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Five innovations for fighting climate change, one winner

fireForum for the Future is asking the public to help it choose the winning entry in its global competition for innovation to tackle climate change.

The winner, to be announced 3 April, will be awarded a prize of $75,000, sponsored by Hewlett-Packard.

The sustainable development charity organisation received nearly 300 entries from around the world and has now whittled down the field to five finalists:

  • The Kyoto Box: Suggested by Kyoto Energy Limited of Kenya, the Kyoto Box is an inexpensive, solar-powered cardboard stove designed for use in rural Africa. Easily flatpacked and distributed in large quantites by lorry, the stove could cut firewood use in half. Families using such stoves could also earn money starting the first month through carbon credits;
  • The Black Phantom – This entry from New Zealand/UK-based Carbonscape essentially acts as a giant industrial microwave that “fixes” the carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere by trees by turning wood into charcoal. The charcoal can then be buried, used as fertiliser or burnt as a highly efficient fuel;
  • The Deflecktor – Designed by the US-based ADEF Limited, the Deflecktor is an inexpensive, lightweight aerodynamic cover for lorry wheels that reduces drag and improves fuel efficiency. The cover could help reduce an eight-wheel lorry and trailer’s fuel consumption by 2 percent;
  • Mootral – Developed by the UK’s Neem Biotech, Mootral is a garlic-derived feed additive that can reduce the methane emissions produced by cows, sheep and other ruminants. The company says methane can be cut by at least 5 percent and by up to 25 percent with optimum dosages. Global methane emissions from ruminants is responsible for about 20 percent of climate change;
  • Evaporating Tiles – An entry from Loughborough University in the UK, Evaporating Tiles provide indoor cooling by using exhaust air to evaporate water within hollow tiles built into a false ceiling. The developers say the system can be used as a standalone and can cut air-conditioning energy consumption in half.

“Humankind needs all the ingenuity it can muster to tackle climate change,” said Peter Madden, chief executive
of Forum for the Future. “We are showcasing some of the world’s best low-carbon innovations. They show that there are solutions to climate change and that money can be made from them.”

To vote on the finalists, visit Forum for the Future.

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