Day: November 5, 2019

Green Climate Fund attracts record US$9.8 billion for developing nations

Read the full story in Nature.

Despite no new contribution from the United States, several rich countries doubled their pledges compared with the last funding round.

Delhi pollution: Air Quality Index at 625, 32 flights diverted, schools closed

Read the full story in the Times of India.

Deteriorating air quality in the national capitol on Sunday affected flight operations and forced schools in Noida and Ghaziabad to shut down.

It’s too late for a carbon tax—it’s time for a world war against climate change

Read the full story at Fast Company.

The world’s carbon budget—the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that humans can still pump into the atmosphere before we no longer have a chance of keeping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius—is almost used up.

In a landmark report last year, the UN’s climate body, the IPCC, said that we need to essentially halve emissions by 2030 to have a 50% chance of staying under 1.5 degrees. That deadline is now only about 10 years away. But the actual situation is even more urgent because of the problem of “committed emissions,” all of the cars and power plants and furnaces and other things that already exist now and have years or decades left of use.

Growth in US green economy dwarfs that of fossil fuel industry

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

While U.S. President Donald Trump may be “the world’s most powerful climate change denier,” our latest research suggests that he took over over a thriving green economy.

According to new data, by 2016 it was generating more than $1.3 trillion in annual revenue and employed about 9.5 million people — making it the largest green market in the world. It’s been growing rapidly too — between 2013 and 2016, both the industry’s value and employment figures grew by 20 percent.

How companies can use tech to turn climate commitments into action and profits

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

When it comes to climate change, how can companies deliver on their promises to reduce emissions in line with what the science says is necessary, and deliver value to shareholders?

An October report, “Business and the Fourth Wave of Environmentalism,” suggests one possible answer: CEOs can turn their technology investments into a one-two punch that delivers business results and protects the planet.

For Sodexo, halving food waste by 2025 is a fiscal issue

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

As those of us working in sustainability know all too well, the viability of a project often comes down to making the business case.

If the financial return doesn’t live up to its promise, the project may be in peril. Of course, the business case isn’t always about money. There are many other reasons why companies engage in sustainability actions. Still, as they say, money talks.

Money is speaking loudly at Sodexo when it comes to cutting food waste. The global foodservice management company has said that if it doesn’t meet its target to halve operational food waste and loss by 2025, its operating capital — as well as employee compensation — could be in peril. 

Green Seal at 30: What we’ve learned

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

As Green Seal celebrates its 30th anniversary, we have been looking back at our history and the role we have played in the wider story of the sustainability movement. We’ve also been digging into our archives to unearth information about the state of the green market 30 years ago, and to reveal key moments where Green Seal catalyzed economy-wide shifts toward safer, greener products. You can see it all in our interactive timeline here

Here are seven things we have learned from 30 years of pioneering the ecolabeling movement.

Is the global quest to end plastic waste a circular firing squad?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

It’s been roughly three years since the world’s attention turned to the environmental perils of plastic waste, especially from single-use packaging. And while intense media attention on the topic has inevitably moved on to other issues, the action behind the scenes has been progressing at a steady clip.

According to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment 2019 Progress Report (PDF), released last month by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which tracks the commitments of more than 400 businesses, governments and others around the world, there is “promising progress on two fronts”: the number of organizations “laying the foundations to scale and accelerate action”; and a quantitative baseline that can be used to measure such progress across a significant group of businesses between now and 2025.

“These are important steps forward,” says the foundation.

Not so much, say environmental activists.

And there, in a compostable nutshell, is the heart of the challenge companies face as they seek to transform their products to adopt circular models. Simply put: There’s no agreed-upon end game, and incremental solutions simply won’t cut it, in the eyes of plastics activists.

Pentagon pushed to use vast swath of desert wildlife refuge ‘primarily’ for military purposes, draft bill says

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The U.S. Air Force is seeking to assert control over as much as two-thirds of a wildlife refuge in Nevada for training troops and testing weapons, according to a legislative proposal sent by military planners to the Department of the Interior and obtained by The Washington Post.

Never Underestimate the Intelligence of Trees

Read the full story at Nautilus.

Consider a forest: One notices the trunks, of course, and the canopy. If a few roots project artfully above the soil and fallen leaves, one notices those too, but with little thought for a matrix that may spread as deep and wide as the branches above. Fungi don’t register at all except for a sprinkling of mushrooms; those are regarded in isolation, rather than as the fruiting tips of a vast underground lattice intertwined with those roots. The world beneath the earth is as rich as the one above.

For the past two decades, Suzanne Simard, a professor in the Department of Forest & Conservation at the University of British Columbia, has studied that unappreciated underworld. Her specialty is mycorrhizae: the symbiotic unions of fungi and root long known to help plants absorb nutrients from soil. Beginning with landmark experiments describing how carbon flowed between paper birch and Douglas fir trees, Simard found that mycorrhizae didn’t just connect trees to the earth, but to each other as well.

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