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With the end of the year 2022 approaching, it is important to remember the positive developments that humanity has driven during this time. Therefore, to have a positive outlook on sustainable achievements, it is necessary to learn what is around us. So what better way to close this year by being aware of the changes and innovations the world has made towards sustainability.
The challenges of climate change are becoming stronger and more irreversible, so nations have created different efforts to fight this phenomenon through international cooperation. Thanks to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in 2022, countries have started a conversation to reverse the effects of climate change through different strategies.
Although it is impossible to forget the negative side of the congress for several reasons such as Egypt is one of the African countries that emits more CO2, there was a large emission of greenhouse gases by the flights of more than 130 participants with private planes and considering the water poverty not only in the country but also in the region. This international forum aims for nations to respect the Paris Treaty. And thus be able to control the global temperature increase to no more than 1.5° by the end of this century. Undoubtedly, this was a conference that demonstrates the commitment and responsibility of the states towards the protection of the environment at an international level.
Coldplay, one of the world's most recognized bands, launched a new strategy to make their "Music of the Spheres" tour sustainable. Focusing on three main points: reducing carbon emissions, reinventing including the support of green energies and restoring by financing sustainable and natural projects with part of the money raised. The band has even teamed up with BMW to create a renewable battery that distributes energy at concerts and is rechargeable.
This has been a high-impact proposition not only for the band but also with the audience, who experience new ideas within a musical environment. By following in Coldplay's footsteps, the music industry can be inspired to drive change for the benefit of all. This will make the festivals and concerts of the future eco-friendly and low carbon.
For the first time, an international summit was held in Venice on the sustainable future of fashion. The Venice Fashion Forum brought together key professionals from the sector to develop an action plan that contributes to the construction of a strategic framework focused on Italian and world fashion.
Among the issues that were discussed during this forum, it is possible to rescue concepts that have the ability to transform the structure of the industry globally. The intersection of fashion with the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the UN, the sustainable challenges for emerging designers, the rise of new measures and regional perspectives for sustainable management, the opportunities in circular economy, the inheritance of values and ethics by different fashion houses, the crucial role of supply chains and the cultural approach to new sustainable initiatives are topics that will improve fashion's path towards sustainability.
This year has been one of the driest in several decades. Droughts around the world continue to increase, but fortunately there is already a solution that can combat this situation. Kenya has a planting system where they make crescent-shaped holes in the ground. These holes are placed in the opposite direction to when it rains, so instead of flowing in the form of a torrent, it is retained by these holes. Thus, they allow the soil to absorb the water slowly.
This incredible solution to green the planet has been promoted in several African and European countries. Its effectiveness has been proven, since one of its main advantages is that it retains 10 times more water than a traditional crop.
France passed, through its Senate, legislation to boost renewable energy. Now all large-scale parking lots (with capacity and space for more than 80 vehicles), especially those located in supermarkets and shopping malls, will have to install solar panels. They will have to install solar panels. This plan also aims at the creation of wind farms.
Clearly, it is a great national step towards a sustainable future that other countries could implement if appropriate. Parking lots are a space that can be found everywhere in the world and that is why it turns out to be such an original idea to reverse part of the environmental impact of cars. All this implemented within 3 to 5 years, which only indicates a bright road ahead for the French country.
6. Electronic car in 4 hours
The Retrofit technique has become more and more popular to upgrade vehicles to today's needs. It involves converting used and older diesel vehicles into electric cars. This can be applied to all types of cars but must be at least 5 years old to make the transition. Several components are required to achieve this such as a conversion kit, a battery pack, transmission-engine coupling plate, hardware, terminals, harnesses, brackets, electrical power wiring and electronic connection wiring, insulators, paint, blacksmithing and lamination, etc. Therefore it can be somewhat expensive.
But Retrofit has several advantages. First, it avoids the proliferation of fuel-based cars. Second, it is an economic saving over the purchase of a new electric car. And third, it is a way to give a second life to cars that are becoming obsolete and could probably disappear.
7. Renwable energy by gravity
What happens when there is not enough sun and air to create renewable energy. Well, there is already a solution that uses gravity as the main source. It is a Swedish-American project of the company Energy Vault, where a steel tower raises concrete blocks up to 120 meters to harness the energy produced by the grid that moves them. Basically, the gravitational force used to move them generates electricity.
By stacking and de-stacking the blocks, the company has found that between 1 and 20 MW of peak power can be produced, with an output duration of 15 minutes to 8 hours. This is a new idea that demonstrates the human capacity to leave fossil energy behind.
8. Global Plastics Treaty
When you think of plastic waste, you also think of the environmental impact and damage to the planet. But many do not consider the negative effects it brings to humans. Plastic is not only a pollutant but also a resource that affects human rights. There are people who, when exposed to areas or landfills full of plastic, lose their rights to a dignified life and even access to water.
Therefore, in the middle of this year, international negotiations began to create the Global Plastics Treaty under Human Rights Watch regulations. A document that will have the capacity in 2024 to cover the entire life cycle of plastics, from the extraction of fossil fuels for the production of plastic and its design as disposable items, to the generation of waste. This is an achievement for the simple fact of having started because for the first time the protection of people's health is being considered from an environmental point of view.
9. Women powerful in Iran
Women in Iran are currently living with great concern due to the country's restrictive policies on their dress. A girl named Mahsa (Jina) Amini, was killed in Tehran on September 16 by morality police for not wearing hijab according to the law. The law is about the compulsory wearing of the hijab in all public spaces.
As a reaction to this event the female sector of the country has risen up in protest to protect the fundamental rights of Iranian women (to stop wearing the hijab and cutting their hair in public). Something very important is that external perceptions or opinions should question the situation of Iranian women outside their religiosity. Basically, it should be questioned the exercise of political power and not the decision making of women within Islam.
10. Throwing large rocks into the sea
Protests have always been a way for people to expose wrongdoing and demand social change. Greenpeace, an organization that engages in environmental activism around the world. During this year, they carried out a campaign where they are in charge of throwing giant stones into the sea from their ships in a large part of the United Kingdom.
This was in order to fight against trawlers fishing that are destroying marine wildlife. It is a reality that marine biodiversity is dying and becoming extinct for a variety of reasons. And thanks to this new proposal from Greenpeace, the nets used in trawling will be stopped. Protecting reefs, corals and species.
This is an alarm for governments, which should take care of regulating and sanctioning the fishing industry accordingly in the future.
© Highlight Image: Juliana Malta via Unsplash