1. Costa Rica has doubled its forest cover in the last 30 years
  2. Canada becomes first country to sign pledge for zero emission commercial vehicles
  3. Bangkok has a flooding problem, so this architect designs parks that covertly hold millions of gallons of water
  4. How electric vehicles can help to slash rooftop solar payback
  5. Bloomberg Plunges $500 Million Into Clean Energy

1) Costa Rica has doubled its forest cover in the last 30 years

Long committed to the environment, Costa Rica has often been praised for making inroads on sustainability, biodiversity and other protections. The most recent headline is that Costa Rica plans to get rid of fossil fuels by 2050 . In an interview with The New York Times , the country’s first lady, urban planner Claudia Dobles, says that achieving that goal would combat a “sense of negativity and chaos” in the face of global warming. “We need to start providing answers.” Although the goal seems like a big one, the tiny country lush with rainforests has already made some impressive inroads. Notably, after decades of deforestation, Costa Rica has doubled its tree cover in the last 30 years. Now, half of the country’s land surface is covered with trees. That forest cover is able to absorb a huge amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

 

Costa Rica has doubled its forest cover in the last 30 years

 

2) Canada becomes first country to sign pledge for zero emission commercial vehicles

 

Canada has become the first country to sign on to the Drive to Zero Pledge, an international initiative aimed at increasing the number of zero and low emission vehicles in the medium- and heavy-duty transportation sector. By signing the pledge, Canada is joining other partners, including municipal governments, in committing to eliminate barriers and implement mechanisms that accelerate the viability and growth of zero emission technology for these commercial vehicles. “It’s so important that we look at our medium- and heavy-duty vehicles … our buses and trucks. We can be doing a lot better,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, who announced Canada’s commitment in Vancouver on Tuesday during a global clean energy summit hosted by Natural Resources Canada. The Clean Energy Ministerial event brought government officials, clean energy experts and private sector stakeholders from more than 25 countries together to exchange ideas for advancing the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

 

Canada becomes first country to sign pledge for zero emission commercial vehicles

 

3) Bangkok has a flooding problem, so this architect designs parks that covertly hold millions of gallons of water

 

As sea levels rise, Bangkok is simultaneously sinking, making the flat, paved-over megacity vulnerable to flooding when it rains. Instead of building infrastructure to keep stormwater out, local architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom designs parks to capture it. “Getting rid of water is an impossible approach, because we’re a city of water,” she says. The wedge-shaped Chulalongkorn Centennial Park, in central Bangkok, for example, which opened in 2017, can hold 1 million gallons of water. An on-site museum with a sloping green roof directs water through wetlands and into a retention pond at the lowest part of the grounds, which helps prevent nearby blocks from flooding. Another park that Voraakhom designed, which will open this summer on a university campus on the northern edge of the city, features a massive green roof that will not only grow rice and other food for students, but also (in conjunction with other “rain gardens” on campus) capture more than 2.5 million gallons of water.

 

Bangkok has a flooding problem, so this architect designs parks that covertly hold millions of gallons of water

 

4) How electric vehicles can help to slash rooftop solar payback

 

Combining rooftop PV with battery storage and an electric vehicle can more than halve the payback period for a home solar system, and fast-charge the transition to renewables, a new report has found. The report, by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), analysed the economic impact of combining rooftop solar with batteries and EVs, and the effects of different policy incentives – and disincentives – in Britain and Germany. The report asserts that batteries and EVs can boost the economics of rooftop solar, by enabling households to use more of the electricity they produce, thereby increasing power bill savings, and reducing the payback period on the solar system. “EVs create a new source of demand for solar power,” said Christian Kunze, co-author of the report and senior energy researcher at Smart Innovation Norway, a renewable energy think tank. “Battery storage gives households further control over how they use their solar generation.”

 

How electric vehicles can help to slash rooftop solar payback

 

5) Bloomberg Plunges $500 Million Into Clean Energy

 

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is plunging $500 million into an effort to close all of the nation’s remaining coal plants by 2030 and put the United States on track toward a 100% clean energy economy. The billionaire Bloomberg’s investment in the Beyond Carbon initiative marks the largest ever philanthropic effort to combat climate change, according to the mayor’s foundation. The organization will bypass the federal government and instead seek to pass climate and clean energy policies, as well as back political candidates, at the state and local level. “We’re in a race against time with climate change, and yet there is virtually no hope of bold federal action on this issue for at least another two years. Mother Nature is not waiting on our political calendar, and neither can we,” Bloomberg said.

 

Bloomberg Plunges $500 Million Into Clean Energy

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