Good News Digest #13
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.
France — The city of Paris declared a climate emergency.
Germany — Cologne had become the first big German city to declare a climate emergency.
UK — Artists, labels, venues and promoters from across the U.K. have come together to declare a climate emergency.
Ghana — Signs a landmark deal with the World Bank to cut carbon emissions and reduce deforestation.
Global — NASA and UN Environment partnered up on the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) initiative, to further our understanding of the Earth system and global environment.
UK — Jeremy Corbin pledged the UK would stop hiding its contribution to climate change and start revealing imported emissions and carbon leakage (when companies move their production abroad to countries with less stringent climate measures).
Canada — Metro Vancouver is taking steps to further reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills by trying to find commercial uses for waste.
China — Shanghai leads the battle against China's rising mountain of trash.
UK — A restaurant in London called Spring cut out all single-use plastic in favor of reusable metal and plastic containers.
Mumbai, India — A team of researchers has developed the first-ever biodegradable screws that can be used to fix bone and soft tissue injuries.
Bengaluru, India — Dopology is recycling newspapers to make pencils and reduce deforestation.
Mexico — Researchers in Mexico created a biodegradable plastic from the juice of the prickly pear cactus.
UK — Extinction Rebellion protested in London, Cardiff, Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow.
Luxembourg — Activists are planning demonstrations against the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) over its fossil fuel investments.
Canada — Climate activists staged a sit-in protest outside of Premier François Legault’s Montreal office.
Washington — A scientist confronted EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler over the climate crisis at an award ceremony.
Los Angeles — Jaden Smith launched the I Love You Restaurant, a food truck that provides free vegan meals to homeless people.
UK — Prince Charles said he stands ready to support the Commonwealth in the battle to fight climate change.
Singapore — There is a $20 billion plan underway to power Singapore with Australian solar energy.
U.S. Tribal Lands — Dozens of new solar and wind projects are sprouting up on tribal lands across the U.S.
Saudi Arabia — Researchers have created a device that can produce electricity from sunlight while simultaneously purifying water.
U.S. — Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University and law firm Arnold & Porter launched the Renewable Energy Legal Defense Initiative to provide pro bono legal representation to community groups and others who want renewable energy projects that are being impeded by opposition.
Brazil — A state law against fracking was approved in Paraná State after almost six years of campaigning.
France — The French Institute of Petroleum and Total have teamed up to accelerate carbon reduction research and development (R&D).
Hawaii — From now on, Hawaii’s department of transportation will use carbon-injected concrete, which removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and traps it, for road construction.
U.S. — Capturing carbon emissions through direct air capture will greatly facilitate the transition to a clean energy future.
Philippines — Catholic bishops have decided to divest from fossil fuels.
UK — Two of Britains leading institutions, the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, have announced their divestment from fossil fuels.
San Diego, CA — The UC San Diego Academic Senate announced that it has approved the Fossil Fuel Memorial, calling on the University of California to divest from fossil fuels.
UK — British Gas and SSE have committed to switch to electric cars and vans by 2030.
Germany — Polish bus company Solaris announced it will supply Berlin with 90 electric buses.
Norway — Almost half of new cars sold in Norway in the first six months of 2019 are fully electric, up from just over a quarter the same time last year.
China — China is putting its manufacturing and policy behind hydrogen cars.
India — India gets its first electric vehicle by Hyundai.
Singapore — Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies signs an agreement to supply 1,000 fuel cell electric heavy vehicles, expected to address air quality problems at shipping ports and logistics hubs around the world.
Planes, Ferries and Spacecrafts
France — Announced a tax on air travel to tackle climate change, and is pushing the EU to follow suit.
San Francisco — The US’s first zero-emission ferry will be launched on the San Francisco Bay this fall.
Turkey — will soon have a tree planting holiday, dedicating a whole day to plant trees throughout the country.
Holland — Holland covers hundreds of bus stops with plants to support biodiversity (honey bees and bumblebees) and capture dust and store rainwater.
Canada — Moss on Ellesmere Island was discovered to be alive after being frozen under permafrost for 40,000 years. This shows the strength of Earth’s ecological system.
Global — Researchers at Stanford University created the first genetically engineered coral to protect reefs from higher temperatures induced by climate change.
Florida, US — Anna Maria Island uses infiltration systems to capture storm water that typically drowns the main road through town.
Food & Alcohol
Impossible Foods, known for its plant-based impossible burger, is currently developing a fishless fish to tackle the fishing industry.
New Jersey, US — AeroFarms indoor vertical farming group has raised $100 million in late-stage funding.
Scientists say switching from wheat to peas as the base for our alcohol could have major environmental benefits.
GOOD OR BAD?
Scientists have figured out how to genetically engineer plants to grow deeper roots, potentially improving carbon storage, drought resistance, and flood protection. Should we be further interfering with nature?
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