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India turns to electric vehicles to beat pollution
16 August 2019 - India is making a big push for electric vehicles, signalling a turning point in its clean energy policy, writes energy writer Vandana Gombar. ... Another inspiration for India could be Norway, where electric vehicles accounted for half of last year's total car sales. A phase-out of combustion vehicles in the country is planned by 2025. (more)

Poland: Warsaw orders 130 articulated electric buses from Solaris to replace diesel buses
16 August 2019 - Warsaw has placed an order for 130 articulated electric buses from Polish bus maker Solaris in one of the largest European orders for e-buses to date. Warsaw city transport operator MZA ... says that within two years, there will be no more diesel engine buses running on Warsaw's Royal Route, a famed stretch of connecting streets with historical landmarks that runs through the heart of the city. The transport operator says the city will have 400 zero- and low-emissions buses in its fleet by that time. (more)

US: California replacing 200 polluting diesel school buses with all-electric buses
16 August 2019 - The California Energy Commission has awarded nearly $70 million to state schools to replace more than 200 diesel school buses with new, all-electric school buses. ... A study published in Economics of Education Review last month showed diesel retrofits had positive results on both respiratory health and test scores. (more)

US: More charging infrastructure coming for electric trucks and buses in California
16 August 2019 - Great news from San Francisco today [15 August]. The California Public Utilities Commission approved San Diego Gas and Electric's five-year, $107 million proposal to invest in charging infrastructure for electric trucks and buses. The proposal will result in at least 3,000 new electric trucks and buses in the San Diego region. But the utility is aiming for the budget to support closer to 6,000 vehicles. (more)

Half of all new cars sold in Australia by 2035 will be electric, forecast predicts
15 August 2019 - Half the new cars sold in Australia in 2035 will be electric vehicles even if there is no policy support to drive change, a new government analysis forecasts. A report published by the government's Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Economies examines the uptake of electric vehicles in 22 countries. It found sales vary between nations but are expected to grow rapidly across the world in coming decades. (more)

India: How going organic brought hope to Madhya Pradesh's cotton farmers and the wildlife around them
15 August 2019 - Twenty-six-year-old Laxmi Salami comes from a long line of farmers who have remained true to the tried and tested ways of cotton cultivation that they know. Not surprisingly, she was unwilling to stray from the well-trodden path, into organic farming, an unfamiliar territory for her. But when the young cotton farmer ... reluctantly agreed to participate in an organic farming project and try something new on her field, the results were a welcome surprise. (more)

US: Electric vehicles could be Colorado's most powerful climate tool
15 August 2019 - The Colorado legislature has had an extraordinarily productive year so far ... Among other things, the state adopted ambitious carbon targets ... Several of the bills passed in support of that effort focused on electric vehicles, extending available tax credits, and funding charging infrastructure. It got me [article's author] thinking: Just how big a role are EVs going to play in decarbonization? A new bit of research commissioned by Community Energy (a renewable energy project developer) casts light on this question. (more)

Apple, Amazon, Google, and Walmart are among the top ten firms embracing solar power in the US
14 August 2019 - Around the world, companies are embracing renewable sources of energy as they look to 'green up' operations and limit their impact on the environment. U.S. firms are no different, with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recently stating that corporate solar adoption had 'surged' over the last few years. CNBC's 'Sustainable Energy' looks at the businesses with the most installed solar capacity in the U.S. (more)

Solar now 'cheaper than grid electricity' in every Chinese city, study finds
14 August 2019 - Solar power has become cheaper than grid electricity across China, a development that could boost the prospects of industrial and commercial solar, according to a new study. Projects in every city analyzed by the researchers could be built today without subsidy, at lower prices than those supplied by the grid, and around a fifth could also compete with the nation's coal electricity prices. They say grid parity -- the 'tipping point' at which solar generation costs the same as electricity from the grid -- represents a key stage in the expansion of renewable energy sources. (more)

Study: All major Chinese cities capable of generating solar power more cheaply than grid
14 August 2019 - A team of researchers with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Malardalen University and Tsinghua University has found that all of China's major cities are now in a position to produce electricity from solar power more cheaply than can be had from the grid. [Their paper was] published in the journal Nature Energy. (more)

US: West Baton Rouge solar plant with 197,000 panels begins construction
13 August 2019 - Some 197,000 solar panels capable of powering thousands of homes are going into one of the largest solar plants to be built in Louisiana on a 560-acre site near Port Allen. Capital Region Solar started construction this week on the project. Entergy Louisiana will be purchasing power from the solar farm for 20 years after it is completed in second-quarter 2020. (more)

Australia: CBA joins global push to limit emissions by cutting coal exposure by 2030
7 August 2019 - Commonwealth Bank of Australia became the latest company to join a global push to reduce emissions and said it would phase out its exposure to thermal coal or power plants by 2030. ... The bank joins a host of other Australian companies adopting similar policies to combat climate change, and reduce the country's reliance on coal-generated power. (more)

Germany: 'Meat tax' on the table to protect the climate
7 August 2019 - Meat is relatively cheap for consumers in Germany. But that could all be about to change as lawmakers from across the political spectrum back proposals aimed at climate protection and animal welfare. Meat consumption has come under increased scrutiny over the past decade, with meatless diets, such as vegetarianism and veganism, gaining traction across the globe. (more)

US: Bringing together young and old to ease the isolation of rural life
7 August 2019 - A group in northeastern Minnesota is tackling the problem of social isolation and loneliness in a novel way: They're trying to reconnect a fragmented social fabric by bringing together generations to support each other -- children and the elderly. The program is called AGE to age. It connects more than 4,000 youths with almost 2,500 older adults annually. The initiative is not just geared to help the elderly -- the support runs both ways. It also helps children and young people in these communities feel more supported, (more)

Supergravity pioneers win $3m Special Breakthrough prize
6 August 2019 - The most lucrative prize in science has been awarded to three researchers for a landmark theory that married particle physics with Einstein's description of gravity, and proposed a candidate for the mysterious cosmic goo known as dark matter to boot. Daniel Freedman, Peter van Nieuwenhuizen, and Sergio Ferrara, from the US, the Netherlands, and Italy respectively, developed 'supergravity' in the 1970s, a mathematical feat that wrapped Einstein's general relativity into a speculative theory of all the known particles in the universe. (more)

Hyundai launches car with a roof-based solar charging system
6 August 2019 - Hyundai Motor Company has launched its first ever car with a solar roof charging system. The idea is for the solar roof to support the car's electric power source, boost fuel efficiency, and lower carbon dioxide emissions, Hyundai said. Silicon solar panels have been attached to the roof of the vehicle and can charge while the car is moving. The idea of attaching solar panels to vehicles is not a new one, and neither is it restricted to land-based modes of transport. (more)

Largest solar power plant in Argentina now up and running
6 August 2019 - Canadian Solar recently announced its 100.1 MWp Cafayate solar power project in Argentina started commercial operation July 19, 2019. It is now the largest operational solar power plant in the country. Located in the Province of Salta, the solar project . . . will generate over 216 GWh of electricity per year. (more)

Netherlands: There are tiny parks for bees hiding on the roof of these bus stops
6 August 2019 - In the Dutch city of Utrecht, the roofs of hundreds of bus stops were recently covered with low-growing succulent plants called sedum. It's not to make them look good (though it does). It's to create new habitats for bees and butterflies in the middle of the city. (more)

US: In a first, San Francisco airport bans all plastic water bottles
6 August 2019 - The San Francisco, California airport has become the first airport to announce a full ban of plastic water bottles throughout its stores and restaurants. The ban will go into affect swiftly, starting August 20, as part of the airport's overall pledge to reach zero-waste by 2021. Staff and passengers will need to bring or purchase refillable water bottles or compostable cups that can be used at the airport's 100 different refilling stations. (more)

Google pledges carbon-neutral shipping, recycled plastic for all devices
5 August 2019 - Alphabet Inc's Google on Monday [5 August] announced that it would neutralize carbon emissions from delivering consumer hardware by next year and include recycled plastic in each of its products by 2022. The new commitments step up the competition among tech companies aiming to show consumers and governments that they are curbing the environmental toll from their widening arrays of gadgets. (more)

Owner of Poland's ZE PAK energy group plans green push
5 August 2019 - A Polish billionaire owner of a brown coal-fueled power station, Zygmunt Solorz, said on Monday [5 August] he would invest in greener sources of energy generation, as a shift away from polluting fuels slowly gathers pace in the country. 'Today we all need clean air... I have already asked the companies which I am involved in to look at what we could do,' Solorz, one of Poland's richest men ... was quoted as saying in an e-mailed statement sent by his spokesman. (more)

Summer Inspiration: 24 food and farming change-makers
5 August 2019 - These inspiring people are working to make the food system more just, sustainable, and equitable. For example: Art Cullen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaperman from Storm Lake, Iowa, has used his 'tenacious reporting, impressive expertise, and engaging writing' to get readers to look closer and think harder about the political, economic, and environmental challenges unfolding in the Midwest. And Haile Thomas, the Gen-Z CEO is the founder of HAPPY, which has brought a peer-to-peer education model to young people around the world. Based in New York state, she's empowering students to make healthy lifestyle choices and minimize the occurrence of preventable health issues. (more)

This Irish teenager may have a solution for a plastic-free ocean
2 August 2019 - A teenager from Ireland may have found a way to rescue our oceans from the growing plastic pollution problem. A walk on the beach led Fionn Ferreira to develop his project on microplastic extraction from water for the annual Google Science Fair. The project won the grand prize of $50,000 in educational funding at this year's event. The 18-year-old said that while he was out on that walk in his coastal hometown of Ballydehob, he ran across a stone with oil and plastic stuck to it ... That's what got Ferreira thinking about how to develop a new extraction method. (more)

Plastic bag sales in England halved in past year
1 August 2019 - Plastic bags sales by the biggest supermarkets in England have halved in the last year, government data shows. Since 2015, when a 5p charge was introduced to tackle plastic pollution, the number being used is down by 90 percent. Customers now buy, on average, 10 bags a year compared to 140 bags in 2014. (more)

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