Climate Joy Week #20: Goldsmiths London University Bans the Sale of Hamburgers, World’s Biggest Rooftop Farm to Open in Paris

Climate Joy Week #20: Goldsmiths London University Bans the Sale of Hamburgers, World’s Biggest Rooftop Farm to Open in Paris

Welcome to this week’s edition of our Climate Joy series. This marks part 20 of this series and I can hardly believe it myself.  When we began this journey, all I had ever seen on climate reports was all the negative news and so I had very serious doubts that I’d find enough good news to even last a week. I started anyway, and today we’re publishing the 20th edition!

Anyway, here are this week’s collection of climate joys from around the globe:

1. London University Bans the Sale of Beef-Based Snacks and Hamburgers

Public research university Goldsmiths, University of London has announced a ban on the sale of hamburgers and other beef-based snacks and products. This amazing development is part of the school’s efforts at combating climate crisis. The school also enacted a levy of 10 pence on the sale of bottled water and single-use plastic cups. According to the college’s new head, Professor Frances Corner, “The growing global call for organisations to take seriously their responsibilities for halting climate change is impossible to ignore”.

Now we all know that a diet or a snack heavy in meat increases the risk of obesity, cancer and heart disease. But in addition, it also makes the planet sick because, the livestock sector generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined. This ban by the University is all part of a bigger move towards climate action which includes plans to install more solar panels across its New Cross campus, in south-east London, and also switch to a 100% clean energy supplier as soon as possible. The school also intends to identify other areas where planting could help to absorb carbon dioxide.

The ban is expected to come into effect in September.

2. Australia Offers Funding to Pacific Islands to Fight Climate Change

The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has announced that the Australian Government will be gifting $500 million (US$340 million) to Pacific Island countries; nations that have in recent times been very vocal in demanding that Australia curb its carbon emissions. The Prime Minister stated that the funds– which are drawn from Australia’s International Aid Budget– will help nations invest in renewable energy and climate change resilience.

The announcement came ahead of his trip to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Tuvalu, where island nations increasingly threatened by rising sea levels have vowed to put global warming at the top of the agenda.

The decision has been heavily criticized, in certain circles, as some clever politicking by the Prime Minister since Morrison is a renowned climate-skeptic and funding these Pacific countries in this manner while still allowing the Adani coal mine to proceed is regarded by some as trying to buy his way out of the climate problem. 

Regardless of the PM’s personal prejudices and in light of the infrastructural improvements that can be achieved by those countries threatened by rising sea levels, this development should still be counted as a win. 

3. World’s Biggest Rooftop Farm to Open in Paris

When you think of Paris, more often than not fashion, wealth, wine and pastries come to mind. But it’s about to add a whole new dimension to its identity; Europe’s largest urban farm is currently under construction on a Parisian rooftop!

The urban farm is specifically being built on the top of a major exhibition complex currently under redevelopment in the 15th arrondissement, the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles in the south-west of the city. This unique farming structure will span approximately 14,000 sq. metres (150,695 sq. feet) – also making it the largest urban farm in Europe. 

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Using entirely organic methods, it will grow 30 different plant species, producing around 1,000kg of fruit and vegetables per day during produce season. In typical French fashion, the farm will have a restaurant and bar with panoramic views of the city, operated by Paris’s popular chain of rooftop venues, Le Perchoir, and the menu will feature seasonal produce grown on site.

The farm will also be pioneering its own technique in aeroponic ‘vertical’ farming. Apart from not requiring pesticides, this method uses a closed water system and no soil – therefore minimising the risk of any pollutants. As if we aren’t blown away already, by supplying people right on the doorstep, the farm will have an exceptionally low carbon footprint!

4. Indian Prime Minister Vows to Ban Single-Use Plastic

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared his country’s intention to ban single-use plastic in an effort tackle its plastic crisis. The Prime Minister made the declaration at this year’s Independence Day celebrations. Modi also mooted the possibility of “strong first steps towards bidding adieu to single-use plastic on October 2.”

For you to better appreciate this news, it’s important to keep in mind that India has an enormous waste problem with various cities bordered by literal mountains of trash. According to the environmental authorities, 70% of the plastic used in the country is simply discarded. Its River Ganges is second only to the River Yangtze in the amount of plastic it contributes to the world’s oceans. 

And that’s all for this week. Be sure to check in next week for more climate positive news. Until then, make sure to spread the joy and share this article! 

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Feature image by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels.

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