating needs despite the superinsulation. Furthermore, we need a thermal mass (concrete floor) to take advantage of the solar gains to cut down on our heat load. Those of you who have walked around on a cold concrete floor know that this is pretty uncomfortable (as a physiotherapist, I cannot count the number of people I see who complain about knee, back, and foot pain due to walking on concrete floors at work). That being said, a warmed concrete floor is very pleasant, and strangely comfortable.Given that we wanted a concrete floor for both thermal mass and aesthetics, it made no sense to me not to use in-floor hydronic heat. In this case, we had to choose user comfort over Passivhaus standards.last_img read more

How Leaders Can Ensure Their Software Investments Produce Returns

first_imgThis post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.I just finished reading my friends at IBM’s new ERP guide called Integrated ERP Guide: Expert Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions. The section that I believe is critically overlooked is on page, 11: “executive sponsor’s commitment.” In my experience, this is how software investments fail to produce their promised results.It doesn’t matter what kind of software system you install, without leadership truly embracing the acquisition and use of the system, it will fail.Massive software systems like ERP (even for small and medium sized businesses) can do wonders to help give you control, to give you insight, and to help you take your business to the next level. It’s the same thing with sales force automation; the software can definitely help you improve your business. But only if it is really adopted by the end users and key stakeholders.The major mistake I’ve seen in implementations with small, medium, and large businesses, is that leadership isn’t engaged in the process of making sure that the software is utilized. They love the idea of the software itself. They’re enamored with the promise of how it’s going to remake their business. But they’re not deeply engaged enough with the execution of the software before, during, and after the installation to get the initiative all the way over the line. This is why they never get the full benefit of their software investments.What Leaders Should Do?So what should leaders do?First, know that your involvement doesn’t end once you sign the contract acquiring the new software. Instead you have to provide a vision of what the execution needs to look like. You need to share that vision with everyone involved, especially the key stakeholders and peer users. You have to constantly reinforce your vision.Second you need to set expectations about the software’s utilization and the accountabilities surrounding your initiatives. It isn’t enough just to purchase the software. You have to ensure that it generates the results that you were after when you acquire the software. This is where your key stakeholders can help. They need to share your vision and ensure that processes are put in place (lest everyone go back to sending each other emailed spreadsheets).Finally, you need to put some key people in charge of the implementation and execution. The people you really want on projects like this are the people that are most passionate about the project. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you put people with the right title or the right position on your org chart in charge of implementation and execution. You want the fire-breathing, passionate end users, those who will spread the gospel and proselytize their peers.If you are going to spend the money and leverage technology, ensuring you get the return you want requires the additional investment of your leadership.QuestionsWhy do most software implementations fail to produce the promised returns?What is leadership’s role in ensuring that their investments produce those results?How should a leader ensure that key stakeholders execute?Why do you want passionate end users on software implementation project teams?last_img read more

Returning Belo fends off worries about injured knee

first_imgView comments What ‘missteps’? Mac Belo. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netOut of action since April, Mac Belo’s excitement was palpable when he joined the national team practices for the first time on Wednesday afternoon at Meralco Gym.“I’ve been out of basketball for so long, so I’m just excited to get back,” said Belo in Filipino.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Obiena a sure gold in SEA Games “I’m trying to take that hesitance and that fear out of my mind. If I think about that, it will just add to my worries so I’d rather not mind those stuff,” he said.But his excitement is outweighing the woes, and Belo is just happy to join forces with his fellow pool members as the younger Gilas crew prepares for the 2017 Jones Cup and the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.“I’m happy that the other young guys are here. Ray (Parks) can help us a lot, same with Christian (Standhardinger) and Kobe (Paras). Their training will be valuable for us here in Gilas and I’m happy that they’re here and we can learn a lot from them,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Gamescenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Belo, who also missed the 2017 SEABA Championship, underwent an arthroscopic surgery to fix a torn meniscus on his left knee, keeping him out of action until last week.Those few weeks away from the game has made the Midsayap, North Cotabato even hungrier for action as he get back on the court with Gilas.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Even before I had the injury, I really wanted to play, so now that I’m alright, I’m just so happy to get back on the court,” he said.The lanky forward, though, didn’t deny that he was still uncomfortable going full speed at times as he favors his still recovering knee. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES MOST READ China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucenalast_img read more

Lionel Messi hits 50th hat trick to give Barca 4-2 win at Sevilla

first_imgMississippi players kneel during anthem in response to rally ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Barcelona had drawn four of its previous five matches and its only goal in three games had been a penalty by Messi. A setback in Seville would have given Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid the chance to spark up the title race when they play on Sunday.Instead, Messi almost singlehandedly ensured Barcelona opened a 10-point gap over Atletico and a 12-point advantage over Madrid.Barcelona also rediscovered its scoring form in time for a critical week of back-to-back clashes with Madrid. The fierce rivals meet in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal on Wednesday after a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou, before clashing again in the league next weekend.“We went through a patch when we weren’t playing our best and that makes everything more difficult. We were having trouble converting our chances,” Messi said. “When everything flows, things go well for us, as we saw today. Today we were back to playing like we know how. We played a great match.”Sevilla outplayed Barcelona through much of the first half and was twice ahead thanks to Jesus Navas and Gabriel Mercado.ADVERTISEMENT Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Sevilla went ahead twice, but Messi hit back each time before he netted a third goal with five minutes remaining.After taking his league-leading tally to 25 goals, Messi added an assist for Luis Suarez to round off the win before the whistle.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesIt was Messi’s 44th hat trick for Barcelona, to go with another six for Argentina, according to the club.“This doesn’t mean the league is ours yet. There is a long way to go, but it was very important to win here to protect the advantage we have over our rivals,” Messi said. “The game turned against us but we knew how to pull it out.” Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief Sixth-place Alaves drew 0-0 with relegation-threatened Celta Vigo, while Athletic Bilbao won 1-0 against Eibar. Raul Garcia scored a first-minute goal for Athletic, which is up to eighth.center_img But Messi responded both times with strikes that produced the same result: goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik helplessly pawing thin air as the ball sailed over his head.Messi cancelled out Navas’ 22nd-minute opener four minutes later with an exquisite volley, as the Argentine blasted Ivan Rakitic’s cross into the top corner of the net.Messi equalized a second time in the 67th after Rakitic recovered the ball, laid off for Ousmane Dembele, who found Barcelona’s all-time top scorer alone on the edge of the area and he curled the ball into the corner.Messi finally put Barcelona in charge when he nonchalantly chipped the ball over Vaclik.“Not only did Messi score three great goals, it was how he scored them,” said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde. “There was a lot at stake in this match. We weren’t playing well and then he appeared. That is Messi.”Sevilla fell into fifth place, with Getafe moving up into the Champions League spots after beating Rayo Vallecano 2-1.UMTITI RETURNSDefender Samuel Umtiti played his first match for Barcelona after being sidelined since late November with a left knee problem that has plagued him since helping France win the 2018 World Cup.Umtiti, who played the full 90 minutes, has only made nine appearances for Barcelona this campaign.OTHER RESULTS LATEST STORIES PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during La Liga soccer match between Sevilla and Barcelona at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville, Spain. Saturday, February 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti)BARCELONA, Spain — Just when Barcelona was at its worst, Lionel Messi gave one of his best performances of the season.Messi scored his 50th hat trick for club and country on Saturday in a 4-2 victory at Sevilla, helping Barcelona to take a big step toward retaining the Spanish league title.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more