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October 20, 2021

Faster, more intense, with more devastating impacts: New IPCC report lays out the scientific basis of the climate emergency

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis, which brings together the most recent advances in climate science to outline the current state of climate change. The results are grave, as was explored in a recent ICLEI Talk Of the Cities piece, written by Dana Vigran of ICLEI’s World Secretariat and summarised below.
The opening line of the report’s Summary for Policymakers reads: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.”
The report, which was approved by 195 national governments, shows the rapid human-induced change that is occurring in our climate. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is the highest it has been in 2 million years, sea level rise is at its fastest in 3000 years and arctic sea ice is at its lowest levels in at least 1000 years.
“The IPCC report shows how much human behaviour has impacted our climate, not only putting our future at risk, but also our presence. The current alarming state should bring our ambitions and actions to a higher level, leading true leaders around the world to stand up and change this course. Let us now use all our human capacity to change for the better,” said Martin Horn, Lord Mayor of Freiburg, President of ICLEI Europe and Member of the European Covenant of Mayors Board.
The report also outlines the control that human populations have to limit these effects. Only immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will limit warming to 1.5°C and prevent the most devastating impacts of climate change.
Cities already see climate impacts
We are already seeing the effects of human-induced climate change around the globe. Extreme weather events, from wildfires across Southern Europe to extreme flooding in Western Europe, show the real life consequences of a climate that has already warmed by 1.1°C since the mid-1800s.
The science shows continued warming will affect the climate in multiple ways. It will bring more intense rainfall and flooding in some regions, and increased drought, heat and wild-fires in others. Increased warming will amplify the melting of glaciers and ice sheets while sea level rise also increases.
In cities, these impacts may be amplified. According to the Summary for Policymakers, urbanisation increases heavy precipitation over cities, and coastal cities will continue to see exacerbated flooding both from sea level rise and “extreme rainfall/riverflow events”. Cities and urban centres are also warmer than surrounding areas – often due to lack of natural cooling influences such as water and vegetation, according to the IPCC fact sheet on urban areas.
The role of local and regional governments in holding the line on 1.5°C
“Local and regional governments need to be a part of immediate and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions if we are to have any chance of holding the line at 1.5°C and avoiding the most devastating impacts of climate change,” says ICLEI Secretary General Van Begin.
The European Green Deal seeks to ensure that Europe meets this goal, and becomes the first climate neutral continent by 2050. Local governments have a key role to play to ensure that we can meet this goal, as well as the critical calls that have come out of the IPCC report. Cities and regions across Europe are working to implement their own Local Green Deals, making use of the Mannheim Message and Basque Declaration to guide their work.
For more information on Local Green Deals, click here
To read the full article on which this news piece was based, click here

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category : Topics

October 15, 2021

World Ecolabel Day-14 October 2021

A global day to celebrate ecolabel products and services that protect you and the planet.

More than 50 countries around the world celebrate World Ecolabel Day on the second Thursday in October each year. This year, that's 14 October. It’s a day to focus on ecolabel products and services that are proven to be environmentally preferable and performance tested, so you are ensured the best products for your health and the health of the planet.

Consumers, companies, and communities worldwide will celebrate this event by discovering the ecolabels available in their own countries, buying and using third-party certified products and services, and sharing the good news with family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

This year as part of the the Global Ecolabelling Network's celebration, we will be launching our new international “Look Closer” ecolabelling campaign. This campaign is designed to educate procurement officials about avoiding greenwashing and to help them insist on products and services with life cycle-based ecolabels. Make sure to bookmark this page and follow us on social media to see interesting information and fun activities leading up the launch of the “Look Closer” video and landing page on 14 October.

Use these hashtags to talk about World Ecolabel Day. Spread the word and be sure to follow your local ecolabel so that you can tweet and post content often!

#WorldEcolabelDay #ChooseEcolabels #CertifiedGreenEcolabel #Type1Ecolabel #Ecolabels #LifeCycleBasedEcolabels

Learn more at:https://www.globalecolabelling.net/world-ecolabel-day-2/world-ecolabel-day/

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category : Topics

October 11, 2021

[LEISURE: FASHION] How Oxwash Raised $7 Million To Transform The Way We Clean Clothes

What happens when you combine a former NASA scientist and British engineering, you ask? In Oxwash’s case, a solid £5.2 million ($7 million) investment—and growing. The company was founded in 2018, when co-founder and ex-NASA scientist Dr Kyle Grant was completing his Synthetic Biology PhD at the University of Oxford. Perpetually frustrated with broken washing machines on campus, he joined forces with by Oxford engineer Tom de Wilton and—armed with a Deliveroo backpack spray-painted blue—the duo began collecting and washing clothes for fellow students. Things quickly snowballed and, as interest grew, it became the UK’s fastest-growing on-demand laundry business. With a difference. The model is fairly simple, you see; customers place an order online, choose a collection and drop off time and location, and Oxwash collects, washes and delivers, all in house. It’s the actual washing process that made it investable.
“We knew being just another laundry app wouldn’t cut it,” says CEO Dr Kyle Grant. “Developing a model that was hyper local, carbon neutral and tech enabled—that reversed the sector’s adverse impact on the planet rather than adding to it—was fundamental.”
Global laundry usage releases a seismic 14,000 tons of microfibers into the oceans each year—meaning a third of all plastic found in the ocean are microfibers from clothes—while water wastage and toxic solvents only add to the problem.
So Oxwash got to work, utilizing technology typically found in space and hospital sterilization, to tackle each problem individually.
“A typical wash cycle uses around 10 litres of water per kg washed,” says Grant. “We can reduce this by saving up to 32litres on a standard 8kg wash through our water filtration and reclamation techniques.”
Oxwash’s proprietary microfiber filtration technology also removes more than 95 percent of fibres shed during washing, preventing plastic pollution from reaching waterways and drinking water.
“By installing filtration technology in our machines, we prevent over 1 million plastic microfibres from entering our water systems per each KG we wash.”
Additionally, Oxwash’s process kills bacteria through a three stage cycle (ozone disinfection, chemical sterilisation and thermal decontamination) so advanced it reduces 99.99999% of infections—100 times better than the NHS standard.
But they don’t stop there.
“Most laundries will use whichever detergent is cheapest and usually has high levels of toxicity, such as PERC,” he says. “We use biodegradable detergents and emulsifiers that are automatically dosed depending on the weight of the wash.”
This prevents up to 25% excess chemistry being used in each wash, much to the appreciation of early and new eco-conscious investors.
By May 2020 Oxwash had raised £2 million ($2.7 million) from a cohort of coveted investors including: FMCG giant Reckitt, TrueSight Ventures, Founders Factory and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.
All of whom will undoubtedly be delighted with the company’s rapid growth (15% month-on-month) since the start of the pandemic.
Oxwash now boasts more than 8000 independent customers, alongside corporate clients such as the Marriott Hotel Group, Hurr Collective and the NHS.
And with the global “green cleaning” market set to reach $11.6 billion by 2029, Grant has left no sustainable rock unturned.
“By washing clothes at ambient temperatures and using ozone disinfection to remove microorganisms by oxidation rather than using heat, we can reduce carbon emissions by 45%,” he continues, noting that the company only uses zero emission e-cargo bikes that are able to manoeuvre around traffic, rather than contribute to it.
Compared to traditional laundry collection/delivery services, each bike saves 6,700 KG of CO2 per year.
With the goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions across all of their laundry and dry cleaning services, Oxwash received another $3 million from purpose-led investors this June. The round was backed by former Pinterest and Beyond Meat backers, Future Positive Capital (NYC/SF); Holly Branson, Chief Purpose & Vision Officer Virgin Group; Sam Branson, Filmmaker, Musician & Philanthropist; Pentland Group (Berghaus and Speedo); Leon Lewis (River Island); the founder of Indeed.com, Paul Forster, and more.
The new capital will be used to expand the team and invest in proprietary technology that will power the business’ logistics and cutting-edge washing facilities (known as lagoons) to further improve services, both for consumers and the environment.
“During the pandemic Oxwash has doubled down on its technology to bring simple, sustainable laundry to everyone,” adds Biz Stone. “I’ve been incredibly impressed by their speed of operational execution and I’m confident they are going to scale rapidly post-pandemic!”

Learn more at:Forbes, 08 September 2021 By: Lela London.


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