Good News Digest #9
- 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.
- RENEWABLES -
United States — Renewable energy (solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, and geothermal) now generates more electricity in the United States than coal, a trend that will likely continue in the coming years.
Global — Renewable energy is now the cheapest source of energy generation, even without subsidies. Installation and maintenance costs, once an important obstacle to mass deployment, are on a continued downward trajectory.
Global — The renewable energy sector created around 11 million jobs globally in 2018, with China generating around 39% of the total global employment.
Alabama, US — 75% of Alabama voters support the expansion of renewable energy. That support is consistent regardless of party affiliation, geographic location or race.
Italy — The European Commission has approved an over €5 billion scheme to support renewable electricity production in Italy.
United States — The U.S. Senate just introduced a bill to reauthorize and increase the domestic production of marine renewable energy from the natural power in ocean waves, tides, and currents.
- BIODIVERSITY & NATURE -
Florida, US — 633 divers gathered to break the world record for the largest underwater cleanup of ocean litter. They retrieved at least 1,626 pounds of trash and 60 pounds of fishing line.
Scotland — The Scottish forestry agency announced it planted over 22 million trees last year, far exceeding its target. Each year in Scotland, forests remove around 9.5 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Mozambique, Africa — The elephants at Niassa wildlife reserve have gone a year without being killed by poachers, after a dedicated police force and more assertive land and air patrolling were introduced.
Canada — The Parliament passed legislation banning whales, dolphins and porpoises from being bred or held in captivity.
Georgia, US — Endangered loggerhead sea turtles are laying eggs at a record pace along the coast of Georgia.
Columbia Basin, WA — Federally endangered pygmy rabbits were on the brink of extinction in the early 2000s, but have since bounced back after serious intervention in the last 20 years.
- DECARBONIZATION -
Norway — The country’s sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world, is divesting from fossil fuels.
United Kingdom — The UK will enshrine a 2050 net zero emissions target in law, making it the first major economy to legislate an end date for its contribution to global warming.
European Union — A majority of EU states, most recently Germany, Greece, Italy and Slovenia, now support a 2050 net zero climate goal.
The Vatican — Following a personal appeal by Pope Francis, a group of the world’s largest oil and gas companies and investment funds pledged to adhere to the Paris Agreement and to do their part in transitioning to a low-carbon future.
Japan — 20 major companies (including Sony Corporation, AEON and Fujitsu) have called on the Japanese government to set the target of sourcing at least 50% of its electricity from renewables by 2030.
- PLASTIC BANS -
Canada — The country-wide ban on single-use plastic announced last week would save an estimated $11 billion annually through 2030.
Oregon, US — The Oregon Senate voted to prohibit single-use plastic shopping bags in grocery stores and restaurants.
Surfside, Florida — The town voted to expand its existing plastic-straw ban to include plastic bags, utensils, and dinnerware.
- RETHINKING WASTE -
United Kingdom — Unilever ice cream brand Solero has launched a wrapper-less multipack which uses 35 percent less plastic compared to its original packs.
Vancouver, Canada — A grocery store is urging customers to bring reusable bags and rethink plastic by offering ‘embarrassing’ plastic bags that read ‘Wart Ointment Wholesale’ or ‘Colon care.’
Vancouver, Canada — Native Shoes just launched The Plant Shoe, a 100% backyard compostable and plant-based sneaker.
- ACTIVISM -
Radiohead — In response a hack threatening to exposed unreleased recordings, Radiohead released the music themselves and donated $150,000 they would have spent paying ransom to the activist organization Extinction Rebellion.
United States — 15 presidential candidates, young activists and Miami’s Democratic Party are all pressuring the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to hold a separate climate-focused debate.
Edinburgh, UK — Extinction Rebellion protesters have closed off several major roads in the center of the city as part of a week-long protest over emissions targets.
- TRAVEL -
Dublin, Ireland — The Dublin Airport is introducing plastic-free water cartons and 100% recyclable water bottles for €1 before as an eco-friendly alternative for travelers.
France — Air France has committed to eliminate 1,300 tons of single-use plastic from its services by the end of the year and to substitute plastic products and packaging with paper, wooden and bio-based materials.
London, UK — Starbucks and environmental charity Hubbub launched the first airport reusable cup trial in partnership with England’s Gatwick Airport. Travelers can return the cups to a Cup Check-In site before boarding.
Ibiza, Spain — 33 Ibiza businesses in the hospitality sector have now signed up for the Plastic Free Ibiza Campaign supported by the Ibiza Preservation Foundation. The initiative introduces a rating system to show consumers which businesses are taking plastic elimination seriously.
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