Leaders in Australia’s Queensland region brag about the tens of thousands of green jobs they will create this decade. Researchers in Finland find letting children play outside in nature will boost their immune systems. U.S. Climate Mayors clap back. And Pittsburgh pledges to widen its bicycle road network.
Increase of Green Jobs in Queensland, Australia, New Study by Finland Researchers, US Climate Mayors Response on the Power Plan, Pittsburg Pledge to Widen Bicycle Road Network
QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA TRANSITION TO RENEWABLE COULD CREATE TEN THOUSAND NEW JOBS
Queensland, a state in northeastern Australia, has the potential to draw all of its electricity from renewable sources in a 15-year transition away from fossil fuels that would generate almost 10,000 jobs, according to analysis commissioned by the Queensland Conservation Council.
Almost 11,000 ongoing jobs would then operate and maintain a suite of energy sources either existing or proposed in the state, including wind and solar farms, hydro plants and battery projects. The state government has targets to cut emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030 and have half of the state’s electricity generated from renewables by the same year. The government aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Tristan Edis, a renewable energy analyst who was commissioned by QCC to look at existing and planned renewable projects, said the state had “world-class” opportunities in renewables simply because of the amount of sunshine and land.
DEEPER DIVE: The Guardian
FINNISH STUDY PROVES THE OUTDOORS GOOD FOR CHILDREN’S IMMUNE SYSTEMS
The great outdoors can be a great place of freedom and exploration for children, especially in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the health benefits of spending time outdoors have been well documented, a recent study in Finland suggests doing so could also benefit children’s immune system. Reported by Positive News, researchers examined observational health effects of children playing in gravel yards compared to mini forest. By analyzing changes in the skin, gut microorganism and blood immune markers, researchers concluded it might be possible to improve children’s immune systems in greener play areas. According to researchers, “this study is the first human intervention trial in which urban environmental biodiversity was manipulated to examine its effects on the commensal micro-biome and immuno-regulation in children.”
DEEPER DIVE: Positive New, Science Advances
CLIMATE MAYORS REACT TO EPA PROPOSAL TO REVERSE CLEAN POWER PLAN
Climate Mayors an organization of over 400 U.S. Mayors dedicated to creating and sharing climate change mitigation adaption and resilience strategies for their cities and towns. In a comment letter recently submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, 244 mayors from 48 states and territories voiced opposition to efforts by the Trump administration and the EPA to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, as it would have devastating health and economic impacts on their communities, including exposing Americans to increased air pollution, worsening climate change, and more extreme weather events.
Communities across the country are experiencing the effects of climate change today: sea level rise; hotter, longer, and more frequent heat waves; increased extreme weather; and many other harmful impacts. There is broad agreement that the future economic costs of climate change should not be overlooked.
Urban, suburban, and rural communities across the country are reducing their contributions to greenhouse gas emissions by investing in energy efficiency, committing to the use of clean energy resources, and reducing reliance on fossil-fueled energy sources—efforts that protect against climate change, and also support clean air and a vibrant clean energy economy.
DEEPER DIVE: ClimateMayors.org
PITTSBURGH TO EXPAND URBAN BIKING NETWORK
Here on The Climate Daily, we’ve reported on the bike boom in the United States, where the pandemic has resulted in a positive social shift towards sustainable transportation. Today, we have more news on how bikes are becoming an even larger part of our everyday lives.
Reported by Public Source, city officials in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania unveiled a plan to build a new kind of bike infrastructure, called the Neighborway. Designed to build a citywide bike network, the Neighborway does not impact street parking and promotes traffic calming on residential streets. A BikePGH Advocacy Director said in an interview, “I talk to people all over the city, and everybody wants traffic calming. It’s a pretty universal thing. People don’t like seeing cars flying past down their street.” Building bikeways into the city’s infrastructure is just another step towards universal sustainable transportation.
DEEPER DIVE: Public Source