Good News Digest #8
- WE NEED GOOD NEWS -
Bad news related to climate change is hitting us at all angles. Fear and urgency are dominating the climate conversation. Yet positive climate stories and solutions are equally, if not more effective drivers of climate action.
They prove that solutions are working and are ready to be scaled. They show that nature is resilient and comes up with surprising ways of preserving itself. They send a clear signal to governments, policymakers, corporations and the wider public that there is a growing demand for cleaner technology and climate policy.
If you feel like you are drowning in bad news, we have collected lasts week’s climate change success stories to get you through the week.
- FUNDING ACTION -
United States — Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged to donate $500 million to close the country's remaining coal plants by 2030, under his new campaign Beyond Coal.
Las Vegas, NV — Actor Robert Downey Jr. announced a new project called The Footprint Coalition that will use advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence and nanotechnology, to fight climate change.
Ontario, Canada — The federal government is funding $15 million over four years to preserve the 50 Million Tree Program which was cut by the Ontario government of Premier Doug Ford in its last budget.
- RENEWABLES -
The North Sea — The largest offshore wind farm in the world is now operational. It is located in 75 miles off the east coast of Yorkshire in the United Kingdom and is generating electricity for up to 287,00 homes.
Scotland, UK — The energy firm Scottish Power will undertake the most ambitious battery power project in Europe, connecting an industrial-scale battery to the Whitelee onshore wind farm to capture power from its 214 turbines.
Wisconsin, US — Wisconsin is seeing growing interest in wind energy as production costs decline and utilities look toward renewable energy. Almost all electric utilities have committed themselves anywhere from 40-100% carbon reduction by a particular date.
United Kingdom — Homeowners who install new rooftop solar panels starting January 1st, 2020 will be able to lower their bills by selling the energy they do not need back to their supplier. The government is also encouraging people with rooftop panels to install batteries.
East Lansing, Michigan — Regulators approved a major utility's plan to phase out its coal-fired power plants and rely increasingly on renewable sources and energy efficiency.
- ZERO-WASTE -
Bridgeton, NJ — Danone North America announced its plant in New Jersey became the first of its manufacturing locations in the U.S. to achieve “zero-waste to landfill” status.
Instanbul, Turkey — The Zero Waste Blue Project will be kicked off on June 10th, aiming to collect a total of 50,000 tons of waste, including 30,000 tons of plastic, during the summer season.
Oxford, UK — Waitrose supermarket is starting a package-free trial allowing customers to refill their own containers with products including produce, wine and beer, rice and cleaning materials, with prices typically 15% cheaper than the packaged alternatives.
- CLIMATE JUSTICE -
Brazil — The National Congress has overturned changes set by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro that transferred the decision-making power of indigenous reserves demarcation to the Ministry of Agriculture.
British Columbia, Canada — Over the last 10 years, First Nations have been creating a conservation-based economy in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. A recent report shows they’ve created more than 1000 permanent jobs, 100 businesses, and 14 regional stewardship programs using conservation finance.
Amnesty — The human rights organization has awarded Swedish student activist Greta Thunberg and the Fridays for Future movement the Ambassador of Conscience Award for their "unique leadership and courage in standing up for human rights."
- U.S. POLITICS -
US Elections — Joe Biden released a climate plan calling for a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 and promising to implement a set of climate-focused executive orders on his first day in the White House and to raise $1.7 trillion in investment from Congress for clean energy research and innovation.
US Elections — Senator Elizabeth Warren released a green-jobs plan that outlines a $2 trillion investment over the next 10 years in green research, manufacturing and exporting green energy technology.
Washington, US — Here is a list of senators going after the biggest climate villains in Washington.
- CARBON NEUTRALITY -
Europe — Steelmaking giant ArcelorMittal has pledged to become carbon neutral across its European operations by 2050.
Finland — Finland’s new government announces plans to become carbon neutral by 2035, after 80 per cent of Finns called for urgent action on climate change.
Global — Lindblad Expeditions, the expedition company that operates small ship cruises throughout the world, will become a carbon neutral company beginning in 2019.
- CUTTING EMISSIONS -
Washington, US — In a letter signed by 17 companies including Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Volvo, automakers asked President Trump to rethink his deregulatory efforts to weaken tailpipe pollution standards.
Albany, NY — The Climate and Community Protection Act has reached majority sponsorship in both houses. The bill would require New York State to cut greenhouse-gas emissions in half by 2030, and 100% by 2050, and direct funds to environmentally vulnerable, low-income communities.
Chicago, IL — In honor of World Environment Day, United Airlines flew the Flight for the Planet, its first eco-friendly flight that combines the use of biofuel, zero-waste measures and carbon offsets.
Copenhagen, Denmark — Scandinavian Airlines announced it will stop selling duty-free goods on planes to reduce weight and save fuel as part of a wider range of measures to cut emissions.
Scotland, UK — Greenpeace activists halted the progress of an oil rig destined for BP's North Sea exploration program off the coast of Scotland.
Tokyo, Japan — Faced with a higher-than-expected demand for electric cars, Toyota Motor Corp aims to get half of its global sales from electric vehicles by 2025, five years ahead of schedule, a move that illustrates the rapid growth of the industry worldwide.
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