Five Champions of Clean Development
Our planet was already facing an emergency before the pandemic – these top individuals and businesses will not forget it.
Despite these challenging times, we must ensure we take this opportunity for reflection. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres reminded the planet not to forget the climate emergency, he said that taxpayers money “needs to be tied to achieving green jobs and sustainable growth”, as well as facing the impact of the pandemic.
Here, CleanTech News acknowledges five forces across the world who are driving for a carbon neutral future.
Cleanest Corporate: Nex Group
Nex Group, which focuses on electronic financial markets, has a ‘Giving Day’, in which the company gives away a full-days’ revenue. Approximately £2 million was donated in 2018 and one of the charities to have benefited from this move included the Blue Marine Foundation.
The charity is working to improve sustainable fishing across the world, support fishers and their communities, as well as providing education of marine life and finding answers to untenable fishing procedures. Blue Marine Foundation is currently working in the Indian Ocean to safeguard overfished yellowfin tuna, which is believed to be at risk of total collapse.
Cleanest policymaker: Marianne Kettunen
After studying Ecology, Marianne Kettunen rose to become the Head of Global Challenges in the Institute for European Environmental Policy.
For over 15 years, in various capacities, she has advised the European Union on their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet Kettunen says she is still asking herself every day, what is a good policy recommendation? “To make a good recommendation you also have to understand where the policy is at a given moment and where it’s going next.”
Cleanest startup: Freight Farms
Shipping containers are having a bit of a moment. Following the devastating earthquake in 2011, the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, used the containers to help newly-homeless businesses continue functioning. Now, besides transporting goods, indebted millennials are converting them into off-grid homes and now, farms.
Unlike traditional farms, Freight Farms farm vertically, storing the vegetables in high shelves. Most of the crops are leafy greens, such as kale and lettuce and as the walls are insulated, crops can continue to grow all year. “Freight Farms is helping anyone grow food anywhere in the world”, said vertical farmer, Andrew McCue.
Cleanest leader: Tshering Tobgay
“We are a small, under-developed country, doing our best to survive, but we are doing OK,” said the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Tshering Tobgay, in his TedTalk, “In fact… we are thriving.”
The video has over two million hits on YouTube and helped to raise the profile of the tiny Asian nation, as the only nation on earth to be carbon-negative.
Whilst the vastly bigger Amazon jungle remains the “lungs of the earth”, over 70% of Bhutan is covered in forest. Sandwiched in-between China and India, the landlocked nation is absorbing an estimated six million tons of carbon a year, while producing only 1.5 million tons.
A third of the size of its neighbour, Nepal, Bhutan also boasts a small population of 700,000 and a rising tourism industry.