💚 Revolutionizing Natural Carbon Capture 🦠

💚 Revolutionizing Natural Carbon Capture 🦠

By
Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:5 Minutes

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Stay impactful,

Happy Friday 👋

I’m all in for natural solutions to our man-made problems…

Think about climate change and CO2 emissions: did you know that agriculture accounts for about 12% of these?

Now, imagine a natural solution that can help reduce that number at the source—that’s what our main story today is all about!

Here are the impactful insights that I have for you today:

  • The enzyme that could revolutionize natural CO2 removal 🦠
  • The new grid rules that increase America’s wind and solar power ⚡
  • How the EU plans to slash truck emissions by 2040 🚚
  • And more… 💚
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🦠 How a New Enzyme Could Revolutionize Natural Carbon Removal in Agriculture

1️⃣ The big picture: A groundbreaking enzyme trial in the UK is set to dramatically speed up the natural process of removing CO2 from the atmosphere via rock weathering. By applying enzymes to basalt rock dust, this process captures atmospheric carbon dioxide more efficiently. When spread on agricultural land, this accelerates the capture of CO2, transforming it into stable carbonates in a fraction of the usual time.

2️⃣ Why is this good news: This innovative approach enhances the existing carbon removal method, where basalt rock dust reacts with CO2 in rainwater to form stable carbonates, effectively locking carbon in the soil. The enzyme-enhanced rock weathering process offers a significant improvement over traditional methods, which can take decades to lock away carbon. By reducing this timeframe to just a few years, this technology not only increases the efficiency of carbon sequestration but also has the potential to improve soil quality, reduce the need for fertilizers, and boost agricultural yields. This could make a substantial impact on global efforts to combat climate change and achieve net-zero emissions.

3️⃣ What’s next: The trial will see 30,000 tonnes of basalt rock dust spread across UK farmland this year, sourced from local mines. If the enzyme proves effective, this method could be scaled up globally, potentially capturing 6 to 40 million tonnes of CO2 annually in the UK alone. This method, if economically viable, could become a critical tool in global decarbonization efforts, aligning with strategies to achieve net-zero emissions, enhance carbon removal, and support sustainable agriculture worldwide.

Related: Check out all about what carbon capture and storage offsets are and how they work.

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📢 Three More Good News

New grid rules to increase America’s wind and solar power:

  • Federal regulators in the US have approved major changes to improve America’s electric grids. Grid operators will now be required to plan 20 years ahead and be mindful of future energy needs and extreme weather.
  • This decision is expected to help build more high-voltage power lines across the nation, which will make it easier to shift to renewable energy and reduce a reliance on fossil fuels.  These power lines can also prevent blackouts due to extreme weather and rising electricity demands.
  • Currently, these new rulings still require time before they take effect. Federal and state cooperation is crucial to speed up new projects and address any disputes.

🚚 How the EU plans to slash truck emissions by 2040:

  • The EU has approved a new law to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from trucks. By 2040, a large majority of the new trucks sold in the EU must be emissions-free, and therefore electric or hydrogen-powered.
  • Because most trucks and heavy-duty vehicles use diesel, they produce 25% of all of Europe’s road transport emissions. This new law will significantly decrease air pollution. Additionally, by 2030, 90% of new city buses must be emissions-free to avoid contributing to climate change.
  • The EU will need to monitor things closely to ensure these adjustments are made on time. By implementing this new ruling, the EU can ensure a smooth transition to a more sustainable and eco-friendly transportation system.

How waxworms can reduce plastic pollution:

  • In 2017, scientists have found that certain worms, called waxworms, can break down plastic thanks to the enzymes in their saliva.
  • These critical enzymes, named Ceres and Demeter, can break down the polyethylene in plastics on contact. These enzymes can be studied and possibly used to degrade and remove plastic waste on a large scale.
  • Today, researchers are collecting these enzymes and studying how they can sustainably be scaled up for breaking down and managing plastic around the world.
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📢 Even More Good News Headlines From This Week

🇺🇲 The US administration announces $6.6 billion investment in rooftop solar and community solar gardens

🎶 A new initiative recognizes nature as a Spotify artist to raise money for conservation

♻️ A new law approved to reduce the stream of plastic waste in the EU

🌎 World’s largest direct air capture plant goes online

🌊 A breakthrough in wave energy technology

🧊 How artificial glaciers can address water shortages

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🤝 Important Awareness Events at a Glance

🤗 Mental Health Awareness Week:

  • This event was founded in 2001 by the Mental Health Foundation to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health and help people prioritize and understand their own mental health. 
  • Today, the event is used to bring people together to focus on improving their mental health and raising awareness of mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression.

🏳️‍🌈 May 17, International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia:

  • International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia emphasizes the continued discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community worldwide. 
  • With a third of countries still actively outlawing homosexuality, it is imperative that people unite and stand in solidarity for the protection and justice of the LGBTQ+ community. 

💉 May 18, World AIDS Vaccine Day

  • World AIDS Vaccine Day reminds people of the urgency of creating a vaccine to prevent AIDS.
  • Nearly 1 million people die from AIDS a year. This day spreads awareness to how many people suffer from AIDS and advocates more funding for research into developing an AIDS vaccine.

Related: You can discover all the 158 most important awareness events (for the month, days, weeks) in our awareness calendar for May 2024!

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📜 These Days in History

🏫 May 17, 1954: Lawyer Thurgood Marshall scored a ground-breaking victory when the US Supreme Court declared that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.

🏳‍🌈 May 17, 2004: Massachusetts issued marriage licenses to gay couples. They became the first US state to legalize and accept same-sex marriages, setting up an example of acceptance and support for the LGBT+ community.

👨🏻 May 18, 1957: Ai Weiwei was born. In 2005, he began to speak up against censorship and the human rights abuses in China. He used various mediums of art to speak on human rights and freedom of expression through documentaries, sculptures, and contemporary art. Today, his work continues to reach people across the globe and serve as a form of protest and a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.

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💭 Quote of the Day

“We had better not enjoy the moment, but create the moment.”

― Ai Weiwei; Chinese artist, activist, author, and advocate of human rights and free speech

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Share the news with your friends to make a bigger positive impact on the world and society!

Stay impactful 💚

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