Good News Digest #21

 
 
Grand Prismatic Spring, United States   . Photo by Chris Leipelt on Unsplash.

Grand Prismatic Spring, United States. Photo by Chris Leipelt 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

Estonia — Prime Minister Jüri Ratas announced his government’s support of the EU plan to be carbon neutral by 2050, leaving the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland behind.

Samoa, Oceania — The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) pledged to work with governments in the Pacific to respond to the challenges of climate change, food insecurity and malnutrition.

Indonesia — Thanks to student activism, Indonesia’s parliament delayed passing new bills on mining and on land reform that would dismantle environmental and social protections.

Decarbonization

Portland, Oregon — Major utility company PacifiCorp wants to accelerate the transition away from coal-fired power and toward solar and wind power generation.

Montreal, Canada — The city unveiled its plans for its first carbon-neutral community with 5,000 housing units.

UK — For the first time, 20 of UK’s leading universities struck a £50m deal to buy renewable energy directly from British wind farms.

Corporate Action

European Commission — 10 eco-design measures were adopted for appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, lighting and TVs on the EU market. By 2021, firms will have to make products longer-lasting, energy-efficient, more easily repairable and recyclable, and they will have to supply spare parts for up to 10 years.

Unilever — The company plans to halve the amount of new plastic it uses over the next 5 years. It is currently responsible for producing 700,000 tonnes of it a year.

Clorox — The Clorox Company is anticipating cost savings with its new sustainable packaging.

Transportation

Northeast US — A coalition of 13 New England and mid-Atlantic states proposed the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) to place pollution limits on transportation.

UK — Bentley Motors now has the UK’s first carbon-neutral luxury car factory.

Kazakhstan — Kazakh capital purchased its first 100 electric buses in order to save money and reduce air pollution.

Nature

Great Pacific Garbage Patch — The Floating Boom ocean cleanup device, launched by the Ocean Cleanup project, successfully collected plastic in the high seas for the first time.

Queensland, Australia — TripAdvisor banned ticket sales to theme parks and tourist attractions that breed or import whales, dolphins and porpoises.

Canada — Green Party Leader Elizabeth May announced the federal government would commit to planting 10 billion trees by 2050 as part of its climate action plan.

Research & Development

New York City — The city would like to make Governors Island a climate change ‘laboratory’ for climate adaptation research, commercialization, conversation and policymaking.

Stanford, US — Scientist Eric Appel created a gel that can be sprayed on vegetation as a flame retardant and protect plants from setting on fire during the entire fire season.

University of Illinois, Chicago — A team of researchers developed the first fully-rechargeable carbon-neutral battery that can recharge up to 500 times.

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