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A World First: High Seas Treaty Signed By 80 Governments

Our latest selection of articles from New Zealand and around the world on environmental management and sustainability. Click here to subscribe.


Welcome to another issue of SnippETS, where we again showcase a number of interesting developments in the sustainability and climate change space.


The global community is making strides toward protecting the planet's most vital ecosystems and resources, as evidenced by several groundbreaking initiatives. One such monumental achievement is the recent signing of the High Seas Treaty by 80 governments, a historic move that seeks to establish marine protected areas on the high seas and safeguard biodiversity. Also, in the state of Oklahoma, a remarkable transformation is underway as a result of water monitoring and the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices. Nearly 100 previously unhealthy streams have been restored, demonstrating the profound impact of community-led conservation efforts.


In Texas and beyond, renewable energy companies are finding innovative ways to merge agriculture with solar power generation through the concept of agrivoltaics. This integration not only aids in resolving land-use conflicts but also highlights the importance of sustainable practices in the energy sector. Meanwhile, as the demand for cleaner energy solutions escalates, virtual power plants are emerging as a promising answer to the challenges posed by retiring traditional power plants and the rapid expansion of electric vehicles and data centers. These interconnected networks offer flexibility and cleaner energy options, contributing to the reshaping of the electricity industry.


Furthermore, a fortunate discovery of a vast reservoir of white hydrogen in France has gathered global interest, potentially paving the way for a cleaner and more sustainable energy future. At the same time, nature-based solutions are gaining prominence, with initiatives such as dense micro-forests in urban areas and the restoration of coastal ecosystems being implemented worldwide. These efforts highlight the crucial role of nature in combating climate change and fostering ecosystem health.


In a testament to the power of individual actions, the 'Old Ladies Against Underwater Garbage' in Cape Cod exemplify how even small-scale efforts can make a significant impact in preserving the environment. Simultaneously, the growing trend of 'climate quitting' is reshaping the modern workforce, with individuals leaving corporate roles that do not align with their environmental values, thereby pressuring companies to prioritise sustainability. As the world comes together to address the pressing challenges of climate change and environmental degradation, these diverse initiatives signify a collective determination to build a more sustainable and resilient future for the planet.


Here is the full list of articles...


The open oceans cover about 70 percent of the planet and support every function of life on Earth, yet only one percent of the high seas is governed by rules that restrict human activity in the interests of protecting biodiversity. The historic High Seas Treaty, now open for signature by UN member states, creates a coordinated approach to establishing marine protected areas on the high seas, a critical step towards the global community’s target to protect at least 30 percent of the ocean by 2030. Read more…


Farmers in the state of Oklahoma are embracing regenerative agriculture practices to help clean up their waterways. Nearly 100 unhealthy streams have been restored, showing contaminated waterways can be turned around with the right support in place. One such example is the C.A.R.E. Program. Created in 2017 by the Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project and the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, the program uses federal funds to promote diversity and conservation among Oklahoma farmers. Read more…


People began to explore in earnest how to blend solar power generation and agriculture, known as agrivoltaics, 12 to 15 years ago as solar technology became less expensive. It can mean growing flowers, planting food crops around the solar panels or raising sheep cattle for meat. Agrivoltaics could help solar companies win over opponents who want to see the land’s former use maintained, and potentially create blended jobs for landowners in renewable energy and agriculture. Read more…



US electricity demand and traditional power plants that generate electricity from coal, natural gas or nuclear energy are retiring faster than new ones are being built. Most new supply is coming from wind and solar farms, whose output changes with the climatic conditions which creates supply and demand challenges. Virtual power plants are a way to address this problem and upend the traditional delineation between suppliers and consumers model, by embracing the fact that consumers can control their electricity demand. Read more…


Rystad Energy's analysis establishes battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) as environmentally superior to traditional diesel or gasoline cars, even in fossil fuel-dominated grids. Despite higher manufacturing emissions and reliance on fossil fuel-powered grids, BEVs emit half the CO2e throughout their lifespan globally. This holds true in China, the US, India, Germany, and France, where BEVs emit significantly less than ICE vehicles. As the power grid transitions to renewables, BEV emissions could drop by 86%. Over the next 20 years, a BEV in China is projected to emit 39 tonnes of CO2e, while an ICE vehicle emits nearly 85 tonnes. Read more…


Two scientists stumbled upon a significant discovery while investigating methane in northeastern France: a vast reservoir of white hydrogen, a clean-burning energy source. This find, potentially containing 6-250 million metric tons, has spurred global interest in leveraging the abundant element for various industries. With numerous startups exploring potential deposits worldwide, the emergence of white hydrogen as a climate-friendly energy solution seems imminent. However, challenges such as regulatory hurdles and production costs need to be addressed for effective commercialisation. Despite the obstacles, experts remain optimistic, envisioning a swift transition to harness this promising energy source. Read more…


At the upcoming COP28 conference, world leaders will have a chance to increase investment in nature-based solutions to perform important ecosystem functions. These include carbon sequestration, temperature regulation and providing clean air and water. Nature-based solutions are already being embraced worldwide, from natural seawalls in Fiji, to plans for large-scale mangrove planting in the UAE. These efforts showcase the positive impact of these solutions on both the climate and ecosystem health, along with co-benefits for communities. Read more…


One nature-based solution being implemented in Paris, France, is planting dense micro-forests in urban environments. The Miyawaki reforestation method focuses on planting native species in a dense and layered manner, to recreate richly fertile conditions of the natural primitive forests that once covered the planet. Initiatives like Boomforest have successfully transformed neglected urban spaces using this approach in Paris, fostering biodiversity, and cooling urban areas. This inclusive and adaptable technique could play a crucial role in the global effort to combat deforestation and climate change. Read more…


A group known as the ‘Old Ladies Against Underwater Garbage’ (OLUAG), embarks on underwater missions to clean Cape Cod's polluted ponds. Equipped with kayaks and snorkels, they retrieve a variety of objects. Despite occasional physical challenges, these women, aged 65 to 82, revel in the thrill of their meaningful efforts, feeling reinvigorated as they relive their carefree youth. Their dedication not only removes debris but also serves as a reminder that we can all make a difference no matter the age. Read more…


More workers are leaving companies that fail to align with their environmental values, sparking a global trend of 'climate quitting'. Notably, Steffen Krutzinna and Caroline Dennett abandoned their roles at Next Kraftwerke and Shell, respectively, over their employers' climate policies. As climate awareness grows, employees are pushing for genuine corporate sustainability efforts. While some criticise the negative impact of their departures, others believe staying and advocating for change within the organisation could be more effective. This shift is reshaping the modern workforce and pressuring companies to prioritise environmental responsibility. Read more…



This week we have the following innovation articles we hope you find interesting:


Hydrology Report - 9 November 2023



Electricity Price Index - 9 November 2023








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