NSW commits to halving emissions by 2030; Spain bans sale of plastic-wrapped veg; Daintree returned to Indigenous owners

Your round-up of positive news for the planet

NSW commits to halving emissions by 2030

The NSW government has pledged to halve greenhouse gas pollution by 2030, increasing its previous target to reduce emissions by 35 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and bringing the state in line with Victoria, which has a 45 to 50 percent aspiration for 2030, and closer to South Australia at 50 percent by 2030.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the targets were part of the plan to get the state to net zero by 2050, which is expected to attract more than $37 billion in private-sector investment.

The announcement comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison faces escalating pressure to set a more ambitious national climate target for 2030. The PM has traditionally been, shall we say, slow when it comes to climate action, famously bringing a chunk of coal into the House of Representatives in 2017 and continuously failing to commit to net zero emissions by 2050.

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told the Guardian Australia that he expected the Morrison government had started a “massive crabwalk” on climate, referring to Morrison’s recent shift to saying the country would “preferably” reach net zero by 2050, while reportedly talking to some News Corp newspapers about backing that target before COP26.

As for the new targets set by NSW… we await, eager with anticipation, to discover the state government’s stellar strategy and plan of action for reaching them.

Spain bans the sale of fruit and vegetables in plastic wrapping from 2023

Finally realising that bananas come in their own natural packaging (hello, banana peel! We love you), Spain has announced the sale of plastic-wrapped fruit and veg will be prohibited in supermarkets and grocery stores from 2023 (which is only 15 months away. No, really. I know! Where does the time go?!). The new measures also encourage the purchase of loose, unpackaged produce and the use of non-bottled water.

The plastic-wrap ban will apply to all produce weighing less than 1.5kg, but will not apply to products that are “at risk of deteriorating when sold loose”, presumably to prevent food waste.

The government is working on measures to encourage retailers to sell fresh produce without packaging, including making the option available for customers to bring their own reusable containers, with hygiene conditions set out by individual stores.

Source: El Pais

The Daintree Rainforest has – finally – been returned to its Indigenous owners

In a historic handback ceremony in Far North Queensland, the world’s oldest living rainforest has been returned to its custodians – the Eastern Kuku Yalanji People.

160,213 hectares of country, which includes the 180 million year old UNESCO World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park, was handed back to the traditional owners after a historic deal was reached with the Queensland government.

“This is where we belong on country, on bubu — on land,” Yalanji traditional owner and Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation director Mary-Anne Port told the ABC. “All our ancestors called us back to home.

The deal will also see the Eastern Kuku Yalanji People have a say in the management of their land, in partnership with the Queensland government.

Read more on the ABC.

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Charli Ferrand Higgins

After a decade working for global and boutique PR and Marketing agencies in Sydney, with clients that included some of the biggest consumer brands in the world, Charli returned to her homeland of the UK in 2017 and decided the time had come to use her professional skills and experience for good. She has since split her time between supporting passionate, purpose-driven small and medium-sized businesses to grow through conscious content marketing, managing and editing the planet-positive content hub Earth Collective (weareearthcollective.com), and hosting the podcast Easy Being Green? Lessons in sustainable business for SMEs.

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