ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Greenhouse gas levels in atmosphere reach new record, WMO finds – The levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached another new record high according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin indicates that carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations reached 405.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2017 – a non-El Niño year – up from the previous record of 403.3 ppm set in 2016. Since 1990, there has been a 41 per cent increase in total radiative forcing – the warming effect on the climate – by long-lived greenhouse gases, in particular, carbon dioxide.  https://bit.ly/2PPWtr1

Fourth National Climate Assessment – Volume II: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States – without mitigation climate change is expected to cause higher electricity costs and substantial net damage to the US economy throughout this century.  Additional increases in temperatures across the contiguous United States of at least 2.3°F relative to 1986–2015 are expected by mid-century.  Increasing wildfire frequency, changes in insect and disease outbreaks, and other stressors are expected to decrease the ability of U.S. forests to support economic activity, recreation, and subsistence activities.  Yields from major U.S. crops are expected to decline as a consequence of increases in temperatures and possibly changes in water availability, soil erosion, and disease and pest outbreaks.  The frequency and extent of high-tide flooding due to sea level rise threatens America’s trillion-dollar coastal property market and public infrastructure, with cascading impacts to the larger economy – many communities are expected to suffer financial impacts as chronic high-tide flooding leads to higher costs and lower property values. Climate-related impacts are expected to result in decreased tourism revenue in some places and, for some communities, loss of identity. https://nca2018.globalchange.gov

Webinar on National Climate Assessment: Today, Monday November 26 at 2:30pm ET. Very special webinar with @KHayhoe. Reviewing the latest climate science leading up to the next National Climate Assessment. Register and attend free at: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/40b45083cb130d04d746f627e8486654 …

NPR Radio – New Climate Change Report Places Blame on Human Actions For Natural Disasters – NPR’s Scott Simon speaks with Katherine Hayhoe of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University about a new report showing that recent extreme natural events are due to climate change.  https://n.pr/2OYKrpO

The Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR2) – The purpose of SOCCR2 is to assess the current state of the North American carbon cycle and to present recent advances in understanding the factors that influence it. The report describes carbon cycling for air, land, inland waters (streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs), and coastal waters.  The carbon cycle is changing at a much faster pace than observed at any time in geological history. These changes primarily are attributed to current energy and transportation dependencies on the burning of fossil fuels, which releases previously stable or sequestered carbon. https://bit.ly/2FAI9hm

The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard? – https://nyti.ms/2r54sRY

What made solar panels so cheap? Thank government policy – Solar module costs have dropped by around 99 percent over the past 40 years.  A new paper in the journal Energy Policyseeks to identify, and quantify, the various forces that drove down costs.  https://bit.ly/2zmgv1L

Researchers defy 19th-century law of physics in 21st century boost for energy efficiency Research led by a University of Sussex scientist has turned a 156-year-old law of physics on its head in a development which could lead to more efficient recharging of batteries in cars and mobile phones.  Dr Jordi Prat-Camps, a research fellow at the University of Sussex, has for the first time demonstrated that it is possible to make one magnet connect to another without the connection happening in the opposite direction.  https://bit.ly/2TGPG12

Delta refinery will convert plastic waste to jet fuel with Sir Richard Branson-backed Agilyx – Monroe Energy, Delta’s subsidiary refinery, will start converting plastic waste into jet fuel under an agreement with Agilyxhttps://bit.ly/2P1UPNq

FedEx expands fleet to add 1,000 Chanje electric vans – The Chanje electric vans will have a range of more than 150 miles when fully charged, with maximum cargo capacity of about 6,000 pounds. The vans would be used for FedEx’s commercial and residential pick-up and delivery services in California.  https://reut.rs/2BmkrBe

Vanuatu says it may sue fossil fuel companies and other countries over climate change – The Republic of Vanuatu says it will explore whether it can take legal action against fossil fuel companies and countries for their role in causing climate change. The Pacific nation says it is growing desperate for financial assistance to deal with the loss and damage it is increasingly experiencing due to extreme weather and global warming. The tropical cyclone that hit Vanuatu in 2015, wiped out 64.1% of its GDP, or $US449.4m. Vanuatu is home to 260,000 residents and is made up of 82 volcanic islands dispersed across 1,280km of sea. Many of its islands sit less than a metre above sea level.  https://bit.ly/2BskFGZ

Jump Start – is a crowdfunding platform that enables anyone or any company to fund clean energy projects anywhere in the world. We connect loans to thoroughly-vetted projects that have the highest marginal value. https://jumpstartenergy.co/projects

Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration: A Research Agenda – Several land-based negative emissions technologies are ready for large-scale deployment at costs competitive with emissions mitigation strategies. This report proposes a research agenda to overcome constraints and expand safe and economical negative emissions technology options. https://bit.ly/2KvhxNB

RE100 Progress and Insights Annual Report, November 2018 – Putting renewables at the heart of business strategy, the current 155 members are creating demand for 188 TWh of renewable power per year – equivalent to the 23rd largest country electricity consumption in the world. https://bit.ly/2TuVIBz

 

RECYCLING

Veolia and Tetra Pak team up to launch beverage carton recycling partnership – that will enable all components of used beverage cartons collected within the EU to be recycled by 2025.  https://bit.ly/2A7j9rY

How Did Denmark Spark Its Miraculous Food-Waste Reduction? – 25% reduction in just five years – https://bit.ly/2k7wFHR

Coca-Cola, Keep America Beautiful Accepting Grant Applications – The 2018 program will distribute 4,500 recycling bins in public space locations ranging from athletic fields, to fairs and festivals, to downtown streetscapes and playgrounds, and other on-the-go settings. The program is funded through a $350,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation to Keep America Beautiful, which in turn awards recycling bins through a competitive, merit-based application process.  https://bit.ly/2PI81fG

Ikea wants to clean up India’s skies by turning waste into products – Some of the pollution over India’s big cities comes from farmers burning straw after the harvest. Ikea wants to put that straw to better use.  https://bit.ly/2Dl7LvQ

COALITION CALLS FOR MANDATORY SEPARATE COLLECTION OF FOOD WASTE IN ENGLAND – More than 40 businesses, local authorities and trade bodies have called on government to introduce mandatory collections of food waste in England.   https://bit.ly/2TEU3cV

NERC: Recycled paper capacity increasing at 17 North American mills – The Northeast Recycling Council released a list of 17 North American paper mills that have announced an increase in their capacity to process recycled paper. It will be two to three years before much of it comes online, although some of is expected by the end of this year and into 2019.  https://bit.ly/2QgH95R

Glass-coated PET bottles can help address recycling challenge, says KHS – 23-Nov-2018 By Rachel Arthur – KHS expects to see increased uptake of its FreshSafePET technology as German and European packaging and recycling laws evolve. The PET bottle is lined with glass: and is easier to recycle compared to commonly used composite materials.   HTTPS://WWW.BEVERAGEDAILY.COM/ARTICLE/2018/11/23/KHS-LAUNCHES-RECYCLABLE-GLASS-COATED-PET-BOTTLES 

MEANS – video – was started with the belief it should be easy for those with excess food to share it with those in need. We’re now in 48 states and counting, helping divert food from the trash to local emergency feeding services with the ease and speed of the internet. https://bit.ly/2FvkNcM  https://www.meansdatabase.com/about/

AT&T partners with Grind2Energy – This equipment turns food waste from commercial kitchens into a nutrient-rich slurry that anaerobic digesters can turn into biogas — methane obtained from biological resources that can be turned into electricity or heat — and fertilizer, instead of being taken to a landfill where it decomposes and emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas.    https://bit.ly/2R8tB9Z

FoodKeeper App – The FoodKeeper helps you understand food and beverages storage. It will help you maximize the freshness and quality of items. By doing so you will be able to keep items fresh longer than if they were not stored properly. It was developed by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, with Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute. It is also available as a mobile application for Android and Apple devices. https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/foodkeeperapp/

BASF Chemical recycling of plastic waste – Plastic waste will be transformed into a raw material using thermochemical processes. The raw material can be fed into the Verbund to create new chemical products with excellent product performance based on recycled plastic waste.  https://on.basf.com/2r4BrFW

 

DEFORESTATION

Deforestation in the Amazon: A Unified Framework for Estimation and Policy Analysis https://bit.ly/2DzfDty

Nearly a quarter of the Earth’s habitable surface has been changed – primarily from forest to agriculture – between 1992 and 2015 – https://dailym.ai/2R6ZUpK

Climate Change Is Killing the Cedars of Lebanon – Some of the oldest trees have been here for more than 1,000 years, but now, after centuries of human depredation, the cedars of Lebanon face perhaps their most dangerous threat: Climate change could wipe out most of the country’s remaining cedar forests by the end of the century.  https://nyti.ms/2JDzuY3

Religious and indigenous leaders join forces on initiative to end tropical deforestation in Colombia – The Interfaith Rainforest Initiative in Colombia was launched at an event in Bogota convened by UN Environment and a coalition of Colombian and global multi-faith partners. Through the initiative, religious leaders from diverse spiritual traditions come together to express the urgent moral responsibility they share to put an end to the destruction of Colombia’s forests and protect indigenous peoples forest guardians.  https://bit.ly/2QmtFWe

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reaches decade high – Satellite images for the 12 months through the end of July 2018 showed that 7,900 square kilometers (3,050 square miles) of forest were cleared in the Amazon, equivalent to more than half the territory of Jamaica. That was a 13.7 percent increase from the same period in the prior year.  https://reut.rs/2QerQLa

Cleaner Burning Charcoal as a Transition Step to Save Lives and Climate – Cleaner burning charcoal and stoves can reduce indoor air pollution by 90-95%.  Eco-Charcoal makes safe, clean, healthy briquettes from pruned branches which are dried, carbonized and mixed with a natural binder. This ensures a quick regrowth of the pruned trees and helps with climate change mitigation. These briquettes have low-carbon emissions.  Toyola Energy is a small stove business in Ghana. They have sold over 150,000 charcoal stoves that are cooking meals for around 1 million low-income people in the country. It applies simple and readily available materials like scrap metal and clay to produce traditional charcoal stoves that use 30 percent less charcoal than ordinary stoves. https://bit.ly/2ApgrOr

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

New Report Highlights Untapped Potential for Corporate Water Efficiency in the Southwest – With the Bureau of Reclamation warning that the Colorado River could be in an official shortage as soon as 2020, a new report released today by Business for Water Stewardship offers hope that businesses can cut water use while growing the economy. The report, Corporate Contributions to Water Stewardship in Colorado and Arizona, found that just under half of Colorado and Arizona’s leading companies have voluntary water use targets. With the Commercial, Industrial and Institutional (CII) sector accounting for more than a quarter of water use in those states, policies and incentives to promote corporate water stewardship could result in significant savings.  https://bit.ly/2DINb8Y

20 Images of Devastating Coral Bleaching and Coral Death – Global heating and ocean acidification have already severely bleached 16 to 33 percent of all warm-water reefs, said David Obura, chair of the Coral Specialist Group in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. And the remaining reefs are vulnerable to even a fraction of a degree more warming.  Coral bleaching occurs when corals are stressed by changes in conditions such as temperature, light, or nutrients. They expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn completely white. If the algae loss is prolonged and the stress continues, coral eventually dies. In 2005, the U.S. lost half of its coral reefs in the Caribbean in one year due to a massive bleaching event caused by warmer water temperatures, according to NOAA.  https://bit.ly/2Anaj9u

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Effort to reduce sustainability and financial reporting fatigue – The International Trade Center identifies more than 230 corporate sustainability standards applicable to more than 80 sectors and 180 countries—all with an amazing variety of acronyms. The Corporate Reporting Dialogue, has announced a two-year project on a quest for clarity, coherence, consistency and comparability between the different reporting frameworks. 85 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 Index published sustainability or corporate responsibility reports in 2017. Today, 1,600 global companies have already adopted integrated reporting.  https://bit.ly/2Q9tJsy

Nasdaq Helsinki leads ranking of world’s stock exchanges on sustainability disclosure – Helinski, Finland is home to world’s most sustainable stock exchange, according to a new report released by the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative at the World Investment Forum this October. The analysis of more than 4,300 companies listed on 35 stock exchanges provides a snapshot of disclosure practices for seven sustainability-related indicators including greenhouse gases (GHGs), payroll and water use.  https://bit.ly/2zgj5Gu

An “ESG” smell test to separate the wheat from the chaff – https://bit.ly/2r0hPTC

Lack of international standards holding back ESG investing, finds BNY Mellon study https://bit.ly/2DWARD1

Patagonia Action Works – We built Patagonia Action Works to connect committed individuals to organizations working on environmental issues in the same community. It’s now possible for anyone to discover and connect with environmental action groups and get involved with the work they do.  https://www.patagonia.com/actionworks/about/

Green Bonds Benefit Companies, Investors and the Planet – Green bond offerings are associated with a 2.4% increase in long-term value, measured by the ratio of the firm’s market value to the book value of its assets. Several measures suggest that after issuing green bonds companies improve their environmental performance. Their environmental score rose 6.1 percentage points on the Thomson Reuters’ ASSET4 scale, which is based on more than 250 key performance indicators such as CO2 emissions, hazardous waste, recycling, and so on.  https://bit.ly/2Bvw8FT

Regions Financial Corp. is aiming to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and energy use by 30 percent within five years. According to figures Regions released, the company has already reduced its emissions by 45 since 2008, and its energy use by 37 percent over the same period. “Being good stewards of our resources, including natural resources, benefits the communities where we live and work and is simply good business,” Brett Couch, head of corporate real estate and procurement.  https://bit.ly/2zyxvST

Latin America Launches New Roadmap to Save the Jaguar – The jaguar is the largest apex carnivore in Latin America, ranging across 18 countries. However, 50% of the species’ original range has been lost and jaguar populations are declining due to illegal poaching, human-jaguar conflict and loss and fragmentation of habitat. Given this decline, including the jaguar’s extinction in El Salvador and Uruguay, governments from 14 of 18 jaguar range states have doubled down to save the species. https://bit.ly/2OUnoN3

World Green Building Trends 2018 – Currently, over one quarter (27%) report that the majority (more than 60%) of their projects are green, and slightly more (31%).  https://bit.ly/2SabgZY

3 Top Renewable Energy Stocks to Watch in November – Vestas Wind Systems (NASDAQOTH:VWDRY), SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), and NextEra Energy Partners LP (NYSE:NEP).

https://bit.ly/2zopgIY

Sustainable Fashion Searches Surged In 2018 – Lyst has reported a 47% increase in shoppers looking for items that have ethical and style credentials with terms such as “vegan leather” and “organic cotton”.  https://bit.ly/2DUgtSI

Jeff Foote Will Be Speaking at Keep Cobb Beautiful Awards Luncheon on November 27 at 11:30 AM – 2 Galleria Parkway SE, Atlanta, GA 30339