VTT to Explore Use of Bio- and Waste-Based Oils for Ships, Power Plants

zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

In a three-year Business Finland BioFlex project, Finnish research services provider VTT and partners will assess how suitable fuel oils made from biomass and waste plastics are for ship diesel engines and power plants. 

As explained, the aim is to determine “the most ecologically and economically sustainable way to replace fossil fuels”.

The increase in wind and solar power requires load-following capacity to flexibly compensate for gaps in electricity production on windless and cloudy days, according to VTT.

Power plants that use fuels will continue to be part of energy systems, but there are differences in their flexibility. Conventional coal- or biomass-fired steam boilers are not capable of load changes that are as fast as those of natural gas-fired gas turbine power plants or the most flexible power plants of them all — internal-combustion engine power plants, VTT sa…

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University of Portsmouth supports marine environment’s safety

The UK-based University of Portsmouth launched a new research center, in order to enhance the safety of the world’s marine and freshwater environment. In fact, the Centre for Blue Governance (CBG) goals to develop and conduct multi-disciplinary research to inform blue governance policies globally.

Specifically, the Centre will focus on blue activities, while provide to its collaborators, research expertise at local, national and international levels with a strong emphasis on nature conservation and economic development.

The scale and importance of aquatic systems impacts biodiversity and ecosystem services and is critical to addressing crucial challenges in climate change, biodiversity loss, and safeguarding human health and well-being.

...said Professor Pierre Failler, Director of the Centre.

Moreover, CBG will pay attention to structures and processes that are designed to boost accountability, transparency, responsiveness, rule of law, stability, equit…

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Commercial fishing, plastic major part of environmental crisis

The environmental crisis is most challenging than ever, with the seas being warmer than at any point in the human history and life underwater is facing many threats. Thus, the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 “Life Under Water” establishes a wide-ranging goal to "conserve and sustainably use the world's oceans, seas and marine resources".

The severity of the environmental crisis is demonstrated by the plight of perhaps the single most important marine ecosystem: coral reefs.

Reefs play an important role for human communities and their global economy, providing food security for hundreds of millions of people and coastal protection for hundreds of millions more.

Coral reef collapse is directly linked to rising sea temperatures. Corals live close to their upper thermal limit and even modest temperature rises can disrupt their relationship with their algae lodger. This leads the often-kaleidoscopic coral to turn white as it dies, a process known as bleaching.…

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Cargill, Rainmaking partner for decarbonization program

Cargill, Rainmaking and more than 10 industry partners will join their forces to launch a program in Singapore, focused on the decarbonization issue. In fact, the program will be the first of its kind based in Asia and goals to develop new solutions related to CO2 emissions reduce.

By bringing together shipping industry leaders and tech innovation experts, the Singapore program will further boost the industry to be in line with the IMO's decarbonization targets.

We know that our industry faces a huge challenge to decarbonize emissions and drive digitalization. By connecting creative and talented thinkers with industry leaders at one of the world’s busiest ports and digital hubs, we will be able to convert transformational ideas into real opportunities.

....said Ying Ying Lim, APAC Managing Director for Cargill Ocean Transportation.

Through the program, startups and industry leaders will test and scale transformational technologies that can reduce CO2 emi…

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Ocean Innovation Challenge to boost UN SDGs

In light of the marine pollution, the climate change upon ocean ecosystems and the habital loss that the ocean is dealing with, the United Nations Development Program lauched the Ocean Innovation Challenge (OIC) in order to face those negative impacts and boost the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 14 (SDGs) targets.

In fact, the OIC is searching for initiatives that are transferable, sustainable and applicable, offering grants rating from $50.000 to $250.000.

With plastics and nutrients resulting ocean pollution, OIC will focus on the SDG.14.1 "Reduce Marine Pollution".

At a time when the world’s oceans and seas face unprecedented pressures, UNDP’s new Ocean Innovation Challenge will shine a light on innovative, entrepreneurial and creative approaches that can advance ocean and coastal restoration and protection. Supporting the blue economy in this way can help us achieve SDG 14— while spurring economic development and helping to reduce poverty and…

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UK and Southern Africa to enhance ocean economy

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) are collaborating with the Southern Africa and Islands Hydrographic Commission, in order to give a boost to the region's ocean economy, by establishing new regulations and legislation.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the global ocean economy, which involves activities ranging from shipping and fishing to renewables, is expected to reach $3 trillion dollars in 2030.

Through this collaboration, countries that line Southern Africa’s coastline will be supported.

Madagascar, which is situated on the Indian Ocean trade route that links Australia, Asia and the Middle East, ports and shipping lanes will experience an exponential increase in shipping traffic.

Moreover, the new legislation and regulations will include sharing information, tides, navigational warnings and observations, which will play a vital role in helping these countries advance…

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Blue Call to Action eyes stronger global ocean governance

After a two-day preparatory meeting in New York ahead of June’s UN Ocean Conference in Portugal, earlier in February, activists handed over what they termed “A Blue Call to Action” for safeguarding the ocean to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

With the ocean in deep crisis, members of civil society and philanthropic organisations are urging governments and corporations to take bold action to safeguard the ocean.

According to recent data, the world has at most 10 years to win the battle to stay below the 1.5°C threshold above pre-industrial levels, and avoid the existential risks to nature and people that crossing it would bring.

In this regard, The RISE UP Blue Call to Action is a joint call by civil society, fisherfolk, Indigenous peoples and philanthropic organisations to governments and corporations to join a call and agree to bold action to safeguard the ocean at the next UN Ocean Conference in Portugal from 2-6 June 2020.

The call sets out…

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Rubbish bins from recycled plastic spread across the UK

BinForGreenSeas announced that Swale Council will join its project. The organization will soon establish three bins along the Swale seafront, prompting visitors to dispose of their litter responsibly with our prominent and poignant message: throw marine life a lifeline.

The bins will be placed at Minster Beach, Leysdown Beach and Sheerness Beach. These are popular areas with tourists and locals alike, so we are delighted that Swale Council is being so proactive in taking a stand against marine littering. Our bins will help to promote positive action amongst visitors, helping to protect these glorious award-winning stretches of coastline.

Fazilette Khan, Founder of GreenSeas Trust, stated:

The bins are proving themselves in the fight to stop plastics entering the sea by changing the behaviour of beach goers. We know they will do same at the three new locations where they will be permanently sited


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Ørsted plans carbon neutral supply chain by 2040

Danish offshore wind company Ørsted revealed its target to become carbon neutral by 2025 and reach net-zero emissions across its entire supply chain by 2040, in line with the global ambitions set under the Paris Agreement.

On track to be carbon neutral in energy generation and operations by 2025, the company wants to cut energy trading and supply chain emissions in half by 2032 and then down to net-zero emissions by 2040.

It'll be challenging to reach a carbon neutral footprint by 2040, and it'll require significant innovation in all parts of our supply chain. Many of the green technologies to be used to decarbonise our supply chain exist but they're not yet cost competitive. With the 2040 target, we want to help drive the necessary innovation forward to mature the green technologies in the industries that supply to us,

...Henrik Poulsen, CEO of Ørsted says.

Firstly, to decarbonise the supply chain, Ørsted is launching a programme to engage its strategic…

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Watch: Grey whales migrating off California

A drone operator observed six grey whales off Newport Beach, California, during their annual migration, heading towards the warm lagoons in Baja California, Mexico.

Specifically, grey whales are known to have the longest migration of any mammal, travelling close to 20,000km from their feeding grounds in the Arctic to their calving grounds in Baja California. Yet, in June CBC Canada reported that dozens of grey whales were found dead along the West Coast, while some scientists believe the cause lies in the heated-up Arctic waters off Alaska.

The grey whale migration can usually be viewed in Southern California from late November into April.

Naturalist and photographer Kristin Campbell stated that

We had an awesome experience on our whale-watching boats today as six south-bound migrating grey whales appeared about five miles [8km] off the coast of Newport Harbour ... We noticed some of the whales rolling around, touching bellies and one whale proce…

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