Call it "carbon compensation": in a randomized experiment in western Uganda, scientists demonstrated the effectiveness of paying rural farmers not to chop down trees (responsible for annual CO2 emissions worldwide), studying for two years the declines in forest cover between a control group (no payment) and the participant group (paid). Thus building on a United Nations project in which wealthy nations pay poorer ones in an attempt to equalize the costs of responding to climate change, the design and outcome of the project proves the existence of a low-cost environmental policy solution to stemming rising global temperatures.
GreenCityForce has expanded to many of New York City's public housing projects with a two-pronged approach: helping to develop professional skills and job opportunities to young adult residents with high school diplomas, while simultaneously addressing the need to transition to a more environmentally-sustainable city. So far it has not only provided opportunities for youths but also help promote sustainable living, such as installing energy-efficient light bulbs.
U-Haul and supermarket supplier C&S Wholesale Grocers are partnering with The Conservation Fund in order to help offset their wood use and increase donations to this cause. This partnership has led to to promotion of the conservation of of the Success Pond and its surrounding forest, planting trees, and investing in land easements that will restore and protect native habitats.
Rotterdam is increasingly threatened by climate change and the rising water levels. Instead of building barriers, they are choosing to work with the water and help it flow through the 'Room for the River' project and other innovations.
CityTree doesn't resemble the typical tree, but it provides the environmental benefit of 275: essentially a vertical moss garden, this structure, designed for urban landscaping by the German start-up "Green City Solutions," filters air, cools the surrounding environment and removes CO2 and harmful air pollutants plaguing many of the world's large cities. Since the first installation of a CityTree in Brussels four years ago, more than 20 cities have hired GCS to build the relatively cost- and space-efficient (9'x13') "trees," and the micro-sensors on the sides of the structures provide realtime measurements evidencing their advantages for air quality and pollution control.
Air pollution is a major health risk, and growing in severity as more of the population moves to urban (more polluted areas). University friends from Germany have created a "CityTree," which filters toxic pollutants from the air with the power of moss that can be installed around cities.
Extensive research by TARU, an Indian thinktank, shows how cities and towns in India have combined decentralized action and "multi-stakeholder engagement" in public policy to respond to problems of scarcity in water and power as well as climate change-related natural disasters. With "active engagement of communities, scientists, civil society and an elected representative," municipalities put responsibility for improving local lives at the grassroots level; integrate disruptive technologies from the private sector; and foster collaboration between government and citizens.
Iceland, hit by the oil crises of the 1970s, turned to geothermal energy - and they haven't turned back. The island is now powered by 100% renewable energy, and they are taking it one step more, looking to further cut emissions using a unique carbon capture system called CarbFix is being pioneered at the Hellsheidi geothermal power plant in western Iceland.
Throughout history, shifts in energy have often been a defining point of civilization's growth and development: from wood to coal, from coal to natural gas, and now, from fossil fuels to renewables. Such economic shifts usually take decades, but thanks to rapidly evolving disruptive technologies, dropping prices of solar and wind power sources, and increasing market demand for green business, the new age of renewable energy could encompass the world economy much more quickly.
Nearly a billion people living in the arid regions of the Himalayas depend on glaciers for their water supply. But with climate change, glaciers have been retreating drastically every year, threatening the life source of villagers like those in the Ladakh region of Kashmir. One engineer, Sonam Wangchuck, has come up with an ingenious feat of engineering to help the villages store glacier water by constructing stupas - or towers - using thorn branches that retain ice in tall structures, which melts and provides clean water for drinking and agriculture during the dry season.
A collaborative effort among the United Nations' District Energy in Cities Initiative, the Malaysian government, and various private partners has raised awareness and facilitated planning in Malaysia's rapidly developing southern state of Johor for a "District Energy System": a single heating/cooling network which decreases energy consumption by converting waste heat from large power stations. Iskandar, is projected to decrease its energy use by almost 40% -- all while saving money on energy costs, recycling heat energy, and contributing to the nation's goals under the international Paris Accord.
Women4Climate is a new alliance of women mayors from major cities who are determined to act against climate change with or without federal support. Instead, they mentor each other in innovative solutions, cross-promote important causes, and share best practices to help stem the negative effects of greenhouse gas emissions, empowering women everywhere to participate.
In agricultural communities across Kenya, global warming has led local farmers to turn to camels -- as an alternative to cows -- for dairy products both to feed their families and take to the local markets to sell: thanks to their ability to go weeks without water, camels are much more drought-tolerant than cattle, and they consume less water in general, too. Furthermore, with an uptick in demand both regionally and nationally for camel milk, farmers are finding themselves with new purchasing power for various goods and services -- and some are planning to export the milk and yogurt to neighboring Somalia, where the product is also quite popular.
In the face of the global climate crisis, conservative politicians and energy leaders in the US are an unlikely source for climate action. Through the promotion of a carbon tax, in which each ton of emissions gets taxed, these leaders are jumpstarting new forms of climate response. While some are hesitant towards both their support and the logistics of the tax, it may appear the best hope for climate action in the current political climate.
Protecting forests against deforestation is key to reducing CO2 emissions, which is what the UN mechanism- REDD+ aims to do by creating contracts with rural areas for them to protect their area's forest for 30 years in exchange for compensation. So far several problems have arisen that question the effectiveness of this mechanism which need attention going forward.
By 2050 the percentage of the world's population living in cities will increase to two-thirds. The environmental impact, particularly in regards to pollution and strain on resources, is already extensive.
But people around the world are implementing creative solutions to meet growing demand, while also making cities more sustainable. In Colombia, a company called Conceptos Plasticos collects recyclable plastic material, melts it down and moulds it into bricks used to build houses for the local community. Singapore too, is on the cutting edge of environmentally sustainable urban solutions including vertical farms and living buildings.
There is an ongoing competition to improve batteries as a method of energy storage that is environmentally conscious. Intense research on batteries is ongoing, including the development of the "saltwater battery', in order to improve their reliability, storage abilities and safety.
The cotton industry is turning to a wide variety of innovations such as remote sensing, water regulation, no-till methods etc. in order to combat the varied and complex impacts climate change is having on it.
Investment in industry-level research and development can give consumers a meaningful metric of sustainability. Previously apparel companies were not fiscally rewarded for sustainable actions, but the Sustainable Apparel Coalition hopes to change this by providing the consumers with information to help them buy sustainably thereby rewarding companies who are environmentally minded.
With the threat of climate change, environmentalists are worried about the development of new technology and finding new ways to protect the environment. At Petra Nova, Carbon Capture technology removes carbon before it reaches the atmosphere and can be used for oil recovery, making it both productive financially and environmentally, to hopefully be a new solution and a way to maintain the coal industry.
The state of Maine has been feeling the negative effects of climate change including the rising sea waters. Businesses have decided to make the best of it and do it in an environmentally sound and sustainable way. They have sought out new fisheries, renewable power, and trade distributions through the Arctic.
Dams make for complex and often controversial infrastructure. While hydropower generated from large dam projects is currently providing the bulk of the planet's renewable energy, dams can also cause major environmental and social damage by interrupting animal migrations, displacing indigenous communities, and collecting toxins. A number of solutions are being implemented, however, to address the various issues caused by dams, to help make them a more eco-friendly and viable source of clean energy.
Regenerative farming practices such as cover crops can be environmentally friendly and financially profitable. But federal crop insurance rules and certain characteristics of the agriculture industry have prevented farmers from employing these techniques fully. However, one farmer, Gail Fuller, has been working to broaden access to such techniques.
Climate financing, determining which nations pay and which nations receive, is a challenge at the United Nations. The World Bank created a Pilot Auction Fund, which competitively allocates credit in an online auction, using the returns to fund projects that reduce emissions.
Unexpected weather patterns began affecting crops in Kenya. The Government of Makueni region provided a group of local leaders weather text messages to distribute into the community to assist plan food crops.