Green Top 10 – May 2023

Bringing you the latest news about sustainability, green initiatives, renewable energy, conscious investments, climate actions and many more. Check out May 2023 edition of top green news!

Kardelen ÇelikContent Editor

May 5, 2023
7min read

1- 100+ Swedish Climate Tech Startups To Know

Sweden’s climate tech scene is thriving with an impressive number of startups across various sectors, highlighting the country’s commitment to tackling climate change. This comprehensive list highlights more than 100 innovative Swedish climate tech founders spanning 17 sectors, including Agtech, Energy Optimization, Food and Transportation. These entrepreneurs bring years of experience to the table, with many of them having backgrounds in the climate tech, banking or corporate sectors. The fact that the Swedish climate tech ecosystem is largely backed by local investors and has managed to attract the interest of international venture capital points to a promising future for these eco-conscious startups.

Source: ClimateHack


2- What are e-fuels and can they really make Europe’s cars emissions-free?

E-fuels, synthetic alternatives to fossil fuels made from hydrogen and CO2, have recently become a subject of debate in the EU due to proposed stricter emissions regulations. Germany reached an agreement with the European Commission to allow the sale of vehicles running on carbon-neutral e-fuels after the 2035 ban on petrol and diesel engines. However, e-fuels are currently expensive and not produced on a large scale, with only enough supply for 2% of Europe’s cars by 2035. Critics also argue that while e-fuels are carbon-neutral, they still emit other pollutants when burned. Despite these challenges, supporters of e-fuels believe they offer a chance to reduce carbon emissions without having to replace all vehicles with electric ones and can be stored and shipped more easily than electricity.

Source: EuroNews


3- Role of flying cars in sustainable mobility

Researchers have conducted the first comprehensive sustainability assessment of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) flying cars, suggesting that they could play a niche role in creating a sustainable transportation system. The study highlights four key insights: VTOLs must operate at near-full capacities to outperform conventional ground-based vehicles; their lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles (ICEVs) are significant for trips over 35 km; electric VTOLs’ GHG emissions depend on the carbon intensity of the electricity grid; and lower VTOL emissions rely on Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) rather than advances in energy storage. The feasibility of VTOLs as a future transport option will also depend on regulatory, consumer, and societal acceptance of aerial transport in urban areas.

Source: Nature

4- Nestlé to Use Satellites to Monitor Reforestation Projects

Nestlé is partnering with Airbus to pilot the Pléiades Neo satellite system to monitor reforestation efforts. High-resolution imagery from satellites will help ensure the long-term success of trees planted as part of Nestlé’s “forest positive” strategy. The company aims to restore and grow 200 million trees by 2030 to help achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The pilot project will be implemented in Southern Thailand, where Nestlé sources its coffee. Depending on the results, Nestlé may consider expanding this approach to other regions.
Source: ESG

5- What Makes People Act on Climate Change, according to Behavioral Science

A research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA found that financial incentives and social pressure are more effective than education or feedback in promoting climate-friendly behaviors. While education raises awareness, it does not necessarily lead to behavior change. In contrast, social pressure, such as seeing neighbors adopt sustainable practices, has the strongest impact on behavior change. The research also found that littering is the easiest behavior to change, while transportation habits are the most difficult. The findings can help policymakers identify the best methods to guide people towards climate-friendly habits and combine various interventions to motivate different groups.

Source: Scientific American

6- Renewable electricity has pushed through a series of positive tipping points in recent years, with 2023 set to pass a major milestone.

The world is predicted to reach a positive climate tipping point in 2023, with greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector expected to fall for the first time. This is a significant milestone in the fight against climate change, as the expansion of renewable energies like solar and wind will outstrip the growth in electricity demand. Positive tipping points refer to technology transitions that lead to the adoption of cleaner, zero-emission technologies. As these tipping points are reached, the momentum shifts towards new technologies, accelerating the transition. In the case of clean electricity, a series of tipping points have been identified, with the upcoming one being renewables plus energy storage becoming cheaper than coal and gas power. While challenges remain, passing these tipping points could boost confidence in our ability to tackle climate change.

Source: BBC

7- Global rice shortage is set to be the biggest in 20 years

Rice production is falling globally, leading to the largest deficit in two decades and driving up prices for more than 3.5 billion people. Fitch Solutions forecasts that the global rice market will face a deficit of 8.7 million tons in 2022/2023, the largest since 2003/2004. Factors contributing to the deficit include the war in Ukraine, adverse weather conditions in China and Pakistan, and increased demand for rice as an alternative to other grains. Major rice importers such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and African countries will face rising costs in 2023. However, Fitch Solutions expects the global rice market to return to near balance in 2023/24 and forecasts a surplus in 2024/25.

Source: CNBC


8- Heat and Drought Force Europe to Accelerate Climate Adaptation

Record heat and drought are challenging Europe to step up its climate adaptation efforts, and the European Union is investing billions in new Earth-observing space missions to help its economy adapt to shrinking arable land, declining water levels and increasing wildfires. The Copernicus Climate Change Service plays a central role in the EU’s €16 billion effort to mitigate climate change through accurate predictions. Droughts cause reduced harvests, food insecurity and low river levels that disrupt transportation and force power plants to close. Copernicus data reveals that Europe is entering uncharted climate territory, with below-average river flows in 2022 for the sixth year in a row. Researchers are focusing on understanding Earth’s water cycle to better manage scarce resources and adapt to a changing climate.

Source: Bloomberg

9- The Green IoT Dream: New Solar Cells and AI Create a Sustainable Powerhouse

Scientists at Newcastle University have developed eco-friendly, highly efficient photovoltaic cells with 38% power conversion efficiency for IoT devices that use ambient light. Based on copper (II/I) electrolyte, these dye-sensitized cells offer a sustainable solution for sectors such as healthcare and manufacturing. The researchers also introduced an energy management technique using long short-term memory (LSTM) artificial neural networks that predict deployment environments and adapt IoT sensor computational loads accordingly. This innovation optimizes energy use, minimizes power losses and demonstrates the potential synergy between AI and ambient light as a power source for IoT devices.

Source: SciTech Daily

10- China and Brazil to cooperate in stopping illegal trade fueling deforestation

China and Brazil have announced a joint effort to combat deforestation and curb illegal trade that causes forest degradation. In a bid to strengthen ties, Brazilian President Lula da Silva met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to collaborate on the enforcement of laws prohibiting illegal imports and exports. Both countries will cooperate using satellite information to improve monitoring through the joint CBERS satellite program. Cyntia Feitosa, international affairs advisor at Brazilian think tank Instituto Clima e Sociedade, praised the initiative but stressed the need for practical implementation. The collaboration also includes the establishment of a Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change and support for Brazil’s bid to host Cop30 climate talks in the Amazon region.

Source: ClimateChange News