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This week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories – 24 May

A new ranking of Europe's circular economy
A new ranking of Europe's circular economy

Which EU countries have the best circular economies? Could coding help countries become more climate resilient? And, could a new tech soon be offsetting the emissions of everything you buy?

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

1.       Blossoming batteries boosted by EU plan

A new EU Action Plan, largely based on recommendations made by industry, lays down a comprehensive roadmap that includes assessing the availability of raw materials in 13 countries, coupling renewable power to battery production and improving standards.

Read more on Euractiv

2.       Start-up to drive electric revolution

Dozens of giant battery storage sites and thousands of fast-chargers for electric vehicles could be installed in Britain under an ambitious £1.6 billion scheme unveiled yesterday.

Pivot Power, a developer, said that it aimed to connect industrial-scale batteries and electric vehicle charging sites into the British power grid at 45 locations, creating the world’s largest network of each technology.

Read more on The Times

3.       Paris is building the eco-community of the future right now. Here’s how.

With the development of Clichy-Batignolles, the city of Paris has created a groundbreaking eco-village filled with such buildings. Begun in 2002, the massive redevelopment project is about 30 percent complete and is slated to be finished in 2020.

Read more on Eco Business

4.       Coding for Catastrophe: Contest Seeks Apps to Mitigate Effects of Natural Disasters

The United Nations Human Rights Office and IBM have announced Call for Code, a contest seeking applications that address natural disasters aiding prevention, response, or recovery.

The contest application window opens 18 June; the last day for submissions is 31 August. Every entrant will receive access to IBM’s Cloud, Blockchain, Watson, PowerAI, and Z mainframe platforms. The winner of the Call for Code Global Prize, announced in October, will receive US $200,000, and two semifinalists will receive $25,000 each.

Entrants will also be encouraged to attend hackathons held in 50 cities around the world, including Amsterdam, Berlin and London.

Read more on IEEE

5.       This tech offsets the carbon footprint of each item you buy

In a new pilot, a Ben & Jerry’s cafe in London is the first retail store in the world to start using a tech platform that makes it possible to immediately and cheaply offset the climate impact of daily purchases.

Read more on Fast Company

6.       Scientists Develop Recycling Process That Could Lead To Zero Waste Cell Phones

Researchers have developed a process to separate fiberglass from resin. This was a task that had proved nearly impossible earlier and the primary reason the two substances are nearly impossible to recycle. They must be separated to make them reusable. Scientists hope their research will be used to develop a ‘zero-waste’ cell phone.

Read more on Clean Technica

7.       School proves it’s possible to achieve near zero waste construction

Could waste in the building industry ever be reduced to near-zero, with materials endlessly being reused? One contractor is amongst many showing the way with a school refurbishment project in South Wales where only 0.03 per cent of waste went to landfill.

Read more on the Fifth Estate

8.       Cryptocurrency may light up renewable energy in Moldova

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will launch an innovative effort to power a Moldovan university with cryptocurrency-funded solar energy. The initiative will allow people to buy solar cells using SolarCoin and then lease them to the Technical University of Moldova, one of the country’s largest universities. The idea is to find new sources of finance to “help buildings go green overnight” – in this instance with rooftop solar panels.

Read more on Thomson Reuters Foundation

9.       Ranking how EU countries do with the circular economy

Poland and the Czech Republic rank near the top of a list of the EU’s most circular economies, while ostensibly green Nordic countries lag behind.


10.    A clever fix to the biggest climate problem

Manufacturers are building a new kind of fridge that doesn’t make use of potentially dangerous refrigerants. Phononic is building thermoelectric refrigerators that use less energy, take up less room and pose fewer environmental risks than conventional refrigerators.

Read more on Eco Business

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