Environmental News Made Simple
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Hi curious.friends,

This week has been a huge week for climate change news. You may have heard about the IPCC report that was released this week. As it is such a big deal, this email is a special edition with 3 stories instead of the usual 2.

Reading time is 4:07 minutes.

Enjoy 😊
Climate Change

Is it the Final Call to Save the World From 'Climate Catastrophe'?

What's Going On Here?

After the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, a report was commissioned by the United Nations to look into the potential effects of a global temperature rise of 1.5oC and 2oC (above pre-industrial levels 1850)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that we are on track to reach 1.5oC between 2030 and 2052 if temperatures continue to increase at the current rate. Once we hit 2oC, the world will be a profoundly different place.

What Does The Report Say?

The 33-page summary, included the assessment of more than 6,000 scientific studies, is the most significant warning about the impact of climate change in 20 years. 

It concluded that limiting global warming to 1.5oC would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.

Despite the inevitable compromises, there are some key messages that come through loud and clear.

1. Limiting warming to 1.5oC really reduces important impacts of climate change vs 2oC.

2. The changes that we need to make to energy systems, land, transportation and cities are huge and need to be made now

Why Should We Act? 

"We are already in the danger zone at one degree of warming," said Kaisa Kosonen, from Greenpeace. "Both poles are melting at an accelerated rate; ancient trees that have been there for hundreds of years are suddenly dying; and the summer we've just experienced - basically, the whole world was on fire."

The researchers say that if we fail to keep temperature rises below 1.5C, we are in for some significant and even more dangerous changes to our world. 

Global sea-level will rise about 10cm more if we let warming go to 2C. That may not sound like much but keeping to 1.5C means that 10 million fewer people would be exposed to the risks of flooding.

Every Little DOES Help!

We can all help. Here are just some ways that we can make tiny changes / swaps in our life that really do make a difference.

  • Buy less meat, milk, cheese and butter and more locally sourced seasonal food
  • Throw less food away
  • Drive electric cars but walk or cycle short distances
  • Take trains and buses instead of planes
  • Use video-conferencing instead of business travel
  • Use a washing line instead of a tumble dryer
  • Insulate homes
  • Demand low carbon in every consumer product
Transport & Travel

Hermes’ new eco-fleet delivers on sustainability

What's Going On Here?

Hermes, one of the UK’s busiest parcel carriers, has invested in a fleet of vehicles that run on 100% renewable biofuel. 

The delivery company expects that using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) instead of diesel will reduce its fleet’s CO2 emissions by more than 80%.

What Does This Mean?

As well as the CNG vehicles, Hermes is also introducing a fleet of 100% electric vans to deliver within central London. 

Martin de Lange, CEO of Hermes UK said: “We are committed to helping improve air quality in the capital and supporting London on its path to a zero-emission future.”

The company hopes that this effort to reduce emissions will help it reach its target of a 50% carbon reduction by 2020.

The rise in popularity of online shopping has seen emissions from delivery companies, such as Hermes, skyrocket. Before the online revolution, the majority of ‘last mile’ deliveries (the final stretch from a distribution centre to a package’s destination) were made to stores. 

Why Should We Care? 

Today the last mile of most parcels is traveling directly to people’s doorsteps, leading to more journeys and more congestion and pollution.

In addition to delivering orders to multiple destinations, drivers often have to repeat deliveries when the person isn’t home to receive it, which could double or even treble the mileage per parcel.

Low-emissions delivery vehicles are a welcome step towards reducing the impact of our online shopping addiction. Turning the last mile into the green mile!

Be Curious!

Online shopping isn’t necessarily the bad guy - you can do a few simple things to make it a much greener habit.

  1. Plan ahead - by not shopping last minute you’re less likely to panic buy unnecessary items and you can consolidate your orders into fewer packages
  2. Avoid speedy shipping - yes, even if it’s free!
  3. Click and collect - avoid the dreaded ‘sorry we missed you’ note and reduce your parcel’s mileage
Transport & Travel

Car Sharing Boom: Bosch is Along for the Ride  

What's Going On Here?

A recent study has predicted a rise in the amount of shared cars in Europe to 7.5 million by 2035. The study also found that over 60% of those asked said they would share their car in return for money. 

Multinational corporations, like Bosch, are helping by launching their own customer schemes too. 

What Does This Mean?

There has been a rise in car sharing platforms that are aiming to reduce the number of cars on our roads and make access to vehicles easier. This is through private fleets like Zipcar, or peer-to-peer sharing like Hiya Car.

Since 2016, the amount of shared cars in Europe has nearly trebled to 370,000 and there are now 11.5 million users of car share schemes compared to 5.1million two years ago.

Reaching the predicted boom seems a lot more believable when multinational corporations such as Bosch launch fleets of electric vehicles for customers to borrow and drive their buys home. 

Why Should We Care? 

If this boom in car sharing rings true, it’s estimated that single ownership vehicle sales will fall by 1 million each year. Cutting the number of cars on our roads will help reduce vehicle emissions, as well as traffic jams!

Whilst car sharing may be reducing the number of cars on the road, ride-sharing (Uber, Lyft) and our love of online shopping as mentioned above, are putting more vehicles on the road.

Be Curious!

As a driver, you can use ZipCar to borrow cars all over the world when you need them.

Or, if you own a car, you can make some money by getting connected to drivers who are looking for transport in your area with HiyaCar.


Other news we found curious...

Walkers Crisps introduces recycling scheme amid outcry over packaging waste - Business Green
Coca-Cola and Nestle among worst plastic polluters based on global clean-ups - Independent
Australia defies climate warning to back coal - BBC
Poppy Gaunt
Imogen Berryman

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