Which energy efficiency measures can save the UK billions? Which country plans to end oil and gas exploration and production by 2040? And, is it possible to make money by removing CO₂ from the atmosphere?
This, and more, in the week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories.
Britain’s first zero-waste store is packaging-free and only sells ethical goods
Earth.Food.Love grocery store, located in Devon, UK, sells up to 200 pesticide-free products, which are also ethically-sourced. Additionally, the store is completely packaging-free.
Another look at waste: Belgian startup to print 3D recycled sunglasses
Belgium-based startup, w.r.yuma—pronounced “We are Yuma”—has printed the first 3D sunglasses out of recycled plastic. After two years of prototyping and testing different materials, it promises to transform old car dashboards, soda bottles, fridges, and other plastic waste into different coloured shades. Check out their Kickstarter page.
Better energy efficiency measures could cut UK costs by €8.2 billion
More efficient use of energy in the UK would save as much power as could be generated by six new nuclear reactors and shave €8.2 billion from energy costs, experts have calculated. But to achieve such savings would require substantial changes to government policy because there are few incentives for households to carry out the necessary measures, such as insulation, which can take 20 years to pay for themselves via bill savings.
France bans production of hydrocarbons
French Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot proposed on Wednesday (6 September) a bill to end the production of hydrocarbons in France, fulfilling a promise of Macron’s presidential campaign. The law stipulates that no new hydrocarbon exploration license will be granted, which will stop the search for new oil or gas deposits and existing operating concessions will not be renewed beyond 2040.
The climate engineers sucking CO₂ from the atmosphere—and making money doing it
Climeworks, the company Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher started in Zurich in 2009, was inspired by Gebald’s master’s thesis, which applied an engineering perspective to the removal of carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere. In June, when the first of the duo’s carbon-collecting machines went online, they became the first people to make money by de-warming the planet, collecting CO₂ directly from the air and selling it for use in greenhouses.
European power grid operators cook up ‘App Store’ for smart grids
Grid operators from all over Europe are currently finalising plans to launch a digital information exchange platform that will serve as a basis for developing new digital applications to manage electricity flows and take up growing amounts of renewable energy.
Croatia raises incentives to boost renewable energy production
Croatia will this month increase incentive fees for renewable energy producers in an attempt to boost the share of clean energy. Earlier this year, it was announced that Croatia had already met its 2020 20 per cent renewable energy source target, by posting a 29 per cent result in 2015. This is also enough to meet the 2030 target of at least 27 per cent, although calls have been made for the EU to increase this target to 30 per cent.
Proper carbon tax could wipe billions from polluters’ profits
More than €1.31 trillion in company profits worldwide could be erased by taxes required to meet the Paris climate agreement, according to analysis by Schroders. Andy Howard, the head of sustainable research at Schroders, said investors should focus on picking companies that could survive in a low-carbon economy.
Old coal crane in Denmark converted into swanky hanging retreat and spa
Danish firm Arcgency has converted a former coal crane into The Krane, a multi-tiered structure topped with a soothing spa retreat that overlooks Copenhagen’s industrial harbor.
Swedish center-left government promises €522 million for climate in 2018 budget
Sweden’s center-left government will invest a total of €522 million as part of its 2018 budget to counter the effects of climate change, it said on Monday. Measures will target both industry and individuals, for example, by increasing subsidies for hybrid and electric cars.