IEEFA U.S.: Coal-fired carbon capture projects are waste of tax dollars

Read the full story from IEEFA.

The federal government’s support for carbon capture projects at coal-fired power plants may be politically necessary (see Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.), but it is environmentally and fiscally misguided. The potential for Department of Energy funding and the lure of federal tax credits are pushing plant owners and avaricious developers to push for the conversion of aging coal plants into the equivalent of carbon dioxide factories instead of moving toward cleaner, cheaper alternatives.

The carbon capture retrofit proposal touted by Enchant Energy for the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station in New Mexico is the most egregious example. The company, which entered the scene as Acme Equities under the direction of a New York hedge fund operator, promised it would round up private investors to fund a $1.5 billion effort to capture as much as 90 percent of the CO2 emitted at the power plant.

4 things corporations need to know about the Global Plastics Treaty

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Solving the plastic crisis is urgent. An estimated 11 million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans each year. That’s a garbage truck and a half of plastic every minute of every day. If we delay dramatic action by just five years, an additional 80 million metric tons of plastic will end up in the ocean by 2040 (250 Empire State Buildings worth of trash). Without action, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, by weight.

That won’t just mean more beached whales with stomachs full of plastic bags; the human consequences will be extreme, too. Healthy ocean ecosystems absorb CO2. A dead ocean has dire consequences for the climate. Plastic already has been found in the air, in the rain, in our bodies and in our food supply.

That’s why, in March, the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network, together with WWF and Greenpeace, led the first of four dialogue sessions. One hundred and forty organizations from 34 countries representing all the main stakeholders attended the two-day virtual event. The aim was to deepen understanding and build capacity for a Global Plastics Treaty. 

With industry, government, activists and waste pickers given a seat at the table and an opportunity for constructive discussion, we were able to learn quite a bit. 

United Airlines launches sustainable aviation-focused venture capital fund

Read the full story at ESG Today.

United Airlines announced the launch of United Airlines Ventures, a new venture capital fund aimed at investing in sustainable aviation-focused companies, as well as in revolutionary aerospace developments and innovative technologies that are expected to create value for customers and United’s operation.

How the giant trees got to New York’s new island park

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Little Island, the city’s newest park, is perched over the Hudson River. When it opened, it was full of large, mature trees. What does it take to fill a park out with foliage?

G7 highlights for ESG investors and business include climate finance, sustainable supply chains, energy transition

Read the full story at ESG Today.

While COVID vaccination and economic recovery took center stage at the summit, initiatives to mobilize finance towards tackling climate issues and efforts to ramp up decarbonization of emission-intensive industries were also given significant attention. Notably, this was the first G7 meeting in which all participating countries have committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Low-carbon concrete bill advances in New York

Read the full story at Smart Cities Dive.

The New York legislature passed a bill last week designed to encourage the use of low-carbon concrete and cement, a major step aimed at tackling the climate impact of the construction industry. The bill has not yet reached Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk.

The bill, S-542A, instructs the state’s Office of General Services to set guidelines for procuring low-carbon concrete for state construction projects. The office would award future contracts to companies based on climate performance as well as price, based on standards a group of expert stakeholders would set. 

New Jersey is considering similar legislation. The U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2019 passed a resolution encouraging members to use green materials over less environmentally friendly materials.

New process to recycle silicon, silver and glass from end-of-life PV panels

Read the full story from pv magazine.

A €4.8 million (AU$7.5 million) EU-funded research project is aiming to develop a process that allows recovering all components of a photovoltaic module.

The secrets behind the plastic spoon: a ‘perfect’ design with terrible consequences

Read the full story at Fast Company.

An exhibit at the London Design Biennale presents hundreds of spoons as a way to start a conversation about how even good design can have unintended results.

Re:Water develops ‘world first’ 100% recycled aluminium bottle: ‘It’s cutting single-use packaging, plastics and carbon emissions’

Read the full story at Beverage Daily.

Spring water business Berrington Water recently launched Re:Water, a drinks brand that comes in a re-usable bottle made from 100% recycled aluminium and which is itself 100% recyclable. We caught up with Re:Water co-founder and Berrington Water Director Matt Crocker to hear more.

Minnesota manufacturers jump on electric power bandwagon

Read the full story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

With many motivations, the product mix is changing quickly at companies including Toro, Polaris and Donaldson as technology improves and customer demand shifts.