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🌱 The Grumpy Optimists #111
Solar PV will dominate the world, suppliers get told they need to cut emissions and rewilding once again shows us its importance.
Happy Monday you wonderful humans. 👋
Welcome back to another episode of The Grumpy Optimists, your weekly recap of last week’s positive climate news. This week I’ve got your lunch break distractions ready with two of my most recommended YouTube videos as well as lots of other great reads. Here’s a quick overview of what we cover.
🍽️ Sodexo puts pressure on £800 million worth of contracts for climate concerns.
💨 The UK is howling with wind and the world is set to be dominated by solar, but only if we add 80 million kilometres of new power lines.
🏝️ Rewilding once again proves its power.
🔌 A Quick Plug - I’m Hiring
I’m also hiring a carbon consultant to work directly with me and my co-founder Ben to help some of the best and coolest consumer goods brands around the world.
So if you’re interested in helping make the planet more positive and create real action in a fast-growing startup, you can either apply via LinkedIn or better yet, read the job description and email me at email@example.com with your application. Please share with people you think might be interested.
Now, back to the positive news!
👀 Articles to read
🔨 Sodexo threatens to cut £800m in contracts without net zero progress. Sodexo, the French food services and facilities management company, has told its UK and Ireland suppliers they must demonstrate progress towards net zero by 2030 if they want to retain their contracts. Each supplier must provide a detailed carbon reduction plan each year. This is a sign of the future with every company expected to measure and report their carbon emissions across their operations and supply chain.
Quick plug, if you want to find out how your company can measure and report their emissions you can book directly in my calendar here.
🍃 Scotland’s biggest offshore wind farm at full power. Seagreen, the 114-turbine wind farm has begun operating at full capacity now powering up to 2/3rds of Scottish households. The project can help cut over 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year, roughly 0.004% of global emissions, just to put it into perspective. Just because it’s cool, you should check out this map of the UK’s wind power and wind direction here.
🍎 UK city gives people the right to grow food on unused land. Hull, a coastal town in the north of England, is set to be the first UK city to give people the right to grow their own food on unused council land. With some areas experiencing a 20-year wait for an allotment, this is hopefully something that can be spread across the rest of the UK. As somebody who grows their own, I believe this is a small but important climate win. It takes ages for things to grow and allowing people to understand that the food we eat doesn’t just arrive in a supermarket is important, both for our connection to our food systems and also for preventing waste.
☀️ Solar PV is set to dominate energy prices by 2030. A new report looking at the momentum of the solar energy transition has suggested that we’ve passed a globally irreversible tipping point where solar power dominates global electricity markets. The report suggests that providing finance to developing countries, minimising political resistance and creating better grid stability will help push the momentum even further. For those of you interested, this is an incredible YouTube video by Tony Seba talking about the future of energy and transport in 2030.
🔋 Power grids could hamper energy emission reductions. Failure to upgrade and expand the power grid will hamper efforts to cut energy-related emissions with an additional 80 million kilometres of power lines needed by 2040. That’s a pretty wild statistic. This isn’t necessarily bad news, but it shows that the infrastructure behind tackling the climate crisis is just as crucial as the rise in solar PV.
⚡The world is nearing peak fossil fuel power production. According to a new report from Ember, fossil fuel electricity generation peaked at least five years ago in half the world’s countries and a global peak is imminent. It’s yet a sign that fossil fuels are on their way out and renewables are the future, it’s just a question of how quickly that future comes.
📦 Amazon EV van fleet reached 10,000 in the US. Amazon has now reached 10,000 electric vans across its US operation, helping to lower their delivery emissions. However, a quick note here to say while this is great, Amazon still have 100,000 gas-powered vehicles worldwide delivering products we often don’t need. So while we can praise their efforts to decarbonise, I’m not here to say they’re perfect.
🌴 Lahaina fights to revive ancient trees after wildfires. The wildfire in Lahaina destroyed nearly all of the town's breadfruit trees, which have a long history and cultural significance in Hawaii. A group of arborists, farmers, and landscapers are working to save the remaining trees and propagate new ones. They see this as an opportunity to restore the trees to Lahaina, teach people about their care and use, and reclaim part of the town's historic identity.
🏝️ How one Caribbean island is a rewilding success. Redonda, once a mining site for guano - seabird excrement used in fertiliser - riddled with rats and stripped of vegetation is now a major rewilding success. The site now has 30,000 hectares of protected land and native species of flora and fauna are returning. Another YouTube recommendation for this week combines my love for the sea, nature and surfing with the restoration of Palmyra, an island destroyed during WW2.
This week’s newsletter was written to some delightfully slow yet uplifting house music. I would be very grateful for both the likes and sharing The Grumpy Optimists, I don’t have the time to promote the work I do but thanks to you all sharing the blog over the last few weeks I’ve had record subscriber growth, so thank you! You are both seen and appreciated.
Lots of love,
George, the Grumpy Optimist 💚