Climate Joy Week #10: Robert Downey Jr. Announces Footprint Coalition, Michael Bloomberg to Donate $500 Million to Close Remaining Coal Plants and more

Climate Joy Week #10: Robert Downey Jr. Announces Footprint Coalition, Michael Bloomberg to Donate $500 Million to Close Remaining Coal Plants and more

This week’s edition of our Climate Joy series is sponsored by our friends at Bon + Vie. Check them out if you’re keen for carefully vetted sustainable fashion and lifestyle products!

Last week, I wrote an article on how to cope with climate change anxiety and one of the tips I shared was to recognise that there are people around the world making earnest effort to end the climate crisis. 

So this week in our Climate Joy Series, we look more closely in appreciation of individual efforts; from movie stars and billionaire business men down to government officials, using their fame, influencer and money to help end the climate crisis that plagues our world. 

1. Robert Downey Jr. Announces New Coalition to Fight Climate Change and Plastics

Robert Downey Jr. has announced that he is forming a new coalition to fight climate change with advanced technology. He made the announcement last week at the Amazon AI conference re:MARS

The coalition known as the ‘Footprint Coalition’ is expected to launch in April 2020 and will utilize technology like robotics, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence to battle climate change. In a statement following his announcement, the actor stated that “between robotics and technology, we could probably clean up the planet significantly, if not entirely, within a decade”. 

Downey Jr. who is best known for his role as tech genius Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel movies seems to want to bring his movie persona to real life in a fight to save the world and we couldn’t be more grateful. 

Thank you, Iron Man.

Related Post: Marvel Studios Marvels us with Lessons on Equality and Diversity

2. Fight Against Carbon Gets Financial Boost

The fight against carbon emissions is about to receive a huge financial boost. Billionaire and former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg has pledged to donate $500 million to close the remaining coal plants in the US in the fight against the country’s carbon emissions. 

The donation is for the launch of the ‘Beyond Carbon’ campaign, an initiative that works with advocates to “to build on the leadership and climate progress underway in our states, cities, and communities to maximize the progress on climate change.” The billionaire described the initiative as the most organized response to carbon emissions in the world and one he is excited to be a part of. 

According to Bloomberg Philanthropies, this donation is the biggest philanthropic effort towards the fight against climate change so far. The funds will be directed towards supporting the election of electoral candidates who are in support of climate action in order to set a better framework for a national response to the climate crisis in the future.

3.Canadian Federal Government to Fund ’50 Million Tree Program’ Cut by the Ontario Government

The Canadian federal government has stepped up to fund the 50 million tree program.

To provide you with the necessary background information here, the program commenced in 2008 with the simple goal of planting 50 million trees until 2025. The program was run and funded by the Ontario Province. However, last year, in its latest budget, the Ontario governor Doug Ford cut out the budget for the program leaving over 2.5million trees stranded in nurseries. The governor cited costs and the need to optimize funding for essentials like healthcare and education in the polity.

In a valiant show of eco-activism, the Canadian government has now stepped in to fund the program. In her statement, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna relayed that “while the Ontario governor cuts programs that support tree planting … and tackling climate change, we will continue to invest in a clean future for our environment, our economy and our kids.” 

The annual budget of the program was $4.7 million to plant 2.5 million trees every year. With the funding of the federal government, the program can now be extended for another four years.

4. Europe’s Biggest Solar Farm to be Built in Spain

Spanish energy giant Iberdrola has unveiled its plans to build Europe’s largest solar plant in Spain. The proposed plant site is the Western region of Extramadurra and is estimated to generate 590 megawatts of electricity, at the very least.

Costing a whopping €300 million investment, the Francisco Pizzarro plant will provide up to 1000 jobs during construction and upon completion, provide energy to about 375,000 people every year.

This comes against the backdrop of a renewable energy renewal in Spain, spurred on by recent government policies under Teresa Ribera, the Minister of Ecological Transition who has built the interest of investors and has introduced climate legislation aiming to achieve 100% renewables by 2050.

That’s all for this week’s edition of our Climate Joy series. Tune in next week for more positive climate news.

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Feature image via Shutterstock.

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