Good News Digest #20

 
 
Photo by    Abigail Keenan    on    Unsplash   .
 
 

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.

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Climate Action

Global — 77 countries, 10 regions and 100+ cities pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the UN Climate Summit.

Global — 6 million people have protested over the past week, uniting across timezones, cultures and generations to demand urgent action.

Costa Rica — The UN awarded the country the Champion of the Earth award for its contributions to fighting climate change.

Decarbonization

Jerusalem — As a first phase to ban diesel vehicles from the city as a whole, the Environmental Protection Ministry announced a reduced-emissions zone for the capital’s downtown area.

San Francisco, US — Two districts proposed a natural gas ban in new construction and major renovations as well as incentives to owners of existing buildings to convert to electric.

Global — German energy giant RWE just announced plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. American energy companies NRG and DTE also announced net-zero carbon goal by 2050.

Corporate Action

Global — 230 global investors with $16.2 trillion in assets published a joint statement warning hundreds of firms linked to the Amazon fires to either meet their commitments or risk economic consequences.

Climate Week NYC — International non-profit The Climate Group witnessed its busiest year yet with 20+ new commitments to its corporate leadership initiatives in renewable power, electric transport, and smarter energy use. They are now at almost 300 multinational businesses with a combined revenue of US$5.5 trillion.

The Body Shop — Awarded an ethical business certification under a scheme that requires companies to track their impact on employers, suppliers, community and the environment.

Transportation

Trains — Amtrak’s Acela line, running between DC and Boston, is getting a $2.4 billion upgrade—and 10 mph faster.

Planes — Over 200 European airports have committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Cars — Tesla is working with a team of Canadian physicists to develop a battery that lasts one million miles.

Shipping — The Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership, a coalition of Pacific island nations, will raise $500m to make all shipping in the Pacific Ocean zero carbon by 2050.

Nature

Paremas, Indonesia — Check out this success story about how the local government and NGOs are working with the community to restore a mangrove forest. The secret to engaging the community? Emphasizing on the benefits of protecting a mangrove.

Portugal The University of Coimbra announced that it would stop serving beef for the first time in its 729-year history.

Greenland — Svalbard barnacle geese are seeing a giant population increase thanks to a warming climate.

Research & Development

Colorado River — Arizona State University launched a pilot project using a new water-saving solution called hydrogel.

Alberta, CA — Engineers may have found a way to extract hydrogen from underground resources like oilsands without emitting carbon.

California, US — Philanthropists Stewart and Lynda Resnick pledged $750 million to Caltech to support cutting-edge environmental sustainability research.

Arctic Center — Researchers just set sail on a year-long journey to improve the scientific models that underpin our understanding of climate change.

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