UN Environment Program Announces winners of its 2020 Young Champions of the Earth Prize, plus zero-waste grocery delivery grows by one more company. Rockefeller Foundation, the world’s largest oil-funded philanthropic foundation says sayonara to all its fossil fuel investments, and, straight out of the pages of science fiction–researchers experiment with making jet fuel from carbon dioxide.
UN 2020 Young Champions of Earth Winners, Rockefeller Foundation Stops Investing in Fossil Fuels, Jet Fuel from CO2? And another Zero-Waste Delivery Co.
UN ANNOUNCES YOUNG CHAMPIONS OF THE EARTH PRIZE WINNERS
Young Champions of the Earth, a forward-looking prize designed to breathe life into the ambitions of brilliant young environmentalists. The United Nations Environment Program announced its seven, 2020 YOUNG CHAMPIONS OF THE EARTH. Young Champions of the Earth aims to celebrate and support individuals aged between 18 and 30 who have outstanding potential to create a positive environmental impact. Each year YCOE picks seven winners from around the globe who will receive seed funding, intensive training and tailored mentoring to bring their big environmental ideas to life.
This year’s winners are Fatemah Alzel-zela for her project “Eco Star—trees for waste”; Lefteris Arapakis, for his “Mediterranean Cleanup” project; Max Hidalgo Quinto with “YAWA—Sustainable technology for access to water”; Niria Alicia Garcia’ Run4Salmon, Indigeneous-led conservation project; Nzambi Matee’s Gjenge Makers—building a greener Kenye; Vidyut Mohan and the project he led, “Takachar: Harvesting value from agricultural waste”; and Xiayuan Ren and her MyH20 – a data platform for clean water.
ZERO WASTE GROCERY DELIVERY SERVICE DEBUTS
Here on The Climate Daily, we’ve covered how food delivery services have been busier than ever with customers in quarantine and generating more single-use plastic packaging in landfills across the United States. We reported on the zero-waste container startup called Dispatch Goods – a company that takes a new approach by partnering with restaurants to deliver food in metal containers to customers.
Today, we are reporting on another startup that delivers groceries in reusable containers without any plastic packaging. According to Fast Company, the startup called Zero Grocery uses glass jars to package and deliver food to customer’s doors. When the containers are empty, customers leave them outside and a Zero Grocery employee picks up the container – described as a modern version of the milkman. Once returned, the glass jars and cleaned and sterilized before repackaged.
Zero-waste and plastic-free delivery services have become increasingly common during the pandemic. As stay-at-home and social distancing measures remain, customers have the opportunity to reduce their plastic waste and carbon footprint on the planet.
DEEPER DIVE: Fast Company
ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION, FOUNDED ON OIL MONEY, SAYS NO MAS, POR FAVOR
The Rockefeller Foundation, a 5 BILLION DOLLAR, 107-year-old philanthropy built by oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, is breaking up with fossil fuels in an effort to save the planet. Beyond pledging to dump its fossil fuel holdings, the endowment is also promising not to make any new investments in the oil and gas sector. The moves make the Rockefeller Foundation the largest US foundation to embrace the rapidly growing divestment movement.
This divestment is especially symbolic because the Rockefeller Foundation was founded by oil money. The endowment was largely built from the proceeds of Standard Oil, a company that at its peak controlled more than 90% of petroleum products in the United States.
More than a century later, the Rockefeller Foundation has decided it’s time to cut ties with fossil fuels because such investments conflict with its mission to lift up humanity. The step puts an exclamation point on the enormous pressure facing the fossil fuels industry as socially conscious investing goes mainstream and the climate crisis intensifies.
By divesting from fossil fuels — and instead plowing money into clean energy such as solar power — the foundation is striving to speed up the energy transition. “Burning fossil fuels is not necessary to sustain our economy and economic growth over the long run — and it’s detrimental to our climate future,” Rajiv Shah, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation
DEEPER DIVE: CNN
JET FUEL MADE FROM CARBON DIOXIDE?..
Could greenhouse gasses be turned into jet fuel? Wired News reports a team of scientists at Oxford University have reverse engineered fuel from the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. Over the past decade, the aviation industry has been searching for sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions, such as investing in carbon offsets like wind farms.
However, the team at Oxford University has developed an experimental procedure that could turn carbon dioxide, one the largest greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, into jet fuel. If the scientists are able to prove the process works, the chemical process could result in “net-zero” emissions from airplanes. So far, the science has yet to reach airports, but shows a promising future. The Climate Daily will be sure to keep you up to date on any developments with this story.
DEEPER DIVE: Wired