Great Sustainability News November 14th

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Did you know that sharing an experience and being part of a community reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) and increases dopamine (the feel-good hormone)?

Having a positive impact and doing positive things is what the Play It Green community is all about and sharing good news creates even more positivity.

With that in mind, here are three super positive stories that highlight how people and businesses are creating change that will lead to a better future.

3 step solution - Reduce Repair Regive

All Barcelona Students To Be Taught Climate Education

The University of Barcelona has set up and will run a ‘climate crisis’ course after the University agreed to do so following negotiations with a Spanish climate activist group.

All 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students will be required to attend the course starting in the academic year 2024, which is regarded to be a first for the world.

Additionally, it will create a training programme on environmental issues for its 6,000 academic staff members.

Federico Demaria, an economics professor at the institution and one of 200 people who supported the students’ requests, said, “To recognise that we all have to study this marks a change in the paradigm of university education.”

The course will not be ‘just another sustainable development course’.

It will combine the social, ecological and economic aspects which are all interrelated.

To discuss the course’s content, a committee of specialists and academics, many of whom were proposed by the activists, will meet.

Jofre Carnicer, a member of the International Panel on Climate Change, is among them.

Barcelona University is the world's first to mandate on climate training

In a statement, the university said that it was “totally dedicated” to eradicating the sources of the climate emergency and mitigating its effects.

This is a great first step to creating change, which must always start with education and hopefully, schools and universities around the world will take a leaf out of Barcelona’s book.

UK Plans Circular Fashion Ecosystem

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has outlined a plan to move the UK to the forefront of circular economies.

The Institute for Positive Fashion (IPF), founded in 2020 to help members become more sustainable and future-proof the fashion sector, describes its vision for Circular Fashion Ecosystems in a new paper released last week.

The intention is to create circular fashion systems through workshops with industry stakeholders, information sharing and scaling of pilot projects, and collaboration with local governments to establish the required infrastructure.

Leeds along with London is seeing the Circular Economy rollout

This will begin in London and Leeds and scale circular fashion ventures to make “Doughnut Economics” a reality at the city level.

The model can then be used in additional UK cities and even more places worldwide.

This presents the BFC with a chance to address issues that are common to all of its members and to let businesses take the lead where the law is lagging.

Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the BFC said: “If we don’t adapt now, the government will have to come in harder with regulation. While we would like to see the industry lead, the government needs to play its part. The revolving door of ministers is a little frustrating in that sense because we have to keep briefing people instead of making progress.”

The IPF intends to roll out this work with more progressive brands first and then create case studies to convince the more ‘traditional’ brands of its merits.

With fast fashion being one of the world’s worst polluters, creating circularity within the industry is a must and these steps show that real change is on the way.

France Introduces Solar Legislation For Parking Lots

Last week, the Senate in France approved a new law which mandates that all parking lots with spaces for at least 80 vehicles, both existing and new, must be covered in solar panels, giving solar power a significant boost in France.

The new regulations are a part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s detailed plan to substantially invest in renewable energy, which aims to double the amount of power produced by land-based wind farms and increase solar energy production in the nation by a factor of 10.

Smaller parking structures with 80 to 400 spots will have five years from July 1, 2023, to comply with the new regulations.

Carparks with more than 400 spots have a shorter deadline: they must adhere to the new regulations within three years of this date, and solar panels must cover at least half of the parking lot’s surface area.

The government claims that this strategy, which focuses in particular on the vast parking lots around shopping malls and train stations, may produce up to 11 gigawatts, or the equivalent of 10 nuclear reactors, enough energy to power millions of households.

Other options include constructing large solar farms on open space adjacent to roads and railroads, as well as on agricultural fields when practical. According to Macron, any law that is passed must offer funding to ensure that the local communities immediately benefit from the transformation to renewable energy.

France could generate 11 Gigawatts of energy through new solar legislation

The switch to renewable energy is not a nice to have, but a must and steps like these show leadership and understanding and the focus on support for local communities is heartening to see.

Let’s hope that more and more governments take this stance.

That’s the news for this week.

New climate education in Spain, Circularity in fashion in the UK and an increase in renewable energy in France.

Three reasons to be cheerful and have a positive feeling for the future! Best of all, the three stories focus on community, education and positive change.

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