Maximpact Blog

Refugee Olympic Athletes Play for Medals in Tokyo

Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini trains at The Olympic Training Center Hamburg / Schleswig-Holstein, the support and service facility for all Olympic athletes from this region of Germany. 2020 (Photo courtesy Yusra Mardini) Posted for media use on Instagram

For the second time in its history, a Refugee Olympic Athletes Team is competing at an Olympic Games. With members from 11 countries, including Syria, South Sudan, Iran and Afghanistan, this team does not march behind one country’s flag, and no national anthem is played for them.

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Climate-Safe World Means Millions of New Energy Jobs

Sun glints off one of the many solar panels atop the IRENA headquarters building in Masdar City, UAE. A 1,000 m2 solar photovoltaic rooftop system produces 305,000 kWh of electricity annually in addition to solar hot water. The renewable energy output of the building covers about 10 percent of the building's energy demand. 2015 (Photo courtesy IRENA) Posted for media use

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, July 19, 2021 (Maximpact.com News) – “We have no time. The window is closing and the pathway to a net-zero future is narrowing.” With these warning words, Francesco La Camera, who heads the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), opened his Foreword to IRENA’s latest analysis, “World Energy Transitions Outlook.”

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Decent Living for All Need Not Cost the Earth

Homeless people camping on the sidewalk in Denver, Colorado, June 3, 2021 (Photo by Daniel Moskowitz) Creative Commons license via Flickr)

LEEDS, UK, July 2, 2021 (Maximpact.com News) – Securing decent living standards for everyone on Earth while fighting climate breakdown will require fundamental economic changes, according to new research led by the UK’s University of Leeds.

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Reluctant to Migrate, Afghans Face Drought, Conflict, Covid

Hand pump in northern Afghanistan funded by ECHO, EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, was installed in 2011 to address the impact of an earthquake and floods in the district. It is the only access the community has to clean drinking water. July 12, 2012 (Photo by Malini Morzaria courtesy ECHO) Creative Commons license via Flickr

KABUL, Afghanistan, June 14, 2021 (Maximpact.com News) – “The sky has stopped raining on us, the earth has stopped growing grass for us, and eventually the government has also stopped helping us,” said Abdul Baqi, 67, who was displaced to Qala-e-Naw, in Afghanistan’s Badghis province during a previous drought in 2018-19. He fears what will happen to his family in the coming months.

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Industrial-Scale Renewable Energy on the Rise

Wind turbines in Luxembourg (Photo by M-in-Berlin) Creative Commons license via Flickr

The transition to renewable energy in support of sustainable development goals and climate action is picking up speed around the world. With new urgency, the International Energy Agency, IEA, is calling for an end to exploration for fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas.

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Recovery: Weak Economies Pay the Price of Informality

Nikom Saengchan, a home-based worker and bronze artisan in Bangkok, Thailand. 2020 (Photo by Pattarapon Virat for WIEGO) Posted for media use

In emerging market and developing economies, many workers and small firms operate informally, outside the legal and regulatory framework, and that could hold back the pandemic recovery in these economies unless governments adopt a comprehensive set of policies to address the drawbacks of the informal sector, concludes a new book by the World Bank Group.

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Recycled Polyester Challenge Draws Global Fashion Brands

Polyester yarn is often used in fabric blends. This yarn is 20 percent silk, 20 percent cotton and 60 percent polyester. (Photo courtesy Scheepjes Secret Garden) Posted for media use.

Competitive fashion industry executives from throughout the world convened by the UN Climate Change agency have reached a consensus. They agree that a concerted recycling effort across the sector could cut waste, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and put the fashion industry on track to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

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President Biden’s Ambitious Earth Day Climate Summit

President Joe Biden is hosting world leaders from countries large and small in a virtual global meeting on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. Photo date: February 25, 2021 (Photo courtesy National Governors Assn.) Creative Commons license via Flickr

President Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders to participate in a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate he is hosting today, Earth Day April 22, and on April 23. His goal – to inspire agreement among the global community of nations on how to address the planet’s rising temperature, which is causing extreme weather events, glacial melt, sea-level rise, drought and wildfires around the world.

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Living Through the Pandemic Stress Free: Here’s How

Young girl in France, saddened by the COVID-19 pandemic, wears a facemask to protect herself and others from the deadly virus. April 5, 2020 (Photo by Nik Anderson) Creative Commons license via Flickr

COVID-19 has caused changes to people’s wellbeing around the world ever since the World Health Organization declared the viral outbreak a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. As the virus surged and receded and surged again in country after country throughout 2020, prompting lockdowns, school and business closures, people around the world have reported changes in their physical activity levels, mental health, wellbeing, and eating habits.

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EU Project Teams Treat Waste Heat and Cold as Treasures

Waste-to-energy incinerator in Belvedere, London, UK. 2013 (Photo by Petras Gagilas) Creative Commons license via Flickr

Five European project teams revolutionizing waste heat and cold recovery and industrial energy cooperation have joined forces to create an Alliance for Energy Cooperation in European Industries. Initially, they intend to publish guidelines on how managers can boost energy efficiency, recover waste heat and cold, and encourage energy cooperation.

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Plant-centric Menus Offer Human & Planetary Health

Each year a bunch of heritage varieties of vegetables and fruits are grown in this backyard garden. July 31, 2010, Schiltern, Niederösterreich, Austria (Photo by Brigitte Rieser) Creative Commons license via Flickr

Designing and introducing children to sustainable school lunches that are climate friendly, nutritious, affordable and culturally appropriate – lunches they enjoy – does that sound impossible? Researchers at Stockholm-based Karolinska Institutet have done it. Their study shows a new lunch menu resulted in a 40 percent reduction in climate impact with no increase in cost or decrease in consumption.

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Invaluable: Waters Clean Enough to Drink

The Tiu Kelep waterfall in Indonesia feeds rivers and streams below, providing clean water from the foot of Mount Rinjani, an active volcano on the island of Lombok. April 2015 (Photo by Lando Mikael) Creative Commons license via Flickr

Clean drinkable water is rare and precious. Of the waters that cover 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, roughly 97 percent is the saltwater of the oceans; just three percent is freshwater. Of that, only 1.2 percent can be used as drinking water; the rest is locked up in glaciers, ice caps, and permafrost, or stored too far beneath the surface to be retrieved. Much of the accessible freshwater has become polluted.

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Rohinga Refugees Had So Little, Now They Have Less

Rohinga refugees from Myanmar watch as a giant blaze destroys thousands of shelters at the world's largest refugee camp in Cox's Bazaar. March 21, 2021 (Photo courtesy UNHCR) Posted for media use

Fire swept through a Rohinga refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar on Sunday leaving 15 refugees dead and more than 560 others injured. Bangladeshi authorities estimate that 400 people are still missing and 45,000 refugees lost their shelters and all their belongings in the devastating blaze.

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The Sprint to Harness Europe’s Offshore Winds

A wind farm offshore of Crosby Beach,Liverpool, Merseyside, England at sunset. June 18, 2017 (Photo by Tee Cee) Creative Commons license via Flickr

Europe invested a record amount in new offshore wind farms last year – €26.3 billion – despite the unexpected financial demands of the coronavirus pandemic. These fresh investments will finance 7.1 gigawatts of new offshore wind energy, enough to power 2.13 million homes. But that’s not many compared to the millions of homes in the EU’s future plans.

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