This week’s Current Climate, which every Saturday brings you the latest news about the business of sustainability. Sign up to get it in your inbox every week.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2022 was the 6th-warmest year on record. Though not the highest, it’s not a good sign: the ten warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010. That can make the idea of reversing or even reducing carbon emissions to stop rising global warming seem hopeless.
But it’s not hopeless. Not only are there new technologies on the horizon, there are also ways to improve current infrastructure to make them more efficient and emit fewer pollutants and greenhouse gasses.
That’s a point emphasized by a new research study, which estimates that it’s possible to reduce the carbon emissions of natural gas-fired power by as much as 71% a year through a variety of mitigation efforts. This can be done through carbon capture and storage, as well as improving efficiency of the plants themselves (which has the side effect of making them cheaper to run.) “We were astonished by how large the potential reduction in greenhouse gases could be by 2050, and even by 2030,” lead author Sarah Jordaan said in a press release.
All it takes is a little work. (Okay maybe a lot of work, but the point is: it can be done.)
The Big Read
Major Natural Disasters Cost U.S. $165 Billion Last Year—Here Are The Priciest Weather Events
Large-scale weather and climate disasters totaling at least $1 billion in losses cost the U.S. an estimated $165 billion in 2022, according to data released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, making it the third-most costly year ever recorded by the agency.
Discoveries And Innovations
A recent study that was conducted in California found that children who live in close proximity to an airport have at least 21% higher lead levels in their blood.
A new study finds that climate change is causing massive coral reef bleaching events and these, in turn, are triggering more frequent fights between fish living in those ecosystems because of diminishing food resources.
As climate change drives more extreme weather events, they’re impacting power and other utilities. In order to better predict outages and address them, more of them are using data technology and machine learning techniques.
Sustainability Deals Of The Week
Hydrogen Funding: Norwegian-based company Hystar announced it has raised a $26 million series B round. The investment is aimed at scaling up the company’s commercial manufacturing of its electrolyzers, which are used in the production of green hydrogen.
Carbon Removal: Captura, which removes carbon dioxide from the ocean to be stored or used in low-carbon productions, announced that it raised a $12 million series A round in order to scale up its operations.
Enzymes: Novozymes and Carbio have entered into a long-term strategic partnership for developing enzymes that will be used for plastic recycling and biodegradation.
On The Horizon
Planning for the COP28 conference which is happening this year has begun, and the plans are already causing controversy. It’s being held in the United Arab Emirates, which named the head of its national oil company to lead global climate talks. That decision has sparked a lot of criticism, and it remains to be seen what will happen as a result.
What Else We’re Reading This Week
Companies Face Rising Pressure to Offer ESG Retirement Options (Bloomberg)
Self-driving EVs use way more energy than you’d think (Popular Science)
Indigenous knowledge is key to sustainable food systems (Nature)
Green Transportation Update
Glass Onion, the latest whodunnit by director writer/director Rian Johnson featuring detective Benoit Blanc—portrayed once again by former James Bond actor Daniel Craig—is a clever murder mystery that unfolds on an idyllic Greek island owned by an Elon Musk-like billionaire entrepreneur. Critics rate the film highly, but its depiction of “Klear,” a fictional and highly dangerous form of solid hydrogen, is getting raspberries from industry experts and companies that actually use the universe’s most abundant element as a clean fuel and power source.
The Big Transportation Story
Tesla’s Brand Is Tanking, Survey Finds
Tesla shares have started to claw back a bit of the ground they lost after a dramatic plunge in 2022. The same can’t be said for its brand image. Survey data released by Morning Consult indicate that just 13.4% of U.S. adults have a favorable view of Tesla, compared in 16% last month and 28.4% in January 2022, an side-effect of the ongoing chaos from CEO Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and his embrace of partisan politics and erratic public comments.
More Green Transportation News
U.K. Government’s Net Zero Review Claims Car-Shaped Electric Cars Reduce Congestion
India Auto Giant Mahindra Commits To Sibros Connectivity Platform For New Line Of Electric SUVs
An 8-Car Pileup Started By A Tesla In Autopilot Opens Up Many Complex Issues
Did The Consumer Electronics Show Hit Or Miss The Mark on Emerging Technology Trends Like EVs And Web3?
These Are The Cities Where Motorists Lose The Most Time And Money Sitting In Traffic
UK Last-Mile EV Truck Builder Tevva Wins OK To Mass Produce, Sell
Car Still King Reveals Prince Harry’s Right Royal Parking Spat
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