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🌱 The Grumpy Optimists #113
Your weekly positive climate news recap is back!
Happy Monday. 👋
Welcome back to another week of positive climate news from me, the Grumpy Optimist. I wanted to say a big thank you to those of you who reached out after my week off last week and gave your well wishes, you’re appreciated.
This week I’ve gone back to the usual, a roundup of all the positive climate news over the last week for you to feel like we have hope to solve the climate crisis. Without further ado, let’s dig into this week’s news.
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👀 Articles to read
👕 Swedish fashion brand puts emissions on each receipt. Asket, the Swedish fashion brand will begin putting the breakdown of the environmental impact of every Asket order, including the CO2 emissions, water usage and energy consumption for every item of clothing as well as the packaging and shipping impact. This is an awesome campaign and with fashion accounting for roughly 10% of global emissions, it’s a pretty important one too.
This podcast - the world is on fire but we’re still buying shoes - is a great listen on the impact of fashion and how we consume more sustainably.
🇨🇳 Is China’s coal consumption really that bad? China gets a lot of stick for its climate impact with climate deniers asking what’s the point in doing anything if China don’t control and reduce their emissions, but what are they doing? They do have around 1,100 GW of coal power, so yes, that’s bad, but they have also shelved, retired or cancelled 775 GW of coal power stations too. China is also leading the way in building low-carbon energy generation, with wind increasing by 15.1% and solar 45.3% and is on track to reach its 2030 targets in 2025. This article helps illustrate that when you zoom out, progress is being made, and quickly.
🚜 Unilever regenerative agriculture pilots find big climate wins. In 2020, Unilever pledged to invest €1bn in climate, nature and resource efficiency projects by 2030, part of which included four regen ag pilots across Europe and the US. The results? Pretty great. In Spain, Unilever found that per kg of tomatoes, there was a 37% decrease in GHG emissions, in Italy, there was a 60-80% decrease in ‘cides’ residue and a 48% decrease in the emissions per kg for rice. The overall results were incredibly positive and Unilever plans to roll out over 1,000 programmes by 2030 saying that the time for pilots is over.
🐙 Octopus Energy wants to make houses energy bill-free for 5 years. The UK renewable energy company have created a scheme called Zero Bills to make households bill-free for 5 years. The company plans to use heat pumps, solar, smart meters and battery solutions to create self-sufficient households. With 17% of heating emissions from buildings coming from homes (this is comparable to the contribution of all petrol and diesel cars), this is a huge deal not just for consumers, but for the planet. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind having no energy bills for 5 years.
🍦Unilever opens access to 12 patents to decarbonise ice cream. With just 73 months until 2030 (yes, really), we need more collaboration than ever to reduce our emissions. That's why it’s great to see Unilever opening access to 12 patents that will allow ice cream to remain stable at -12°C instead of the current standard of -18°C. Research from Unilever found that results in a 25% reduction in emissions and costs.
🇵🇹 Portugal sets renewable energy records. From the 31st of October to the 6th of November, renewable energy production exceeded the country’s demand for a whopping 149 hours straight. Portugal then exported the 31.2% excess energy generation to Spain.
💰 Macron pledges €1bn research fund for melting ice caps. France will spend €1bn between now and 2030 on polar research with the call for an immediate halt to seabed exploration in polar regions.
🇦🇺 Australia offers residency to Tuvalu citizens displaced by climate change. Climate change will have a major impact on low-lying countries like Tuvalu, with the impact being many of its 11,200 citizens will be forced to leave their homes as sea levels rise. Australia has vowed to take in 280 affected people per year.
🤝 Climates X Memes
This picture from Brighton and Hove News sums up the UK's attitude to climate action right now.
This week’s episode was written after a good recharged weekend and a long run around Richmond Park. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Fontaines D.C., not one I would normally recommend but some of you may enjoy (for those of you that don’t, I get it).
That’s all for this week. Love to you all,
George, the Grumpy Optimist 💚