U.K. bans sales of non-EVs & Starbucks becomes lactose intolerant

A newsletter for people serious about the low carbon economy.

(source: Getty)

U.K. Moves to End Sales of All Non-Electric Cars by 2035

"There can be no greater responsibility than protecting our planet…and no mission that a global Britain is prouder to serve." – Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister


Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a plan to ban sales of gasoline- and diesel-powered passenger cars in the U.K. beginning in 2035.  That's five years earlier than a previous commitment by the U.K., and it also adds even hybrid vehicles to the banned list, leaving only full electric cars as an option.  There were 2.3 million passenger cars sold in the U.K. in 2019—and only 37,850 of them were electric vehicles.

Johnson unveiled the policy as part of a launch event for a United Nations Climate Summit known as COP26, being hosted in Glasgow in November.  Johnson declared that 2020 would be a "defining year of climate action" for the planet.

Sir David Attenborough said at the launch event at London's Science Museum that he was looking forward to COP26 and found it "encouraging" that the UK government was launching a "year of climate action."  LINK


Issue No. 13

Welcome to the latest issue of Carbon Creed! Last week our top two articles were Why a Trillion Trees Aren’t the Simple Climate Solution They Seem to Be and The Democratic Candidates’ Climate Proposals for Black America

We mark February 2020 with a record high temperature of 65 degrees in Antarctica!

My name is Walter McLeod, and I’m glad you’ve joined our community. We hope to hear from you as we navigate this weekly journey through the good, bad and ugly of carbon and climate. You can ping me anytime at mcleodwl@carboncreed.com.

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CORPORATE CITIZENS

(source: Starbucks)

Starbucks to Shift Towards Plant-Based Options as Part of Climate Change Plan

You better get used to almond milk because Starbucks announced they’re moving away from dairy in an attempt to tackle climate change.

The coffee chain announced its sustainability commitment last month, where they explained how they will reduce their carbon footprint by 2030.

And one way they’ll do that is by moving away from dairy and offering more plant-based options. The company won’t stop serving dairy altogether, but they will push toward things like soy, almond, coconut or oat milk.

Dairy has a large impact on climate change and is responsible for 21% of Starbucks’ global carbon footprint.  LINK


Success of Microsoft’s ‘Moonshot’ Climate Pledge Hinges on Forest Conservation

(source: Microsoft)

Microsoft made global headlines in January when it announced that it will become “carbon negative” by 2030, erasing all the company’s greenhouse gas emissions since its founding in 1975 — a move, the tech firm deemed “a bold bet and moonshot” for climate mitigation that in part requires the conservation and restoration of vast swaths of carbon-storing forests.

Behind those headlines is a little-known Silicon Valley startup that will be tracking forest carbon stocks in projects around the globe on behalf of Microsoft, using a pioneering array of advanced remote-sensing technology including LiDAR, artificial intelligence and satellite imaging.

Pachama, with $4.1 million in early investor backing, will closely monitor verified carbon offset projects to ensure Microsoft’s investment in the global carbon market is actually achieving forest preservation and emission reductions critical to slowing the rate of climate change.

The startup is lining up certified forest projects in North and South America that will go toward Microsoft’s initial goal of absorbing part of the 16 million metric tons of carbon it says it will emit in 2020 across its 12-country footprint. LINK


INSIGHTS

(source: Natacha Pisarenko/AP)

It Was 65 Degrees in Antarctica This Week

"We are seeing these high temperature records — not only in Antarctica, but across the entire world — fall, whereas we just don't see cold temperature records anymore."
Randall Cerveny, World Meteorological Organization


Just days after the Earth saw its warmest January on record, Antarctica has broken its warmest temperature ever recorded. A reading of 65 degrees was taken Thursday at Esperanza Base along Antarctica’s Trinity Peninsula, making it the ordinarily frigid continent’s highest measured temperature in history.

Alexandra Isern, head of Antarctic sciences at the National Science Foundation, noted that there are other, bigger consequences of the changing climate. Namely, there's a vicious cycle at work: Warmer weather in Antarctica contributes to warmer seawater in general, which contributes to melting glaciers and rising sea levels worldwide — which, in turn, leads to further warming.  LINK


Hybrids, Electric Vehicles, And The Black Community

February is Black History Month. It offers an opportunity to highlight aspects of the black community that might otherwise go unnoticed.

In this article, we focus on an interview conducted by my friend and renown climatologist, Dr. Marshall Shepherd, in his word.

Dr. Shepherd: “As someone that typically writes about weather, climate, and science topics, this month felt appropriate to highlight a movement within the black community that is very much tied to the climate issue: Electric vehicles (EV), hybrids, and the black community. I spoke with E-Mobility Consultant and Co-Founder of EVHybridNoire Terry Travis about why his advocacy of EV and hybrids in this community is so important.” LINK


CLEANTECH

Generate Capital Raises $1B for Clean Tech Infrastructure Development

“It matters a lot that they’re paying attention. If we’re going to save the world from climate change, these are the guys who are going to have to weigh in on whether this is a good investment.” – Jigar Shah, President Generate Capital


Generate Capital, the cleantech infrastructure investor, this week announced it had raised another $1 billion in equity and debt finance.

The deal marks a new degree of involvement in clean energy projects from a set of pension and sovereign wealth funds that dwarf anything in the venture capital. Investors include Australian Super, Queensland Investment Corporation, British fund Railways Pension and Swedish pension fund AP2.

New energy technologies tend to scare away investors that want to see long track records of performance in the field. Solar panels have earned that trust, so investment decisions on solar projects have largely shifted to assessing the credit-worthiness of the off-taker. But other technologies, like electric bus charging or stationary storage, have yet to win the confidence of many infrastructure investors.

Congratulations to our good friend Jigar Shah and the team at Generate Capital!  LINK


RESOURCES


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Curated by Walter McLeod, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Carbon Creed and Managing Partner with Eco Capitol Energy.

mcleodwl@carboncreed.com