Earth News|Collected: Your weekly round-up of good news for the planet

UK government invests in wind energy; Tasmanian Devil returns to the mainland for the first time in 3,000 years; Prince William and Sir David Attenborough launch £50million prize to save the planet.

Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky helped rewild the iconic Tasmanian Devil, and the video is pretty darn cute!

For the first time in 3,000 years, the Tasmanian Devil is back on mainland Australia.

A collaboration between Aussie Ark, Global Wildlife Conservation and WildArk saw the release of 11 Tasmanian Devils into a 300-hectare (1,000 acre) wildlife sanctuary in NSW, Australia. Actors Elsa Pataky and Chris Hemsworth, friends of WildArk, were on hand to help release some of the furry critters back into the forests they once called home, in the first of three planned reintroductions.

Australia has the world’s worst mammal extinction rate. Rewilding native species like the Tasmanian Devil has an incredibly positive impact on the wider eco-system, helping to regulate populations of possums and wallabies, pushing back invasive species like cats and foxes and allowing native small mammal species numbers to recover. These “small, but mighty eco-system engineers”, like quolls, potoroos and bandicoots, help to keep forests healthy, by mixing organic material into the soil as they forage, which enriches the earth. They also bury leaf litter, which reduces the build up of flammable material on the forest floor that otherwise would act as fuel for Australia’s devastating bushfires, which this year burned more than 72,000 square miles of forest and claimed the lives of at least 34 people and nearly 3 billion animals.

The released animals will be monitored via regular surveys, radio collars fitted with transmitters and camera traps, gathering important data that will inform future releases, including in Tasmania and elsewhere on the mainland, to continually refine the process.

Watch the *literal* little devils in the video below. If you’d like to support the project, head

Prince William and Sir David Attenborough will award 5 x £1 million prizes a year, for 10 years, to solutions that will save the planet.

In a bid to repair our planet within 10 years, the Earthshot Prize launched this week. Heralded as the most prestigious global environment prize in history, the Prize has been designed to incentivise change, turning the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism, by highlighting the ability of human ingenuity to bring about change, and inspiring collective action.

“We need to find solutions that enable us to live our lives and enjoy our lives, and not feel guilty and bad about some of the things we do.” Prince William

Rolling out over the next decade, the prize will provide at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest environmental problems by 2030. Awards ceremony will take place in different cities across the world each year between 2021 and 2030 to award five winners The Earthshot Prize. Five x £1 million (about AUD $1.8 million) prizes will be awarded each year, providing at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest environmental problems by 2030.

The Earthshot Prize Council will award The Earthshot Prize to winners whose evidence-based solutions make the most progress towards the five Earthshots, ultimately improving life for us all, and for generations to come. The five Earthshots are:

  1. Protect and restore nature
  2. Clean our air
  3. Revive our oceans
  4. Build a waste-free world
  5. Fix our climate

“The Earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet, or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve. People can achieve great things. The next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth.”
Prince William

UK PM vows to ‘build back greener’ by becoming world leader in clean wind energy with £160M investment

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has pledged £160 million (that’s about AUD $288 million) to boosting Britain’s off-shore wind energy capacity.

Wind energy in the UK currently meets about 10 per cent of the nation’s electricity demand, but these new plans aim to quadruple the current figure to 40 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. That’s about half of Britain’s electricity capacity today from all sources.

The announcement is part of the UK government’s commitment towards net zero emissions by 2050 and will create around 2,000 construction jobs rapidly, whilst enabling the sector to support up to 60,000 jobs directly and indirectly by 2030 in ports, factories and supply chains, manufacturing the next-generation of offshore wind turbines and delivering clean energy to the UK.

As well as supporting low-carbon supply chains, the UK government expects the move will create a ripple effect of employment and contracts to UK businesses, including smaller suppliers, as well as further investment from energy companies around the world.

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