Hi guys, welcome to this week’s edition of Climate Joy! We hope you participated in the rallies seeking climate action last Friday. If you did, that is awesome! More green to your rainbow! If for some reason you didn’t, we know that you are contributing in your own way to a better planet.
Anyway, here’s a joyful roundup of the awesome things that happened last week.
Across the world people took to the streets on Friday September 20th for the Global Climate Strike, billed to be the biggest of its kind ever. While precise numbers are still being calculated, it is believed that the total number of participants was an estimated four million people.
The global climate strike was the third in a worldwide series of climate rallies and it drew the attention of governments and politicians worldwide. The strike took place around the world, with protesters flooding the streets far and wide from the United States, Australia, Southeast Asia and the wider Pacific to the UK, Europe and several parts of Africa.
These coordinated protests are the peak of sustained action by students around the globe at the forefront of a rallying cry for action on climate change. This is joyful news because, increased inclusivity in this fight means increased awareness and even better, translates to heightened pressure on our public officials to make better environmental laws and ones specifically aimed to curb climate change.
To coincide with the Global Climate Strike, the German government unveiled its impressive measures to combat climate change. These measures include subsidies for replacing oil-fired central heating systems as well as a $60 billion fund to fight climate change. The deal which was arrived at after a 15-hour negotiation session on Friday; is expected to send a strong political signal ahead of today’s UN Climate Summit in New York.
While making the announcement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that it was clear that they would be unable to meet the target of 40% reduction by 2020, but were now determined to achieve 50% reductions by 2030. The funds will be released over the next four years and assist Germany’s transition to a renewable energy economy.
In addition, the funds will also go towards subsidizing train tickets to encourage more Germans to use trains instead of private transport.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the company’s ambitious climate pledge during an event held by the National Press Club in Washington DC alongside Christiana Figueres, the United Nations’ former climate change chief.
The details of the pledge include:
- Net zero carbon for 50% of Amazon’s shipments by 2030, and 100% carbon neutral across the company by 2040.
- Renewable energy for 80% of Amazon’s operations by 2024, and 100% by 2030.
- 10,000 electric delivery vehicles on the road as early as 2022, and 100,000 operating by 2030, and
- $100 million investment in the newly launched Right Now Climate Fund.
The announcement came a day before 1,500 Amazon employees had pledged to stage a walkout to join the Global Climate Strike. The group, known as the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, issued a statement calling Bezos’ announcement a huge win. But they said it’s not enough, the capitalism needs to evolve and followed through with their walk out. Still, Amazon’s climate pledge is a major environmental win!
Walmart has announced a car seat recycling scheme, partnering with TerraCycle, a US company that specializes in recycling “difficult to recycle” items. According to the press release, this is the nation’s largest car seat recycling event, with nearly 4,000 Walmarts participating across the country.
As part of this scheme, Walmart is offering a $30 coupon to any customer who brings in their old car seats for recycling. The program, which began on Monday, will run through until September 30, in celebration of National Baby Safety Month.
Thank you for dropping in and we’ll see you again next week, same time same place, to celebrate more positive climate news!
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Feature image of Global Climate Strike in Brisbane by Stephen Hass/Flickr.