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South Australia commits A$150 million to renewable energy fund

LONDON: The government of South Australia has just announced it will invest A$150 million (US$120 million) in renewable energy projects as part of its Renewable Technology Fund. The pledge is the latest in a series of climate commitments and achievements from the state, which is a leader on climate action in Australia.

South Australia, which sits as The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance Asia-Pacific Co-Chair, is aiming to invest A$10 billion (US$8 billion) in low carbon projects and source half of its electricity from renewables by 2025 – a goal that was achieved last year, almost eight years ahead of schedule.

“The most telling statistic is that, since 1990, South Australia has cut emissions by 8% – yet expanded its economy by 70%,” remarks Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia, demonstrating how the clean economy drives innovation, jobs and prosperity.

“It is vital that jurisdictions take part in global networks such as The Climate Group’s States & Regions Allianceand sign the Under2 MOU” to become part of the Under2 Coalition, he adds. “It is vital because such endeavors involve sub-national governments, and sub-nationals are the ones doing some of the most valuable work today.”

Mars invests US$1 billion in sustainability

LONDONRE100 member and global confectionery producer Mars, Inc. has pledged to invest about US$1 billion to slash greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its supply chain by 67% by 2050 – and to be at the forefront of the new low carbon economy.

Unveiled today, the “Sustainable in a Generation Plan” builds on the company’s efforts which have already led to a 29% reduction of its emissions against 2007 levels. Mars wants to be fossil fuel free by 2040 in its own operations, and is increasing its renewable energy supply across its sites worldwide to reach this target.

“We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s good business,” said Grant Reid, CEO, Mars, commenting on the plan. “We expect to have a competitive advantage from a more resource efficient supply chain, and from ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is doing well.”

“We congratulate Mars on their leadership in delivering a cleaner, prosperous economy,” said Amy Davidsen, Executive Director – North America, The Climate Group. “Mars was one of the first members of RE100 and is at the forefront of an unstoppable market force to transition to 100% renewable energy.

“This announcement comes less than two weeks before the opening of Climate Week NYC, the collaborative space for businesses and policymakers to implement the Paris Agreement, in order to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius and avoid the most severe impacts of climate change.

London to double electric car charging network by end of 2018

LONDON: The number of electric vehicle (EV) charge points in London is set to double to 1,500 by the end of 2018, following the announcement of a US$5.83 million (£4.5 million) investment from the Mayor’s Office last week.

The news comes shortly after a ruling from the UK Government banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040.

Up to US$388,000 (£300,000) will be provided to 25 of London’s 32 boroughs, with councils responsible for selecting suitable charge points in their area. A portion of the investment will also support new innovative approaches such as using lamp posts as base power supply.

The funding is made available through the Go Ultra Low City Scheme led by the Greater London Authority and Transport for London (TfL), which aims to encourage more drivers to switch to EVs. The additional charge points will be particularly important in helping motorists without off-street parking make the switch to electromobility.

Sandra Roling, Head of Electric Vehicle Initiatives, The Climate Group, said: “The EV revolution is well and truly underway and we are seeing growing commitment and ambition globally to drive uptake.

Norway joins Under2 Coalition and commits to ambitious climate targets

NEW YORK: Norway has become the latest country to endorse the Under2 Coalition – the global pact of national and sub-national governments committed to ambitious climate targets – after a special signing ceremony in California on Wednesday.

The Coalition, for which The Climate Group acts as Secretariat, brings together cities, states and national governments committed to reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions toward net-zero by 2050 and supporting the Paris Climate Agreement.

Vidar HelgesenMinister of Climate and the Environment, Norway joined California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. at the ceremony in Sacramento. The Coalition is now endorsed by 16 countries.

Helgesen said: “Norway is very pleased to join the coalition of forward leaning states and countries in the Under2 Coalition, and is prepared to contribute financially and otherwise to the implementation of this important initiative.”

FCC Austria Abfall Service AG extends cooperation with ARA

From January 1st 2018, FCC Austria Abfall Service AG will extend the continuing cooperation with ARA in the field of collection and the recovery system (CRS) for packaging. The region Schwechat will be added to the current 8 regions in Austria where FCC already provides the separate collection of plastic and metal packaging.

We have succeeded in the tender for providing collection services, not just for our 8 current regions, but have also extended the cooperation with ARA to include the Region Schwechat as well. The tender is Austria-wide and encompasses almost all of the districts (approx 93). In addition to economic criteria; ecological criteria – such as the use of EURO VI vehicles – played a decisive role.

We have succeeded in this venture thanks to our long standing experience in resource management. FCC has cooperated with ARA in the field of packaging material collection for over 24 years, since 1993; the year that the separate collection of plastic and metal packaging in Austria was first introduced. To gain the new contract is proof that ARA is more than satisfied with the services we continue to provide.

Served regions:

  • Baden, Amstetten, Hartberg/Fürstenfeld, Weiz, Wolfsberg, Klagenfurt/Land, St. Veit an der Glan, Waidhofen an der Ybbs
  • NEW: Region Schwechat

Provided services:

  • Collection of plastic and metal packaging from households.
  • Provision of collection bags and containers (240 – 1,100 litres)

Contract data for all 9 Regions:

  • Collected amount:             13,000 tons per year
  • Number of inhabitants served:         685,000