IRENA has launched a set of new reports and briefs on renewable energy policies for cities. They analyze policy experiences around the world; offer case studies of selected cities in China, Uganda and Costa Rica; and discuss sectoral challenges and opportunities in the power sector, buildings, and transport.
IRENA hosted a webinar to introduce the reports. It presented main findings, with a view toward the motivations and objectives that compel cities to act; the variety of drivers that either enable or constrain cities’ actions and thus influence what they can do; and the policy tools they can apply. Shaped by these factors, cities can play a multitude of roles. Presentation slides are available here.
The time of year when a flower blooms is influenced by many factors, including genetics, weather, and pollinators. But climate change is causing bloom times to happen earlier across ecosystems. According to several Boston-area scientists and curators at the Arnold Arboretum, over the past hundred years the temperature has risen 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit in the city. This is not just making the city a hotter place for people to live—it’s getting warmer for the plants, too.
Abraham J. Miller-Rushing and a team of four researchers at the arboretum wanted to determine if the city’s increasing temperatures were affecting flowering times. As they note, “The most convincing evidence that living organisms are responding to global warming comes from flowering plants, which are especially responsive to warm weather in the spring.”
The team used the arboretum’s extensive collection of herbarium specimens, which include dried flowers and harvest records alongside their living specimens, to analyze the effects of climate change on plants in Boston.
Websites die constantly. The sheer size of the internet makes it feel like a permanent fixture, but individual pages only live an estimated 90 days before they change or vanish. At the same time, every single page has potential historical value. Maybe a future scholar will want to read a local news article that disappeared when the paper redesigned its website, or a political candidate is purging troublesome old statements. Perhaps someone will just want to revisit a video that made them laugh decades ago.
That anything (and everything) might someday prove valuable is why extensive internet archiving efforts exist. Those include the aptly named Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library that launched in 1996 with the humble mission of providing “universal access to all knowledge.” They’ve since digitized millions of books, videos, audio recordings, and software programs, while their Wayback Machine has saved snapshots of an estimated 544 billion webpages. Here, for example, is what the front page of Discover looked like on June 14, 2007.
The Wayback Machine is an incredible bulwark against websites that die slow deaths wrought from neglect, technological changes, mergers, and other ravages of time. But some websites have their plugs abruptly pulled, and that’s where the Archive Team steps in.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) announced the release of its Renewable Energy Market Update today, highlighting the rapid growth in global renewable energy capacity over the past year, and the outlook for growth going forward.
Clean Energy Ventures announced today the launch of an open-access calculator to estimate a climate tech innovation’s potential impact on climate change. The Simple Emissions Reduction Calculator (SERC), which Clean Energy Ventures developed to help evaluate climate tech startups seeking funding, will be used by partners including Cleantech Open, Cleantech Scandinavia, and by any climate tech startups that are looking to validate their carbon emissions reduction potential. The open accessibility of SERC represents a first for clean energy and climate tech venture capital investors.
Carbon labeling for food and beverage may be coming faster than originally predicted, and soon may hold more sway with consumers than other popular certifications as the ongoing pandemic accelerates consumer interest in sustainable diets, predict industry stakeholders gathered by FoodBytes! during a recent roundtable discussion about transparency in the supply chain.