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Norway becomes first country to ban all palm oil based biofuel to protect rainforest
16 December 2018 - Palm oil-based biofuels will no longer be permitted in Norway, the nation's parliament announced last week [Monday 3 December]. The move, which aims to thwart the destruction of Indonesian rainforests razed for palm oil plantations, makes Norway the first country to enforce such a ruling. According to recent estimates, current demands could lead to 7 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions produced over the next two decades. (more)

California is first state to mandate zero-emission bus fleet
16 December 2018 - California moved Friday (14 December) to eliminate climate-changing fossil fuels from its fleet of 12,000 transit buses, enacting a first-in-the-nation mandate that will vastly increase the number of electric buses on the road. (more)

US: Oakland's plan to battle homelessness: Stop it before it starts
16 December 2018 - As rising rents push low-income tenants out of Oakland, the city is responding with a program that's fighting homelessness and gentrification before they take root. The program's approach may be a model for California and the country. (more)

Luxembourg will become the first country to offer free mass transit
15 December 2018 - The country is small, with a population of about 560,000, but more than 180,000 workers commute across the borders from Belgium, France, and Germany. Luxembourg also has the highest number of cars for its population in the European Union: 662 per 1,000 people. This can mean big traffic problems. Free mass transit will be available from the beginning of 2020, said Dany Frank, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Mobility. (more)

Tiny satellites represent the next phase of the space age
15 December 2018 - They're the size of a briefcase or a loaf of bread, and a group of them, operated by Planet Labs, helped firefighters monitor and contain the spread of the Camp Fire in California. Small satellites are less expensive than larger ones, and more accessible to a wider group of interests. They make it possible, among other advances, to observe Earth's environment more completely and regularly than before. (more)

US: California to phase in electric, fuel-cell transit buses: regulators
15 December 2018 - California air quality regulators voted on Friday (14 December) to require that transit buses have zero emissions beginning in 2029. The California Air Resources Board voted unanimously on the proposal to ramp up the use of battery electric or fuel-cell buses until 2029, at which point all new transit buses will have to be zero-emission vehicles. (more)

Kenya: Moi airport's solar system seeks to reduce plane emissions
14 December 2018 - Moi International Airport became the first airport in East Africa to install a solar system to power machines meant for reduction of carbon emissions by planes during take-off. The solar system will help reduce carbon emissions through providing pre-conditioned (bringing outside air to the plane) and compatible electricity through machines that run on solar energy to a plane during ground operations. (more)

Solar mini-grid solutions grow in Africa
14 December 2018 - The number of solar mini-grid projects on the continent of Africa is expected to increase significantly according to a recent report by clean energy consulting company Infinergia. According to the report . . . there are over 2,000 mini-grids in Africa, with 40 percent of those accounted for by solar power. The report further highlights that solar mini-grids are anticipated to scale to 16,000 sites in Africa by 2023. (more)

US: California first state to mandate solar power for new homes
14 December 2018 - California became the first state in the nation to require homes built in 2020 and later be solar powered, following a vote by the Building Standards Commission. The unanimous action on Wednesday (5 December) finalizes a previous vote by the Energy Commission and fulfills a decade-old goal to make the state reliant on cleaner energy. (more)

Green power on track to overtake coal in Germany by year end
13 December 2018 - Green energy is on track to overtake coal as Germany's main power source this year, with renewables set to cover a record 38 percent of the country's electricity consumption, two percent up from 2017, two energy industry groups said on Thursday (13 December). (more)

How one humble English club is greening up soccer
12 December 2018 - Tucked away in the leafy Cotswold hills, English fourth-tier club Forest Green Rovers rarely make sporting headlines, but have become unlikely trailblazers for something more pressing than three points on a Saturday afternoon. At this week's major U.N. climate change conference in Katowice, Poland, the club's chairman Dale Vince received an award from the United Nations for his work in making Forest Green Rovers the world's greenest football club. (more)

India's Mahindra doubles down on electric vehicles with new factory
10 December 2018 - Mahindra's Electric Mobility group is taking a leap into electric vehicles with the inauguration of its first Electric Technology Manufacturing Hub in Karnataka, India. The new facility is a tangible step forward in support of Mahindra's Future of Mobility vision of providing Clean, Connected and Convenient vehicles for customers. (more)

Electric car industry group says Californians have now purchased 500,000 EVs
10 December 2018 - In November, California reportedly crossed the 500,000 threshold for electric vehicles sold in the state since 2010. Months of strong US sales in 2018, preceded by a strong 2017, are starting to show a trend: electric vehicles are selling well, especially in places where there are strong monetary and non-monetary incentives to buy them. 'Overall, this year has seen exponential growth in electric car sales,' Veloz wrote. (more)

US: Colorado invests $10.33 million to install electric vehicle charging stations
10 December 2018 - Drivers of electric vehicles will soon have 33 additional sites to charge their vehicles in Colorado. The sites will be placed along six major transportation corridors. There are 15,000 electric vehicles or EV's registered in Colorado. According to the state's Electric Vehicle Plan, EV sales were up 73 percent in the first eight months of 2017 over the same time period in 2016. (more)

Chile drives electric vehicle rollout in Latin America
9 December 2018 - massive cargo ship docked in the Chilean port of San Antonio at the end of November, carrying it its belly the first 100 electric buses from China that Chileans hope will revolutionize their public transport system. Chile's ambitious plan to face down its capital Santiago's notorious smog problem includes the rollout of electric scooters, cars, and taxis, as well as lorries for use in the mining industry. (more)

Argentina: Rio Negro produces the most organic food in country
7 December 2018 - Rio Negro has consolidated itself as the province that generates the most organic products in Argentina, as it accounts for 20 percent of the country's total organic production. There are 240 establishments in the province that are devoted to producing organic products, mainly pears and apples. 28 new organic establishments were certified in Rio Negro in 2017. This means there was a 13 percent annual increase. (more)

House in order: Carbon emissions from buildings level off
7 December 2018 - As climate-changing emissions continue to rise, lower pollution from greener buildings and construction are a bright spot. The UN Environment report called for more pledges to make building construction greener, in national climate action plans submitted for the 2015 Paris Agreement to curb climate change. (more)

More evidence fruits and greens can be good for the brain
6 December 2018 - Middle-aged men who eat lots of fruits and vegetables may be lowering their odds of cognitive problems as they get on in years, compared to peers who don't consume these foods very often, a U.S. study suggests. (more)

Construction begins on 66 MW solar park in Malawi
6 December 2018 - Malawi's President Peter Mutharika officially launched the construction of the 66 MW solar PV plant on Monday (6 December). According to local government-run Malawi News Agency, MANA, the project will be installed on a 160 hectare surface and will comprise 244,000 solar panels. It is expected to become operational within five months, according to the President. (more)

Joining a choir may help elders enjoy life
6 December 2018 - Singing in a community choir may provide some psychological benefit to seniors, a small study suggests. There were ... significant improvements in two components of the psychosocial evaluation among choir participants. People in this group were feeling less lonely, and they were more interested in life -- that is, their responses to survey questions indicated they were more interested in things, got more things done, were doing more interesting things, and felt more motivated. (more)

US: California gives final approval to require solar panels on new houses
6 December 2018 - Solar panels will be a required feature on new houses in California, after the state's Building Standards Commission gave final approval to a housing rule that's the first of its kind in the United States. The rule marks a new phase in California's environmental policies, which have often set trends and established standards nationwide. The state has set the goal of drawing 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources and sharply reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (more)

New Zealand PM Ardern launches new fund to spur green investment
5 December 2018 - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a new NZ$100 million ($69.28 million) green investment fund on Wednesday, aimed at boosting private-sector participation in a campaign to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050. (more)

World's largest container shipper Maersk aims to be CO2 neutral by 2050
5 December 2018 - Maersk, the world's biggest container shipper, aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, in a challenge to the rest of the world's fossil fuel-dependent fleet. Denmark's Maersk said on Wednesday (5 December) it aimed to have carbon neutral vessels commercially viable by 2030 by using energy sources such as biofuels and would cut its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050. (more)

India: Sundarbans women lead the way in making dairy farms organic
5 December 2018 - An organic dairy co-operative has helped improve the financial and social lives of numerous women in Sundarban region. Women members of the dairy co-operative society want to increase reliance on organic farming, turning to traditional agricultural practices. (more)

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