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Global renewable power capacity to rise by 50 percent in five years: IEA
21 October 2019 - Global renewable energy capacity is set to rise by 50 percent in five years' time, driven by solar photovoltaic (PV) installations on homes, buildings, and industry, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The share of renewables in power generation is expected to rise to 30 percent in 2024 from 26 percent today. (more)

Mini-pantries bring free food, solidarity to U.S. streets
21 October 2019 - The Little Free Pantry movement gives those in need 24-hour access in their neighborhood to food and other basic necessities they may not normally be able to afford. (more)

Global renewable energy initiative aims to bring a billion people in from the dark
20 October 2019 - Worldwide commission aims to end energy poverty in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia by driving investment in new technology. Electricity could be delivered to more than a billion people currently living without it within a decade by linking up small-scale projects into a giant, environmentally-friendly network. According to a new global commission, advances in micro energy grids and renewable energy technologies could 'dramatically accelerate change' and transform lives in rural areas of sub-Saharan African and south Asia. (more)

Nobel prize in physics awarded to cosmology and exoplanet researchers
20 October 2019 - Three scientists have been awarded the 2019 Nobel prize in physics for groundbreaking discoveries about the evolution of the universe and the Earth's place within it. James Peebles, from Canada, has been awarded half of the 9m Swedish kronor (British Pound Sterling 740,000) prize for his theoretical discoveries about the evolution of the universe. The Swiss astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz share the other half of the prize for their discovery of the first planet beyond our solar system. (more)

Rwanda opens 'first entirely homemade' smartphone factory in Africa
20 October 2019 - Rwanda's President Paul Kagame Monday [7 October] inaugurated what is being described as Africa's 'first high tech smartphone factory' in the country's capital Kigali. President Kagame hailed the launch as another breakthrough for development in Rwanda, which has enjoyed rapid economic growth in recent years and gained a reputation as a hub of innovation. (more)

Cruise ships in French waters agree to pollute less
19 October 2019 - The main cruise ship operators in French waters have agreed on measures to limit pollution caused by their vessels, including hooking up to the power grid instead of keeping their engines running during stopovers. The 'Blue Charter' agreement signed in Marseille ... also pledged to use less-polluting fuel when maneuvering in harbors as well as other measures to reduce emissions. (more)

After being pushed close to extinction, this humpback whale population is making a comeback
17 October 2019 - A key population of humpback whales is in recovery after it was pushed close to extinction by centuries of exploitation, according to a new study. Western South Atlantic humpbacks were reduced to a few hundred in the 1950s, after once totaling a number of 27,000. The International Whaling Commission (IWC), the global body overseeing the conservation of whales, recognizes seven types of humpbacks in the Southern Hemisphere. (more)

Asian metropolises top list of world's greenest commuter cities
16 October 2019 - Three Asian metropolises - Tokyo, Beijing and Singapore -- are the world's leading environmentally-friendly commuting cities, a report to be released by data insight company Kantar on Thursday [17 October] says. The three rank highly because their huge populations mostly walk to work or use public transport, with relatively few commuters traveling by car. (more)

Southwest Atlantic humpback whales on recovery path
16 October 2019 - One of the whale populations taken to the edge of extinction by commercial hunting in the early 20th Century has essentially recovered its numbers. It's estimated the humpbacks that frequent the southwest Atlantic once totaled perhaps 27,000 animals. This group was reduced to only a few hundred ... But a new study suggests the humpbacks are back close to where they were. (more)

Volvo Cars aims to be climate neutral by 2040
16 October 2019 - Volvo Cars, owned by China's Geely Holding, is targeting a 40 percent reduction in the carbon footprint of each car it manufactures by 2025 as it bids to become fully climate neutral by 2040, it said in a statement on Wednesday [16 October]. (more)

German rail operator holds Europe-wide PPA tender for green power
14 October 2019 - German railway operator Deutsche Bahn has launched a tender for 5 percent of its annual electricity supply from renewable sources for the next eight years, aiming to get nearer to its long-term target of 100 percent green power by 2038. The rail operator is Germany's single biggest power consumer, which already uses 57 percent of green power ... (more)

7 cities winning on climate change
10 October 2019 - From electric buses to pollution-sucking urban gardens, cities around the world are experimenting with ways to ensure global climate goals are met, as they account for about three-quarters of planet-warming emissions, according to the United Nations. Here are seven award-winning initiatives to make cities greener, announced by the C40 network of cities tackling climate change on Thursday [10 October]. (more)

British city launches innovative fund to tackle climate change, poverty
10 October 2019 - The mayor one of Britain's largest cities has launched an innovative fund aimed at tackling social and environmental problems from hungry children to carbon emissions. The 10 million pound ($12.20 million) venture -- the first of its kind in the UK -- launched on Wednesday [9 October] aims to attract private sector contributions to advance Bristol's 2050 vision of a 'fair, healthy, and sustainable city' that is 'carbon neutral and zero-waste'. (more)

Healthier diet may help lift depression symptoms
10 October 2019 - Young adults who eat poorly and feel blue might be able to perk themselves up by switching to a healthier diet, a small study suggests. In a randomized trial, men and women aged 17-35 in Australia who switched to a healthier diet had fewer depression symptoms after three weeks. And those who kept up the healthy eating for three months continued to feel better than at the start, researchers report in the journal PLoS ONE. (more)

US: Washington state has banned the sale of flavored vaping products
10 October 2019 - Washington state passed an emergency rule that bans the sale of flavored vaping products as of Thursday [10 October]. The ban lasts 120 days, according to the Washington State Board of Health, and comes in response to a nationwide outbreak of lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use or vaping. Other states have also taken action to prohibit the sale of certain vaping projects. (more)

California bans pesticide linked to brain damage in children
9 October 2019 - A widely used agricultural pesticide that California environmental officials have said has been linked to brain damage in children will be banned after next year under an agreement reached with the manufacturer, state officials announced Wednesday [9 October]. Under the deal, all California sales of chlorpyrifos will end on February 6, 2020, and farmers will have until the end of 2020 to exhaust their supplies. awaii and New York are already phasing in chlorpyrifos bans. (more)

Poland plans to triple solar energy capacity this year
9 October 2019 - Poland, which generates most of its electricity from coal, is planning to triple its solar energy capacity this year, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told Polish radio on Wednesday [1 October]. (more)

Stroke rates continue decline in the U.S.
9 October 2019 - Rates of stroke among U.S. adults over age 65 have steadily decreased over the past 30 years, according to a study that tracked participants from the 1980s through December 2017. After adjusting for age, race, and other stroke risk factors, they found that overall, stroke rates in this group decreased by 32 percent each decade through 2017. (more)

US: To keep the lights on during California's blackouts, people are using solar power
9 October 2019 - As long blackouts become more common in California to reduce the risk of devastating wildfires, more people are turning to solar power and battery storage. 'Between the solar and the batteries, we could go on indefinitely as long as there's some sun,' says architect Richard Schuh, who lives and works in the hills north of the town of Sonoma in an area without power. As more people install batteries, that can also help reduce the risk of fire by easing stress on transmission lines. (more)

US: United Parcel Service hits the gas on greener delivery truck fleet
9 October 2019 - Starting next year, there will be a lot more 'green' in those brown UPS delivery trucks. United Parcel Service Inc on Wednesday [9 October] announced plans to buy more than 6,000 natural gas-powered trucks over three years and step up purchases of renewable natural gas (RNG) as part of a new $450 million investment to reduce the environmental impact of its 123,000-vehicle fleet. (more)

India: Delhi neurosurgeons studying impact of Mahamrityunjaya Mantra on severe brain injury patients
8 October 2019 - Mahamrityunjaya Mantra is a very powerful chant which is said to have the ability to save a person from death. The study is being done in Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia hospital and is funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research. ... The author of the study, Dr. Ashok Kumar has suggested that the study has shown that the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra did impact the patients. (more)

Canada: The boss who rescued 300 Syrian refugees
7 October 2019 - When Jim Estill saw the horrors of the Syrian civil war on television, he decided he would do something to help. A successful Canadian businessman, he vowed to enable Syrian refugees to settle in Canada, simply because 'it was the right thing to do'. (more)

Teen depression risk lower in close-knit families
7 October 2019 - Teens with positive family relationships may be less likely to develop depression during adolescence or early adulthood, a new study suggests. (more)

Giant boom traps plastic waste from the oceans for the first time
3 October 2019 - A pioneering Dutch experiment to try collecting plastic rubbish from the oceans has successfully caught floating debris for the first time. Boyan Slat, the founder of The Ocean Cleanup, said that after a failed effort last year, his giant v-shaped boom system had overcome technical challenges to start removing waste. (more)

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