Renewable Energy Policies for Cities

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. 

The publications include:

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.

Before the next pandemic, it’s time to regulate indoor air quality

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Just like the government mandates clean water and food, scientists argue that well-filtered and ventilated air inside our offices and homes should be guaranteed.

Why climate change is driving some to skip having kids

Read the full story from the University of Arizona.

A new study finds that overconsumption, overpopulation and uncertainty about the future are among the top concerns of those who say climate change is affecting their reproductive decision-making.

Which flowers bloom first and why?

Read the full story at JStor Daily.

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.

Meet the activist archivists saving the Internet from the digital dustbin

Read the full story in Discover Magazine.

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.

What’s peer review? 5 things you should know before covering research

Read the full story at The Journalist’s Resource.

Is peer-reviewed research really superior? Why should journalists note in their stories whether studies have been peer reviewed? We explain.

The future of footwear is circular

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Rothy’s is working on making its shoes fully circular, but to really effect change, Saskia van Gendt, Rothy’s head of sustainability, writes, the entire footwear industry needs to get on board.

IEA: Renewables to account for 90% of global power capacity increases as growth shatters expectations

Read the full story at ESG Today.

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 launches open access tool to identify the climate technologies worth investor attention

Read the full story in Yahoo! Finance.

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 score is the next big thing,” predicts CGC co-head, industry experts gathered by FoodBytes!

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

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.