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Balearic Islands chart green path with climate change law
16 February 2019 - Spain's Balearic Islands set a course for a greener future on Tuesday (12 February), approving a climate change law that commits the tourism hotspot to source all its energy from renewables by 2050. The law includes a phase-out of coal power produced at Es Murterar plant on the popular holiday island of Mallorca by 2025, starting in 2020. (more)

Cameras spot Kenya's rare black panther
15 February 2019 - Images of a rare African black leopard have been captured in Kenya, the first verifiable record of the animal for nearly 100 years, researchers have said. Using motion-sensitive cameras set up near water holes, researchers from San Diego Zoo Global and the Loisaba Conservancy captured video of the largely nocturnal cat after receiving reports of sightings from local pastoralists in Laikipia County in northern Kenya. (more)

How his grandmother's hummus recipe is providing relief to refugee children
15 February 2019 - Ever since he can remember, Anthony Brahimsha would visit his extended family in Aleppo, Syria, at least once a year. In 2012 Brahimsha, who was a New York-based investment banker at the time, began traveling to southern Turkey along the Syrian border ... After he returned home from a trip in 2014, Brahimsha made a decision: he would start a company that would support efforts to help [improve the health of] refugee children. And that company would sell a food that was close to his own heart -- hummus. (more)

Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP
14 February 2019 - Renewable energy sources will be the world's main source of power within two decades and are establishing a foothold in the global energy system faster than any fuel in history, according to [UK-based oil company] BP. While oil took almost 45 years to go from 1% of global energy to 10%, and gas took more than 50 years, renewables are expected to do so within 25 years in the report's central scenario. (more)

US: Putting the sun in Sunshine State? Florida's about-face on solar power
14 February 2019 - Despite being the Sunshine State, Florida has long lagged when it comes to tapping into the abundant rays overhead. But now that is changing as utility companies in the state have begun to recognize solar power as a vital component of a diverse energy future. Florida utilities' newfound embrace for solar power echoes trends seen across the country, as the renewable energy source has shifted from a fringe indulgence for wealthy environmentalists to becoming a conventional part of power production. (more)

Spain plans to close all nuclear plants by 2035
13 February 2019 - Spain aims to close all seven of its nuclear plants between 2025 and 2035 as part of plans to generate all the country's electricity from renewable sources by 2050. (more)

Researchers discover how sleep helps the body fight germs
12 February 2019 - It looks like your mother was right: when you've got a cold, sleep may be the best medicine. German researchers have discovered one way sleep improves the body's ability to fight off a cold. Sleep, it seems, strengthens the potency of certain immune cells by improving their chances of attaching to-and eventually destroying-cells infected with viruses. (more)

US: Los Angeles abandons new natural gas plants in favor of renewables
12 February 2019 - Los Angeles will abandon a plan to replace three aging gas power plants along its coast with newer natural gas technology and will instead invest in renewable energy as it seeks to move away from fossil fuels, the city's mayor said on Tuesday (12 February). (more)

Guatemala: The secret to a town's perfect potatoes? Its well-preserved forest.
11 February 2019 - Like the rest of Quetzaltenango, a department in southwestern Guatemala, Concepcion Chiquirichapa is known for the quality of its potatoes. The type of soil in western Guatemala is perfect for growing underground crops such as potatoes and other tubers, carrots, and radishes. The rise of potato agriculture there is due, in part, to the use of leaf litter as an organic fertilizer and a steady supply of high-quality water from the local forest, which the town began restoring and protecting four decades ago. (more)

Minister plans to quadruple organic farming in Luxembourg
11 February 2019 - Luxembourg's Minister of Agriculture, Romain Schneider, wants to quadruple the amount of land in Luxembourg, devoted to organic farming over the next seven years. Schneider says that the target by 2025, for organic farming, should increase from 4.6 percent now to 20 percent. (more)

Solar+saffron experiment could pave the path to more dual-use farms
11 February 2019 - Solar modules take a note from plant life, following a similar pattern of absorbing sunlight, processing it and producing energy (or in a plant's case, creating nutrients that are consumed and converted into energy). Now, solar companies are pairing the photo-cousins to explore better land use practices and the possible benefits of growing crops under or near solar panels. (more)

Five smart things honeybees can do
10 February 2019 - These insects' brains may be tiny, but they're better with numbers than many human children and they are past masters at communicating life skills Last week, Australian scientists announced that honeybees (Apis mellifera) can learn to add and subtract. (more)

India: Bengaluru airport installs rooftop solar power plant
8 February 2019 - Kempegowda International Airport operator Bangalore International Airport has installed a 3.35MW rooftop solar power plant to meet its growing energy needs. It is estimated that the rooftop solar power plant will generate approximately 4.7 million units of electricity annually. The solar power plant is also expected to reduce CO2 emission by 3,800 tonnes each year. (more)

Scientists say bees can do basic math
8 February 2019 - According to a study published this week in Science Advances, scientists at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have shown that honeybees can add and subtract if trained to do so.The study's authors say their findings suggest that an advanced understanding of numbers 'may be more accessible to nonhuman animals than previously suspected.' Previous studies have shown that bumblebees are capable of complex tasks. A 2016 study found that bees can learn and pass on skills to other bees. (more)

Australia will easily meet Paris climate accord target: study
7 February 2019 - Australia is on track to meet its carbon emissions target under the Paris Climate accord well before 2030, thanks to increasing growth in wind and solar power, a study has found, contradicting a report last month calling for sharper emissions cuts. Australia is adopting renewable energy faster per capita than the rest of the world, said a study published by Australian National University (ANU) researchers on Friday. (more)

Ghana is being heralded as the next big tourist destination. Here's why
7 February 2019 - The country recently unveiled a 15-year-long tourism plan that seeks to increase the annual number of tourists to Ghana from one million to eight million per year by 2027. Ghana's travel industry is projected to raise $8.3 billion a year by 2027, plus associated benefits, according to the plan. (more)

In land-scarce Southeast Asia, solar panels float on water
7 February 2019 - Solar power companies in Southeast Asia that are competing for land with agriculture, industry, and expanding populations have found an innovative alternative: placing floating panels in lakes, dams, reservoirs, and the sea. ... floating solar systems are growing quickly in Asia alongside those on the ground and on roofs, according to the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS). (more)

Switzerland: Basel to replace diesel bus fleet with electric vehicles
7 February 2019 - The Swiss city of Basel has announced plans to replace its fleet of 110 buses with electric models from the Netherlands. The aim is to run its entire bus network using environmentally clean vehicles by 2027. Basel is not the first Swiss city to introduce environmentally-friendly public transport systems. Geneva introduced 20 TOSA electric buses, manufactured by Swiss-Swedish company ABB, last year. (more)

US: First ever 'Organic Day' brings 90 farmers and advocates to Oregon capitol
7 February 2019 - For the first time, pioneering farmers and partners gathered in Salem (Oregon's capitol) on Wednesday, February 6, to educate, celebrate, and meet with lawmakers to underscore the important role organic plays in Oregon. In Oregon . . . there are 176,000 certified organic acres, and 91 percent of households purchase organic products. (more)

Self-generated energy soars in Spain as solar panels plunge in price
6 February 2019 - Solar power is paving the way for a rise in self-generated energy in Spain. Installed capacity grew for the second year running in 2018 with a 94 percent hike on 2017 figures -- and 90 percent of that was self-generated. (more)

In pictures: Lunar New Year welcomes the year of the pig
5 February 2019 - More than a billion people around the world have begun celebrating the Lunar New Year and the start of the Year of the Pig. In China that means millions of people have travelled to their hometowns, in the largest annual human migration. Also known as the Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year is celebrated by countries across Asia. The pig, one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, is believed to be a symbol of optimism, enthusiasm, and hard work. (more)

UK: Billionaire David Harding's £100m gift to Cambridge University
5 February 2019 - A hedge fund billionaire has donated [British Pounds] 100m to Cambridge University. The donation from David Harding, via his foundation, is the biggest single gift made to a university in the UK by a British philanthropist. The money will fund postgraduate scholarships for more than 100 PhD students and be invested in attracting students from 'under-represented groups'. (more)

Solar power sales help women avoid food insecurity in Yemen
4 February 2019 - Solar panels are providing women in Yemen access to energy and a way to escape famine conditions that continue to threaten the country. ... To tackle this pervasive food insecurity, the United Nations Development Programme is teaching women to run their own small businesses by generating energy with solar panels. The program provides women access to materials and training to start microbusinesses that can sell energy to power community services such as water and health systems. (more)

India: Kerala sets EV roadmap; targets 1 million electric vehicles by 2022
1 February 2019 - The government of India has made it very clear, that electric vehicles are the future and its one way of curbing pollution too. ... In a major boost to the electric vehicle market, the state government announced that it has set a target of having 1 million EVs by 2022. In his Budget Speech on Thursday, January 31, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said that by 2019-20, Kerala RTC buses will be replaced by electric buses. (more)

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