BusinessGreen brings you all the latest green business news from around the world this week
Thai food giant promises coal-free foods by 2022
Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods), the Thai agri-food giant, announced on Wednesday that by 2022 it would phase out coal-fired power from its Thai operations.
The 'CP Foods Coal Free by the year 2022' project involves the firm replacing coal power for its steam boiler system with biomass in four of its plants, saving 70,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent a year.
It follows a successful transition to biomass at another pilot plant, which is saving the company seven million Baht per year in costs and has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 10,425 tons CO2e.
CP Foods said the latest move will help it cut CO2 emissions by 25 per cent by 2025, and water consumption by 30 per cent, against a 2015 baseline.
World's largest floating offshore wind farm coming to the Canaries
Equinor, the energy giant formerly known as Statoil, this week received approval to build a 200MW floating offshore wind farm off the coast of the Canary Islands.
If it goes ahead the wind farm, expected to cost €860m, would be the largest of its type in the world. It could be up and running by 2024, and would increase the Islands' renewable capacity by a third.
Equinor is already a pioneer in floating offshore wind, running the groundbreaking Hywind project in Scotland in collaboration with Masdar. On the back of the success of that project, experts are increasingly confident floating turbine designs could curb costs in the offshore wind industry, by streamlining installation processes, removing the need for heavy foundations, and allowing developers to access deep water areas that boast stronger and more reliable winds.
German greens lead national poll for first time
Germany's Green Party has broken through to reach first place in the country's national polls for the first time, in what could yet lead to a major upset in German politics.
Following stunning European election results, when the German Green Party commanded 21 per cent of the national vote, the most recent data from polling firm Forsa suggested on Saturday that support for the Greens had reached 27 per cent, up nine per cent.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's party the CDU and the allied CSU were left trailing at 26 per cent, while the SPD was down to 12 per cent support.
The results will put Merkel under more pressure to back stronger climate policies both domestically and at an EU level, where a decision over whether to back a new net zero emissions target for 2050 is imminent.
'Thousands' set to die in US cities from extreme heat unless emissions are curbed
New research from UK and US researchers warned this week that thousands of people in 15 cities across the US could die as a result of extreme heat caused by climate change.
Unless action is taken to curb greenhouse gas emissions, in each of the 15 cities studied extreme heatwaves are likely to cause between 70 and 1,980 deaths a year, once global average temperatures rises reach above 2C.
The figures get worse the higher the global average temperature climbs; at 3C between 330 and 5,800 deaths per city per year are expected.
Mortality is expected to be highest in the major East and West coastal cities of New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago.
If the world limits warming to 1.5C, between about 110 and 2,720 deaths per city per year can be avoided, the researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK and the University of Washington in the US, said.
"As temperatures rise, exposure of major US cities to extreme heat will increase and more heat-related deaths will occur," lead author Eunice Lo said. "The United States has emitted the largest amount of carbon dioxide in the world since the 18th century. Immediate and drastic emissions cuts are key to preventing large increases in heat-related deaths in the country."
Total Eren's giant Australian solar farm reaches financial close
A massive 256.5MW solar farm in Australia is going ahead after news this week the project has reached financial close.
The project is being developed by French energy giant Total Eren, and is expected to start commercial operations later this year. It is backed by four power purchase agreements (PPAs), to supply power to Mars Australia, utilities Alinta Energy and Flow Power, and 13 regional water corporations.
Total Eren plans to make the farm even bigger in the future, by adding 213.5MW of additional solar capacity and battery storage facilities.
Dutch government proposes €12.30 carbon price floor
The Dutch government this week proposed new measures to set a floor price on carbon dioxide emissions in the country, in an attempt to prompt other EU nations to impose their own national carbon prices.
Under the proposals electricity producers would have to pay €12.90 per tonne of carbon emitted from 2020 onwards, with the price rising to €31.90 by 2030. It would act as a floor in case the EU ETS falls below that level, the government said.
"With the introduction of the minimum CO2 price, the Netherlands hopes to stimulate other EU member states to adopt a national price regime," a ministry spokesperson added.
Iberdrola plots Europe's largest solar plant
Iberdrola is pushing forward with plans to build Europe's largest solar plant, it announced this week.
The Francisco Pizarro plant is expected to cost €300m to build, but with a capacity of 590MW is set to supply clean power for 375,000 people every year, preventing 245,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Plans for the site are now being processed by Spain's Ministry for the Ecological Transition, and if it gets the green light it could be up and running by 2022.
Pontiff yesterday warned leading investors and energy giants that climate change 'threatens the very future of the human family'
SSE will close its last coal-fired power station early next year, to leave just five coal plants left on UK grid
New report from the Institution of Engineering and Technology concludes there is 'no reason' why hydrogen can't safely be used in the UK gas grid
Renewables employment hits highest ever level despite slowdown in China