As concerns about the environment and climate change continue to grow, there is a growing need for positive news and solutions that offer hope for a sustainable future. Fortunately, there are many exciting developments and initiatives taking place around the world that are making a positive impact on the planet. From innovative technologies to ambitious policies and community-led projects; there is a wealth of inspiring stories that showcase the potential for positive change. In this blog post, we will highlight some of the most exciting and promising news in sustainability, including the recent UN Water Conference, the EU's approval of a renewable energy scheme, and the development of super-duckweed biofuel.
UN 2023 Water Conference
The United Nations Water Conference is an international event that aims to promote sustainable development and raise awareness about the importance of water resources. The conference brings together leaders and experts from around the world to discuss water-related issues and develop solutions to the challenges facing the global water system.
The first conference was held in Mar del Plata, Argentina in 1977, and since then, several other conferences have been held to address the growing challenges related to water.
This week the second ever global conference was held in New York, decades after the first gathering in 1977. It garnered a sense of hope as the conference acted as an auspicious space for some progressive conversations:
- Ensure better use of existing funds by requiring long-term service guarantees for new infrastructure funding to align financial risks and social returns.
- Invest and learn from governments with ambitious plans to protect rivers and aquifers, such as northern Kenya and Bangladesh's river restoration plan.
- Critically question rhetoric on climate, finance, and rights to ensure meaningful change and prioritise those most in need for a water-secure world.
EU Approves €28 Billion Renewable Energy Scheme
The European Union (EU) has approved a €28 billion renewable energy scheme proposed by Germany. The German Renewable Energy Act, aims to promote the production of renewable electricity in Germany and help the country achieve its target of becoming carbon-neutral by 2045. The EU found that the scheme is in line with the bloc's state aid rules and will contribute to the EU's environmental and energy objectives. The German government plans to use the funds to support the expansion of wind and solar power, as well as the modernisation of existing renewable energy infrastructure. The scheme is expected to create jobs in the renewable energy sector and reduce Germany's dependence on fossil fuels, contributing to the fight against climate change.
Super-duckweed biofuel is a sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels. Duckweed is a fast-growing aquatic plant that has been found to be highly efficient in producing biofuel. Researchers have developed a genetically modified super-duckweed that is capable of producing up to five times more starch than regular duckweed. This high-starch content can be converted into biofuel using existing technology, making it a viable alternative to fossil fuels. Additionally, super-duckweed can be grown in a variety of conditions, including wastewater and brackish water, making it a flexible and low-cost crop. The use of super-duckweed biofuel has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. Furthermore, it could also create new job opportunities in the agriculture and energy sectors. Ongoing research is being conducted to further develop and optimise super-duckweed as a sustainable source of biofuel.