Green Top 10 – October 2023

Bringing you the latest news about sustainability, green initiatives, renewable energy, conscious investments, climate actions and many more. Get the September 2023 Top 10 in Green edition!

Kardelen ÇelikContent Editor

October 2, 2023
7min read

1- Reviving Coral Reefs: Robots Step In to Save the Day!

Dr. Taryn Foster, a marine biologist based in the Abrolhos Islands off Western Australia, is pioneering innovative methods to combat the threats faced by coral reefs due to climate change. While coral reefs, covering just 0.2% of the seafloor, provide habitat to over a quarter of marine species, they are sensitive to rising ocean temperatures and acidification. Dr. Foster’s approach involves grafting coral fragments into small plugs that are placed on the seabed. These artificial foundations have shown promising results, accelerating coral growth compared to natural calcification. She is collaborating with Autodesk to use artificial intelligence-controlled robots for automated coral restoration. While challenges exist, including the delicate handling of wet coral and cost considerations, initiatives like coral seeding, breeding super corals, and even using sound to attract fish to damaged reefs are being explored in the fight to save coral ecosystems from the impacts of climate change.

Source: BBC

2- Combatting Beach Erosion in the Face of Climate Change: The Green Infrastructure Solution

Approximately 1 billion people inhabit areas within 10 kilometers of coastlines, facing escalating climate change hazards like flooding, hurricanes, and storms. With a projected 2-meter sea level rise by 2100 potentially forcing 72 million to 187 million people to migrate, it’s imperative to adopt new strategies. Green infrastructure, such as natural dunes and mangroves, offers a sustainable solution to protect coastal areas from climate impacts, necessitating a shift from conventional engineering to eco-friendly approaches. Understanding the dynamic nature of coastlines, recognizing their multifaceted benefits, and considering them as integrated systems are crucial steps toward enhancing coastal resilience to climate change.

Source: WE Forum

3- “Investment Community Maintains Confidence in Sustainable Investing for the Long Haul”

Canadian asset owners are strongly committed to sustainable investing due to regulatory requirements, despite short-term concerns about macroeconomic factors, says FTSE Russell. Almost half of them believe regulations significantly aid their sustainable investment goals, compared to 36% globally. However, aligning portfolios or indices with sustainability criteria presents challenges for 55% of Canadian asset owners, higher than the global average of 35%. Canada’s collaborative efforts between pension boards and regulatory bodies have established a well-run pension industry. While global sustainable investment strategies have faced setbacks, Canadian asset owners maintain long-term dedication, driven by regulatory requirements and prioritizing climate and governance issues. Concerns persist about ESG data availability and alignment challenges.

Source: Wealth Professional

4- “Exploring How Major Corporations Utilize Carbon Offsets to Achieve ‘Net-Zero’ Goals”

Two-thirds of the world’s largest companies with net-zero targets are using carbon offsets to help achieve their climate goals, according to analysis by Carbon Brief. The research found that top fossil fuel producers, automakers, and tech firms have relied on tens of millions of carbon credits to “cancel out” significant portions of their emissions in recent years. Notable users of carbon credits include Shell (9.9 million units), Volkswagen (9.6 million), and Chevron (6.0 million). However, critics argue that carbon offsets can provide a cheap alternative to real carbon reductions and merely give major emitters a “licence to pollute.”

Source: Carbon Brief

5- U.N. Report Shows Global Climate Change Efforts Still Insufficient

A new report from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change emphasizes the urgent need for accelerated action to reduce heat-trapping emissions, with world leaders set to convene at COP28 in December. The report underscores the critical importance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and warns that the world is currently on track for around 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming. To avert catastrophic consequences, emissions must decrease by 43 percent by 2030 and by 60 percent by 2035, compared to 2019 levels, with the ultimate goal of achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. While renewable energy shows promise, emissions from coal are not declining quickly enough, posing a significant challenge in the fight against climate change.

Source: NPR

6- UK Allocates $2 Billion to UN-Backed Climate Fund

At the G20 Leaders Summit in New Delhi, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a substantial commitment of $2 billion to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to assist developing nations in addressing climate change. This contribution represents the UK’s largest single funding commitment to global climate action and aligns with its pledge to allocate £11.6 billion ($14.46 billion) for international climate finance from 2021 to 2026. The GCF, the world’s largest climate fund, supports less affluent countries in reducing carbon emissions, advancing cleaner energy sources, and adapting to climate impacts. This announcement underscores the UK’s commitment to climate finance and the global fight against climate change, with a 12.7% increase compared to its previous GCF contribution from 2020 to 2023.

Source: Reuters

7- Climate Change Could Heighten Infectious Disease Risk, Warns Study

A comprehensive Europe-wide study has investigated the prevalence of potentially pathogenic protozoans, bacteria, and viruses in birds and bats across varying climatic conditions. The study, which compiled information on over 75 pathogenic microbes from almost 400 bird and 40 bat species, found that the presence of most pathogens was associated with temperature and rainfall. Warmer and drier climates were linked to pathogenic bacteria, while pathogenic viruses were more prevalent in moist climates. The research emphasizes how climate change can alter the risk of infectious diseases by affecting the distribution of both pathogens and their hosts, with the possibility of thermophilic pathogens becoming more common in northern Europe due to climate change.

Source: Mirage News

8- Africa Advocates Global Carbon Levies to Combat Climate Crisis

African leaders, concluding the Africa Climate Summit with the Nairobi Declaration, have called for a global carbon tax regime to address climate change. This declaration urges major polluters to allocate more resources to assist developing nations, emphasizing the pressing need for funding in Africa to combat climate impacts. It proposes a global carbon taxation system encompassing fossil fuel trade, maritime transport, aviation, and potentially a global financial transaction tax. While this initiative aims to secure significant climate-related investments, it faces challenges due to the limited support for a global carbon tax. Nevertheless, it represents a pivotal step in Africa’s role in shaping international climate action.

Source: BBC

9- This Ambitious Strategy to Break the Global Reliance on Coal Could Be Highly Effective

South Africa is repurposing its retired Komati Power Station, once a coal-fired facility, into a clean energy hub with 150 MW of solar, 70 MW of wind, and 150 MW of storage batteries. This transformation is part of the country’s efforts to transition away from coal, which supplies 86% of its electricity. South Africa secured $8.5 billion in loans and grants through the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), a collaboration between South Africa, European countries, and the US, to facilitate this shift to renewables while ensuring a just transition for coal workers and communities. Similar JETPs are emerging globally, with Indonesia, Vietnam, and Senegal also signing agreements worth billions to accelerate their energy transitions away from fossil fuels.

Source: Wired

10- El Niño and Increased Heat and Rainfall Facilitate Disease Spread

Climate change, combined with the El Niño ocean warming effect, is exacerbating concerns about public health worldwide due to warmer and wetter conditions that promote the spread of infectious diseases. Research from the University of Hawaii reveals that approximately 58% of human infectious diseases are worsened by climate change. Rising temperatures expand the habitats for disease-carrying vectors like mosquitoes and ticks, increasing their frequency of biting and disease transmission. Flooding is linked to outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera, while air conditioning usage can facilitate airborne infections. Experts stress the importance of the “One Health” approach, recognizing the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, to address the health impacts of climate change.

Source: Financial Times