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  • Writer's pictureEveline Vouillemin

Positive Climate News - January 2024

In the spirit of celebrating the progress and innovations that contribute to a more sustainable future, I am thrilled to bring you our first collection of uplifting and positive climate news.

This month's stories showcase the remarkable efforts individuals, communities, and organisations are making to address the challenges of our changing climate around the world. It is a reminder of the power we hold as individuals and as a collective to shape a brighter, greener world for generations to come.

1. Thousands of trees planted in Devon to improve water quality

More than 40,000 saplings are being planted on land near eight river catchments in Devon. It is part of a long-running initiative, called Upstream Thinking, to improve water quality in the South West.

South West Water, which is leading the project, said the trees would reduce run-off into watercourses. The latest trees will be delivered to about 60 farms, taking the number of trees planted as part of the scheme across the region to 260,000.

Find out more on the BBC website.

2. Record growth in renewable energy capacity in 2023

Global renewable energy capacity grew by the fastest pace recorded in the last 20 years in 2023. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this could put the world within reach of meeting a key climate pledge agreed at the COP28 climate talks in November 2023 to triple renewable energy capacity by the end of the decade.

Record rates of growth across Europe, the US and Brazil have put renewables on track to overtake coal as the largest source of global electricity generation by early 2025, the IEA said. By 2028, it forecasts renewable energy sources will account for more than 42% of global electricity generation.

Find out more on the Guardian website.

3. Mossy Earth's project aiming to bring back Scotland's lost rainforest

Scotland possesses some of the richest examples of temperate rainforest in Europe. However, there are only thought to be around 30,000 hectares of woodland that have rainforest biodiversity left within the rainforest zone, an area that stretches along the west coast and is characterised by its wet climate. 

Watch the video below to find out about the project led by Mossy Earth to protect, expand and manage this declining habitat.

4. Energy from data centres could heat UK swimming pools

Up to 150 public swimming pools in the UK could be offered an innovative way to cut their energy bills by recycling heat from computer data processing centres after a £200m investment by Octopus Energy into a green tech firm, Deep Green.

The tech startup Deep Green has already piloted using energy from processing centres to heat swimming pools, with the concept trialled last year in Exmouth, Devon.

Processing data generates a lot of wasted heat, which Deep Green’s scheme aims to repurpose to provide free heat for energy-intensive organisations such as leisure centres, many of which have had to close or cut hours due to soaring bills in the cost of living crisis.

Find out more on the Guardian website.

5. Retiree travels on free bus pass to pick litter 

Ruth Major, 79, from Redruth, Cornwall, was inspired by a campaign in France to pick up one piece of litter a day and has since collected about 100,000 pieces of rubbish.

She is travelling across England picking up litter using her free bus pass travel and sharing her experience and photos of her litter-picking adventures on social media. "I don't know how many people I've influenced, but even if I've influenced one person it makes a difference," she said. "There's millions of people in this country. If we all did a bit, we'd make a massive difference."

Find out more on the BBC website.

By Eveline Vouillemin ©

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