When it comes to the climate crisis we seem to be bombarded with news on just how bad things are. Whether it’s in a national news programme or all over Twitter, it seems almost inescapable and can lead to eco-anxiety and the feeling that there’s nothing we can do. But there are good new stories that are easily missed, and here are 3 from the last week!
New Welsh Agriculture Bill!
After leaving the European Union (EU), a new agriculture bill that would replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) needed to be produced. Whilst that’s stalled in the UK as a whole, Wales has pushed ahead with a new Act that will not only provide the farmers an updated payment scheme, but will also move from prioritising intense production to environmental protections and sustainable farming.
Water and soil conservation and restoration, natural creation and conservation, and carbon storage are all going to play a larger role in any payments to farmers. The benefits of this will lead to greater biodiversity, carbon sequestration and a route to helping Wales and the wider UK achieve its net-zero targets!
Research by Carbon Tracker found that the lack of storage infrastructure in the UK means we are losing the equivalent amount of electricity that could power more than one million homes. Maximising the consumption of that electricity will have a huge impact on the demand for fossil fuels across the country!
Octopus Energy, one of the leaders in renewable energy supply to homes around the country, is working with UK Power Networks to provide free electricity to consumers when generation from wind and solar sources is high. By giving consumers the benefit of these ‘power-ups’, less electricity generated is wasted due to lack of storage. Consumers will also get a notification when they are able to power their homes for free.
Tackling Rail Construction and Demolition Waste!
The development of zero-waste metrics that the rail industry can work towards is a huge step forward in helping the construction industry reduce the amount of waste it produces and build in circularity to an industry that has been resistant to change. Here in the UK, 62% of all waste produced by weight comes from construction and demolition, and whilst the rail industry is just a portion of that, any improvements that can be made will be beneficial in reducing that!
The zero-waste metrics will have a wide-ranging scope covering assets, infrastructure and day-to-day operations, from major operations to daily waste. The metrics will also cover varying locations that would include train stations and depots. They’re also planning ahead and leaving opportunities open to go further, considering material efficiency and the use of critical materials and minerals, like rare earth minerals commonly used in batteries.