How can ammonia fertiliser be used to store green energy? Will food waste take over the fashion industry? And despite new EU targets on renewables, energy efficiency and emissions, how well are individual countries performing?
This, and more, in the week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories.
Batteries boom enables world to get half of electricity from wind and solar by 2050
Wind and solar are set to rise to almost 50 percent of world generation by 2050, due to reduction in cost, and the advent of cheaper batteries that will enable electricity to be stored and discharged to meet shifts in demand and supply.
#NEO2018 is out!
– Wind & solar will surge to '50 by 50' – 50% of world generation by 2050
– Batteries play a key role in the transition to '50 by 50'
– Coal will shrink to 11% of electricity generation by 2050
— BloombergNEF (@BloombergNEF) June 19, 2018
EU decides on non-binding 2030 energy efficiency target
The EU Parliament, Council and Commission have agreed to cut energy waste 32.5 percent and reduce reliance on fossil fuel imports, meeting exactly halfway between their initial starting points of 30 percent and 35 percent, respectively. However, negotiators could only agree on a non-binding indicative goal, which in EU-speak is now being touted as a ‘headline’ target.
Big news for #energyunion #securityofsupply and #RenewableEnergy coverage:#EED agreement reached tonight at 32.5% EU target & real annual #energysavings obligation for MS at 0.8%. #CleanEnergyEU #EnergyEfficiency @EURACTIV @SamJamesMorgan @FredSimonEU
— Brian Vad Mathiesen (@BrianVad) June 19, 2018
EU can increase 2030 pledge to Paris Agreement, says climate chief
The EU’s current pledge is to cut emissions at least 40 percent by 2030, but as a series of new measures have been approved, the EU will now cut its emissions by more than 45 percent.
The package of clean energy targets means the EU is able to raise its level of overall ambition, Miguel Arias Canete, EU commissioner for climate action and energy, told a meeting of climate ministers in Brussels.
“Both new targets would de facto mean that the European Union would be in a position to raise the level of ambition of the NDC and increase its #emissions reduction target from the current 40% to slightly over 45% by 2030," Cañete said: https://t.co/YPr0urq5Il pic.twitter.com/ssPWTr0sd3
— Climate Home News (@ClimateHome) June 21, 2018
Green steel: Arcelor Mittal wants to disrupt environmental construction
Steel company Arcelor Mittal has launched a “radical and disruptive” concept for the use of steel in construction, which it claims can help reduce environmental impacts across the industry. ‘Steligence’ aims to create a more sustainable life-cycle for buildings and involves taking a more “holistic” view of their design and construction, the firm said.
Through better dialogue and cooperation between suppliers and stakeholders in the design of projects, better co-operation across supply chains and various architectural and engineering disciplines to ensure the best available steelmaking technology and installation methods are used wherever possible.
— James Murray (@James_BG) June 20, 2018
More pension funds taking stock of climate change risk
European pension funds are developing a much greater awareness of climate change in their investment decisions. 17 percent of 912 EU participants say they consider the investment risk posed from climate change, up from only five per cent in 2017 and four per cent in 2016.
Survey indicates that European pension funds are developing a much greater awareness of climate change in their investment decisions https://t.co/5gkUppQ9W2
— Grantham LSE (@GRI_LSE) June 19, 2018
C&A Foundation backs fashion industry circular economy pilot projects
Five new pilot projects aim to encourage more circular business models across the fashion industry. €1.29 million of new funding from the C&A Foundation will support its Bridging the Gap initiative, which aims to curb waste and enhance resource efficiency across the sector.
Bridging the Gap: C&A Foundation backs fashion industry circular economy pilot projects https://t.co/ptreeqBcFv
— BusinessGreen (@BusinessGreen) June 20, 2018
Will Norway’s electric plane take off?
Flying is the worst thing you’re likely to do for the climate, so the BBC investigate whether a battery-powered plane could lead to guilt-free travel on all short-haul flights in Norway by 2040.
The short film also looks at battery powered ferries, and how Norway will only sell electric cars after 2025.
Will Norway's electric transport take off? https://t.co/psE8JnFUad
— BBC Science News (@BBCScienceNews) June 19, 2018
EU climate efforts not living up to Paris promises, says NGO
Many EU countries are veering off the course of action they committed to under the Paris Agreement, according to a new report by NGO Climate Action Network Europe.
The report ranks countries on factors including their likelihood of reaching their EU 2020 targets and their relative ambition in setting additional targets beyond what was established at the Paris Agreement.
New @CANEurope report finds: EU countries ‘off target’ on reducing #carbon emissions in line with the #ParisAgreement. UK "no longer a climate leader" https://t.co/Tdp6o3QboA pic.twitter.com/AKMTstbfGc
— Carbon Tracker (@CarbonBubble) June 18, 2018
Food waste is going to take over the fashion industry
As recently as 1960, 97 percent of the fibers we used in garments and materials were naturally derived. Today, it’s only around 35 percent.
Recently awarded a $350,000 Global Change Award, Circular Systems, a company that converts natural waste fibres into usable materials, want to set the fashion industry on a new path toward more sustainable production and sourcing.
Food waste is going to take over the fashion industry.
How the startup Circular Systems is pioneering new tech to convert food crop waste–like banana peels and hemp stalks–into wearable fibers.
— Food Tank (@foodtank) June 15, 2018
Siemens pilots the use of ammonia for green energy storage
Ammonia plants produce ammonia, mainly for fertilising crops, by combining hydrogen and nitrogen via the Haber-Bosch process. Fossil fuels provide both power and a source of hydrogen, meaning the process releases large amounts of carbon dioxide.
A new pilot project will instead use renewable electricity to extract hydrogen from water through electrolysis. Renewable electricity will also power the Haber-Bosch process, allowing ammonia to be produced without any carbon emissions.
Siemens pilots the use of ammonia for green energy storage https://t.co/3RUzfrarVS
— Guardian Environment (@guardianeco) June 17, 2018