“Climate change driven by humans made heatwave ‘twice as likely'”

"Climate change resulting from human activities made the current Europe-wide heatwave more than twice as likely to occur, say scientists. Researchers compared the current high temperatures with historical records from seven weather stations, in different parts of Europe. Their preliminary report found that the "signal of climate change is unambiguous," in this summer's heat. They also say the scale of the heatwave in the Arctic is unprecedented."


“Daimler Vows to Ethically Source Battery Materials for Electric Cars”

"As electric car production increases, the ethical issues surrounding the sourcing of materials, particularly cobalt, for their batteries are getting more attention. Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler hopes to do its part by joining the Responsible Cobalt Initiative, which seeks to find ethical ways to source the material. Daimler also joined similar initiatives for other raw materials. Cobalt is a vital material in the lithium-ion batteries used in current electric cars. But the supply is limited, and mining has led to concerns over violations of human rights. Most of the world's cobalt is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has a poor human-rights record and unstable government. Much of the country's cobalt is mined by hand, sometimes by children."


“Green buildings boost health, productivity and value for investors”

"Buildings account for one-third of the world’s greenhouse gases, according to the United Nations. While there’s certainly an opportunity to improve that performance through sustainability measures, taking those actions also can address the fundamental elements that make for a healthy and productive work environment. Research sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that Americans spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors. Considering this, the buildings where we live, work and play have a profound impact on our health and well-being — and high-performance, sustainable buildings are rising to the challenge and creating built environments that are part of the solution. "


“There Might Be Shark In Your Sunscreen”

"Millions of rare, deep-sea sharks are killed each year to support a multimillion-dollar industry—but which one might surprise you. In remote regions around the world, fishermen pull sharks out of the deep and harvest their livers. Shark livers contain an oil, known as squalene, that’s widespread in sunscreen, lipstick, foundation, lotion, and many other cosmetics."


“Recycled packaging ‘may end up in landfill’, warns watchdog”

"You try to be virtuous, wiping the curdling yoghurt off a plastic pot, then putting it in the recycling bin. Perhaps you envisage the pot eventually re-incarnated as a frisbee or maybe even a plastic bench. But don’t rest easy. Your pot might get burned or buried in landfill, and you’d never know."


“Adidas joins the fight against plastic”

"The global sportswear maker said Monday that it has committed to using only recycled plastic by 2024. The pledge to eliminate the use of "virgin" plastic, which was first reported by the Financial Times, includes polyester. Used in everything from t-shirts to sports bras, the material is popular in sportswear because it dries quickly and weighs little. Adidas (ADDDF) also said it would stop using virgin plastic in its offices, retail outlets, warehouses and distribution centers, a move that would save an estimated 40 tons of plastic per year, starting in 2018."


“Fear of flying”

"For those who fly regularly, boarding airplanes for far-flung vacation destinations and distant family gatherings, flights could account for a large and growing share of their carbon footprint. A single round-trip between New York and Los Angeles produces more than half a ton of CO2 per person, or 4 percent of the total amount attributable to a typical U.S. resident in a year. U.S. residents who fly make an average of four round-trip flights each year. Fifteen percent of such people make at least 9 round trips a year."


“New York City Filed a Voluntary Report to the UN on Its 2030 Sustainability Goals”

"New York City has more people than Denmark, New Zealand, or Mongolia — but still, it was pretty surprising seeing them submit a report about their sustainability plans directly to the United Nations, a process typically undertaken by countries as part of a 2015 agreement to meet certain sustainability goals."


“Clean energy is catching up to natural gas”

"For around 10 years, the conventional wisdom in the energy sector has been that natural gas is ascendant. Coal is dirty, and it’s getting expensive, but it’s too early to jump all the way to renewable energy. To get from the fossil fuel present to the renewable future, we will need ... a bridge. Natural gas is meant to be that bridge, a way to reduce our emissions relative to coal while we work on scaling up renewables. (The shift from coal to gas is a big part of why US emissions have declined over the past few years.) In its role as a bridge, natural gas seems to have a comfortable future. First, it will replace coal and nuclear “baseload” plants, and then, as renewables grow to supply the bulk of power, it will provide flexibility, filling in the gaps where variable renewables (wind and solar) fall short. By playing these multiple roles, natural gas will long outlive coal and prove useful well into the latter half of the 21st century. It will enjoy a long, slow exit. Or so the story goes."


“Furniture from China contributes to deforestation in central Africa”

"Is your new coffee table contributing to the deforestation of African rainforests? If the furniture comes from China or other parts of Asia, there’s a good chance it is. While much attention has been devoted to Chinese demand for exotic animals as a driver of poaching in Africa, UCLA researchers revealed another way the continent is being exploited — the Chinese demand for wood. And this time, United States consumers are a driving force. A study published in Area, a journal of the Royal Geographic Society, combined economics and conservation biology and discovered an increase in Chinese timber imports from Central Africa that coincides with loss of tree cover."