One of the most remarkable aspects of the green business movement is its sheer breadth. I know it has been said before that change will be required in every aspect of society if we are to deliver a low carbon economy and I know the phrase "there's no magic bullet" is parroted by environmentalists like it's some kind of cultish mantra, but that doesn't stop me being surprised by some of the niche solutions being proposed.
The old cliché that "every little helps" is only a cliché because it is true, and as such the sheer number of green technologies being designed for just one industry or to deliver a fractional saving in carbon emissions is hugely heartening.
This week alone we saw fuel that could be made from orange peel, a chemical process for capturing emissions from waste incinerators, a new carbon calculator for the wine industry, a new technique for turning plastic bottles into printer cartridges, software for cutting a few pages a day off the number of documents you print, and proposals for an increase in car sharing.
Taken on their own none of these innovations will deliver game-changing carbon emission reductions, but together they not only deliver worthwhile cuts but also emphasise the ever expanding reach of the environmental movement.
Of course, for real change to be delivered such niche developments need to be combined with economy-wide transformations, but again this week there are signs that after years of frustrations these may finally be on their way.
It seems strange to greet as significant something as ephemeral as an improvement in atmosphere, but the news of a thawing of relations between the US and the rest of the world at this week's climate change meeting in Hawaii is in many ways more significant than President Bush's pledge to invest $2bn in clean technology transfer. It appears that the politicians have finally begun to adopt the more collegiate approach to tackling global warming that has been pioneered by the business sector over the past few years.
Right I'm off to try and work out what zero carbon actually means.
Have a good weekend,
ClientEarth and Planning Inspectorate had both argued the power station could undermine the UK's climate change targets
Single-use plastics are helping keep people safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, but creating new challenges for governments in dealing with the waste problem
European Commission unveils sweeping biodiversity strategy, plus all the top green business news from around the world this week
A new analysis by the ECIU notes that extended lockdown into the winter months could exacerbate fuel poverty in the UK and calls on the government to implement vast energy efficiency programmes for homes that will lower heating bills while reducing carbon,...