Connect with us

Economy

Pokémon Go To Promote Sustainable Development

Published

on

pokemon go by Paintimpact via flickr

Niantic and The Pokémon Company International are to Partner with Project Everyone and The Global Goals campaign to add 17 PokéStops, one for each Global Goal, in Davos during the World Economic Forum.

During the World Economic Forum, 17 locations in Davos – one for each Global Goal – will be added to Pokémon GO as PokéStops and a Gym to remind attendees of the importance of the Global Goals

In September 2015, 193 world leaders agreed to 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, which set out to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change by 2030.

Critical to the success of Global Goals is ensuring they are well known around the Globe and that world leaders stick to the plan.

There will be three elements to the collaboration to promote the Global Goals and to ensure they remain top priority amongst Davos attendees:

• 17 all-new Pokémon GO PokéStops are being created, one for each of the 17 Global Goals. PokéStops are real world locations that you interact with by spinning its Photo Disc to get valuable in-game items added to your inventory.

• The Congress Centre will be turned into a Gym. Gyms are special points of interest where the three teams in the game (Team Mystic, Team Instinct or Team Valor) train and ultimately battle in order to capture the Gym.

• From Spring 2017, additional in-game content will become available to continue to promote the importance of The Global Goals campaign.

Richard Curtis, film maker, UN SDG Advocate and founder of Project Everyone said:

“I believe we can be the generation to see the fantastic ambitions of the Global Goals achieved. But in order to achieve this it will require awareness, multi-sector actions and unusual and lively partnerships. This partnership with Niantic & The Pokémon Company International with the massively popular game, Pokémon GO, is a great way of making sure the Goals are front of mind with the Davos attendees, who are such an important constituency in delivering on the promise of the Goals. And it’s excellent to be able to report back home on a partnership my sons all understand and are excited by – their generation is also so crucial to the achievement of the SDGs.”

John Hanke, founder of Niantic, the publisher and developer of Pokémon GO said: “We’ve always wanted both Niantic and Pokémon GO to be a force for good in the world. We are extremely proud to partner with the Global Goals campaign to help remind people of how critically important the Goals are while hopefully keeping the world’s leaders focused on delivering on them.”

Tsunekazu Ishihara, president of The Pokémon Company said: “With Pokémon GO, the world is our playground. And when the world is your playground, you want it to be as beautiful and safe as possible. That’s why we’re delighted to play a part in driving the awareness of the Global Goals.”

David Nabarro, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Sustainable Development and Climate Change: “It’s brilliant to see Pokémon GO joining the fight to achieve a sustainable world by 2030 and taking the game to Davos. Business and finance are the change agents that will spur innovation, unleash investments and see the SDGs achieved.”

David Jones, founder of You & Mr Jones said: “Our company’s passion for social and environmental causes brought us into contact with the Project Everyone team. As an early investor in Niantic, it was a natural fit to bring them on board for this Pokémon GO activation during the World Economic Forum in Davos.”
The full list of new locations in Davos is as follows:

1 Pokémon Global Goals gym:

Location: Davos Kongress Center

Address: Davos Dorf, 7260 Davos, Switzerland

17 Davos Pokéstops:

Goal 1 – No Poverty

Location: Davos Dorf, Train Station

Address: Davos Dorf, 7260 Davos, Switzerland

Goal 2 – Zero Hunger

Location: World Food Programme Tent (temporary location for Davos)

Address: Promenade 139, 7260 Davos, Switzerland

Goal 3 – Good Health and Well Being

Location: Schatzalp Hotel, Davos

Address: Schatzalp, CH-7270 Davos Platz, Switzerland

Goal 4 – Quality Education

Location: Ameron Hotel (Lobby)

Address: Scalettastrasse 22, 7270 Davos

Goal 5 – Gender Equality

Location: The Female Quotient

Address: Panorama Hotel, Promenade 80, 7260 Davos, Switzerland

Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation

Location: Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère

Address: Promenade 89, 7270 Davos Platz, Switzerland

Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy

Location: Davos Platz, Train Station

Address: Davos Platz, Train Station, 7270 Davos, Switzerland

Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth

Location: Ice House (temporary structure)

Address: Promenade 83, 7270 Davos Platz, Switzerland

Goal 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Location: Cabanna Club

Address: Promenade 63, 7270 Davos, Switzerland

Goal 10 – Reduced Inequalities

Location: A day in the life of a refugee

Address: Hilton Garden Inn, Promenade 103, 7270 Davos, Switzerland

Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities

Location: Official Shuttle Hub near Kongresszentrum Registration

Address: Kongresszentrum, Talstrasse 49a, 7270 Davos Platz, Switzerland

Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production

Location: Kaffeeklatsch

Address: Promenade 72, 7270 Davos Platz, Switzerland

Goal 13 – Climate Action

Location: Access Tunnel (to the Kongresszentrum)

Address: Kongresszentrum, Talstrasse 49a, 7270 Davos Platz, Switzerland

Goal 14 – Life Below Water

Location: Bridge on Landwasser stream

Address: Davos Platz, Brämabüelstrasse 7, 7270 Davos Platz

Goal 15 – Life on Land

Location: Dorfseeli Park

Address: Talstrasse, 7260 Davos, Switzerland

Goal 16 – Peace Justice and Strong Institutions

Location: Kongress Hotel

Address: Promenade 94, 7270 Davos, Switzerland

Goal 17 – Partnerships for the Goals

Location: Hotel Seehof

Address: Promenade 159, 7260 Davos Dorf

For information about the Global Goals follow #globalgoals @theglobalgoals and visit www.globalgoals.org. www.project-everyone.org

Economy

Will Self-Driving Cars Be Better for the Environment?

Published

on

self-driving cars for green environment
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Zapp2Photo | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/zapp2photo

Technologists, engineers, lawmakers, and the general public have been excitedly debating about the merits of self-driving cars for the past several years, as companies like Waymo and Uber race to get the first fully autonomous vehicles on the market. Largely, the concerns have been about safety and ethics; is a self-driving car really capable of eliminating the human errors responsible for the majority of vehicular accidents? And if so, who’s responsible for programming life-or-death decisions, and who’s held liable in the event of an accident?

But while these questions continue being debated, protecting people on an individual level, it’s worth posing a different question: how will self-driving cars impact the environment?

The Big Picture

The Department of Energy attempted to answer this question in clear terms, using scientific research and existing data sets to project the short-term and long-term environmental impact that self-driving vehicles could have. Its findings? The emergence of self-driving vehicles could essentially go either way; it could reduce energy consumption in transportation by as much as 90 percent, or increase it by more than 200 percent.

That’s a margin of error so wide it might as well be a total guess, but there are too many unknown variables to form a solid conclusion. There are many ways autonomous vehicles could influence our energy consumption and environmental impact, and they could go well or poorly, depending on how they’re adopted.

Driver Reduction?

One of the big selling points of autonomous vehicles is their capacity to reduce the total number of vehicles—and human drivers—on the road. If you’re able to carpool to work in a self-driving vehicle, or rely on autonomous public transportation, you’ll spend far less time, money, and energy on your own car. The convenience and efficiency of autonomous vehicles would therefore reduce the total miles driven, and significantly reduce carbon emissions.

There’s a flip side to this argument, however. If autonomous vehicles are far more convenient and less expensive than previous means of travel, it could be an incentive for people to travel more frequently, or drive to more destinations they’d otherwise avoid. In this case, the total miles driven could actually increase with the rise of self-driving cars.

As an added consideration, the increase or decrease in drivers on the road could result in more or fewer vehicle collisions, respectively—especially in the early days of autonomous vehicle adoption, when so many human drivers are still on the road. Car accident injury cases, therefore, would become far more complicated, and the roads could be temporarily less safe.

Deadheading

Deadheading is a term used in trucking and ridesharing to refer to miles driven with an empty load. Assume for a moment that there’s a fleet of self-driving vehicles available to pick people up and carry them to their destinations. It’s a convenient service, but by necessity, these vehicles will spend at least some of their time driving without passengers, whether it’s spent waiting to pick someone up or en route to their location. The increase in miles from deadheading could nullify the potential benefits of people driving fewer total miles, or add to the damage done by their increased mileage.

Make and Model of Car

Much will also depend on the types of cars equipped to be self-driving. For example, Waymo recently launched a wave of self-driving hybrid minivans, capable of getting far better mileage than a gas-only vehicle. If the majority of self-driving cars are electric or hybrids, the environmental impact will be much lower than if they’re converted from existing vehicles. Good emissions ratings are also important here.

On the other hand, the increased demand for autonomous vehicles could put more pressure on factory production, and make older cars obsolete. In that case, the gas mileage savings could be counteracted by the increased environmental impact of factory production.

The Bottom Line

Right now, there are too many unanswered questions to make a confident determination whether self-driving vehicles will help or harm the environment. Will we start driving more, or less? How will they handle dead time? What kind of models are going to be on the road?

Engineers and the general public are in complete control of how this develops in the near future. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see all the safety benefits of having autonomous vehicles on the road, but without any of the extra environmental impact to deal with.

Continue Reading

Economy

New Zealand to Switch to Fully Renewable Energy by 2035

Published

on

renewable energy policy
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Eviart / https://www.shutterstock.com/g/adrian825

New Zealand’s prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern is already taking steps towards reducing the country’s carbon footprint. She signed a coalition deal with NZ First in October, aiming to generate 100% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2035.

New Zealand is already one of the greenest countries in the world, sourcing over 80% of its energy for its 4.7 million people from renewable resources like hydroelectric, geothermal and wind. The majority of its electricity comes from hydro-power, which generated 60% of the country’s energy in 2016. Last winter, renewable generation peaked at 93%.

Now, Ardern is taking on the challenge of eliminating New Zealand’s remaining use of fossil fuels. One of the biggest obstacles will be filling in the gap left by hydropower sources during dry conditions. When lake levels drop, the country relies on gas and coal to provide energy. Eliminating fossil fuels will require finding an alternative source to avoid spikes in energy costs during droughts.

Business NZ’s executive director John Carnegie told Bloomberg he believes Ardern needs to balance her goals with affordability, stating, “It’s completely appropriate to have a focus on reducing carbon emissions, but there needs to be an open and transparent public conversation about the policies and how they are delivered.”

The coalition deal outlined a few steps towards achieving this, including investing more in solar, which currently only provides 0.1% of the country’s energy. Ardern’s plans also include switching the electricity grid to renewable energy, investing more funds into rail transport, and switching all government vehicles to green fuel within a decade.

Zero net emissions by 2050

Beyond powering the country’s electricity grid with 100% green energy, Ardern also wants to reach zero net emissions by 2050. This ambitious goal is very much in line with her focus on climate change throughout the course of her campaign. Environmental issues were one of her top priorities from the start, which increased her appeal with young voters and helped her become one of the youngest world leaders at only 37.

Reaching zero net emissions would require overcoming challenging issues like eliminating fossil fuels in vehicles. Ardern hasn’t outlined a plan for reaching this goal, but has suggested creating an independent commission to aid in the transition to a lower carbon economy.

She also set a goal of doubling the number of trees the country plants per year to 100 million, a goal she says is “absolutely achievable” using land that is marginal for farming animals.

Greenpeace New Zealand climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson believes that phasing out fossil fuels should be a priority for the new prime minister. She says that in order to reach zero net emissions, Ardern “must prioritize closing down coal, putting a moratorium on new fossil fuel plants, building more wind infrastructure, and opening the playing field for household and community solar.”

A worldwide shift to renewable energy

Addressing climate change is becoming more of a priority around the world and many governments are assessing how they can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and switch to environmentally-friendly energy sources. Sustainable energy is becoming an increasingly profitable industry, giving companies more of an incentive to invest.

Ardern isn’t alone in her climate concerns, as other prominent world leaders like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron have made renewable energy a focus of their campaigns. She isn’t the first to set ambitious goals, either. Sweden and Norway share New Zealand’s goal of net zero emissions by 2045 and 2030, respectively.

Scotland already sources more than half of its electricity from renewable sources and aims to fully transition by 2020, while France announced plans in September to stop fossil fuel production by 2040. This would make it the first country to do so, and the first to end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Many parts of the world still rely heavily on coal, but if these countries are successful in phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable resources, it could serve as a turning point. As other world leaders see that switching to sustainable energy is possible – and profitable – it could be the start of a worldwide shift towards environmentally-friendly energy.

Sources: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-06/green-dream-risks-energy-security-as-kiwis-aim-for-zero-carbon

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-hydrocarbons/france-plans-to-end-oil-and-gas-production-by-2040-idUSKCN1BH1AQ

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Trending