Climate Joy Week #40: London and New York Mayors Urge Other Cities to Divest From Fossil Fuels, US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fall in 2019 and more…
Welcome to this week’s edition of our Climate Joy Series. Thanks for supporting this series, where we shine the light on positive climate news and remind everyone it’s not all bad.
And now without further ado, here is the roundup of good news for the week, as it relates to the environment and climate action:
Plant-based food brand Quorn has announced that it will introduce carbon footprint labeling on its entire product range by next year, with some products featuring the carbon information as of June this year. The carbon footprint data from “farm to shop” is certified by the Carbon Trust. The new labels are being introduced to help customers understand the environmental impact of their food choices.
From Thursday, carbon data for Quorn’s top 30 products (sales-wise) and will be made available on their website.
Breaking news from the US: Preliminary studies published by independent data analytics firm Rhodium shows that US greenhouse gas emissions reversed course and dropped an estimated 2.1% in 2019; an improvement since it rose sharply in 2018.
Now, a 2.1% decline doesn’t seem like much but when you consider that the US is the world’s second-largest contributor of planet-warming gases and President Trump has been slashing environmental protection funding, it’s news worth celebrating.
According to the analytics firm, the reduction represents an estimated 124 million metric tons of CO2 that were kept out of the atmosphere, or roughly equal to the annual greenhouse gas emissions produced by the entire nation of the Philippines.
The study also found that coal power generation fell 18% in 2019, representing the steepest year-over-year decline in recorded history and bringing coal power in the US to its lowest levels since 1975.
London and New York Mayors, Sadiq Khan and Bill De Blasio have teamed up to urge other cities to divest from fossil fuel holdings. The leaders unveiled what can only be described as how-to kits that will enable mayors to follow in their footsteps and divest from oil, natural gas and coal investments.
The toolkit offers tips on how to communicate divestment. It provides responses to likely concerns and provides case studies from recent campaigns. In 2018, New York became the first major American city to set a goal of divesting from fossil fuels; $195 billion pension portfolio by the end of 2020. Other major cities have recently pledged to divest from fossil fuel investments, including Melbourne, Berlin and Stockholm. “Every major city in the world needs to step up and do its bit if we are to deliver on our shared ambition of safeguarding our planet,” Khan wrote.
Environmental and heritage conservation charity The National Trust has announced that it is planning to plant 20 million trees over the next decade as part of efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2030, with an expected cost of £90-100 million. The organisation made the announcement as part of activities marking its 125th anniversary.
New trees and natural regeneration of woods will cover more than 18,000 hectares (44,000 acres) by the end of the decade, which means that 17% of the land the National Trust looks after will be reforested, up from 10%.
The charity, which was founded in the 19th century to protect and care for natural and historic places, plans to work with other organizations to create “green corridors” that connect people in urban areas to nature. “As Europe’s biggest conservation charity, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to fight climate change, which poses the biggest threat to the places, nature and collections we care for,” Hilary McGrady, National Trust director general told The Guardian.
Impossible Foods has announced that its next product, Impossible Pork, will show up first in the form of a pre-seasoned “Impossible Sausage” in Burger King breakfast sandwiches in select locations.
Unlike pork made from pigs, plant-based Impossible Pork can be certified kosher and halal (the company is currently in the process of getting those certifications.) It also has more iron, less fat, fewer calories, and no cholesterol compared with standard pork. Along with the ‘Impossible Sausage’ the company is making a version of pork that can be used as an alternative to ground meat, such as dumplings or spring rolls.
And on that note, we wrap things up for this edition of Climate Joy. Don’t forget to spread the positive climate news by sharing this post!
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Feature image via Quorn.