Influential investors urge 100 carbon-intensive companies to step up climate action

December 13, 2017 by  
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The list includes fossil fuels, aviation, automotive and consumer products firms representing 85 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

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Influential investors urge 100 carbon-intensive companies to step up climate action

France is the world’s most sustainable food country

December 7, 2017 by  
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Thanks to proactive measures put in place to curb food waste, France now ranks #1 in the world when it comes to food sustainability . In 2016 , the country became the first globally to require supermarkets to donate unsold food to charity, and for restaurants to provide doggy bags when requested, or be subject to fines of up to €75,000 ($82,324) and two years in jail. The  Economist Intelligence Unit graded 34 nations based on food waste, environment-friendly agriculture, and quality nutrition as part of a newly launched Food Sustainability Index . Several other European countries broke the top five, including Germany, Spain, and Sweden, while Japan ranked second. Despite being a highly developed country (high-income countries tend to rank better) the U.S. sits in a much less desirable 21st place, thanks to its over-consumption of meat, sugar, and saturated fats. Poor management of soil and fertilizer in agriculture were additional reasons it was downgraded further. Related: Study finds that cutting food waste could feed one billion hungry people Interestingly, the very wealthy United Arab Emirates ranked last. Food waste in the country is nearly 1,000 kilos (2,205 lbs) per person per annum. The UAE is experiencing an increase in obesity rates and an agriculture sector that is straining water supplies. Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, called the waste “unethical and immoral” in a statement, especially since hundreds of millions of people go hungry each day. According to Reuters , 815 million people are afflicted by global hunger, which is more than one in 10 persons on the planet. Food waste also produces incredible amounts of greenhouse gases in landfills, making it the third largest source of emissions after China and the U.S. As Inhabitat previously reported , over 1.4 billion tons of food is thrown out across the globe each year, which the World Bank estimates to be  between one-quarter and one-third of all food produced . In France alone, 7.1 million tons were being trashed before the 2016 food waste bill was passed. Now it loses just 1.8 percent of its total food production annually, and there are plans to half that figure by 2025. Via Reuters Images via Pixbay

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France is the world’s most sustainable food country

Can McDonald’s help solve climate change?

December 4, 2017 by  
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A new project could revolutionize cattle ranching and beef production, and possibly take a big bite out of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Can McDonald’s help solve climate change?

Renewable gas: the hot new fuel from animal waste?

December 4, 2017 by  
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Otherwise known as biomethane, UPS and others are switching to save money, while suppliers earn extra money from the sale of credits.

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Renewable gas: the hot new fuel from animal waste?

The Circular City: What Is It and How Do We Get There

October 3, 2017 by  
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Cities are the engines of modern economic activity — generating 85 percent of today’s GDP. But this comes at a cost: urban communities consume 75 percent of the world’s natural resources, generate half of all global waste, and create two-thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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The Circular City: What Is It and How Do We Get There

How companies help cut energy emissions by 20 percent

June 14, 2017 by  
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These two factors have caused the largest U.S. utilities, generating 85 percent of the nation’s electricity, to sharply reduce CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.

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How companies help cut energy emissions by 20 percent

Energy-generating ‘artificial plants’ turn greenhouse gases into clean air

April 27, 2017 by  
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Groundbreaking research from scientists at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Florida State University could help in the fight against climate change . The researchers were able to trigger photosynthesis in metal-organic frameworks (MOF) with a little help from blue light , and the process turned carbon dioxide (CO2) into solar fuel . UCF assistant professor Fernando Uribe-Romo described the find as a breakthrough. Scientists have been seeking such a breakthrough for years. The trick is getting visible light to set off the chemical reaction; ultraviolet rays can do it but only comprise four percent of the light hitting Earth from the sun. Most materials that can absorb visible light to set off the reaction are too expensive or rare. The Florida scientists, however, found they could use the common nontoxic metal titanium added with organic molecules that can be designed to absorb certain colors of light. Uribe-Romo set them up to absorb blue light. Related: MIT Scientists Create Artificial Solar Leaf That Can Power Homes The team tested the MOF inside a photoreactor – or glowing blue cylinder lined with LED lights to mimic blue wavelengths shining from the sun – and the resulting chemical reaction turned CO2 into solar fuel. Uribe-Romo said, “The idea would be to set up stations that capture large amounts of CO2, like next to a power plant . The gas would be sucked into the station, go through the process, and recycle the greenhouse gases while producing energy that would be put back into the power plant.” He said it may even be possible for the material to be put in rooftop shingles to both clean the air and generate energy usable for homeowners. He aims to keep working with the synthetic material and see if different wavelengths of visible light can set off the reaction. The Journal of Materials Chemistry A published the find online earlier this month. Via The Independent and EurekAlert! Images via UCF: Bernard Wilchusky and University of Central Florida

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Energy-generating ‘artificial plants’ turn greenhouse gases into clean air

Why can’t utility execs stand up for the climate?

April 5, 2017 by  
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The electricity industry historically has played the biggest role in the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions problem. It has an even greater potential to be an even bigger part of the solution, but its leaders must speak up.

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Why can’t utility execs stand up for the climate?

How One Plant in India Learned to Turn Carbon into Baking Soda

February 23, 2017 by  
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As far as environmentalists are concerned, carbon dioxide and baking soda sit at entirely opposite ends of the eco spectrum. One is a greenhouse gas we have far too much of, an unfortunate by-product of our modern lifestyle; the other is a beloved…

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How One Plant in India Learned to Turn Carbon into Baking Soda

Canada announces plan to kill coal power by 2030

November 23, 2016 by  
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Canada has just announced it will kill coal power 10 years sooner than previously planned, with a goal of shutting down all coal-fired plants by 2030. The CBC reports that the move is a key part of the Canadian government’s plan to meet its Paris climate summit commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent less than 2005 levels by 2030. Getting rid of the country’s coal power plants means a reduction of about 66 tons per year of greenhouse gas emissions . It also means that by 2030, 90 per cent of Canada’s power will come from non-carbon-intensive sources, including hydroelectricity, nuclear, wind and solar power. Canada is also in the midst of introducing a nationwide carbon tax that can be imposed on provinces that don’t come up with their own plans for mitigating carbon emissions . Despite animosity from several provinces that held out up until a recent deadline, all provinces with the exception of Saskatchewan have now agreed to create their own carbon plans. Related: France will shut down all coal power plants by 2023 Yet, while the country is cutting out coal, it is looking favorably on other projects that will result in greenhouse gas emissions. This includes a major liquid natural gas (LNG) project in British Columbia, and the potential approval of more oil pipelines to move bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands to market. Canada’s plan comes on the heels of recent announcements by France to shut down all coal power plants by 2023 , and Germany’s plan to cut carbon emissions by as much as 95 per cent by 2050. Via CBC Images via PDTillman and Sherco Generating Station , Wikimedia Commons

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Canada announces plan to kill coal power by 2030

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