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April 22, 2024

10 Reasons to be Optimistic About Sustainability in 2024

Turn on the news, and it’s inevitably a series of horror stories about global wars, global warming, and global scandals. And as important as those stories are, they’re not the whole story. So, to counteract the doom and gloom and celebrate Earth Day's optimism, here are 10 good news stories that should give you hope for the future. 

Portugal ran on renewable energy for nearly a full week 

Using a mix of solar, wind and hydropower, Portugal’s population of 10 million was powered by renewable energy for 149 consecutive hours at the back end of last year. The country now has plans to upgrade its wind turbines, expand its solar capacity, and close its last gas-powered plants.

Over half of EU voters think climate change is a priority 

A survey of 25,916 people found that 52% agreed that climate change is a priority, which should be reflected in the upcoming European elections this June.

Private jets could face a 400% fuel tax increase 

US President Joe Biden is cheerleading a proposed 400% fuel tax increase for private jets.

Clean tech is winning, slowing down carbon emissions by 3x 

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), clean energy technology has slowed carbon emissions threefold over the last five years.

Spain bans short-haul internal flights 

Spain is banning some short-haul domestic flights that have a viable rail alternative that takes less than 2.5 hours. The only exceptions are for hub airports that link with international routes. 

Sustainable woodchip batteries are now a thing 

A NZ company is turning discarded woodchips into synthetic graphite that can be used in car batteries. 

India invests $9 billion in solar panels 

India is betting big on solar, subsiding solar-power to the tune of $9 billion and streamlining previously complex approvals as it looks to install panels on over 10 million homes. 

This super-deep disused mine in Finland is now a gravity battery 

Scottish company Gratitricity has turned a 1,400m-deep abandoned zinc and copper mine into a gravity battery to store renewable energy. 

Scotland produced more renewable energy than it used 

The latest figures from Scotland show it generated enough renewable energy to meet the country’s energy demands in 2022. In fact, Scotland’s wind and hydropower generated so much that they could export the rest to neighbouring countries. 

America cleans up ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water 

The USA has placed its first-ever federal limits on toxic ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water. The new law, passed on April 10 and opening up $ 1 billion of funding, requires water must reduce the chemicals to the lowest level they can be reliably measured. 

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