Good news (for a change)

Issue 
Solar bike path near Amsterdam.

NETHERLANDS’ SOLAR BIKE PATHS

A Dutch project to turn the nation's bike paths into energy-generating solar roadways has just cleared its first major test.

SolaRoad's 70-metre test track near the town of Krommenie outside Amsterdam has generated more than 3000 kilowatt-hours in its first six months of operation, or 70kwh per square metre of solar road a year.

The roads are constructed of cheap, mass-produced solar panels that are protected with multiple layers of glass, silicon rubber and concrete before being covered with a coating that prevents slippage on the smooth upper surface.

Up to 20% of the Netherlands' roads could potentially be adapted into SolaRoads, which would amount to an additional 400 to 500km2 of energy-generating PV.

CANADA AIMS TO CUT EMISSIONS BY 30% BY 2030

Canada has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by almost one-third by 2030.

Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced the new target Canada will bring to the UN climate summit in December. In effect, Canada pledges to reduce its emissions from 726 megatons in 2013 to about 515 megatons by 2030. This represents a 29% cut.

To meet the new target, Canada "intends to develop" regulations to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. Aglukkaq said Canada will also introduce regulations on emissions from natural gas electrical plants, without specifying what the rules would include.

ECUADOR’S REFORESTATION DAY BREAKS RECORD

Ecuador has broken a Guinness World Record by mobilising more than 44,000 people to plant 647,250 trees across the country.

Minister of Environment Lorena Tapia said: “The aim of National Reforestation Day is to show Ecuador is committed to the protection of the environment. Behind it is also a governmental policy that has an objective of reforestation to recover 50,000 acres by 2017.”

The Ecuadoran government has actively combated deforestation since Rafael Correa became president in 2008. The country lost 92,000 acres annually to deforestation between 1990 and 2000, but this has almost halved, preserving over one million hectares of forest.

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