Solving the Oceans’ Ghost Gear Problem, plus U.S./Canada enter into a lithium-ion partnership. Going net-zero could add a trillion dollars to US GDP, and welcome to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration!
Solving the Oceans’ Ghost Gear Problem, U.S./Canada Lithium-Ion Partnership, Going Net-Zero Could Add a Trillion to US GDP, and Welcome to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration!
HAPPY UNITED NATIONS DECADE ON ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION
Hey, Grace—Happy United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, to you.
The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021–2030 was conceived as a means of highlighting the need for greatly increased global cooperation to restore degraded and destroyed ecosystems, contributing to efforts to combat climate change and safeguard biodiversity, food security, and water supply.
What I love about this story is the concept was proposed by El Salvador and presented to the United Nations by then El Salvador’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Lina Pohl. We often think that environmental leadership comes from highly developed, uber industrialized nations. But in this case, El Salvador stepped up and took the lead on ecosystem restoration.
Why this is important is because ecosystems include all living organisms, and their interaction with each other and their physical environment (such as soil, climate, atmosphere, and weather). Each organism plays a key role and contributes to the health and productivity of the ecosystem as a whole. Ecosystem restoration seeks to repair some of the damage done to ecosystems and biodiversity.
71 countries supported El Salvador’s UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration proposal at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2018. And On 1 March 2019, the UN General Assembly officially adopted the resolution. And here we are. So, got any plans for the Ecosystem Restoration decade?
UNITED STATES AND CANADA TO COLLABORATE DEVELOPING DOMESTIC EV INDUSTRY
A recent meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sparked momentum for Canada to become more involved in the electric vehicle industry.
Following the meeting, both leaders promised to work together and build electric vehicle supply chains in an effort to compete globally. According to a news release from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office, both leaders pledged to make the U.S. and Canada “global leaders in all aspects of battery development and production.”
Reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the long-awaited move allows Canada to capitalize off the nation’s mineral and metal resources needed to build electric vehicle batteries. While Canada has access to large domestic supplies, the country lacks resources to process the raw material into lithium-ion batteries. And that’s why the partnership appears hopeful for the electric vehicle industry — the United States has the resources to process the raw material.
DEEPER DIVE: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
THE GLOBAL GHOST GEAR INITIATIVE
Hey, Grace. Ya ever heard of ghost gear? No? Neither had I until I watched environmentalist par excellence Shane Brown videos on TikTok (@shangerdanger). Ghost gear is lost, discarded or abandoned fishing gear. Untethered from boats or unmoored from anchorages, ghost gear entangles, severely injures or causes starvation to over 136,000 whales, dolphins seals and turtles each year, according to a report from World Animal Protection.
People have known about ghost gear for perhaps hundreds of years, but it wasn’t until the turn of the end of the last century that people began to take it seriously. What happened within the last sixty years has caused ghost gear to wreak such havoc on marine life?
Plastic. You see, traps and nets and moors used to be made of natural materials—wood, metals and a variety of fibers like hemp, linen, cotton, coir, jute, straw, and even sisal for the netting. And all those do what boys and girls, in the marine environment? They decompose.
Nowadays, netting is made from synthetic fibers including polypropylene, nylon, polyesters, polyethylene, acrylics, even Kevlar. I think you get my drift…
This matters to us concerned about saving the climate because the climate depends on biodiversity for survival. Unnecessary slaughter of 136,000 large marine mammals and countless hundreds of thousands of smaller marine life kills biodiversity, which contributes to the death of the climate as we know it.
The Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), the world’s largest cross-sectoral alliance committed to driving solutions to the problem of ghost gear, was launched in 2015. Canada joined in 2018. The United States, just last year.
REACHING NET-ZERO EMISSIONS BY 2050 COULD BOOST U.S. BY $1 TRILLION
Reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 could boost the United States’ economy by $1 trillion. According to a new report by Energy Innovation, a nonpartisan energy and environmental policy research and analysis firm, reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 would not only curb catastrophic environmental effects of climate change, but add roughly $1 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product.
Reported by Fast Company, the Energy Innovation team researched and analyzed the policy required to reach net-zero carbon dioxide emission. In an interview with Fast Company, Robbie Orvis, director of energy policy design at Energy Innovation said, “our modeling, along with several other recent deep decarbonization studies, shows getting the U.S. to net-zero emissions by 2050 is feasible and would generate millions of new jobs and significant GDP growth for the U.S.”
However, economic growth won’t happen without strong policy and action. Reaching the 2030 goals require sweeping action for clean electricity, electric vehicles, green hydrogen, carbon and methane capture and more. However, the majority of goals outlined by Energy Innovation can be reached with existing technology. We just have to get to work.
DEEPER DIVE: Fast Company, Energy Innovation