Posts tagged with "climate change"

Ten European teams selected for the Helsinki Energy challenge

Ten European teams selected for Helsinki Energy Challenge

Ten teams have been selected for the final phase of the Helsinki Energy Challenge. The finalist teams highlight the international and interdisciplinary nature of the participants. They have a wide variety of proposals for how Helsinki can phase out the use of coal for heat production in the most sustainable way possible by 2029. Next, the competition is advancing into the co-creation phase.

In the 252 teams taking part in the Helsinki Energy Challenge, there were 1,528 experts and innovators from across the globe designing potential solutions to the challenge of decarbonising the heating of Helsinki.

The ten proposals selected to advance consist of a diverse set of solutions that have significant potential for further development in the coming phase. Many of the suggested solutions are also scalable to the needs of other cities. Included in the race are several wide-ranging comprehensive solutions, some of which find new ways to combine technologies that are already in use. There are also competition entries that include entirely new technologies. Among the solutions are new approaches to heat storage and transfer, waste heat utilization, energy consumption control and consumer activation. Included are also some non-technological innovations that enable the realisation of future sustainable solutions and the combination of centralised and decentralised solutions.

“I launched the Helsinki Energy Challenge to bring the world’s best talent together to consider solutions to Helsinki’s heating challenge. The competition has sparked conversation around the topic on a global scale. It has succeeded in combining wide-ranging international expertise and ambitious problem solving, and we are certain that this collision of different competences will generate new ways of thinking in the future as well. Our challenge competition has strong international support from different organizations and from several of my fellow Mayors, and we will be working together to make sure the solutions that are created are put to use as broadly as possible. Every city must do their part in the fight against global climate change,” says Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori.

The teams are interdisciplinary and international

The teams that have advanced to the final phase are each made up of 3–20 members and together include 85 experts from a diverse set of fields. The finalists include, and are primarily made up of combinations of, start-ups, large companies, research institutes and universities, as well as international consortia made up of various companies.

The finalist teams represent excellence and a credible combination of various expertise, making them capable of elevating their competing proposals to the next level in the final phase of the competition.

The finalist teams are all European. The selected teams represent organizations from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Austria and France. Most of the teams include experts and organizations from more than one country.

“When you consider that we received such a large number of proposals and that the competing teams included 1,528 experts from different backgrounds and countries around the world, it becomes clear that the competition includes a very wide range of different solutions. Evaluating these solutions has been more difficult than expected. However, the hard part is now behind us, and the competition is advancing to the next, even more interesting phase.Currently, the teams’ solutions are only provisional proposals, and each team will receive support and additional information to further develop their proposal in the co-creation phase. We are looking forward to seeing what the finalist teams’ final proposals will look like. They have some impressive and diverse expertise on display, so we are going in with high expectations,” says Project Director Laura Uuttu-Deschryvere.

The co-creation phase begins

The teams selected for the finals are invited to the co-creation phase, during which they will receive support for further development of their solution and additional information to enable them to tailor their idea to the context of Helsinki. At the centre of the co-creation phase is the boot camp in December.

An international panel of judges will evaluate the final competition proposals at the beginning of 2021, and the winner of the competition will be announced in March 2021. The proposals will be evaluated on the basis of their climate impact, impact on natural resources, cost impact, implementation schedule and feasibility, security of supply and capacity. The City of Helsinki has committed to openly sharing the lessons and results of the competition to allow other cities to use them in their own climate work.

Proposals submitted in the first phase of the competition included also a large variety of other ideas and concepts that did not reach the finals but which the City of Helsinki intends to highlight during the competition process too. The 252 submissions included ideas in which solving the challenge is “gamified”, new solutions for the utilization of different heat sources, new market and business models, heat storage solutions, decentralized heat production models, new technologies such as small modular reactors (SMR), and hydrogen based solutions.

Cities have a key role – the COVID-19 pandemic will not stop Helsinki’s climate work

Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time, and cities have a decisive role in mitigating it. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Helsinki keeps investing heavily in its climate work. The climate crisis has not been cancelled and the City of Helsinki is working its way towards a carbon neutral Helsinki by 2035. At the moment, more than half of Helsinki’s direct carbon dioxide emissions originate from heating the city. This is why finding a sustainable heating solution will have a critical impact on achieving the City’s carbon neutrality goal. Currently, more than half of Helsinki’s heating energy is produced with coal, the use of which will have to stop by 2029. Helsinki wants to find long-term sustainable solutions, which is why it does not want to replace the use of coal with biomass-fired production.

Helsinki wants to find long-term sustainable solutions to heat the city in the future and to act as a platform for new and innovative solutions that also other cities around the world can benefit from. For this purpose, it opened the international Helsinki Energy Challenge competition on 27 February 2020. The competition seeks solutions through which the city can be heated sustainably in the coming decades – without coal and with as little biomass as possible. The competition’s first prize is one million euros.

Final Presidential Debate

By Hannah DiPilato 

The final presidential debate took place on Thursday. Significantly less chaotic than the first debate, both candidates were able to express their opinions on certain issues and to respond to the moderator, Kristen Welker‘s, questions, for the most part. 

The first unavoidable topic presented was the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Current President Donald Trump took over the first question claiming that a vaccine would be distributed as soon as a few weeks from now. He claimed the military is ready to distribute 100 million vaccinations. He also placed emphasis on the fact coronavirus is a worldwide problem as well as emphasizing his own recovery.  

Presidential candidate Joe Biden came in with a rebuttal focusing on families that have lost loved ones as a result of the pandemic and how Trump will not take responsibility for these deaths. He also used the statistic that a predicted 200,000 Americans would die before the end of 2020 at the current rate. Trump disagreed with this and compared coronavirus to the Swine Flu which occurred while Joe Biden was Vice President. 

Welker then led the conversation to lockdowns as a result of Covid-19. Biden began by saying he plans to shut down Covid, not the country. He wants to get places with high reproduction rates under control. 

Trump’s main point was that schools should reopen because children aren’t the main concern in relation to the pandemic. He talked about his son’s rapid recovery and his belief schools should open. 

“I don’t look at this as blue states and red states, we’re the United States,” said Biden. However, he quickly followed this statement by saying upticks have been seen mostly in red states. Trump responded that America should not shut down, but instead just protect the elderly and those at high risk. 

After a significant amount of time discussing coronavirus, the topic switched to national security. Biden questioned why Russia, China and Iran are interfering with the election and Trump has not taken any measures to handle this. Trump refuted this saying nobody is tougher on Russia than himself and pointed fingers at Biden saying Russia is paying Biden a lot of money. 

Biden then explained how he has never taken money from another country but points a finger at Trump who has overseas accounts, pressuring Trump to reveal his tax records. Trump then explained he prepays his taxes and that he would love to release the taxes as soon as he can. He stressed that the IRS “treats him very badly.” 

The next main topic of the debate was American families, beginning with a focus on healthcare. Trump wants to create a healthcare plan that is better than Obamacare while always protecting those with preexisting conditions. He accused Biden of wanting to eliminate private healthcare. 

Biden responded that he supports private insurance and no one would lose their private insurance under his plan. He said he wants to continue Obamacare as Bidencare He explained he wants everyone to have a public healthcare option and he plans to lower drug prices and insurance premiums. Trump also compared Biden to the United States Senator Bernie Sanders, but Biden said he disagreed with Sanders’ plans. 

Welker asked both candidates if this was the right time to raise the minimum wage considering the Covid-19 pandemic. Trump explained he would consider raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, but that minimum wage heavily depends on the state. On the other hand, Biden believes everyone deserves a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour in order to live without multiple jobs. 

Many people have previously had issues with how Trump has handled immigration laws in the past. His views have not seemed to change since he said illegal immigrant children are brought by “coyotes and bad people” to America as a ploy to get into the country. 

Biden’s response was that the children were not brought by “bad people” but parents that deserve equality. If he were to be elected, he plans to make more undocumented people citizens and able to stay in the United States. Trump then responded that if you take in a rapist or murder ICE then has to come to find them and only those with the “lowest IQ” will come back to get caught. 

The Black Lives Matter movement has brought systemic racism into the media, so Welker ensured both candidates addressed these issues. Biden gave a very sympathetic response where he spoke about wanting to learn more about systemic racism and that he understands the hardships families of color go through. He touched on white privilege and institutionalized racism as well and believes there should be less imprisonment for drug problems. 

Trump claimed that “no one has done what I’ve done” regarding racism. He claimed he has great relationships and that that he “is the least racist person in the room.” This was ironic considering the Kristen Welker is a person of color. He also claimed he has done the most for racism since Abraham Lincoln. 

Nearing the end of the debate, the topic of conversation was climate change. Trump explained he created a lot of “programs” to battle climate change but was being incredibly vague. He explained America has a very good carbon emission and he defended his decision to back out of the Paris Accord. 

“We don’t have much time, we’re going to pass the point of no return, return the next eight to 10 years,” said Biden on the topic. Biden wants more industries to transition to clean energy and he has a plan to have 100% clean energy by 2050. 

At the end of the debate, each candidate was asked to speak directly to those that did not vote for them if they were elected. Trump explained he wanted to make the country successful, how it was before the pandemic. He expressed that he has been able to have the best unemployment rate for minorities and how he wants to cut taxes, unlike Biden. 

Biden clarified that he represents everyone, whether someone voted for him or not. He said he would emphasize hope over fear and science over fiction. He wants to help the economy, end systemic racism and promote clean energy. He concluded by saying what is on the ballot is the character of the United States.

The aftermath of the debate on social media was less prominent compared to the first debate, but there were still a few highlights. Rapper 50 Cent said he will be voting for Trump because of Biden’s tax plan.

“Yeah, I don’t want to be 20 Cent. 62 percent is a very, very, bad idea. I don’t like it,” said the rapper on Tuesday. 

Pence vs. Harris illustration for 360 mag

Harris vs. Pence Vice Presidential Debate

By Hannah DiPilato

On Wednesday night, amidst many members of the White House testing positive for Coronavirus, the vice presidential debate was still held. Vice President Mike Pence and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris discussed important topics with 57 million people watching. 

The debate was a little calmer than last week’s, but there is still a lot to take away from the dispute. Moderator Susan Page of USA Today was able to keep things in check between the two, allowing a fair debate. 

The first topic was the unavoidable coronavirus, even more relevant now that so many people in Washington have tested positive. “Stop playing politics with people’s lives,” said Pence when he brought up Harris’ opinion that she wouldn’t get a COVID vaccination unless it was endorsed by public health experts. Pence also shot blame at China for causing the coronavirus while Harris contrasted this idea by saying the Trump administration didn’t do enough to combat the pandemic. 

Another pressing issue presented was the two candidates’ opinions on abortion. Pence made a comment that “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support taxpayer funding of abortion all the way up to the moment of birth, late-term abortion.” Although this is an exaggeration, Biden does support abortion rights. 

Pence and Harris argued about loopholes that currently exist in abortion laws that allow abortion all the way up to birth, but comparing the right to abortion to infanticide are two drastically different things. Pence could not confirm how Judge Amy Coney Barrett would vote on Roe v. Wade if confirmed into the Supreme Court. This has been a hot topic ever since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Many Americans are familiar with Biden’s plan to raise taxes on many people across the United States, but Pence took this a step forward claiming Biden would raise taxes on everyone. “Senator Harris is denying the fact that they’re going to raise taxes on every American,” said Pence. Harris noted that Biden has made it clear he won’t be raising taxes for anyone that makes less than $400,000 a year. 

Pence also acknowledged that climate change is real and that the Trump administration will “follow the science,” but he quickly changed the subject back onto Biden’s proposed tax increase. Harris responded that the government needs to do more to combat the changing climate, but didn’t say exactly how much preventative measures would cost. She also said Biden would rejoin the United States with the Paris climate accords. 

On the lighter side of the debate, social media buzzed about a fly landing on Pence’s head. The Vice President didn’t notice the fly, but the fly’s black body stood out to the audience against Pence’s bright white hair. 

The fly became a sensation and many twitter accounts were created from its perspective. There were hopes for a Saturday Night Live skit and jokes about a Netflix special. An online Halloween store is even selling a white wig with a fly on it called “Debate Fly Wig.” Biden also took advantage of this running joke and created a tweet with a fly pun to encourage donations and put a fly swatter up for sale.  

In the debate’s final moments, a question submitted by an eighth-grader was asked regarding the political division of The United States and the disagreement between the country’s leaders. 

Pence responded by attacking the news media for showing more of a significant divide that actually exists between most citizens. Harris referenced the 2017 Charlottesville violence and how this motivated Biden to run. “Joe Biden has a history of lifting people up and fighting for their dignity,” she said explaining how Biden could unite Americans. “I mean, you have to know Joe’s story to know that Joe has known pain, he has known suffering, and he has known love.”

On Thursday, following the vice presidential debate, President Donald Trump stated he would not be attending the next virtual debate against presidential candidate Joe Biden. Trump said on Fox News he would hold a rally instead.

Jane Fonda Uncle Ben's Campaign illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Jane Fonda × Uncle Bud’s

In celebration of National Hemp Month, Uncle Bud’s, the Made in America, mass market leader in Hemp and CBD, reveals its first campaign imagery with Jane Fonda, the brand’s newest ambassador. Shot by acclaimed photographer John Russo with styling by Cristina Ehrlich, who is named one of the top 25 most powerful stylists by The Hollywood Reporter, the campaign features two-time Academy Award-winning actress, author, activist, and fitness guru Jane Fonda, who was playfully captured with her go-to products from Uncle Bud’s Hemp & CBD.

The hero campaign image is a compilation of seven Fondas holding a different Uncle Bud’s product. The assortment includes the glow-inducing Hemp Enzyme Face Mask, the powerful and fast-acting CBD Body Revive Gel, the moisturizing and indulgent Hemp Body Lotion, the timely and in-demand cult favorite Hemp Hand Sanitizer, the original and hero product, The Hemp Topical Pain Relief, its counterpart The Hemp Roll-On Pain Relief, and the healing, digital age must-have, The Hemp Blue Light Face Mask. The eye-catching shot will live alongside the slogan “I’m FONDA Hemp and CBD” on a prominent billboard in Times Square and be used in the brand’s digital reach this quarter.

With the partnership kicking off during the pandemic, Uncle Bud’s, an innovative leader in the Hemp and CBD space was inspired to get creative in working with Fonda to release the collaboration. In lieu of a traditional photoshoot, Fonda was announced as the brand’s newest ambassador in May by way of a lighthearted video created by Fonda and shared on her personal social media accounts. The video was a fun play on TikTok’s viral ‘pass the brush’ challenge, and the partnership has lived on social channels until now.

In early June, the campaign came to life on set in Los Angeles, with Uncle Bud’s, Fonda and all parties taking utmost precaution in a safe and mindfully orchestrated socially distanced photoshoot.

Jane Highlighted some of her favorite products from the set: “This [the Hemp Roll-On Pain Relief] is my go-to for aches and pains. Just roll it on and go. No mess, no stiffness, no BS…I gave this blue light face mask to a good friend of mine. It protects your skin from harmful blue light that emits from your computer or phone. It’s terrific. So, if you happen to know *someone* who spends too much time online, get this mask.”

“We are excited to be able to celebrate National Hemp Month with the release of the ‘I’m FONDA Hemp & CBD’ campaign” said Garrett Greller, Co-Founder of Uncle Bud’s Hemp & CBD. “With COVID-19, this partnership took a different course to start but it’s allowed the brand’s innovation to shine through. The playful imagery is the perfect fusion of Jane Fonda’s personality and Uncle Bud’s product.”

Officially launching in September 2018 with one hero product, Uncle Bud’s Hemp & CBD has experienced unequivocal growth. In less than two years, the brand has grown to now include over 72 Hemp & CBD products powered by the proprietary formula, CANATREX™, retailed in more than 15,000 stores nationally, and the company has continued to outperform its Q1 and Q2 2020 projections amidst the coronavirus pandemic. As a leader in the Hemp and CBD space, Uncle Bud’s takes pride in being Made in America, GMO Free, Cruelty Free and Leaping Bunny Certified. The full range includes Hemp & CBD products for skincare, personal care, and even pet care – all retailing under $30.

Jane Fonda is a two-time Academy Award-winning actress (Best Actress in 1971 for Klute and in 1978 for Coming Home), author, activist, and fitness guru. Her career has spanned over 50 years, accumulating an extensive body of film work and crucial work on behalf of political causes such as women’s rights, Native Americans, and the environment. She is a three-time Golden Globe winner, Honorary Palme d’Or honoree, 2014 AFI Life Achievement Award winner, and the 2019 recipient of the Stanley Kubrick Excellence in Film Award as part of BAFTA’s Britannia Awards. Fonda will next be seen in the seventh and final season of Grace & Frankie and other past credits include the comedy Book Club for Paramount and the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts, which chronicles her life and activism. Currently, she is leading the charge on Fire Drill Fridays, a national movement to protest government inaction on climate change. In September, Fonda will release her book What Can I Do? My Path from Climate Despair to Action through Penguin Random House about the looming disaster of climate change and the tools we need to join her in protest.

Follow Jane Fonda: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Follow Uncle Bud’s Hemp & CBD: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

World Oceans Day Event

In recognition of World Oceans Day, the TerraCycle Thai Foundation announced that it participated in the “Innovation for Sustainable Ocean” event hosted by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) June 8 in Bangkok, Thailand at the request of the Thai government.

The Foundation installed a river plastic capture trap in the waterway of Khodpor public park in Rayong that’s designed to increase the amount of debris and marine plastics that are collected from Thai waterways, by intercepting it before it reaches and pollutes the ocean. Furthering the Foundation’s commitment, it has also agreed to sustainably recycle not only the waste collected through its own collection devices and efforts, but also the waste collected by all the other organizations participating in the project.

Please take a moment to review the release below and let me know if you have any questions, need more information or would like to schedule an interview to discuss the announcement. Interviews are available with:

• Tom Szaky, Chairman of the Board, TerraCycle Global Foundation

• Jon Banner, EVP Global Communications and President, The PepsiCo Foundation

Mira Lehr – High Water Mark

At the age of 85, Mira Lehr is hitting a new high water mark in her career with national critical acclaim and a passion for protecting the planet from climate Armageddon. Mira Lehr has been championing environmental action since 1969, decades before others jumped on the climate bandwagon. It was fifty-one years ago that Buckminster Fuller chose Lehr for his groundbreaking World Game project. This was during the first lunar landing and a year before the first Earth Day, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this week on April 22.

Now, on the 50th anniversary of her artistic turning point towards championing the environment, the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando has invited Mira Lehr to present a new exhibition with a fateful title: High Water Mark. Since the museum is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, a new series of online initiatives bring Mira’s art to audiences who are staying at home now because of social distancing.

➢ The Mennello Museum is also providing online tools for families while at home with their children during the pandemic, based on Mira Lehr’s exhibition. Parents can visit the museum’s social media channels: facebook.com/MennelloMuseum and instagram.com/mennellomuseum (#YourMennelloMoment).

➢ Lehr is sharing the museum’s virtual tours with her audiences at this new video-tour miralehr.com/high-water-mark-exhibition-videos and at this new gallery photo-tour miralehr.com/exhibition-phototour.

About the Artist

Lehr’s solo and group exhibitions number over 300. She is a graduate of Vassar College (1956) with a degree in Art History, under the mentorship of Linda Nochlin, the feminist art historian. She has been collected by major institutions across the U.S., including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art (Washington), the Getty Museum Research Center (Los Angeles), Perez Art Museum (Miami), and the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (NY).

Helsinki, Finland, 360 MAGAZINE

Helsinki Energy Challenge

Helsinki wants to offer a platform for new, sustainable and innovative solutions, and, on 27 February, the City opened the international Helsinki Energy Challenge. The competition seeks to find solutions, by means of which the city can be heated in a sustainable way without coal and with as little biomass as possible during the upcoming decades. The grand prize of the competition is one million euros. The City of Helsinki lives up to its global responsibility in the fight against climate change and is committed to sharing the results of the competition openly, in order to allow other cities to benefit from them in their own climate work. The role of the cities in the fight against the climate crisis is decisive.

Despite the world situation caused by the coronavirus, the City of Helsinki keeps investing heavily in its climate work. The climate crisis has not been cancelled and the City is still working its way towards a carbon neutral Helsinki. In order to get the best possible result out of the Helsinki Energy Challenge even in this changed situation, it has been decided that the registration phase is prolonged. The prolonged registration phase ends on 30 September 2020. The finalist teams invited to the second phase of the competition are announced in the beginning of November and the winner of the competition will be revealed in March 2021.

“Our competition got off to a great start at the end of February, and the reception has been overwhelmingly positive both in Finland and abroad. It is clear that we have started something unique. However, the changed world situation caused by the coronavirus comes at a difficult stage in respect to our competition. Innovators and potential competitors now need time to adapt to the new situation and prolonging the registration phase of the competition is necessary at this point. The competition process will remain otherwise unaltered. Despite the coronavirus, we need to stick to the climate goals. We still have to get rid of coal and we want to replace it with long-term sustainable solutions. We are fulfilling our responsibility in the fight against the global climate crisis and we will not let it wait until the coronavirus crisis has blown over. Both the Helsinki Energy Challenge and our other climate efforts continue at full strength”, notes Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.

During the prolonged registration phase of the Helsinki Energy Challenge, there will be additional webinars and other virtual events, during which the competitors can learn more about the competition, but also look for members to their competition team. Interested parties are encouraged to enter the competition as diversified and cross-disciplinary teams.

The new competition schedule and further information about the Helsinki Energy Challenge can be found HERE

(Photo courtesy of Jussi Hellsten)
 

2020 Global Change Award Winners

Five innovations that will transform the fashion industry awarded €1 million by H&M Foundation 

From lab-grown cotton and creating fabrics from protein DNA, to tracking sustainable fibers by using blockchain technology, wastewater separation and converting carbon dioxide into sustainable polyester. These are the five winning innovations of the 2020 Global Change Award, named the Nobel Prize of sustainable fashion, is the non-profit H&M Foundation‘s fifth annual innovation challenge. Now, more than ever, H&M Foundation wants to continue to support long-term development, innovation and entrepreneurship for a sustainable future. The goal is to identify early-stage, disruptive ideas that can make fashion more sustainable, and to scale them to transform the entire fashion industry.

“In these uncertain times, when large parts of the world have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, H&M Foundation thinks it’s even more important to find and encourage ideas that can contribute to a more sustainable future for us and generations to come. We are fully committed in supporting our Global Change Award winners of 2020 through our financial grant and Innovation Accelerator Program so that they can keep working and accelerate the development of their innovations and move the needle forward in sustainable fashion.”

“H&M Foundation continues to support entrepreneurs and innovators for long-term sustainability. Every year I am amazed by the ideas submitted to the Global Change Award. The innovations are in themselves challenging the way we think about fashion. We are moving away from the old, linear ways of thinking, and move faster towards a planet positive and sustainable model. The winning innovations will help our industry reinvent itself and hopefully also inspire even more great minds out there,” says Karl-Johan Persson, board member of H&M Foundation.

This year, the Global Change Award Expert Panel selected five winning innovations out of 5,893 entries from 175 countries, during the period August-October 2019.

The Global Change Award winners 2020:  

€300,000 – Incredible Cotton by GALY (US/Brazil).

Using biotechnology to create lab-grown cotton. See short film HERE.

€250,000 – Feature Fibres by Werewool (US).

Creating fabrics from protein DNA with natural colors, stretch, and other features. See short film HERE.

€150,000 – Zero Sludge by SeaChange Technologies (US).

Separating and cleaning wastewater to eliminate toxic sludge in landfills. See short film HERE.

€150,000 – Airwear by Fairbrics (France).

Converting greenhouse gas into sustainable polyester. See short film HERE.

In addition to the €1 million grant, H&M Foundation enrolls the winners in a one-year Innovation Accelerator Program. The program, run in cooperation with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, is designed to connect the winners with the fashion industry and speed up the process of bringing their innovations to the market.

“Winning the Global Change Award validates the recognition and belief in our vision as a company and open new doors for partnerships, technology and call to action for the entire industry. We are going to work hard to make our vision come true and we believe this award is one of the most important steps for this accomplishment”, says Luciano Bueno, Founder and CEO of GALY.

Since the start in 2015, the innovation challenge has seen over 20,000 entries from more than 200 countries and territories. During these five years, the Foundation has granted €5 million in 25 sustainable innovations, many of which have become global commercial products and services, working with some of the largest brands in fashion.

Donation to COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund 

In addition to the work related to Global Change Award, the H&M Foundation have donated USD 500,000 to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for World Health Organization (WHO) launched by United Nations Foundation. Learn more HERE.

About the Global Change Award

Global Change Award was initiated in 2015 by the non-profit H&M Foundation. By catalyzing early-stage innovations that can accelerate the shift from a linear to circular fashion industry, the aim is to protect the planet and our living conditions. Each year five winning teams share a grant of €1 million and get access to a one-year Innovation Accelerator Program provided by the H&M Foundation, in collaboration with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Neither H&M Foundation nor H&M Group takes any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations. The H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M Group. Its overall aim is to accelerate the progress needed to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Learn more at globalchangeaward.com.

Modest Carbon Tax

A recent MIT Sloan study found that a federal carbon price of $7 in 2020 could reduce emissions by the same amount as all of the flagship climate policies adopted by the Obama administration. In a paper released by the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR , Prof. Christopher Knittel models the carbon price needed to achieve projected emission reductions under Obama-era vehicle mileage standards, the Clean Power Plan, and a biofuel mandate.

“This shows the power of a price on carbon,” says Knittel, who is director of the CEEPR. “As little as a 7-cent price increase per gallon of gasoline and less than half a penny per kWh of electricity could get us the same climate benefits as the fragile, costly, and litigious regulations that represent President Obama’s climate legacy. And let’s not forget that all these regulations are under attack by the current administration.”

In his study, he found that matching the emissions reductions forecast under each regulation would not be enough to get the U.S. on a long-term path to decarbonation. However, a carbon tax that increases over time could reduce emissions by the same amount as all of those regulations combined.

“We’re still only looking at $22 per tonne in 2025 and $36 per tonne in 2030 if we include all major greenhouse gases,” explains Knittel. “If we get really serious about climate policy, the costs will only rise, and the cost-saving potential of carbon pricing will become even more important.”

As decision makers in the U.S. consider policy options to revitalize U.S. climate policy for 2020 and beyond, Knittel says that these results could be a political game changer. “This first effort to model the carbon tax equivalent of alternative climate regulations could help build a consensus around more cost-effective policies. Instead of trying to bring back earlier rules such as the Clean Power Plan, a new administration would do well to focus on one of the many carbon tax proposals introduced on Capitol Hill by both sides of the political aisle.”

He adds, “If we can make a given climate outcome more affordable, then we can also aim higher sooner. And we know that, under all scenarios, we have to drastically increase our efforts to meet the climate challenge.” Knittel is the author of “Diary of a Wimpy Carbon Tax: Carbon Taxes as Federal Climate Policy.” MIT Sloan School of Management is where smart, independent leaders come together to solve problems, create new organizations, and improve the world. Learn more at mitsloan.mit.edu.

UN Climate Report

To Tackle Climate Change We Need to Rethink Our Food System By Kathleen Rogers and Dr. Shenggen Fan

The way we produce, consume and discard food is no longer sustainable. That much is clear from the newly released UN climate change report  which warns that we must rethink how we produce our food and quickly to avoid the most devastating impacts of global food production, including massive deforestation, staggering biodiversity loss and accelerating  climate change. While it’s not often recognized, the food industry is an enormous driver of climate change, and our current global food system is pushing our natural world to the breaking point. At the press conference releasing the Special Report on Climate Change and Land, report co-chair Eduardo Calvo Buendía stated that “the food system as a whole which includes food production and processing, transport, retail consumption, loss and waste is currently responsible for up to a third of our global greenhouse gas emissions.”

In other words, while most of us have been focusing on the energy and transportation sectors in the climate change fight, we cannot ignore the role that our food production has on cutting emissions and curbing climate change. By addressing food waste and emissions from animal agriculture, we can start to tackle this problem. How do we do that?

Livestock production is a leading culprit driving deforestation, degrading our water quality and increasing air pollution. In fact, animal agriculture has such an enormous impact on the environment that if every American reduced their meat consumption by just 10 percent about 6 ounces per week we would save approximately 7.8 trillion gallons of water. That’s more than all the water in Lake Champlain.

We’d also save 49 billion pounds of carbon dioxide every year the equivalent of planting 1 billion carbon-absorbing trees. What’s more, to the injury from unsustainable food production, we add the insult of extraordinary levels of food waste: nearly one third of all food produced globally ends up in our garbage cans and then landfills. We are throwing away $1 trillion worth of food, or about half of Africa’s GDP, every single year. At our current rates, if food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest carbon emitter after the U.S. and China. 

To ensure global food security and sustainable food practices in an ever-growing world, we need to reexamine our food systems and take regional resources, such as land and water availability, as well as local economies and culture into account. To start, the United States and other developed countries must encourage food companies to produce more sustainable food, including more plant-based options, and educate consumers and retailers about healthy and sustainable diets. Leaders must create policies that ensure all communities and children have access to affordable fruits and vegetables. And we all can do our part to reduce food waste, whether it’s in our company cafeterias or our own refrigerators.

Technology also plays a part. Developed countries should support and incentivize emerging innovative technologies in plant-based foods, as well as carbon-neutral or low-carbon meat production.

Developing countries, on the other hand, face high levels of undernutrition, as well as limited access to healthy foods. Many nutrient-dense foods (such as fruits, vegetables and quality meats) are highly perishable, often making prices significantly higher than ultra-processed, nutrient-poor and calorie-dense foods. The high cost of nutrient-dense foods creates a significant barrier to healthy diets, as seen in urban Malawi and many other countries.

By promoting enhanced production of healthy and nutritious foods while also improving markets in low-income countries, we can lower prices and increase accessibility of healthy and sustainable diets. Politicians can also tackle systemic inequalities by redirecting agricultural subsidies to promote healthy foods, as well as investing in infrastructure like rural roads, electricity, storage and cooling chain.

Change must happen at every level if we want to build a better food system. International participation and resource-sharing can spread regional solutions across countries. And working for change at the ground level among individuals, communities, local and federal governments and private entities can help fight hunger and food inequality firsthand.

Yes, our food system is broken, but not irrevocably so. The challenges are enormous, but by understanding the problem and potential solutions, we can effect critical changes in the ways we produce, consume and dispose of food.