🌱 The Grumpy Optimists #120
We've hit 1000 grumpy optimists 🎉
Happy Monday. 👋
Welcome back to another episode of The Grumpy Optimists, your weekly recap of last week's positive climate news.
This week was a pretty cool one because over 1,000 of you now subscribe to The Grumpy Optimists via email (with about 3,500+ on LinkedIn, too). That’s a mental number of people who come back for their weekly recap, to get a song recommendation, and to feel like we have a hope of saving the great planet we live on.
It took me nearly three years to get to 1,000 subscribers. I think we can make it to 2,000 by the end of the year, but I need help - please share The Grumpy Optimists with somebody you think will enjoy it. Dare ya!
Anyway, this week, I’m looking at the EU banning greenwashing, republicans going big on wind power despite their climate denial, and robots helping breweries become more efficient.
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👀 Articles to read
♻️ EU bans greenwashing. It’s now time to bid adieu to deceptive "eco-friendly" claims and murky greenwashing in the EU. Vague terms will be replaced with concrete evidence, with climate-neutral claims to be banned if they come through offsetting. The legislation will protect consumers from being misled and create much-needed transparency in green claims.
🏏 Cricket goes green. Edgbaston, a cricket ground in the UK, hosted a sustainably focused T20 back in 2023 that resulted in a 33% reduction in the carbon emissions associated with a typical event. The event showcases what can be done to decarbonise sport, from renewable energy to free bus travel for spectators and electric lawnmowers. I’ve said it before, and I will say it over and over again: sport is a fantastic way to engage people on climate action.
🥵 Octopus Energy invests £200m to re-use heat from data centres. The energy company has invested £200 million into Deep Green, a company that reuses heat from data centres to provide free heat. That includes things like heating swimming pools and cutting energy bills by up to 60%. The investment will help Deep Green to scale its technology across the UK.
🇺🇸 Republicans like clean energy, even if it’s not for the climate. Renewables are no longer the right decision for the planet. They’re also the right decision for cost and energy security. Interestingly, based on 2022 data, 5 of the top 10 states where wind production was the highest were Republican. Around 70% of the US’s wind power is generated in red states, although this is partly due to the fact that they’re also in rural areas and windy parts of the country. Blue states like California and Nevada do lead on solar. Despite the geographical element, this research shows that renewables don’t just need to be framed as a climate win but as an economic one, too.
🛢️ Can investors steer Shell towards net zero? A $4 trillion investor coalition wants Shell to target reduced emissions from its products, but the oil giant's mega-profits and shareholder power seem like tough roadblocks. However, as an optimist, investors could still drive change through leadership pressure, building on past support and igniting a wider push for fossil fuel giants to embrace renewables.
🎐 Amazon leads the world in corporate renewable energy buying, again. For the fourth consecutive year, Amazon has become the world’s largest corporate renewable energy buyer, with over 500 solar and wind projects globally, powering the equivalent of 7.2 million U.S. homes. This has helped to create 39,000 jobs. Next, it’s targeting fossil fuel-powered grids with the first project in Greece to reduce carbon emissions significantly. They might have a business built to sell us stuff we don’t need, but they’re becoming a key driver for renewables globally.
🔋Northvolt raises the largest ever green loan. The battery giant secured a €5 billion green loan to power its gigafactory expansion and open its first-ever battery recycling plant.
🍺 Robots get to work in breweries. I’m a big believer that technology can tackle a lot of small challenges we face with climate change (but it can’t control overconsumption). That’s why it’s really cool to see Boston Dynamics robots taking a break from doing backflips to checking brewing equipment for overheating and air leaks. I can see this being implemented to prevent methane and refrigerant leaks.
This week’s episode was written after making a good two dozen cinnamon rolls (hungover housemates were very happy) while listening to a solid 3-hour DJ set.
For those of you who enjoy this blog each week, you can also pledge to support me and help pay towards my pastry addiction on the weekend.
George, the Grumpy Optimist 💚