Prince Charles launches Terra Carta; 700-megawatt capacity battery planned for NSW; Hawaii sunscreen ban begins

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

Prince Charles’ Magna Carta-style charter calls on business and industry to lead the fight against climate change.

Speaking at the One Planet Summit in Paris on Monday, HRH The Prince of Wales urged business and industry to sign up to a new set of guiding principles that put “nature, people and planet at the heart of global value creation”.

The name Terra Carta (Earth Charter) draw parallels with the Magna Carta, which – when published 800 years ago by King John of England – provided a practical solution to a political crisis, by establishing the principle that everybody, including the king, was subject to the law. In the foreword for the launch of Terra Carter, Prince Charles points out the importance of mainstreaming sustainability into all aspects of the global economy.

“If we consider the legacy of our generation, more than 800 years ago, Magna Carta inspired a belief in the fundamental rights and liberties of people. As we strive to imagine the next 800 years of human progress, the fundamental rights and value of nature must represent a step-change in our ‘future of industry’ and ‘future of economy’ approach,” he states.

The charter has already received support from the likes of BP, Bank of America, BlackRock, AstraZeneca, Heathrow Airport, Unilever and HSBC, and has committed to raising $10billion to invest in environmental sustainability initiatives.

“To build a productive and sustainable future, it is critical that we accelerate and mainstream sustainability into every aspect of our economy. To move forward, there must be a center of gravity to catalyze such a monumental effort, and to mobilize the resources and incentives required.” – HRH Prince Charles, Terra Carta Foreword.

Read more at Apple News, Sustainable Brands, Sustainable Markets, The Guardian, British Library.

Sustainability is going mainstream. What does that mean for businesses?

Plans for Australia’s largest battery will support NSW’s rapid transition to renewables, says energy provider.

Energy provider Origin Energy has revealed plans to build a giant 700-megawatt capacity battery at its ageing coal-fired power plant in Eraring, New South Wales.

The plant is Australia’s largest power station and Origin’s only coal-fired station. Building the mega-battery will allow the energy provider to use its existing infrastructure and network connections long after it has stopped burning coal to produce energy.

If built, the battery would be more than four times larger than the 150-megawatt Tesla battery in South Australia and would support Origin’s transition away from coal-fired power generation by 2032, which is also the year the Eraring coal-fired power plant is scheduled to be decommissioned.

The battery will support the NSW energy grid’s transition away from fossil fuels and the entry of new solar and wind projects in coming decades.

Read more at ABC News.

In a bid to protect its coral reef, Hawaii’s ban of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate has come into effect.

Sunscreens contain many ingredients, including organic and inorganic chemical filters that absorb the UV radiation to prevent it penetrating your skin. However, some of these UV filters can be greatly damaging the environment.

Studies found that UV filters used in sunscreens – such as oxybenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate, and ethylhexyl salicylate – are present in almost all water sources around the world. To make things worse, these filters are not easily removed by common wastewater treatment plant techniques, and oxybenzone has been implicated specifically as a possible contributor to coral reef bleaching.

Marine life is also impacted by these chemicals, with UV filters such as 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and octinoxate having been found in various species of fish worldwide, causing harmful consequences for the food chain. It’s not just oceans that are being affected either. Rivers and lakes and even drinking water have been found to have traces of toxic chemicals as a result of people washing off sunscreen in the shower. It’s estimated that 6,000 to 14,000 tons of sunscreen go into coral reef areas every year.

In 2018, Hawaii became the first US state to ban the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate due to the negative impact they have on the environment. Others have since followed suit, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Key West Florida and Palau. The Hawaiian law was scheduled to go into effect three years later, and that happened on New Year’s Day 2021, which means the sale of over-the-counter sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate is now prohibited.

Read more at Star Advertiser.

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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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