This week Current Climatewhich every Saturday brings you the latest news on the business of sustainability. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every week.
Wwhen you think about the sources of carbon emissions, your mind probably goes to things like power generation, automobiles, heavy industry, and similar types of things. But Big Tech companies are also major contributors to the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. To try to figure out how much, Electronics Hub published the corporate environmental reports of 100 of the world’s largest technology companies and then ranked them from highest to lowest.
Some of the things they found: Samsung produces more carbon dioxide than any other tech company, and of the “Big Five” tech companies (Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, and Microsoft), Amazon is the biggest polluter. Amazon produced over 16 million metric tons of CO2 in 2021 – almost 20 times the carbon footprint of Microsoft, which polluted less than 5. That said, Microsoft’s carbon footprint is still quite large – at nearly 870,000 metric tons, it’s about as big a polluter as the population of Rhode Island.
You can read the full report here.
The big read
With labor and climate challenges, farmers are turning to robotic beehives, tractors and fruit pickers
Startups aim to solve big problems for agriculture, including labor and water shortages, climate-induced headaches and declining bee populations, by developing artificial intelligence, self-driving technology and robotics.
Read more here.
Discoveries and Innovations
Almost half of California stemmed from drought conditions, according to a new drought monitoring map released Thursday morning, though the situation is still unclear in terms of water management.
In a recent study, a group of Swedish researchers found that children and teenagers in Stockholm has shown improved lung capacity since the early 2000s, when air pollution levels in that city began to decline.
Sustainability Deals of the Week
Green Buildings: Climate tech startup BlocPower announced it raised $150 million in equity and debt financing this week. The capital aims to expand its programs aimed at electrifying buildings and installing heat pumps.
Cleaning based on the carton: Cleancult, which develops cleaning products that use recyclable packaging rather than single-use plastics, has announced that it has struck a deal with Walmart to make its products available in more than 3,000 of the retail giant’s stores.
On the horizon
In the US and thinking of moving to a new state? One thing you can think about is how climate change might affect this area in the future before you make a move. That’s where a new website and app comes in, developed in partnership with AT&T, FEMA and Argonne National Laboratory. The site aggregates data to identify risk factors for different segments of the company.
What else are we reading this week?
Why it’s time to officially get over EV range anxiety (Ars Technica)
Heat Pumps Are Selling Like Hotcakes In America’s Oil-Rich Frontier (Wired)
Japan’s top steel maker Eyes $700 million ‘Green Steel’ project (Bloomberg)
Green Transportation Update
mLon Musk has created the Tesla brand and his image over the past 17 years as a would-be climate hero committed to solving the carbon pollution crisis with bold plans. He deserves a lot of credit for starting the modern EV market, though his record has been mixed on delivering on every aspect of the “Master Plans” he’s promoted since 2006. This week he released “Master Plan 3” at its investor day of the company with There is no shortage of big ideas for how Tesla can dominate the clean tech space. Investors were really hoping he would share details about new products – especially an expected low-cost electric vehicle. That didn’t happen.
The great history of transportation
The EU’s plan to end sales of cars with internal combustion engines is in trouble
A key part of the European Green Deal — the EU’s plan to become climate neutral by 2050 — is at risk of derailment. This week Germany’s finance and transport ministers called for vehicles with internal combustion engines to be exempted from the EU’s plan to end the sale of new cars and trucks with internal combustion engines from 2035. The Italian government is also generally opposed to the regulation and Poland and Hungary have also signaled their opposition to the plan.
Read more here.
More green transport news
The EU’s insistence on electric cars exposes the auto industry to an existential threat
Luminar aims to put Lidar, first created for AVs, into millions of regular cars
EV Battery Swapper Ample Lands Major Grant
Electric bike battery collection and recycling scheme launched by the UK Cycling Association
Cars are not banned in 15 minute cities nor will Bugs be lunch
These are the 12 greenest cars in the US for 2023
Here are the 12 environmentally “worst” vehicles in the US for 2023
Zero Reteams with Massive Design to Create Sci-Fi SR-X Custom Electric Motorcycle
Waymo’s LA Robotaxi fleet is completely driverless
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