Summary

As the Independence Day long weekend starts,  the (shortened) edition of Environmental Energy is light-hearted. Time to play and learn why Lego is spending millions to ditch oil-based plastic. And time to dream, as Solar Impulse, the solar-powered plane embarked on a world tour, is closing in on Hawaii after a record-breaking flight across the Pacific.

Quote of the day

“In a global perspective, we’re only a small player. We make 60 billion Lego bricks each year, but the bricks are quite small, and the total consumption of plastics is small. So we can’t solve it alone. Hopefully we can inspire others to do it as well.” 

Roar Trangbaek, press officer for Lego Group, in the Fast Company’s story Why Lego Is Spending Millions To Ditch Oil-Based Plastic 

Lead stories 

Solar Impulse close to Hawaii after breaking non-stop solo flight record 
Agence France-Presse  
A solar-powered plane on the riskiest leg of a round-the-globe attempt is closing in on Hawaii after a record-breaking flight which has tested its exhausted pilot to the limit in “difficult” conditions. 
http://jlne.ws/1FXfo1i 

Why Lego Is Spending Millions To Ditch Oil-Based Plastic 
Fast Company
Lego’s 57-year-old toy empire was built on plastic. But now the giant Danish toy company is investing millions into getting rid of it. 
http://jlne.ws/1Kzq9gx 

Battling climate fatigue, assessing victories at Aspen Ideas  
By Scott Gordon – Aspen Time
Average Americans are suffering from a severe case of “climate fatigue” because of all the dire predictions raining down on them about what rising temperatures will do to the planet. 
http://jlne.ws/1UfPxg5 

Events  

EMA Annual Meeting
October 28-30, 2015
Omni Parker House Hotel
Boston, MA 
http://bit.ly/192w3CR 

Carbon

EU carbon system needs more protection from market abuse: auditor 
By Nina Chestney – Reuters  
The European Union’s carbon market is still failing to be managed properly and more improvements are needed to protect it from abuse, the EU’s auditor said on Thursday. 
http://jlne.ws/1H4iwwe 

Natural gas/coal

State issues toughest-in-the-nation fracking rules
By Julie Cart – Los Angeles Times 
State officials on Wednesday formally adopted new rules governing hydraulic fracturing in California, setting in motion some of the toughest guidelines in the nation for the controversial oil extraction practice. 
http://jlne.ws/1GTJbZH 

RWE Surges After German Government Decides Against Coal Levy
By Tino Andresen and Brian Parkin – Bloomberg News
RWE AG, the utility whose coal-fired plants make it Europe’s largest carbon emitter, surged after Germany’s governing coalition agreed not to introduce a coal levy that had been discussed for months. 
http://jlne.ws/1H4iFA3

Power

California Overhaul of Power Bills Threatens Home Solar Growth
By Mark Chediak – Bloomberg News
California is poised to overhaul the way consumers pay for power in a move that could slow the growth of solar in the state. 
http://jlne.ws/1H4iNiY 

Abundance launches new solar and wind investment options
By James Phillips – BusinessGreen
Green crowd-funding specialist Abundance has added two new renewable energy developments to its online investment platform, allowing members of the public to invest as little as £5 in the projects. 
http://jlne.ws/1f7CMUJ 

Solar power still needs to get much cheaper. Are perovskites the answer? 
By Brad Plumer – Vox 
In the future, solar power won’t just come from bulky blue panels on rooftops. The solar panels of tomorrow will be transparent, lightweight, flexible, and ultra-efficient. 
http://jlne.ws/1NAXKWO 

Solar power set to provide record 15% of UK’s power 
By Arthur Neslen – The Guardian
Sunny weather and a recent surge in solar panel installations means that solar power could provide a record 15% of the UK’s electricity on Friday afternoon. 
http://jlne.ws/1C4YClN

Water

New study warns of dangerous climate change risks to the Earth’s oceans 
By Dana Nuccitelli – The Guardian  
A new paper just published in Science summarizes the projected impacts of climate change on the world’s oceans, and consequently on humans and our economy. 
http://jlne.ws/1LLQ5aP

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