Edition for 12 April 2020

Top Stories

We Can Afford A Green New Deal (Gizmodo)

  • New research shows it’s not only “economically credible,” but also that it’s correct to assume that social welfare programs are needed to draw down carbon emissions.
  • The analysis used the dollar amounts laid out in Senator Bernie Sanders’—who suspended his presidential campaign on Wednesday—climate plan to come to its conclusion.
  • Those ideas are broadly popular, and the study argues that’s key to climate policy’s success.

UAE-funded sustainable projects exported to developing countries (Gulf News)

  • 20by2020 to implement prize winners’ technologies and solutions across 20 countries Launched on 18th December 2019, 20by2020 is a UAE-led humanitarian initiative between the Zayed Sustainability Prize and various partners which include Abu Dhabi Global Market, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Mubadala Petroleum, Year of Tolerance and Masdar.
  • The immediate impact of deploying these transformative solutions to beneficiaries located in last-mile communities is centred around improving access to clean energy; clean water and sanitation; access to health services; and addressing challenges in hunger, malnutrition, and agricultural productivity – all of which are goals outlined in the global Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030.
  • The initiative amplifies the positive impact of the Zayed Sustainability Prize by widening the reach and accessibility of sustainable solutions to transform thousands of lives for the better.

Democratic Party's progressive wing leverages political power to push Biden leftward (ABC News)

  • On the heels of Sanders' exit, eight progressive groups penned an open letter to Biden arguing that his campaign has "not earned the support and trust" of young voters, proposing a series of policies and actions he could take to win them over: more liberal stances on climate change; gun control; health care.
  • Jay Inslee, a former 2020 presidential candidate who pushed the entire field toward more progressive approaches on climate change, told ABC News, several members of their teams have had two meetings, just within the last month: "productive conversations," addressing concerns of both specific policy and also, prioritization of climate in the former vice president's agenda, and in how he builds his staff infrastructure.

A New, Plastic-Busting Enzyme Can Break Down Water Bottles (Wired)

  • But its most notable use is in plastic drink bottles, which are a major component of environmental plastic waste.
  • PET was first developed in the 1940s, and the first living organism that can break down and use the carbon in PET was described in 2016—found in sediment near a plastic recycling facility, naturally.
  • While microbes like this could solve the plastic waste issue, they don't make plastics any more sustainable since the carbon backbone of PET ends up being broken down completely.

Photos: Polluted cities see clean air and water amid coronavirus shutdown (The Mercury News)

  • The downtown Phoenix skyline is easier to see, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, as fewer motorists in Arizona are driving, following the state stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus, and it appears to be improving the air quality and decreasing the effects vehicle emissions have on the environment.
  • Researchers are analyzing just how much emissions have dropped.

Why does President Trump want to mine on the Moon? (BBC News)

  • Professor Benjamin Savacoo says the world is moving towards renewable energy sources because of climate change and needs those resources.
  • But Benjamin does warn that in space mining doesn't offer a short-term fix for climate change on earth.
  • Benjamin says setting our sights on outer space may be inevitable because of climate change happening here on our planet.

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