As 1 million species face extinction, report demands we “tackle vested interests” and make real changes
An intergovernmental body has warned of serious consequences to humanity of the rapid rate at which species are going extinct. Over 1 million species are currently at risk of vanishing, their extinction driven by human activity and with the potential to collapse entire ecosystems. Aside from the destruction to the environment, it risks destabilising human food chains, ultimately leading to challenges to feed ourselves.
The report comes from IPBES, an organisation representing 132 governments worldwide and joins the growing list of warnings coming from scientists across multiple disciplines.
Perhaps capturing a sense of frustration, the report warns “vested interests” need to be tackled to break down the status quo and allow transformative change to happen.
Canada’s Federal “carbon tax” moves a step closer to reality (for now)
Plans to introduce a Federal “carbon tax” in Canada are coming under judicial scrutiny. The move is part of Canada’s efforts to reduce emissions and meet its Paris Agreement commitments, but is being challenged by some vested interests in court. Claiming it as “unconstitutional”, the latest battle took place in Saskatchewan.
As journalist Andrew Coyne notes, the war is likely to move to the Supreme Court, where anything could happen.
Refillable, recycled lipstick packaging hits Lush stores
Packaging manufacturer Aptar Reboul has created a refillable container for lipsticks, which is set to find its way into Lush’s stores. Instead of buying a new container each time the product finishes, consumers can buy “refills” which are easily inserted into the tube. Instead of the usual plastic, the tube is made of metals, almost half of which is recycled. That will help its durability and boost its eco-credentials with each use.
Although refillable packaging might summon up images of water bottles and coffee mugs, it’s clear companies are looking for new ways of providing refills across different product ranges.
10 Millennial entrepreneurs creating a more sustainable world
From growing coral on land to recycling soap, Social Enterprises find niche problems to solve. Euronews introduces us to 10 of them, each with a fascinating business idea.
How London, Ostend and Espoo have created more sustainable cities
Three very different cities provide a little insight into how they’re becoming more sustainable. Finnish city Espoo has barely 300,000 residents, allowing the city to pull in support from citizens more easily. With several million residents, London has had to rely on data to build up its strategy, which has recently seen the introduction of an Ultra-Low Emissions Zone in the centre of the city. In Belgium, triggering behaviour change in subtle ways has led to reductions in CO2 emissions in Ostend through smart lighting.
TCL looks to expand recycling in China
Chinese recycling company TCL recycled 3.2 million appliances in 2018, some 95,000 tonnes of materials. It’s aiming to beat that figure in 2019, establishing two companies to service the north and south of the vast country. Encouraging Chinese to recycle has been a challenge so far, although TCL aims to tackle this using digital apps to arrange collection of old appliances. If successful, it will go some way to helping China meet its green targets.
Your next car seat cover could be made of wood
Your next car could have seat covers made from wood. That’s the aim of Lenzing, a giant in the textiles market, who have developed a hard-wearing fabric for the automotive sector. Not only is the material produced from sustainable forests, it’s also degrades more easily when it reaches the end of its life. Their first partnership is with Swiss specialist Rinspeed.
How do you cut the annual food waste bill in half?
Australia wastes an estimated $20 Billion a year of food. Aiming to cut this in half within a decade, the Government created the Fight Food Waste Co-operative Research Centre, based in Adelaide. It’s started to announce projects to cut the waste food bill, including public information campaigns and changes to product packaging.
Projects aren’t only about reducing demand. Where there is waste, CRC is supporting projects to turn it into usable products. Potatoes, for example, are being turned into dairy free ice cream and vodka.
CRC’s efforts will be closely watched over the coming years, with their more successful ideas likely to be copied the world over.
Green building society Ecology announces record profit
Increasing demand for ethical investment products has seen profits at the Ecology Building Society exceed £1 million for the first time. It saw its mortgage lending increase by £6 million, with almost 20 per cent of new lending going to charities and community led housing projects. However, savings fell, as did the overall asset base.
Ecology could benefit from increasing interest in ethical products, particularly with the UK Government’s growing support for green initiatives. Whether it can remain distinct when major lenders move into the space remains to be seen.
Fake people are creeping into your timeline
After a “journalist” started diving for personal info at Tesla, a quiet scandal broke. The journalist didn’t exist, their LinkedIn profile was fake and their image didn’t raise red flags on the usual Google image searches. Welcome to the world of the “fake people” who are creeping into your timeline in an attempt to scam you out of something.
Image: Endangered Grand Cayman Blue Iguana by Steve @ The Alligator Farm. Used under a Creative Commons licence