Day: April 27, 2021

Wastewater is the infrastructure crisis ‘people don’t want to talk about’

Read the full story from PBS NewsHour.

Some infrastructure concerns go far less discussed than others including, notably, the issue of wastewater and sanitation. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the country’s wastewater treatment plants are functioning at an average of “81 percent of their design capacities,” and 15 percent have “reached or exceeded” that capacity. Drinking water service disruptions and flooding from sewer backups and other infrastructure failures cost U.S. households $2 billion in 2019. The ASCE predicts that figure will balloon to $14 billion in the next two decades.

But a significant percentage of American households — about 20 percent — are not connected to public plants, and instead use septic tanks or other wastewater systems that are directly connected to their homes. For communities in which any of those systems fail, the public health and socioeconomic consequences of uncontrolled sewage can be devastating.

Three ESG lessons from Covid-19 for the climate crisis

Read the full story at edie.

Climate change is an even more profound global crisis, but as yet we have failed to adapt to it as quickly. As we build back better post-Covid, we should apply what we have learnt from the pandemic to accelerate our progress on climate change.

Rat poison found in bodies of 80% of American eagles

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Rat poison has been found in the bodies of an estimated 80% of American eagles, according to a new study from the University of Georgia.

The Potential of Zero-Carbon Bunker Fuels in Developing Countries

Download the document.

To meet the climate targets set forth in the International Maritime Organization’s Initial GHG Strategy, the maritime transport sector needs to abandon the use of fossil-based bunker fuels and turn toward zero-carbon alternatives which emit zero or at most very low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout their lifecycles. This report, “The Potential of Zero-Carbon Bunker Fuels in Developing Countries”, examines a range of zero-carbon bunker fuel options that are considered to be major contributors to shipping’s decarbonized future: biofuels, hydrogen and ammonia, and synthetic carbon-based fuels. The comparison shows that green ammonia and green hydrogen strike the most advantageous balance of favorable features due to their lifecycle GHG emissions, broader environmental factors, scalability, economics, and technical and safety implications. Furthermore, the report finds that many countries, including developing countries, are very well positioned to become future suppliers of zero-carbon bunker fuels—namely ammonia and hydrogen. By embracing their potential, these countries would be able to tap into an estimated $1+ trillion future fuel market while modernizing their own domestic energy and industrial infrastructure. However, strategic policy interventions are needed to unlock these potentials.

Critical Raw Materials Resilience: Charting a Path Towards Greater Security and Sustainability

Download the document.

Building on the EU’s Raw Materials Initiative, this Communication presents:
  • the EU 2020 list of critical raw materials
  • the challenges for a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials and actions
    to increase EU resilience and open strategic autonomy.

The hog barons

Read the full story at Vox.

How Iowa’s largest hog producer courted power, turned farming into a numbers game, and transformed the American heartland.

The US’ lost, ancient megacity

Read the full story at BBC Travel.

In the ancient Mississippian settlement of Cahokia, vast social events – not trade or the economy – were the founding principle.

Minnesota Bird Songs

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has developed an easy guide to identifying bird songs. Simply go to the page and click on the image of the bird to hear its song.

All recordings are courtesy of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds.

UK APC awarding £9.4M to 22 low-carbon vehicle feasibility studies

Read the full story at Green Car Congress.

To support the future of green automotive manufacturing and accelerate the UK’s transition to net-zero emission vehicles, the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has guided £9.4 million (US$13 million) in public funding to 22 feasibility studies looking to scale up the industrialization of low-carbon emission vehicle technologies.

RouteZero: Climate Group launches new initiative to decarbonise road transport

Read the full story at edie.

International non-profit the Climate Group had partnered with the UN High-Level Climate Champions to launch a new initiative aimed at getting businesses, cities and regions to completely decarbonise all forms of road transport.

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