United Airlines’ sustainable fuel fund
United Airlines has launched an investment fund of more than $100 million to support startups focused on research and development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund is backed by launch partners like Air Canada, Boeing, JPMorgan Chase, Honeywell, and GE. It ties back to the International Air Transport Association’s 2050 net-zero target set in 2021. SAF costs twice as much as fossil fuel-based aviation fuel and is only produced in small quantities from feedstocks like manure and cooking oil. However, this is a positive development and investment that will help to develop the technology further and, in the future, make it more widely available.
The U.S. EV charging network expands
Good news for electric vehicle owners: the Biden administration has released a rule to expand and standardize the U.S. EV charging network, with an allocated budget of $7.5 billion. The rule will require those chargers to be assembled in the U.S. and for at least 55% of the cost to come from U.S.-made components by 2024. Companies that want access to the funds to help grow the EV charging network must standardize their charging systems and payment methods, including smartphone-friendly options.
IKEA is cutting out (some) dairy
Furniture and home goods retailer, IKEA, published its 2022 sustainability report, which included insight into how it would replace or remove dairy in its food products to meet its 2030 climate goals. The company has already increased its plant-based menu, with plant balls, dairy-free soft serve ice cream, and plant-based hot dogs, which have become increasingly popular in Germany, doubling sales from 2019 to 2022. IKEA also plans to open sustainable food halls in China, India, and the U.S. with 80% plant-based menus. The report also states that IKEA has reduced food waste by 50% in 2022 compared to 2017. For a global company with a massive reach, IKEA’s initiatives are excellent examples of change at scale.
Dangerous feedback loops could permanently shift the Earth’s climate
A recent study by international scientists identified 41 physical and biological climate feedback loops—cyclical chain reactions that happen when one change triggers further changes in that same process and then feeds back on itself (kind of like the butterfly effect).
The study found that 27 of these loops drive up global temperatures, seven dampen climate change, and another seven have undetermined effects. The authors of the study called for immediate and massive reductions in planet-warming emissions to limit the harm caused by climate change.
- Reuters. “United Airlines launches $100 mln sustainable fuel investment fund” https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/united-airlines-launches-100-mln-sustainable-fuel-investment-fund-2023-02-21/ Accessed February 23, 2023
- Reuters. “New Biden EV charger rules stress Made In America, force Tesla changes” https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/new-biden-ev-charger-rules-stress-made-america-force-tesla-changes-2023-02-15/ Accessed February 23, 2023
- IKEA Sustainability Report FY22 https://gbl-sc9u2-prd-cdn.azureedge.net/-/media/aboutikea/newsroom/publications/documents/ikea-sustainability-report-fy22.pdf Accessed February 23, 2023
- CNN “Nearly 30 dangerous feedback loops could permanently shift the Earth’s climate, scientists say” https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/17/world/climate-feedback-loops-tipping-points-arctic-ice-intl/index.html Accessed February 23, 2023