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Sustainable, versatile, global, delicious: Honey's got buzz
24 February 2020 - Why is a food that's been part of the human diet for millennia suddenly so trendy? First, of course, honey is delicious and versatile. ... Honey is produced all over the world, so as we explore new cuisines, we're seeing the many ways honey can be utilized. Increased awareness of the importance of bees and pollination also has a lot to do with why people are seeking out honey, says Lori Jean Levy, CEO and owner of My Global Table, an importer of specialty goods. (more)

The world's most unlikely solar farms
24 February 2020 - Solar energy has become so accessible that new farms are being switched on in the most unexpected places -- including in the depths of the Alaskan winter. The prospect of affordable renewable energy even in these icy northern regions is a mark of just how far solar power has come. (more)

US: These Pennsylvania colleges are going all in on renewable energy -- with a little help from a Texas solar farm
24 February 2020 - Four Pennsylvania schools have teamed up to support a Texas solar farm that will supply them with 'virtual' renewable energy, joining a trend among institutions of higher education to address climate change. ... The Texas project will also be sited on barren land, avoiding the clearing of trees or displacing a farm, which is often required for mid-Atlantic-based projects. (more)

Australia: Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes pledge $12m to supply solar systems for disaster relief
23 February 2020 - Software billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and his wife Annie have promised up to $12m to install solar and battery systems in communities [in Australia] disconnected from the electricity grid by bushfire or flood. Cannon-Brookes, the co-founder of Atlassian and a vocal supporter of stronger action to combat the climate crisis, said the goal was to find and fund a response that could be rolled out within days and, in some cases, become a long-term solution for electricity generation. (more)

Colombia offers work permits to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants
23 February 2020 - Colombia will allow hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants to legalize their presence in the country through work permits meant to bring them into the legal economy, the government said on Wednesday [29 January]. Last August, President Ivan Duque said Colombia would give citizenship to 24,000 children born to Venezuelan migrant parents in Colombia, to prevent them from being stateless and less able to access education and healthcare. (more)

Backyard gardeners can act to help bee populations
22 February 2020 - Over the past 30-plus years, pollinator populations have crashed worldwide due to a variety of reasons, including pesticide and herbicide exposure, invasive pests and diseases, loss of habitat, loss of species and genetic diversity, and a changing climate, scientists say. But well-informed gardeners can be a big help in reversing the pollinator declines, especially those caused by chemical poisoning. (more)

Landscape architects shift emphasis to the ecosystem
22 February 2020 - 'The focus on sustainability has been building slowly for a long time among landscape architects, but in recent years that commitment has really taken hold,' says Jacquelyn Bianchini, a spokeswoman at the Washington, D.C.-based American Society of Landscape Architects. ... While landscape architects often focus on large, community projects, they say consideration of the environment also needs to take place at home, when people are designing their own gardens and deciding what to plant in their backyards. (more)

Solar energy expands quickly in Brazil
22 February 2020 - Beside the green pastures and sugarcane plantations surrounding the farming town of Porto Feliz is the strange sight of hundreds of blue, silicon panes turned towards the sun. Such 'distributed generation,' or DG, operations are quickly multiplying in Brazil as investors bank on the long hours of strong sunlight across the continent-sized country, a late adopter of solar technology, and enjoy subsidies that have been pared back in countries like the United States. (more)

US: Apps help volunteers get excess food to the hungry
22 February 2020 - Food waste and hunger are two enormous problems that some non-profit groups say can be addressed together by getting the extra food to the people who need it. New apps are making that easier. To battle commercial food waste, 'food rescue' groups [in the US] use volunteers to pick up donated food and deliver it to nonprofits that feed the hungry. (more)

Electric dream: Britain to ban new petrol and hybrid cars from 2035
21 February 2020 - Britain will ban the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars from 2035, five years earlier than planned, in an attempt to reduce air pollution that could herald the end of over a century of reliance on the internal combustion engine. (more)

Kenyan farmers find sweet spot with nutritious, drought-hardy crop
21 February 2020 - In drought-prone central Kenya, a farmers' cooperative is growing resilient sweet potato and making popular bakery products with it. Owned and run by Meru Friends Sacco, a savings and credit cooperative, the facility in Maua town was established two years ago as a way to help people access nutritional food in a region where crops are routinely destroyed by drought. (more)

Solar power developer Faro Energy issues Brazil's first sustainable bond
21 February 2020 - London-based solar power developer Faro Energy has issued Brazil's first so-called sustainable bond through its unit in Brazil, aiming to finance solar energy and an education project for public school students. Moody's expects green, social, and sustainable bond issuance to jump 24 percent worldwide this year, to $400 billion, as a growing number of investors start to integrate environmental, social, and governance metrics to their portfolios. (more)

BMW expects to cut average emissions in Europe by 20 percent this year
20 February 2020 - BMW will continue to grow sales globally while at the same time lowering its European average emissions of carbon dioxide by around 20 percent this year, Chief Financial Officer Nicolas Peter said on Thursday [20 February]. ... the carmaker will meet the emissions standards for 2021, thanks to higher sales of electrified vehicles and more efficient combustion engines, he said. (more)

Israel says will not issue new permits for oil shale production
20 February 2020 - Israel said on Tuesday [18 February] it will not issue new licenses for oil shale exploration and production as it moves towards cleaner energy sources. The decision was made due to concerns over the environmental impact and ecological footprint of oil shale projects, Israel's energy and environmental protection ministries said on Tuesday. (more)

More sleep at night might reduce daytime injury risk
20 February 2020 - Healthy adults who get at least eight hours of sleep a night may be less likely to experience common exercise-related injuries like fractures, sprains, and muscle strains, a study of U.S. soldiers suggests. (more)

Standard Chartered bank commits $75 billion toward sustainable development goals
20 February 2020 - Standard Chartered on Tuesday [18 February] said it will provide $75 billion in financing by 2024 toward sustainable development and clean energy projects, as it expands on its aspirations to support the Paris Agreement on climate change. The bank said it is also targeting net zero emissions from its own network of branches and offices by 2030. (more)

US: California to make state buildings available to house homeless
20 February 2020 - California will provide nearly 300 state properties for use as homeless shelters ... Governor Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday [19 February]. The state has begun rolling out emergency mobile housing trailers and services for homeless families and seniors, including in rural areas where homelessness is on the rise. Newsom announced on Wednesday that 286 state properties -- vacant lots, fairgrounds, armories, and other state buildings -- will be turned over to local governments at no cost to house the homeless. (more)

North Macedonia wins EU praise for pioneering coal-to-solar shift
19 February 2020 - The European Union energy watchdog praised North Macedonia on Wednesday [19 February] for a pioneering project among EU aspirants to transform an ageing coal mine into two solar power plants, in line with goals to cut pollution and tackle climate change. (more)

Portugal's oil company Galp targets growth in renewable power
19 February 2020 - Portuguese oil company Galp Energia said on Tuesday [18 February] it would kick off its green business by installing renewable energy capacity of 10 gigawatts in the decade ahead, enough to power millions of homes. Galp, which last month bought solar power projects from Spain's ACS ... hopes to install 3.3 gigawatts of solar energy in Portugal and Spain alone by 2023 ... (more)

Singapore aims to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040
19 February 2020 - Singapore aims to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, making a bigger bet on electric cars as part of its efforts to cut greenhouse gases and fight climate change, the finance minister said on Tuesday [18 February]. (more)

China: Coronavirus patients in Wuhan dance to song about red flowers helps keep spirits up
18 February 2020 - With elaborate hand movements and swinging steps, medical staff in full protective body suits ... led coronavirus patients at a makeshift hospital in Wuhan in a dance earlier this week to entertain them and keep their spirits up. Hundreds of patients were led by medical staff to a square in the hospital on Monday to exercise and dance to a lively Chinese song about red flowers, which some hope will be helpful for their recovery. (more)

China: Dancing inside a coronavirus hospital in Wuhan (video)
18 February 2020 - Inside a makeshift hospital in Wuhan housing patients with mild symptoms of the novel coronavirus, everyday life can be boring and monotonous as patients are being quarantined. To [lift the mood] and engage the patients in light exercises, a health worker from Xinjiang started teaching them simple moves from an ethnic dance. (more)

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion to fight climate change
18 February 2020 - Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said Monday [17 February] that he plans to spend $10 billion of his own fortune to help fight climate change. Bezos, the world's richest person, said in an Instagram post that he'll start giving grants this summer to scientists, activists, and nonprofits working to protect Earth. (more)

Amazon's Bezos pledges $10 billion to climate change fight
17 February 2020 - Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will commit $10 billion to fund scientists, activists, nonprofits, and other groups fighting to protect the environment and counter the effects of climate change, he said on Monday [17 February]. Bezos, who is the world's richest man, is among a growing list of billionaires to dedicate substantial funds towards combating the impact of global warming. The Bezos Earth Fund will begin issuing grants this summer as part of the initiative. (more)

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