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Renewables beat coal in the US, Cornwall’s sustainable tourism problem and Japan tries to be green

Renewables beat coal in the US, Cornwall’s sustainable tourism problem and Japan tries to be green

April to be momentous in transition from coal to renewables in US – RenewEconomy

If data from the Energy Information Administration is correct, April could be a big month for the US. For the first time Americans could be getting more of their energy from renewables than coal. Coal generation has been in steady decline across the union for some years, driven by a legacy support from the previous administration and concern carried forwards by individual states.

Source: April to be momentous in transition from coal to renewables in US – RenewEconomy

Has banning single use plastic bags created new environmental problems?

Single-use carrier bags have been seen as "the enemy" by many concerned about climate change. While they're wasteful, a growing number of voices are asking whether the alternatives are greener.

Source: Has banning single use plastic bags created new environmental problems?

Huge summer visitor numbers raise questions of sustainable tourism in Cornwall – Cornwall Live

Could "staycations" be having a negative effect on Cornwall's tourism industry? Record visitor numbers are creating problems across the county, from localised pollution caused by traffic jams to beaches becoming improvised landfill sites. The pain is falling on local communities, some of whom end up being unsupported lifeguards and rubbish collectors.

Source: Huge summer visitor numbers raise questions of sustainable tourism in Cornwall – Cornwall Live

What are they hiding? Fund firms who refuse to reveal where your cash is  – This is Money

For Impact Investors, knowing where funds are being invested is important. It helps to understand whether investments are being directed to those places that align with ethical objectives. In the UK at least, it seems knowing what's happening is a little "opaque".

Source: What are they hiding? Fund firms who refuse to reveal where your cash is  – This is Money

Commission calls for bioeconomy strategies to be expanded and implemented – EURACTIV.com

The European Commission is planning to use the Common Agriculture Policy in its efforts to tackle climate change. The Commission may refuse to approve CAP proposals from member states unless they include a bioeconomy element.

Source: Commission calls for bioeconomy strategies to be expanded and implemented – EURACTIV.com

Growing environmental awareness in Vietnam – Asia Times

Vietnam is one of the world's fastest growing economies. While standards of living edge upwards, the country is struggling with another side-effect of this boom - pollution. It scores poorly in overall environmental protection and the capital - Ho Chi Minh City - takes much of the brunt. A growing awareness of environmental issues, together with government and commercial willingness to act, could be turning back the tide.

Source: Growing environmental awareness in Vietnam – Asia Times

Chernobyl nuke disaster had positive impact on environment: UN Study – Siasat

Removing human activity allows ecosystems to recover, a UN report into the after effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. 30 years ago a reactor meltdown caused a massive radiation leak that led to large areas being abandoned by people. Nature, however, didn't leave. Inadvertently, the disaster has created a testing ground for theories about what happens when people aren't around.

Source: Chernobyl nuke disaster had positive impact on environment: UN Study – Siasat

Biodegradable bags ‘can still hold shopping three years on’ – Sky News

After we published a critique of the ban on single-use carrier bags, a new study has found the compostable variety don't fall apart as quickly as you might assume. University of Plymouth researchers found the bags can still be usable 3 years after their first use. The research also examined how long these bags can linger as waste. While compostable bags vanished from a marine environment in about 3 months, they were still present in soil more than 2 years later.

Source: Biodegradable bags ‘can still hold shopping three years on’ – Sky News

Urby – an apartment block with its own urban farm

A new development in Staten Island, New York comes with its own Urban Farm. A marketing gimmick or a much needed way to reconnect city dwellers with agriculture?

Source: Urby – an apartment block with its own urban farm

We need more vertical farming in cities says Chris Precht – dezeen

Cities have lost their connection with food, says Austrian architect Chris Precht. Creating vertical farms in our crowded city landscapes could be one way of restoring the connection and bringing agriculture back to the forefront of our minds.

Source: We need more vertical farming in cities says Chris Precht – dezeen

Japanese utilities turn away from coal plans amid green energy boom – Reuters

Japan is finally starting to look more seriously at renewables as a way of meeting its future energy needs. Osaka Gas pulled the plug on a new coal station development last week and other projects have been halted as environmental regulations have strengthened and environmental concerns gained ground. It isn't just "environmental activists" who are putting pressure on the country's utilities though. Banks and investors have also been making their views known, suggesting Impact Investing is making grounds in tackling climate change.

Source: Japanese utilities turn away from coal plans amid green energy boom – Reuters

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Renewables beat coal in the US, Cornwall’s sustainable tourism problem and Japan tries to be green

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