Startups to conserve the planet
Breakthrough Energy Ventures is a foundation launched by Bill Gates in 2015. He has brought together more than 20 like-minded investors to invest in scientific discoveries that can provide the world with cheaper and more reliable energy sources. The ultimate goal is to bring new technologies to market without harmful emissions.
One of the Breakthrough Energy Ventures startups creating innovative solutions to save the planet is Arnergy. These are modular solar generators for Africa created by a company located in Africa. Basically, in a number of Saharan countries, the grid cannot be relied on, and sudden power outages are expected. To prevent this, the company is selling solar energy systems equipped with solar panels and batteries, which makes them solar generators. In a long perspective, it saves a lot of money since any institution can keep working if the power system fails.
Protecting Our Planet through Grants
The Bezos Earth Fund is a $10 billion commitment by Jeff Bezos allocated for scientists, activists, NGOs, and more to reach United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Right now, 44 grants for the sum of $443 million has been announced to support NGOs and help in restoring and protecting nature.
Also, $1 billion was granted to contribute to 30x30 commitment, manage and monitor sustained areas. The main focuses are on the Congo Basin and the tropical Andes full of diverse nature. Following actions will secure the right to millions of hectares of land and protect them from deforestation, building roads, and agriculture.
One more sensitive issue that was discussed during COP26 is restoring lost ground. As a repercussion $1 billion was granted to organisations that should crucially increase restoration by COP27. One of the campaigns kicked off in Africa with the hashtag FreetownTheTreeTown to uplift the number of planted trees and amplify the air quality.
Why do NGOs care about crypto mining?
Bitcoin does not have the best reputation among environmental activists because mining requires a lot of electricity, emitting around 40 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. According to Cambridge, depending on the value of bitcoins (the higher the price, the more miners), the global mining network uses 8 to 15 gigawatts of constant energy. New York uses only 6 gigawatts, while all of Belgium uses 10.
Crypto Climate Accord members are committed to decarbonising the crypto industry by 2030 and report on progress towards this zero-emissions goal using drive best practices. Luckily, now more American miners are using progressive green strategies (using solar and wind powers), which in themselves are worth a fortune but decry emission level.
The Paris Climate Agreement signatories in 2016 promised to do everything possible to stop global temperatures rise above 2°C from pre-industrial levels (when the world has not yet begun to burn fossil fuels actively). Activists demand this figure not exceed 1.5°C, as of this moment it reaches about 1.2°C.
As a result of such a temperature elevation expected:
- the North Pole ice cap can melt in just 15 years due to a 2°C rise after existence for at least 2.6 billion years;
- water heating, which will directly affect the weather and the occurrence of extreme weather events, such as rising ocean level;
- if from the surfaces evaporates more moisture, collects in the sky, and falls in the shower, then the number of floods will increase;
- loss of biodiversity, this threatens the existence of 5% of plant and animal species;
- heatwaves that can cause discomfort but can also be harmful to health, especially for children, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses.
As we can read, a small step on the thermometer’s scale is a severe problem for all humanity. We do not have time to compromise with the environment, which is deteriorating day by day. Even the effects of 1.5°C warming are already a serious threat. Our task is to do everything to prevent this. Nowadays, many billionaires fund organisations that take care of environmental justice, climate change actions, and clean energy development. So, we should systematically change policies: develop energy efficiency, abandon fossil fuels in energy and transport, move to more sustainable agriculture, preserve and restore ecosystems.
Read also: NGOs monthly news overview — November