Collage of images including a power station, a Bitcoin and wind turbines.

Green Tech Briefing: 13th November

Nov 13, 2017 - 2min read



It’s Monday, which can only mean one thing – Tonik’s managing director, Chris Russell, picks out his top five sustainability news stories from the past week.

Eco-friendly bitcoin

Bram Cohen, creator of the ubiquitous peer-to-peer file transfer protocol BitTorrent, has just started a new company called Chia Network. Chia’s aim is to solve the electricity-burning problems that bitcoin presents: a bitcoin transaction wastes enough electricity to power a home for a week. Cohen’s cryptocurrency aims to save electricity by harnessing the cheap and plentiful unused storage space on hard drives to verify its blockchain.

Health perks of reducing emissions could offset costs

New research suggests that a significant portion of the costs of implementing emission-mitigating policies could be offset by the health benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These benefits supposedly accumulate more quickly than the direct benefits, but are often overlooked by estimates of mitigation policy costs.

Germany’s green pledge disappointment leads to demos

Germany’s failure to live up to its green pledges has led to frustrated activists demonstrating at the Hambach opencast mine. With a diameter spanning 85 kilometres and reaching depths of 400m, the mine is the biggest hole in Europe and one of the biggest single sources of carbon on the continent. Protesters are taking action against the government’s slow progress by engaging in direct action campaigns against the fossil fuel industry.

The EV race speeds up

Electric car production in the EU was boosted last week as regulators sought stricter emissions. The proposed 30% reduction in CO2 discharged from cars provides incentives for auto manufacturers to shift to EVs. But it wasn’t US-owned Tesla that inspired this action, it’s China – as the Asian country already boasts 400 types of electric vehicles, whereas Europe only has six.

7 megatrends in sustainability

Some much needed energy optimism from The Guardian’s environment editor, Damian Carrington, as he looks at the eco-friendly megatrends from lab-grown meat to plunging production costs for solar, which will help in reversing the effects of global warming.

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