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Canada becomes first G20 country to ban trade in shark fins
19 June 2019 - Canada passed a new law banning the import and export of shark fins, which also includes a requirement to rebuild depleted fish populations. ... [Josh Laughren, executive director of Oceana Canada, a private conservation group said] that Canada is the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia. (more)

Momentum builds for EU leaders to agree carbon neutral 2050 pledge at summit
19 June 2019 - A push by Germany, France and other EU nations for the bloc to go carbon neutral by mid-century looks likely to be endorsed by EU leaders on Thursday [20 June], despite resistance from eastern European nations worried it could cost jobs. Their support underscores the growing political prominence of the fight against global warming. (more)

US: New York state nears passage of aggressive law to fight climate change
19 June 2019 - New York state lawmakers could pass as early as Wednesday [19 June] one of the nation's most ambitious plans to slow climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. That would make it the second U.S. state to aim for a carbon-neutral economy, following an executive order signed by former California Governor Jerry Brown last year to make that state carbon neutral by 2045. (more)

EU issues 'green' investment guide to help combat climate change
18 June 2019 - The European Commission sought to boost the flow of private money to tackle climate change on Tuesday [18 June] by publishing guidelines on what qualifies as environmentally friendly investment, in a move welcomed by the financial industry. (more)

South Korea fires up on renewables, to close more coal plants
18 June 2019 - As renewable energy powers up in South Korea, coal-fired generation, long the bedrock of the country's electricity supply, is being tapped to give up room. South Korea began its transition to cleaner energy in a 2017 power supply plan that aimed to boost the share of renewables from about 6 percent to 20 percent by 2030, while scaling back coal and unpopular nuclear. (more)

U.S. solar installation outlook brightens on falling costs: report
18 June 2019 - The U.S. solar energy industry lifted its installation outlook for this year and beyond thanks to robust demand for large-scale projects by utilities buying the clean energy source for its low cost, according to a report published on Tuesday [18 June]. In 2019, installations are expected to be up 25 percent from 2018 to 13.3 gigawatts, the report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie said. (more)

Canada: Prime Minister names first Ambassador for Women, Peace, and Security
17 June 2019 - The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today [12 June] announced that Jacqueline O'Neill has been appointed as Canada's first Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security. 'When women play an active role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and when their rights are respected, we are better able to achieve long-term, sustainable peace. As Canada's first Ambassador for Women, Peace, and Security, Ms. O'Neill will lead our country's efforts to support women, help prevent and end conflict, and build a better and fairer world.' [said] The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. (more)

The orchid whisperers: Rare blooms find an urban perch
16 June 2019 - Encyclia tampensis orchids once flourished unaided in South Florida. Today, they are extremely rare in the wild, due to shrinking habitat and rampant exploitation in the orchid trade of decades past. But conservationists are working to restore populations of native orchids to the region. ... The Million Orchid Project, as it is called, is part of a broader push to reintegrate native plants into urban environments. (more)

A simple online system that could end plastic pollution
13 June 2019 - Poorer communities in the developing world bear the brunt of plastic pollution. Could a new digital payment system spark a clean-up revolution? (more)

Cymru am byth! - How speaking Welsh became cool
13 June 2019 - 'Cymru am byth!' means 'Wales forever!' The number of speakers is growing fast, while bilingual TV thrillers and Welsh language rock songs are reaching a new audience. What's behind the resurgence? (more)

Two-hour 'dose' of nature significantly boosts health - study
13 June 2019 - A two-hour 'dose' of nature a week significantly boosts health and wellbeing, research suggests, even if you simply sit and enjoy the peace. (more)

America's renewable energy capacity is now greater than coal
12 June 2019 - America's coal industry has already been left in the dust by natural gas. Now it's under immense pressure from the renewable energy boom. The renewable energy sector had slightly more installed capacity than coal in April, according to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report. US power plants can produce more energy from clean sources than coal for the first time in history, according to the SUN DAY Campaign, a nonprofit research group supporting sustainable energy. (more)

UK flower-growing industry in full bloom and worth 121m pounds sterling
12 June 2019 - The British-grown flower industry is now worth pounds sterling 121m -- up from pounds sterling 82m in 2015 -- following years of decline owing to imported stems, figures reveal. The uplift has been driven by increased consumer demand for British blooms, in turn allowing UK growers to expand and flourish. Environmental benefits include increased biodiversity as growing flowers supports wildlife such as bees and butterflies across local farms. (more)

Charging an electric car in America is about to get a little less painful
11 June 2019 - ChargePoint and Electrify America have reached an agreement that aims to make it easier for drivers of electric vehicles to switch between EV charging networks. (more)

Plastic straws and bags no more: Canada aims to clean up its act
10 June 2019 - Canada plans to ban some single-use plastics like straws, bags, and cutlery by early 2021 to reduce non-recyclable waste and protect the world's oceans, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday [10 June]. (more)

US: How Baltimore is saving urban forests - and its city
10 June 2019 - The words 'city' and 'forest' don't usually go together. But urban forests can bring striking benefits, from lower crime rates to higher home values. With concern growing about climate change and rapid worldwide urbanization, city forests have emerged as one widely touted solution to a host of social and environmental challenges. Municipalities from Barcelona, Spain; to Melbourne, Australia; to Chicago have put urban canopy coverage at the center of their long-term strategic plans. (more)

China turns on the world's largest floating solar farm
8 June 2019 - Floating on a lake over a collapsed coal mine, the power station in Anhui province can produce 40 megawatts of energy. (more)

India offers $360 million subsidy for 5,000 electric buses
8 June 2019 - The Indian government plans to incentivize cities to include electric buses to their public transport fleet through financial subsidies. The central government will offer subsidies worth Rs 2,500 crore (US$360 million) for the deployment of 5,000 electric buses. Under the current exercise, a total of 40 cities shall be selected where a subsidy will be distributed for deployment of electric buses based on population. (more)

Europe's largest solar plant unveiled amid Spanish renewable rebirth
6 June 2019 - The 300 million euro investment plan comes amid buoyant optimism for Spain's long suffering solar sector. Spanish utility giant Ibedrola has laid out a plan to build Europe's largest solar power plant in the country. The company is currently consulting the environment ministry over building a 590-megawatt solar farm in the Western region of Extramadurra, it said in a statement on Thursday [6 June]. (more)

India to order taxi aggregators like Uber, Ola to go electric - documents
6 June 2019 - India plans to order taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola to convert 40 percent of their fleet of cars to electric by April 2026, according to a source and records of government meetings to discuss new rules for clean mobility. New Delhi is looking to push the new policy to boost the adoption of electric vehicles as it tries to bring down oil imports and curb pollution. (more)

More city dwellers connect with their food via street markets
6 June 2019 - From Moscow to New York, street markets around the world are finding new fans as urban dwellers look for a deeper connection to their food and local communities, market managers, property developers, and tourism bosses said on Thursday [6 June]. (more)

Muslims celebrate Eid, ending Ramadan holy month
4 June 2019 - Muslims around the world celebrated the Eid-al-Fitr religious holiday on Tuesday [4 June], marking the end of Islam's holy month of Ramadan. (more)

South Korea confirms plans to step up shift to renewable power
4 June 2019 - South Korea's energy ministry on Tuesday [4 June] said it had finalized plans to raise the share of the country's power output generated from renewable sources to as much as 35 percent by 2040. Asia's fourth-largest economy is shifting toward cleaner energy amid growing criticism over its air quality. (more)

UK govt to help savers invest in good under new initiative
3 June 2019 - All Britons putting money into savings products and pensions are to be given the chance by a new independent institute to choose investments that can do good and get financial returns, the government said on Monday [3 June]. ... So-called impact investing -- which marries social and environmental outcomes with financial returns -- has grown rapidly over the past decade, but the sector tends to be mostly accessible to large or institutional investors. (more)

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