Global carbon emissions hit another record

To avert climate catastrophe, the power sector needs a more sustainable energy mix.

In “ICE ON FIRE”, a documentary narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio which premiered last night on HBO, the actor and environmental activist highlights the magnitude of the climate crisis and some of the tools available to fight it, from renewable energy to advanced batteries to carbon capture.

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Source: The Economist

World Environment Day 5 June

It is time to act decisively. My message to governments is clear: tax pollution; end fossil fuel subsidies; and stop building new coal plants. We need a green economy not a grey economy.” — Secretary-General, António Guterres

Humans are both creatures and moulders of their environment, which gives them physical sustenance and affords them the opportunity for intellectual, moral, social and spiritual growth. In the long and tortuous evolution of the human race on this planet a stage has been reached when, through the rapid acceleration of science and technology, humans have acquired the power to transform their environment in countless ways and on an unprecedented scale.

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Source: United Nations

Costa Rica pledges carbon neutrality by 2021

Costa Rica’s President Luis Guillermo Solis announced on Monday during the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week that the country was aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2021.

The Central American nation already sources 98 per cent of its electricity from renewables, according to the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).

Costa Rica ran solely on renewable energy for a total of 250 days in 2016, including a 110-day continuous period from 17 June to 6 October.

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Source: Climate Action

Climate change: What can you do to cut carbon emissions?

The UK should aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, a report has said.

The Committee on Climate Change recommends the UK sets and pursues the emissions target and to keep global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5C in the long-term.

The ‘net zero’ target will mean an end to heating of homes with traditional gas boilers, more green electricity, and a switch from petrol and diesel cars to electric vehicles, walking and cycling.

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Source: ITV News

IKEA’s new Greenwich store awarded highest sustainability rating

A new IKEA store in the London borough of Greenwich has been awarded the highest rating score for a retail unit to date by a leading building science organisation.

Building Research Establishment (BRE) has awarded IKEA Greenwich an ‘Outstanding’ rating in the BREEAM UK New Construction certification, which rates the sustainability of buildings.

The IKEA branch achieved a score of over 90%, making it the first building in the UK and second retail unit in the world to receive such an accolade.

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Source: Environment Journal

UN Unveils Alliance to Combat the ‘Destructive Practices of Fashion’

The UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion – launched last week at the UN Environment Assembly – seeks to halt the environmentally and socially destructive practices of fashion. The alliance hopes it will “harness the industry as a driver for improving the world’s ecosystems.”

The alliance says it will analyze the efforts of UN agencies, identify solutions and gaps in their actions, and present these findings to governments to influence policy. These agencies include the Food and Agricultural Organization, the International Trade Centre, and UN Environment.

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Source: Environmental Leader

Amazon Announces “Shipment Zero” Plan To Drive Net Zero Carbon Shipments

Online retailer and internet megalith Amazon has announced plans to make all its shipments net zero carbon under the banner “Shipment Zero” with an interim target of making 50% of all shipments net zero by 2030.

At the same time as Amazon has come under fire for its failure to follow through on its 100% renewable energy promises for its data cloud service, Amazon Web Services, the company came out on Monday and announced that it plans to make all its shipments net zero carbon.

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Source: Clean Technica

Ikea Prolongs Product Lifecycle with Furniture Leasing Option

Ikea will begin leasing furniture as a trial initiative in Switzerland. Customers can rent pieces of furniture for a set period until it is no longer needed; the retailer will then refurbish the pieces and keep them in circulation and prolong their lifecycle, which means less waste and more recycling, according to Torbjorn Loof, chief executive of Inter Ikea, owner of the brand (via the Express).

Businesses will have the option to lease office furniture; homeowners can even borrow entire kitchen units, with the option of swapping them out for different colors and designs.

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Source: Environmental Leader

Despite Increase in Cost, Samsung Replaces Plastic Packaging with Sustainable Stuff

In the latest corporate announcement regarding plastic waste – such announcements have flooded the news since the start of 2019 – Samsung Electronics says it will begin replacing plastic packaging materials with environmentally sustainable materials effective immediately. Packaging currently used for products like mobile phones, tablets and home appliances will be replaced with materials like paper and recycled or bio-based plastics.

A dedicated task force is focusing on design and development, purchasing, marketing and quality control for new packaging ideas.

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Source: Environmental Leader

Tiffany & Co. Leads New Era Of Diamond Transparency

Tiffany & Co. announced today that it will begin sharing with consumers the provenance (region or countries of origin) of its newly sourced, individually registered diamonds – a significant step for diamond transparency – and by 2020, their craftsmanship journey – an industry first.

With its Diamond Source Initiative, Tiffany is tracing each of its individually registered diamonds (0.18 carats and larger) by a unique “T&Co” serial number etched by laser and invisible to the naked eye, and providing consumers geographic sourcing information specific to their diamond. Beyond general assurances of “conflict free,” Tiffany believes that knowing provenance is critical to ensuring its diamonds are among the most responsibly sourced in the world.

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Source: Press Tiffany & Co.