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Exploring the Fourth Wave of Environmental Innovation
Header banner - Innovation and the Environment by EDF
August 4, 2020 
As COVID-19 continues to erode the health and well-being of the United States, the question of how to rebuild our economy is being debated from Congress to boardrooms to kitchen tables across the country. One key opportunity: electrifying trucks and buses to drive a range of economic, health and environmental benefits. Transportation is the largest source of climate pollution in the U.S., and the industry is well positioned for rapid change. While there are challenges with EVs at scale, such as added strain on power grids, promising solutions exist.
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Lyft commits to becoming a 100% EV platform by 2030
Why it matters: This ambitious goal can motivate others to drive change in the transportation sector. Lyft has also committed to using its political power to support protective pollution standards. As EDF’s Elizabeth Sturcken notes, “The most powerful tool that a company has to fight climate change is its political influence.”
 
IEA notes critical need to rapidly accelerate clean energy innovation (via CNN)
Why it matters: The International Energy Agency, a leading voice in the global energy dialogue, stressed that achieving net-zero climate goals requires more investment in emissions reductions technology. It’s worth repeating: Negative emissions tech is compelling, but still way too expensive. While it should be researched and developed, job number one is an aggressive effort to reduce greenhouse gasses.

We should treat data as a natural resource (via the World Economic Forum)
Why it matters: Data extraction requires vast amounts of energy, accounting for nearly 10% of global energy consumption, according to researchers at the National University of Ireland. The world is generating data at an explosive rate, and much of it quickly becomes useless. Mismanagement of this extraneous data can lead to so-called 'data landfills,’ mountains of data that waste energy. 
 
WATCH: How blockchain could save tuna populations from collapse
Why it matters: How your fish gets from the sea to your plate has significant implications. We have the means to ensure that all fish are ethically caught and that no illegal or unreported products reach the market. This four-minute video, a collaboration between the World Economic Forum and World Wildlife Fund, illustrates the possibilities blockchain tech affords.

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I look forward to sharing more news from the frontiers of environmental innovation. Please send me your thoughts and suggestions at innovation@edf.org.

Fred
 

Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn, and join the Fourth Wave of environmental innovation conversation on Medium.

 


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