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DiCaprio’s Climate Film Premieres And 11 Other Key Stories

Leonardo DiCaprio arrives in Toronto for the world premiere or his climate change documentary. Photo: @TIFF_NET / Twitter
Leonardo DiCaprio arrives in Toronto for the world premiere or his climate change documentary. Photo: @TIFF_NET / Twitter

Things are moving quickly as our planet makes the transition to a new, clean economy. You want to stay in the loop – but you’re busy, that’s why we keep an eye on the headlines for you!

Welcome to the 13 September 2016 edition of the Daily Planet’s weekly State Of The Planet. Don’t hesitate to send your tips and comments to @peter_koekoek or

1. This woman can actually fit three years of rubbish into one small jar.

Known as the zero waste girl, Lauren Singer is an environmental entrepreneur from New York. The self-proclaimed “incredibly lazy” Singer leads by example, and is able to fit her waste from the last three years in a single glass jar. The Daily Planet has more on how she does it.

2. The low carbon transition has won the hearts and minds of millions.

At a major conference about Europe’s low carbon economy EU energy chief Maroš Šefčovič emphasised that sustainability has gone mainstream, the Daily Planet reports. The former Slovak diplomat pointed out how what started as a pioneer grassroots movement has now won the “hearts and minds of millions across the world.

“I am describing this cultural change to illustrate the historic momentum we are enjoying to act, collectively, and with highly ambitious targets,” he said.

3. Leonardo DiCaprio’s attention-grabbing climate change documentary has made its global debut.

The Oscar-winning Titanic star and environmental advocate celebrated the world premiere of his much-anticipated climate change documentary – the highest-profile environmental film since Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth‘ – at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last week, EcoWatch reports.

The documentary, which was screened at Toronto’s Princess of Wales theatre on 9 September, also features a range of other environmental champions as guest stars, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, US president Barack Obama and even the Pope. The film uses DiCaprio’s star power to get attention for climate change and is summed up by The Wrap as a “straightforward, elegantly presented survey of the science on climate change” along with suggestions on how to fix it.

The rest of the world will have to wait until 30 October, when National Geographic Channel is set to air the film globally in 171 countries and 45 languages according to EcoWatch.

The Daily Mail notes DiCaprio recently had to pull out of hosting a Hillary Clinton fundraiser because he was busy trying to get the film ready in time for its Toronto premiere, and its debut on TV before the US presidential election in November. Clinton says she wants to turn the US into the world’s clean energy superpower.

National Geographic has released a 30-second clip of the film on Twitter, featuring DiCaprio in the Arctic with a rare unicorn-like whale.

4. Poland now says it will back the EU’s ratification of the Paris Agreement, but only if it can burn more coal.

If you think this sounds a little counterintuitive, you’re not alone. Climate Home editor Ed King compared it to “deciding to diet by only eating krispy-kremes” doughnuts.

Poland’s stance clashes with EU climate policy goals and its commitments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, according to Climate Home. The EU is already lagging behind the US and China, with many other countries pledging to also swiftly ratify the accord. Climate Home points out it is still likely the deal will enter into force in 2016 – passing the threshold of 55 countries representing 55 per cent of global emissions – but possibly without the EU.

5. Nearing the end of his eight years in office, Barack Obama has given a wide-ranging interview on climate change.

The New York Times spoke to the US president in his state of birth, Hawaii. “What makes climate change difficult is that it is not an instantaneous catastrophic event,” Obama told the New York Times. “It’s a slow-moving issue that, on a day-to-day basis, people don’t experience and don’t see.”

“It feels like, ‘Meh, we can put this off a little bit,’” he said, but he went on to call the current climate trends “terrifying.” As ex-president, Obama hopes he “can have a little more influence” on some of his “Republican friends, who (…) have been resistant to the science,” the New York Times reports.

6. Asia, the $7.7 trillion low carbon opportunity.

If the world is to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change, trillions will need to be shifted to low carbon projects in countries across Asia, the Daily Planet reports. A new report, launched in Singapore last week (6 September), concludes $7.7 trillion will need to be invested until 2035 in energy efficiency initiatives and renewable energy projects to support the low carbon transition in China, India, Japan and South East Asia.

7. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, calls on investors to assess the impact of climate change.

All investors should factor climate change into their decision-making and doing so would not mean having to accept lower returns, BlackRock has said according to Reuters. The investor, in charge of more than $4.9 trillion in assets according to Reuters, says risks and opportunities would come through the “physical effects of climate change, technological change, as well as the regulatory and social response.”

8. Coal plant projects totalling the size of the European Union’s entire coal fleet have been shelved since Paris climate deal.

The volume of coal plants in planning worldwide fell dramatically in the first half of 2016 according to Climate Home. More projects – many in China and India – are being shelved or cancelled than added, totalling a change of 14 per cent, the equivalent to the EU’s entire coal power fleet.

9. You too could explain geoengineering with a hot meal, here’s how.

Couldn’t we just geoengineer our way out of global warming? Not necessarily, says YouTuber Climate Adam. Last time it was sea levels and gin & tonics, this time it’s climate intervention and hot meals. The Daily Planet has the video!

10. Airlines have urged governments to hurry up with the global aviation emission deal.

Airlines called on governments to sign up to a global deal designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from aviation, Reuters reports. The airlines also said they would have preferred a “more ambitious” timeline according to Reuters. China, the United States and Europe have already pledged support for the deal.

11. Pretty pictures I: A stunning new perspective of Earth from space.

The Guardian has images from the new photo book ‘Overview’ by Benjamin Grant, displaying the “beauty and fragility of our planet and its natural resources.”

12. Pretty pictures II: Gorgeous new Alaska maps could transform our understanding of the Arctic.

The Washington Post hails new satellite photos of Alaska, recently released by the White House. Ninety per cent the US foothold in the Arctic has now been mapped at a far higher resolution than ever before. As the Arctic comes into high resolution, scientists will be able to study the impacts of climate change by satellite, the Washington Post reports.

Looking for something to fix?

One of these stories may just inspire your next business venture:

  • Bad news for nervous fliers: climate change is making severe turbulence more common. Incidents of severe air turbulence are on the rise and there will be worse to come as climate change takes hold, the Telegraph reports.
  • Fish and plants are dying off in Europe’s tainted freshwater. Higher temperatures caused by climate change are contributing to this, according to the EU’s Horizon innovation magazine.

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