New Zealand got its first liberal Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, after nearly a decade under conservative rule. Ardern was sworn in last week, and she is already making fast moves to confront climate change.
“I don’t need to be influenced on climate change,” she said. “It will sit at the heart of what this government does.”
Overall, Ardern’s plan for New Zealand is to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the year 2050. To reach this goal, she plans to transition the country's power grid to 100 percent renewable energy, invest in regional train systems, and plant 100 million trees a year through the "Billion Trees Planting Program," among other things.
The seemingly ambitious plan to double the amount of trees planted every year is “absolutely achievable,” according to Ardern. She plans to use land not suitable for farming animals.
While the tree plan will require planting some 27,000 trees a day, some of Ardern's green targets will require only incremental changes. New Zealand already generates about 85 percent of its electricity from renewable sources including hydroelectric, geothermal and wind. Ardern plans to increase that to 100 percent by 2035, in part by putting solar panels on top of schools.
What can and can't be served at Paisley Park has been contested in the past, as Prince had very specific rules when he was alive. But on this issues, the museum and estate are standing strong.
Ikea announced multiple renewable targets that they plan to reach by 2030, which includes removing single-use plastic over the next few years, offering more home solar solutions, and to reduce their greenhouse gases by 80 percent compared to their levels in 2016.
Millions of soccer fans around the world will travel to Russia this summer to watch The World Cup. FIFA is planning to minimize the event’s carbon footprint by asking fans to join an online campaign to reduce CO2. Fans who sign the pledge are eligible to win two tickets to the final game.
China is slowing down local growth in the solar industry, which may not sound like progress, but the entire world benefits. Lower costs from Chinese manufacturers exporting their products will create higher rates of installation around the world.