Global Update : July 11

UK raises £4.21 billion for Climate Change in Developing Nations

The government of the UK announced that they have raised approximately £4.21 billion in public and private financing for climate change mitigation purposes in developing countries as a part of their International Climate Finance commitment.

The International Climate Finance (ICF) was introduced in 2011, which resulted in the £3.87 billion worth of financing for climate activities between 2011 and 2015. The ICF’s new goal is to spend at least £5.8 billion on tackling climate change and protecting vulnerable people in developing countries between 2016 and 2021.

As per the 2018 ICF report, the UK has mobilized £3.3 billion public finances and £910 million private finances since 2016 for the cause. Furthermore, the report indicates that the UK has provided 47 million people with support to cope with climate change and provided 17 million people with access to clean energy in developing countries. The report also highlights that the country’s spending has led to a reduction or avoidance of approximately 10.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Minister of State for International Development, Harriett Baldwin said, “Today’s results show further progress in tackling climate change for the people around the world who are affected most by the devastating impact on their communities and livelihoods. Extreme climates cause devastating drought and hunger, and these results reflect the immense impact UK aid is having in supporting some of the world’s poorest and most fragile countries. At the same time, we are helping to make the world safer and cleaner which benefits to us all here in the UK.”

Welsh Marine Power Systems Tests Its WaveSub Prototype Successfully

Welsh wave power company Marine Power Systems has successfully installed their prototype WaveSub wave energy converter at the English marine test centre FaBTest, marking another step in the evolution of the company’s technology.

The prototype WaveSub was unveiled last November following 9 years of research and development and the backing of the Welsh desire to make wave energy work.

Marine Power Systems believe that wave power could contribute 10% of the global electricity demand by 2050, specially by upscaling wave energy technology. They believe it could generate an estimated 4,000 terawatt-hours (TWh) of power annually. The WaveSub is designed to operate around 10 Km from the shore and, instead of utilizing the energy generated atop the surface of the water by the movement of waves, WaveSub is intended to operate below the surface of the water, harvesting the continual orbital motion of waves under the surface.

“The successful installation of the WaveSub at FaBTest is another positive result for us, sitting within a suite of tests we have been running on the WaveSub over the first half of this year. We will now focus our attention on moving the WaveSub through final commissioning with a view to commencing energy generation trials later this summer. This move to FaBTest is another step forwards for MPS, taking us further along the path to full-scale manufacture and commercial roll-out of the WaveSub”, said Dr Graham Foster, Chief Technology Officer at Marine Power Systems.

Starbucks Announces Strawless move  by 2020

Starbucks announced its move to eliminate all single-use plastic from all its chains globally by 2020. The company is planning on offering recyclable straws and lids/ biodegradable plastic as alternatives.

Starbucks said customers in Seattle and Vancouver will be the first to see these changes roll out in the fall.

Seattle became the first U.S. city to ban plastic straws, utensils and cocktail picks, this month. Next year, a ban on plastic straws and stirrers will go into effect in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The move by Starbucks is in line with the growing consciousness of citizens around the world, who have been calling out fast food and major restaurant chains like McDonald’s, Starbucks, etc. to get rid of their use of single-use plastic.

The UK Sets Public Sector Emissions Reduction Target At 43%

The UK Government announced it will stretch its public sector greenhouse gas emissions reduction target to 43% by 2019 to 2020 based on 2009 to 2010 levels in a move the government hopes will result in £340 million in savings.

“Our new, ambitious target for reducing emission across our central estate shows how this government is continuing to lead the world and rise to the challenge of tackling climate change. We have made significant progress so far, meeting our previous target 3 years early and saving just over £100 million last financial year as a result”, said Secretary Clark.

“The potential savings from this can make a big difference across the wider public sector, with the NHS saving £2 billion over the last decade; money that can be put straight back into frontline services where it’s needed most.” The move follows a welcome trend in western Europe, with countries like Sweden hitting their targets almost a decade earlier, even as other majors, be it Germany,  France or Spain look set to overachieve too. Of course, the bar has moved in the meantime, making an accelerated reduction absolutely essential.

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