This week’s Current Climate, which every Saturday brings you the latest news about the business of sustainability. Sign up to get it in your inbox every week.
Earlier this week, the United Nations estimated that the world’s population hit 8 billion people. That’s just 11 years after the global population hit 7 billion. The Earth’s population hit 4 billion people in 1974–meaning it took less than 50 years for the population to double. That said, that rate of growth isn’t expected to continue. The U.N. estimates that the rate of growth has started to slow down, and is only expected to hit about 10.4 billion people by the end of the century. And that growth will be concentrated primarily in about 8 countries, while the rest of the world sees lower rates of childbirth coupled with aging populations. Thanks to advances in medicine, the proportion of the population aged over 65 will rise from about 10% now to 16% in the year 2050. Based on U.N. estimates, India is likely to surpass China as the world’s most populous country next year. The two countries combined collectively include about 2.8 billion people – over a third of the planet’s population.
Quick housekeeping note: there’ll be no edition of Current Climate next week. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!
The Big Read
Is Green Hydrogen The Fuel Of The Future? This CEO Is Betting On It
Plug Power’s long-time CEO is repositioning the fuel cell maker to be a producer of hydrogen fuel made from water and renewable power to cut climate-warming industrial carbon pollution from the steel, oil and agricultural industries.
Read more here.
Discoveries And Innovations
Rising global temperatures and the spread of airborne pollutants could worsen the symptoms of neurological diseases including dementia, strokes, Parkinson’s disease and ALS, researchers warned in a new report.
This week, 54 species of shark were granted increased international conservation protections, which places nearly all species of shark hunted for their fins under the protection of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora treaty.
A major seafood organization announced it will no longer recognize lobsters caught in the Gulf of Maine as sustainable, dealing a major blow to lobstermen amid an ongoing environmental battle over the protection of the endangered North Atlantic right whale.
Researchers at MIT have discovered a method that may pave the way for the practical production of solid-state batteries.
Sustainability Deals Of The Week
Bioplastic Foam: Cruz Foam, which has developed a bioplastic foam made from shrimp shells, announced that it’s secured an $18 million series A round.
Direct Air Capture: Carbon Engineering this week announced that it’s received “millions in investments” from Air Canada and Airbus to advance the company’s taking its direct air capture technology to industrial scale.
Solar Down South: First Solar announced earlier this week that it’s selected a location for its fourth manufacturing facility in Lawrence County, Alabama. The investment into the facility will total about $1.1 billion and is expected to being production in 2025.
Geothermal Power: GoogleX spinout company Dandelion Energy announced that it raised a $70 million Series B1 round to expand its geothermal energy business.
Headlines From COP27
In lieu of our usual “on the horizon” section, here we’re highlighting just a few stories from across Forbes related to this year’s climate change conference.
COP27: All Eyes Are On Belize, Set To Sell Carbon Credits Worth Up To $100 Million
‘Brazil Is Back’ Lula Tells COP27, In Vow To Protect Amazon Rainforest
From COP27, The Call Of A Green Blue Deal
Groundbreaking Nutrition-Climate Initiative Launched At COP27
China Maintains Plans For Massive Additional Coal Expansion
What Else We’re Reading This Week
Bureaucracy Is Blocking the Green Energy Revolution (Wired)
Schools of herring are filling a once-dead waterway (Popular Science)
Ultrathin organic solar cells could turn buildings into power generators (Science)
Green Transportation Update
There are a lot of new EV battery plants popping up around the U.S. but none, not even Tesla’s, produce the key components that make them work: cathodes and anodes. That’s about to change. Tesla cofounder JB Straubel says Redwood Materials, his Nevada startup, locked in a deal worth billions of dollars to provide cathodes and anode materials for lithium-ion batteries Panasonic will use at its new Kansas plant. Importantly, they’ll be made with some recycled materials Redwood generates from used batteries and electronics.
The Big Transportation Story
GM Targets EV Profitability By 2025
Challenges with supply chains and an incredibly slow production ramp-up of new electric vehicles continues but General Motors is still having a very good year financially and expects that to continue. During an investor day presentation in New York this week, CFO Paul Jacobson announced higher guidance for 2022 free cash flow and profits. GM also reconfirmed that it expects its lineup of electric vehicles to be profitable by 2025, in part based on reducing cell costs for lithium-ion batteries.
Read more here.
More Green Transportation News
EVs, Pickups Tank In Consumer Reports Reliability Rankings
Improving EV Charging Infrastructure For All: Takeaways From GreenBiz Group’s VERGE 22
Rymic’s Budget-Friendly Infinity 3 Adds Seven Options To The Single-Speed Urban Ebike Idea
Audi Of America Chief Reveals Aggressive EV Strategy, Auto Show Absence
Fiat 500e Returns To America In 2024
Feell The Fllow: Erik Buell Follows Up His Flluid Ebike With An Equally Unconventional Electric Motorcycle
LEGO Design For Hexagon Purus Class 8 Fuel Cell Truck Systems
Review: Aventon’s Pace 500 Step-Through Ebike Is Nothing Special, Which Is Its Greatest Strength
Ferrari Finances Trump Aston Martin’s, But Powerful Backers Can Sponsor Electric Fightback
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