In this week’s ‘Climate Joy’ series, we celebrate the efforts of governments and organisations taking sustainable strides. From Washington to Quito, people across the globe are increasingly striving for a better future for the environment and our unborn ones.
Another American state makes it to our Climate Joy series. Washington State has passed a bill in both Houses requiring 100% carbon-free power by 2045 and a coal phase-out by 2025. This continues a wonderful trend of American states and cities adopting 100% renewable energy.
The bill also buoys renewable energy interests in the state as it mandates the states’ electrical utilities to “rely on renewable resources and storage”. Isn’t this great news?
The National Hockey League has taken strides to show its commitment to sustainability and climate action. The League in an announcement that coincided with Earth Day stated that it was going to buy carbon credits to offset the Leagues’ carbon emissions from airline travel and transportation during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The League will offset over 465 metric tons of carbon emissions. This will be for the first round of the playoffs which witnesses high amounts of air travel. The carbon credits will be purchased from Oregon-based non-profit Bonneville Environmental Foundation, which operates offset projects that capture and cut greenhouse gases emitted from animal waste, landfills and fossil fuel use.
In New Mexico, the state utility company PNM Resources says it could be emissions-free ahead of schedule. Speaking at an Earth Day event, Pat Vincent-Collawn, PNM Resources chairman, president and company CEO, stated that the company will produce 100% emission free electricity by 2040. This is five years earlier than the target set by the State’s Energy Transition Act.
At a time where the only things happening ahead of schedule are climate catastrophes like polar ice caps melting and sea level rise, positive climate news such as this is worth celebrating.
The Waorani Tribe in Ecuador has won a case against its government to protect their lands from oil exploration. The court ruled that the tribe have a right to be consulted before any exploration is done on their lands. The Ecuadorian Constitution stipulates that the indigenous tribes have an unalienable right to the control of their land but that the government has control of the resources beneath the soil.
This win sets a great precedent for other indigenous tribes. The Amazon and its people face increasing threats from colluding public officials and private companies seeking economic development through logging and oil exploring on their lands; deals that endanger the well-being of the forest and its indigenous peoples.
When one thinks of the most valuable tech company in the world, forests rarely come to mind. But that is the news with Apple today. As part of the company’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions, Apple is undertaking the protection of a 27,000-acre mangrove forest in Cispata Bay, Colombia.
Mangrove swamps are a low-cost but highly effective way of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Mangrove forests can absorb ten times as much carbon as terrestrial forests.
While this cannot absolve Apple’s other sins (planned obsolescence for one), it gives the earth a fighting chance and for that, we will at least give a slight nod of approval.
And that’s a wrap. Tune in next week for more feel good climate news!
- Calling All Artists, Musicians and Creatives: The Climate Movement Needs Your Help!
- Climate Change: A Climate Scientist Answers Questions From Teenagers
- Australian Labor Party vs Liberal Party: A Quick Comparison of Their Climate Policies
- 22 Steps Closer to Zero Waste Living: Disposable Items to Stop Buying Right Now
- 14 Famous Female Leaders on Climate Change, Sustainability and Protecting Our Environment
- Greta Thunberg, The 15-Year-Old ‘Radical’ Climate Activist Demanding Systemic Change
Title image credit of Extinction Rebellion protest in London April 2019 via Flickr.