Greener Beer, Cleaner Buses and More Good Climate News

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The third issue of Bloomberg Green is out, and readers can now browse through the complete run of digital stories from the magazine’s pages. There are big pieces examining the carbon offsets sold to corporate giants, the climate-forward direction of European architecture, the future of coal in China, and the hope for building a sewage-treatment system for the skies.

This issue had an entire section devoted to the intersection of climate and food—and unfortunately that tends to reveal a world of problems. There are agricultural pests prospering in warmer conditions, cows connected to rainforest deforestation, conflicts over water that pit  pistachios against the U.S. military, and dark questions about how much food we waste.

50,​820 Million metric tons of greenhouse emissions, most recent annual data

Bishkek, KyrgyzstanMost polluted air today, in sensor range

$69.​9B Renewable power investment worldwide in Q2 2020 0 1 0 9 8 7 0 4 3 2 1 0 Soccer pitches of forest lost this hour, most recent data 34% Carbon-free net power in the U.S., most recent data 0 6 5 4 3 2 0 3 2 1 0 9 0 6 5 4 3 2 .0 1 0 9 8 7 0 1 0 9 8 7 0 1 0 9 8 7 0 8 7 6 5 4 0 1 0 9 8 7 0 2 1 0 9 8 Parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere +0.​97° C Nov. 2020 increase in global temperature vs. 1900s average -8.​55% Today’s arctic ice area vs. historic average

But if it’s true that our fast-warming planet isn’t always the sunniest of subjects, it’s also important to focus on climate progress. In this issue we found that dozens of big U.S. companies met their climate goals. We sized up the next generation of clean-energy giants taking over the world. And we introduced everyone to the secret bureaucratic hero who helped launch China’s net-zero plan. 

As we’ve done since the first issue of Bloomberg Green, our most recent magazine ends with a round-up of good news from the past few months. See you in 2021!

Greener Beer Cans

Already, about 70% of the metal used in Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV’s beer cans in North America is recycled. The brewer says it will further reduce emissions by introducing low-carbon aluminum produced by metals giant Rio Tinto, whose smelters in Canada are powered by hydroelectricity.

China Decarbonizes Buses

In October, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced it had replaced 60% of the country’s buses with electric vehicles. That’s up from 20% electric in 2015. The overhaul is part of the country’s 13th five-year plan, which includes the adoption of cleaner energy transportation.

Cutting Emissions Abroad

Switzerland and Peru struck a carbon-offsetting agreement in October, the first of its kind under the Paris climate accord. Under the deal, Switzerland will fund sustainable development projects in Peru and, in return, count the resulting emissions cuts against its own national targets.

Walmart Boosts Green Power

Walmart Inc. is working toward zero emissions from its global operations by 2040. The world’s biggest retailer plans to power its facilities with 100% green energy by 2035, it said in September; the company had previously said it aimed to secure half its power from renewable sources by 2025.

U.K. Demands Climate-Risk Details

Starting in 2025, U.K. companies will have to disclose the extent to which their operations are exposed to harm from global warming. A number of businesses already disclose some climate data, but the target announced in November represents a significant tightening of standards.

Japan Pledges Net-Zero

Japan in October pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050—no small task for an economy that’s heavily reliant on gas and coal. While the announcement was short on details, the government has said it will roll out specific targets to promote clean hydrogen, battery storage, carbon recycling, and wind power by the end of the year.

Less Wasteful Cereal

American food giant General Mills Inc. said it plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% within the next decade across the entire supply chain of its products, aiming to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The maker of Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, and Annie’s organic foods seeks to reach the goal by improving agricultural practices, reducing packaging, and halving food loss and waste by 2030.

Progress on Space Waste

Junk has been building up in Earth’s orbit, left there by decommissioned space missions or collisions. But research from the European Space Agency shows that 60% to 90% of satellites launched into geostationary orbit since 2000 are in compliance with international guidelines aimed at mitigating debris.

Skyscraper-Size Reef Found

During efforts to make a 3D map of the seabed near the Great Barrier Reef, scientists discovered an isolated, detached coral reef rising more than 500 meters (1,640 feet)—higher than the Empire State Building. It’s the first such reef found in the area since the late 1800s. Fortunately, it appears to be healthy and supporting an abundance of fish.

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