Amsterdam’s Smart Blue-Green roofs, plus the Climate Solutions Fund. The European Climate Foundation, and Earth could save your air-conditioner?
Amsterdam’s Smart Blue-Green Roofs, The Climate Solutions Fund, The European Climate Foundation, Earth Could Save Your Air-Conditioner?
THE EUROPEAN CLIMATE FOUNDATION
Climate change is the greatest challenge facing our society. To build a sustainable future, everybody needs to be part of the solution. What’s more, addressing the climate crisis is a great opportunity for bold change towards a fairer, healthier and more sustainable society. That’s why the European Climate Foundation was founded.
The ECF looks beyond the insulated sphere of climate politics and engages groups with a wide array of concerns, from labor unions to health groups. We take the same inclusive approach internally, welcoming a diversity of voices, perspectives, and life paths. Together we form a highly dynamic group of individuals who combine their passion to make a difference with a rigorous and results-oriented work ethic. We are above all a value-driven organization that adheres to several core principles.
Why does the European Climate Fund matter to us? At the end of the day, complex climate challenges require solutions that can only be delivered through diversified collaborations built within an ecosystem. ECF is building the template for that ecosystem. It’s creating long-term solutions to climate change. Furthermore, cleaner and more efficient communities will raise the quality of life for all citizens, so broadly applying the ECF template could lead to climate equity. Greater access to clean energy will fuel new jobs and create a dynamic new economy.
The benefits of a net-zero society can serve not only to avert disaster, but to create more peace and prosperity.
DEEPER DIVE: ECF
THE EARTH CAN SAVE YOUR AIR-CONDITIONER?
AH&P Consulting Engineer (AH&P), an engineering firm based in Macon, Georgia, has pioneered a new technology that stores cold water in the earth. The system makes building heating and cooling more energy-efficient. The new cold water storage technology it’s developed works by storing water in pipes underground, which helps the water to remain cool. In the summer, it’s then pumped back into the building for cooling.
Georgia burns natural gas for many of its heating and cooling systems, which contributes to climate change. Traditional air conditioning units waste a lot of energy by trying to push the hot air outside into more hot air, where it doesn’t want to go. That also increases energy costs.
In an attempt to upgrade its environmental rating in response to President Joe Biden’s order calling for federal operations to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, the Dept of Defense’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program contracted AH&P to implement the heating and cooling systems at two Georgia military bases this year. Energy use has been cut in half at both sites.
Why does the AH&P technology matter to us? Hopefully, it brings the possibility of utilizing it to benefit rural communities and reduce energy costs. This makes me think of the story we reported on recently about coal mines in Ireland that are now being used for similar purposes…
AMSTERDAM’S SMART BLUE-GREEN ROOFS
Climate change is bringing more rain and record-breaking heat waves to Amsterdam. This fact prompted a variety of municipal groups and local businesses to come together in search of a solution.
In 2018, the culmination of their search for solutions became Project RESILIO. RESILIO stands for ‘Resilience nEtwork of Smart Innovative cLImate-adapative rOoftops. The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund’s Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.
It aims to transform around 108 thousand square feet of Amsterdam’s rooftop space into smart blue-green roofs. Why does RESILIO’s project matter to us? The blue-green roof technology is next level compared to a normal green roof. Green roofs are so-called because they’re covered in plants. Plants absorb water and sunlight, thus providing an insulating effect, making the roof more energy efficient.
The key unique feature of these blue-green roofs is that it has “smart flow technology, allowing the roof to decide whether to retain the water held in the crate system under the green layer or release it. In the four years since it launched, RESILIO has transformed the roofs of 1500 residents in five neighborhoods. The project has focused its implementation and learning on social housing in the five neighborhoods. Part of its success lay in making tenants of the social housing participants in the project.
THE CLIMATE SOLUTIONS FUND
Alexis Ohanian, 38 year-old Reddit cofounder, says he would focus on climate change issues if he were starting his career now. Putting his money where his mind is, he launched the 776 Foundation on March 15, 2022. The foundation is a fellowship that will give $20 million in the form of fellowships over the next decade to Fellows working on climate solutions.
Ohanian commented on his reasons for starting the foundation saying, “Ultimately, nothing matters if planet Earth is fucked.” He added that marginalized people, obviously, are the most affected by climate change. That perspective underpins a part of the foundation’s unique approach, not asking applicants about where they went to college.
The grants are designed to be as inclusive as possible to reach people who might not otherwise have access to funding. The fellowships will support 20 young climate changers working in building new climate-tech startups to activism.
Each year, 20 climate fellows between the ages of 18 and 23 will receive a $100,000 grant each. The fellows will also get support from the foundation’s network of founders, investors and partners. Ohanian says, “This is designed for super, super early ideas. Part of this is like, let’s see what happens when we open it up to the creativity of folks.”
The fellows are expected to be announced in June 2022. Tune in for more information!