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This week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories -10 May

How do we decarbonise shipping?
Port of Rotterdam image via Flickr, Frans Berkelaar
How do we decarbonise shipping? Port of Rotterdam image via Flickr, Frans Berkelaar

Which of Europe’s cities have climate change plans in place? How are we going to decarbonise shipping? And, what are the all the roles for blockchain in climate action?

This, and more, in the week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories.

1.

Unilever reveals its green brands growing 46 per cent faster than rest of the business

The global consumer goods giant provided an update on its ‘Sustainable Living’ brands, confirming they grew 46 per cent faster than the rest of the business and delivered 70 per cent of Unilever’s overall revenue growth.

The company describes its ‘Sustainable Living’ brands, which include Dove, Lipton, Dirt is Good, Rexona, Hellmann’s and Knorr, as those which are furthest along in its journey to ensure its entire portfolio of products has as low an environmental impact as possible.

Read more on Business Green

2.

Bonn morning brief: Missing US climate cash raises tensions

As the latest round of climate change talks end in Bonn, the EU reaffirmed its commitment to the developed world’s ‘collective’ climate finance target of $100bn per year by 2020, but wouldn’t say whether this meant other nations would need to step up to fill the gap left by the United States.

The parties failed to make enough progress in this round of talks, so had to organise another set of meetings later this year in Bangkok ahead of COP24 in Poland.

Polish deputy energy minister Michael Kurtyka was confirmed as COP24 president-designate, and the UK government has signalled their interest in hosting the 2020 COP26 UN climate summit, the year when countries worldwide will set new nationally determined contributions.

Read more on Climate Home

3.

Conventional shipping get on deck for decarbonisation

Earlier this month, the International Maritime Organization agreed to cut total greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by at least 50 percent by 2050, and to pursue efforts towards phasing them out entirely.

Some interesting innovations in the retrofit of existing ships include fitting ships bows with a bulbous extension, air lubrication, replacing one propeller with two rotating in opposite directions and painting the hull with low-friction coating.

Read more on GreenBiz

4.

The blockchain revolution comes to climate action

Blockchain can trace everything from green supply chains to emissions cuts, enable green energy trading and convert plastic waste into cash.

A host of initiatives and start-ups are getting in on the technology.

Read more on DW

5.

EU carbon dioxide emissions rose by 1.8% last year

Campaigners have called on EU countries to step up their game after new figures suggested a rise in carbon dioxide emissions.

Malta, Estonia and Bulgaria registered the highest rises in 2017 compared with a year earlier, while Finland, Denmark and the United Kingdom were among the countries with the biggest falls.

Read more on EuroNews

6.

New photosynthesis machine is twice as efficient at creating hydrogen fuel

Researchers at the University of Michigan and McGill University in Montreal have created a device that uses sunlight to efficiently split fresh or salt water into hydrogen that may be used in fuel cells.

The new machine, which mimics the process of photosynthesis, is capable of producing hydrogen fuel at twice the efficiency of previous technologies.

Read more on Inhabitat

7.

The coffee cup which can be recycled in existing systems

A mixture of paper and plastic inner lining make coffee cups difficult to recycle.  Making the cup differently to normal could help replace the 2.5 billion cups binned each year (and that’s just in the UK).

Read more on BBC News

8.

Marks & Spencer trials liquid nitrogen delivery to meet emissions target

UK retailer Marks & Spencer will trial a zero emissions liquid-nitrogen refrigeration truck for its chilled grocery deliveries.

The ‘clean cold’ transport refrigeration unit, which produces up to 95% less CO2 emissions than traditional diesel-powered models, works by pumping liquid nitrogen through a heat exchanger inside the truck, where it acts like a heat sink, cooling the compartment down.

The nitrogen passes to the engine where it is mixed with warm water, expanding rapidly and generating power to drive the refrigeration.

Read more on Edie

9.

104% of Portugal’s electricity consumption in March came from renewable energy

March saw Portugal’s monthly clean energy production exceeded demand, according to a new report from the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association.

It likely won’t be the last time the country obtains so much power via clean sources. The authors think the occurrence will happen more frequently in the near future.

Read more on Inhabitat

10.

We examined 885 European cities plans to tackle climate change and here’s what we found

In the most comprehensive survey to date, researchers investigated the availability and content of local climate plans for 885 European cities, across all 28 EU member states.

The inventory provides a big-picture overview of where EU cities stand, in terms of mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Read more on the Conversation

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