Eco News Roundup – October 2021

The Latest Eco News in October 2021.

Ministers Meet in Milan for pre-COP 26 Discussions

The Pre-COP 26 Summit took place in Milan ahead of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UNFCCC. Almost 400 young people aged between 18 and 29 from the 197 member-countries of the UNFCCC met in Milan from 28 – 30 September 2021. During this young summit, they all had the opportunity to present their proposals for tackling climate change to the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Minister for Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, and environment ministers from more than 40 countries.

Youth climate activists including Sweden’s Greta Thunberg, who was also in Milan this week, have demanded that policymakers match words with action and use their money to end fossil fuels. They have also called for a transparent climate finance system and more grants to help the people most exposed to the impact of climate change.

The University of Bath to offer climate change education for all new students

Over 5,000 students at the University of Bath will have the opportunity to learn about the carbon intensity involved in everyday activities, such as travel, energy use and food consumption. Students can also learn how they can reduce their own carbon emissions, as well as learning how organisations and systems can reduce their emissions.

Students will be able to earn a Carbon Literacy certification if they complete the follow-up training with The Carbon Literacy Project. This initiative is part of the University’s Climate Action Framework, committed to achieving a series of climate goals, including offering students’ education on climate change and achieving total carbon neutrality by 2040.

Dr Steve Cayzer, Climate Action Learning & Teaching Liaison at the University, said: “By introducing Carbon Literacy right at the start of the University experience we begin to get people into that mindset and thinking straight away, as well as helping them develop knowledge and skills that will be valuable throughout their lives.”

Source: Bath University 

California’s switch to All-Electric Homes 

California has passed new energy codes that incentivize electric appliances and efficient heating and cooling systems around the state in order to become more sustainable. The codes approved by the California Energy Commission will affect all new residential construction and some businesses, including motels, medical offices, retail and grocery stores, and restaurants, among others. 

The new codes require all new construction to be electric-ready. That means even if a developer wants to install gas stoves, they need to also install all the wiring for a home to switch to an electric or induction one. Likewise, the code requires better ventilation for gas appliances and the attendant indoor air pollution and many more. The new codes have been put into place to bring more energy-efficient appliances and remove gas hookups for homes. These changes would ultimately help reduce fossil fuels in buildings. 

Source: Gizmodo 

Tesco and WWF launch cattle feed scheme for dairy farmers aimed to help tackle climate change 

The farmers in the UK can help reduce agriculture’s negative environmental impact on the planet by implementing more sustainable farming practices. To be more specific, more nature-based solutions can be put into place such as herbal leys aka soil mix.  Therefore, Tesco is partnering with WWF to launch a new trial to offer UK dairy farmers subsidies that encourage growing feed more sustainably for their livestock. The scheme was created to help reduce the environmental impact of the average shopping basket. 

The scheme provides 15 farmers in Tesco’s Sustainable Dairy Group (TSDG) with an 80% seed subsidy to plant herbal leys, which is a soil-enriching grass mix used to feed dairy cows. This soil mix consists of different plant species, which can help to increase biodiversity by attracting a range of other species like insects. And the mix can reduce carbon footprint due to its lack of need for artificial fertiliser. Other benefits of the soil mix include an improvement in soil health, water quality, and animal health. Since 2016, Tesco dairy farmers have cut their carbon emissions by 6.5%. Tesco has now introduced new emissions reduction targets to help TSDG farmers decrease emissions by a further 10% by 2025. 

 Source: Tesco