Volvo is going fully electric by 2030

March 3, 2021 by  
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This was a big week for Volvo , which made two bold and forward-looking announcements and debuted the C40 Recharge. The Swedish automaker, which is owned by the Chinese conglomerate Geely, will only sell electric cars by 2030. It’s also closing all show rooms and only selling cars online. The company will be phasing out leather interiors as well to meet its sustainability goals. “To remain successful, we need profitable growth. So instead of investing in a shrinking business, we choose to invest in the future — electric and online,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo’s chief executive, in a statement. “We are fully focused on becoming a leader in the fast-growing premium electric segment.” Related: Volvo creates the living seawall in Sydney to help with plastic pollution Volvo had previously decreed that half of its cars sales would be electric by 2025. Now the company is accelerating its goal by completely phasing out gas, diesel and hybrid options as part of its commitment to reduce carbon emissions . On Tuesday, Volvo unveiled the new 2022 C40 Recharge four-door coupe, which has an estimated 210-mile range. Volvo had previously released only one fully electric vehicle, 2020’s XC40 Recharge. This SUV has a range of about 200 miles. Both the SUV and the coupe need 40 minutes of plug-in time to charge their batteries to 80%. It’s going to be a pretty big change for people in large countries like the U.S. who are used to going on long road trips to have to stop every few hours and find a charging station. But Volvo is forging resolutely ahead. “I am totally convinced there will no customers who really want to stay with a petrol engine,” Samuelsson said at a press conference. “We are convinced that an electric car is more attractive for customers.” Volvo has said there’s “no long-term future” for autos relying on internal combustion engines. By 2025, Volvo aims to be selling half hybrid models and half fully electric cars. Over the next few years, a whole new set of Volvo cars will debut to be sold online only. Other car makers are starting to agree. In the U.K., Bentley is also aiming to be all-electric by 2030, and Jaguar has announced a 2025 deadline to make the switch. + Volvo Via The Verge , CNET and Reuters Image via Volvo

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Volvo is going fully electric by 2030

Monarch butterfly population declines due to climate change and logging

March 3, 2021 by  
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A new  report by the World Wildlife Fund  in association with the government of Mexico shows that there is a drastic decline in the number of monarch butterflies hibernating in Mexico. The report indicates that the number of butterflies had reduced by 26% in December 2020 compared to the same month in 2019. Monarch butterflies are among the most beautiful migratory insects in the world. Every fall, they treat people in the U.S. and Mexico to a stunning show as they migrate to Mexico to hibernate for the winter. Unfortunately, logging in Mexico and some climate factors have dealt a blow to their population. Related: What’s causing the decline in monarch butterfly populations The report shows that the butterflies occupied nearly 7 acres in their hibernation ground in Mexico in 2019. In 2020, the monarchs only occupied about 5.1 acres of forested land. According to Jorge Rickards, Director-General of WWF Mexico, the migration of the butterflies across two countries shows how collaboration is necessary for their conservation . “Monarch butterflies show us how individual work, in this case, migration, can become an exceptional collaborative exercise, when all these migrants gather in the forests to hibernate together and buffer the climate,” Rickards said. The report has linked the decline in numbers of monarch butterflies with deforestation . The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, which is the major hibernation area, lost four times more trees in 2020 than it did in 2019. While natural events, such as wind and drought, have contributed to tree loss, the decline in trees is also attributed to logging and pest-control activities. The report indicates that such tree losses have hindered monarch butterflies’ reproduction and have also interfered with their migration patterns. “This limited the reproduction of the Monarch population, with an impact on the migrant generation, reducing the population of this insect throughout North America and leading to a smaller population occupying the Mexican forests during its hibernation,” the report says. In the U.S., monarch butterflies are on the brink of being classified as an endangered species . If the species is not protected, the world is likely to lose the only known two-way migration butterflies. According to WWF, they travel up to  2,800 miles  in a year to spend winter months in Mexico. + WWF Via CBS Image via Ulrike Leone

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USPS cuts emissions with new delivery vehicle fleet

March 1, 2021 by  
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The United States Postal Service announced last week that it was awarded a multi-billion-dollar contract to update the postal delivery fleet. Oshkosh Defense of Oshkosh, Wisconsin , won the 10-year contract to build more efficient vehicles with fewer emissions. In recent years, the USPS has faced stiff competition from private delivery services and has endured derision over being less reliable. Investing in a modernized fleet is just part of an overarching, soon-to-be-released plan for USPS to triumph and once again become the nation’s preferred delivery service provider. Related: Canoo unveils 100% electric delivery vans that start at $33K Oshkosh Defense is finalizing designs for the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV). The plan is to assemble 50,000 to 165,000 of the new right-hand-drive mail and package delivery vehicles over the next decade. The vehicles will have either battery electric powertrains or fuel-efficient internal combustion engines. USPS plans to design them so that they can be easily retrofitted as electric vehicle technology evolves. An initial $482 million investment includes building the U.S. manufacturing facility where final assembly of the new fleet will happen. “Our fleet modernization also reflects the Postal Service’s commitment to a more environmentally sustainable mix of vehicles,” Postmaster General and USPS Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy said in a statement. “Because we operate one of the largest civilian government fleets in the world, we are committed to pursuing near-term and long-term opportunities to reduce our impact on the environment.” NGDV safety features include advanced braking and traction control, 360-degree cameras and a front- and rear-collision avoidance system that includes visual, audio warning and automatic braking, according to USPS. Increased cargo capacity will accommodate more packages and maximize efficiency. The current USPS fleet includes more than 230,000 vehicles in every class. Some are purpose-built for USPS delivery, while others are commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles. Some have already been in service for 30 years. About 190,000 of these deliver mail six or seven days a week, making them some of the hardest working vehicles on the road. + USPS Images via USPS

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Facebook Marketplace fuels illegal sales of land in the Amazon rainforest

March 1, 2021 by  
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Large parcels of land in the Amazon rainforest are being sold illegally on Facebook. According to a recent investigation carried out by the BBC, Facebook Marketplace ads are being used to sell land in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon Rainforest to global buyers. Facebook has distanced itself from the illegal trade, saying, “We are ready to work with local authorities.” The company also added, “Our commerce policies require buyers and sellers to comply with laws and regulations.” Related: Amazon deforestation reaches a 12-year record Ivaneide Bandeira, head of environmental NGO Kanindé, said that those selling the land “feel very empowered to the point that they are not ashamed of going on Facebook to make illegal land deals.” Many of the people selling the land have admitted they don’t possess the land titles, which are the official documents that prove land ownership in Brazil . “There’s no risk of an inspection by state agents here,” said Fabricio Guimarães, one land seller, told BBC. Some of the land being advertised for sale belongs to Indigenous communities. One community leader, Bitaté Uru Eu Wau Wau, has condemned the Facebook Marketplace ads, urging the company to take action. “This is a lack of respect,” he said. “I don’t know these people. I think their objective is to deforest the Indigenous land, to deforest what is standing. To deforest our lives, you could say.” While local authorities are slow to act, Facebook has the capacity to take action. All ads go through an approval process before going live. Interestingly, some of the classifieds posted also include coordinates. But the company says the task of deciding which sales are illegal would be too much for it to handle and that authorities need to step in. In recent years, the Brazilian government has said that it does not support deforestation , but its actions say otherwise. “President Jair Bolsonaro’s government has always made it clear that his is a zero-tolerance government for any crime, including environmental ones.” Brazil’s Minister of the Environment Ricardo Salles said. While the government says it is taking action, the budgetary allocation to Ibama, the body mandated with inspection of the rainforest, has been cut by 40%. + BBC Image via Mario Dimas N Silva

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Facebook Marketplace fuels illegal sales of land in the Amazon rainforest

The State of Green Business 2021

December 21, 2020 by  
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The State of Green Business 2021 Date/Time: January 25, 2021 (1-2PM ET / 10-11AM PT) Following the challenging, turbulent year that was 2020, what is the state of sustainable business in 2021? Join us for the release of the 14th annual edition of State of Green Business, GreenBiz Group’s award-winning annual report. Each year, the report looks at key trends and metrics assessing how, and how much, companies are moving the needle on the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. The report is produced in partnership with Trucost, part of S&P Global, and covers the performance on the biggest publicly traded U.S. companies (S&P 500) and global players (S&P Global 1200). In this one-hour webcast, coinciding with the report’s release, GreenBiz Group Chairman and Executive Editor Joel Makower and Trucost CEO Richard Mattison will provide insights into key trends and metrics in sustainable business, including new metrics introduced in this year’s report revealing companies’ revenue aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, and how large companies’ emissions align with a 2-degree carbon budget. Among the topics: Why the “S” in ESG is gaining currency The new face of credit risk How ESG scores relate to financial performance Why sustainable mobility is becoming the newest corporate perk Corporate profits at risk from climate change Speakers: Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group Richard Mattison, Chief Executive Officer, Trucost, part of S&P Global If you can’t tune in live, please register and we will email you a link to access the archived webcast footage and resources, available to you on-demand after the webcast. Report Partner taylor flores Mon, 12/21/2020 – 10:22 Joel Makower Chairman & Executive Editor GreenBiz Group @makower Richard Mattison CEO Trucost, part of S&P Global @richmattison gbz_webcast_date Sat, 01/25/2020 – 10:00 – Sat, 01/25/2020 – 11:00

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California Governor Newsom on the state of climate leadership.

November 4, 2019 by  
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A conversation at VERGE 19 with the chief executive of the world’s fifth-largest economy about climate change, innovation and the future of California.

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California Governor Newsom on the state of climate leadership.

Crude oil spill off Newfoundland coast deemed impossible to clean up

November 27, 2018 by  
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The SeaRose FPSO — a floating production, storage and offloading vessel in the White Rose oil and gas field near Newfoundland’s coast — spilled an estimated 66,000 gallons (250,000 liters) of crude earlier this month, making it the largest oil spill in the province’s maritime history. To make matters worse, according to Canadian provincial regulators, the huge spill cannot be cleaned up. The operator responsible for the incident is Husky Energy, and the spill happened when the vessel “experienced a loss of pressure” in an oil flowline. Husky Energy had halted production the day before due to bad weather , and the spill occurred when the company was preparing to restart production. Related: This magnetic wand cleans up oil spills in a snap Three days after the spill, the regulators reportedly did not see any signs of an oil sheen on the water . According to Scott Tessier, chief executive of The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB), the absence of a sheen means the oil has broken down so much that it has become impossible to clean up. EcoWatch reported that Husky Energy has shut-in and secured all of its wells , and the company has also halted production and drilling operations. C-NLOPB, which is the federal agency that regulates petroleum production, has launched a formal investigation into the spill, and will release its findings once they are available. The board noted that this recent spill shows that we cannot underestimate the risks in offshore oil activity. It also said that it had deployed four surveillance flights and an offshore support vessel to assess the extent of the spill and look for effects on wildlife . At the time of writing, 14 seabirds have been impacted by the spill. Via EcoWatch , The Canadian Press and The Guardian Image via Catmoz

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Crude oil spill off Newfoundland coast deemed impossible to clean up

BP’s chief economist predicts plastic bans will slash oil demand

February 21, 2018 by  
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Oil giant BP has predicted that increased regulation on plastic pollution around the world will result in decreased demand for petroleum, the key ingredient in most plastic. “We think we’re going to see increasing regulation against some types of petrochemical products, particularly single-use plastics,” BP’s Chief Economist Spencer Dale told Bloomberg . “As a result of that, we have less growth in non-combusted oils than we otherwise would have done.” While petrochemicals are predicted to continue as the largest driver of oil consumption, BP also predicts that oil demand will drop by two million barrels a day as a result of developing plastic regulations. BP also predicts that oil production will continue to rise over the next two decades, apparently peaking in the mid-2030s. Notably, this forecast expects an oil peak nearly a decade earlier than BP’s prediction last year. Despite its estimation that one third of total miles driven will be powered by electricity by 2040, BP does not expect the electric vehicle market to impact oil dramatically. “Selling more EVs will tend to have almost no effect on oil demand because now I can sell a greater number of large cars or I can do less investment in light weighting,” said Dale. This assumes that large, heavy, fossil-fuel-powered cars continue to be profitable. Related: Beer with biodegradable six-pack rings finally hits the market BP also revised its expectations from previous years regarding the growth of renewable energy , with the company now estimating that renewable energy will constitute 40 percent of all energy growth in the near future. “We cannot predict where these changes will take us, but we can use this knowledge to get fit and ready to play our role in meeting the energy needs of tomorrow,” said BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley in a statement. To prepare for a cleaner energy future, BP has purchased a $200 million stake in British solar developer Lightsource Renewable Energy Ltd. and is reportedly considering purchasing Terra Firma’s Rete Rinnovabile Srl, a solar company based in Italy. Via Bloomberg and Treehugger Images via Depositphotos (1)

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BP’s chief economist predicts plastic bans will slash oil demand

Scotland’s latest wind farm will help fund 500 new affordable homes

April 20, 2017 by  
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Scotland’s Berwickshire Housing Association wants to capture the wind to boost their mission. By launching a new wind farm in the Scottish Borders, and selling the power to the National Grid, the charitable organization hopes to generate enough revenue to build 500 affordable homes over the next 25 years. Dubbed Fishermen Three, the 7.5-megawatt project at Hoprigshiels in Cockburnspath is a joint effort between BHA and the equally philanthropic Community Energy Scotland . The latter’s share of the revenue will enable it to help communities across Scotland leverage their own renewable energy initiatives. “The idea for the wind farm came when BHA realized that we had to be innovative in order to solve the dilemma of how to keep building new homes for social rental, which are so badly needed in this area, at a time when funding for new housing through traditional channels was in decline,” Helen Forsyth, chief executive of BHA, said in a statement. “The wind farm will provide BHA with a reliable, predictable, low-maintenance source of income that will allow us to build a steady stream of new affordable homes at a time when services are all too often being cut.” Related: 6 reasons the clean energy revolution doesn’t need Trump’s blessing Nicholas Gubbins, chief executive of CES, said that the United Kingdom’s energy system is shifting, but with changes come fresh opportunities. “We want to make sure that communities are at the forefront of the opportunities that this will create for new low-carbon energy developments,” he added. Scotland’s energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, agrees that renewables are the way of the future. He said, “Locally owned renewables in areas such as the Borders have the potential to help drive social, economic and environmental change at a local level.” Via the Guardian Photos by Unsplash

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Scotland’s latest wind farm will help fund 500 new affordable homes

Will Ben & Jerry’s carbon price help moove markets?

November 26, 2015 by  
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The iconic ice cream brand’s chief executive Jostein Solheim speaks about its efforts to combat climate change.

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