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Solving renewable storage with humble sand?

In Finland a small experimental project is starting to shape up as a possible solution to one of the renewables sector’s most intractable problems - both in reality and in the popular perception of conservative and skeptical populations. That is, how to provide consistent and reliable energy when the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine (amongst others). By enclosing a modest 100 tonnes of low grade “builder’s sand” enclosed in a silo and heating it to 600C with renewable sources the energy is retained and can be called on to produce electricity for about 100 homes by using heat exchange pipes. The immediate benefits are that it is a cheap, relatively low-tech alternative to the battery problem, with much lower negative impacts in the production and disposal phases and should therefore be able to be implemented at a global scale regardless of development level or financial position. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

UNITAR Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific graduation

On 26th November, after ten weeks of intense learning, 34 young nominees graduated the 2022 YAAP Programme run by the ITS Foundation in conjunction with UNITAR. Over the course, they were taken through the Social Enterprise Framework in conjunction with the Systems Work of Social Change (Bonnici & Rayner) and had expert impact from Brijesh Singh (Mumbai smart traffic), Henry Yang (Microsoft), Cameron van Breda (Hollo), David Pope (AVT), Victor Abuja (Ghan Energy Commission) and Prof Takeda Tomoko. The day was a pitch event where each Ambassador - along with a team they had put together independently - presented a solution to a problem they had identified in their own communities (in the context of the SDGs). The venue was provided by Microsoft at their Experience Centre in Cyberport, Hong Kong and the overseas participants dialled in to present from Japan, Singapore and Afghanistan. Three 2021 graduates, Anna Wei, Justin Cheng and Aiden Howe, joined Cameron van Breda and Ivan Won . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Towards a Lifecycle, Circular Approach to Combating Plastics Pollution (IISD) There are 8 years left to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but is it enough time? (The Conversation) The inconvenient truth of Herman Daly: There is no economy without environment (The Conversation) EU unveils plans to cut Europe’s plastic and packaging waste (The Guardian) From the Amazon to Australia, why is your money funding Earth’s destruction? (The Guardian) The floating solar panels that track the Sun (Future Planet) The High Carbon Cost of the Internet (green queen) Who should pay for loss and damage? Spoiler: not China (CHN) Magnetic material mops up microplastics in water (Science Daily) Airbus develops fuel-cell engine for hydrogen plane (Reuters) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Project Drawdown expands

Founded in 2014 by Author and Entrepreneur Paul Hawken in collaboration with over 200 researchers, Project Drawdown is one of the most influential research-backed databases of climate solutions on the planet. The project’s mission is to help the world reach ‘drawdown’ –  the point in time where levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to decline – as quickly and as safely as possible. Four world-class researchers—James Gerber, Kate Marvel, Amanda D. Smith, and Paul West—are joining Project Drawdown as inaugural members of a new science team. Their mission: to advance the science of how to effectively implement climate solutions; to advance the public discourse on climate solutions; and to collaborate with companies, funders, and organizations to accelerate action to quickly, safely, and equitably halt climate change. Check out earth.org for more . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Chantal Sun - 2022-23 ITSF YAC Member

I’m Chantal Sun, a 16-year old Year 10 student studying at Australian International School Hong Kong. I first got interested in sustainability last year in Year 9, where I competed in a Hong Kong inter-school competition, ‘Nature Works’, where we were required to pitch an idea that improved our schools' environmental practices. As a result, this led to the formation of our school's first sustainability group, which I am currently an active member of. Since then I have joined organizations surrounding social change as well as currently participating in the ITSF/UNITAR Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific Programme, all with the aim to create a long lasting impact in developing a sustainable world for future generations. I am mainly passionate around SDGs 1 (No Poverty), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 13 (Climate Action). As a member of the YAC, my position will open me up to a variety of opportunities and upscale my contribution, enabling my impact to reach . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

COP27 will be remembered as a failure – here’s what went wrong (The Conversation) Energy transitions: why countries respond differently to the same problem (The Conversation) Sustainable finance in Asia: Taxonomies How can taxonomies help accelerate green finance in Asia? (Eco-business) Online activism both a boon and a bane in fighting gender-based violence (Eco-business) How tide has turned on UK tidal stream energy as costs ebb and reliability flows (The Guardian) Vertically-Grown Indoor Wheat Breakthrough Holds Potential To Localize The Global Food System (green queen) ‘Plastics and Climate Change Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin’ (green queen) 5 Books To Kickstart Your Zero-Waste Lifestyle Journey (green queen) China on track to hit new clean & dirty power records in 2022 (Reuters) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Not only is this Friday, 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women but it is just the first of 16 days of activism under the theme UNiTE! Activism to End Violence against Women & Girls which culminates with the very appropriate International Human Rights Day on 10th December. Violence against women and girls is found in a range of forms including: intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide); sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment); human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation); female genital mutilation; and child marriage. While awareness has risen tremendously in recent years, and many previously immune offenders brought to justice, VAWG remains one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today. Sadly, the rise of . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Hope for the Amazon?

The surprise return to power in Brazil of previous president Lula da Silva has also seen a surprise reprieve for rainforest areas whose future looked doomed under the previous regime. At COP27, Lula said: “I would like to say to you all that Brazil is back. Brazil is back to resume its ties with the world and to once again fight hunger in the world. To cooperate once again with the poorest countries – above all Africa – to cooperate with technology transfers to build a better future for our peoples. “We are back. We are back to help build a peaceful world order based on dialogue and multilateralism. The world of today is not the same as the world in 1945.” As part of this, one of his first announcements was that Germany and Norway will reopen the Amazon fund. He called for COP30 to be held in the Amazon rainforest, and announced that he would be setting up a ministry for Indigenous people. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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