ICYMI: Environment News You Missed (issue #02)

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Stories you may have missed including Bitcoin’s energy usage, Britain’s first climate assembly, and ‘noisy’ electric cars.

Bitcoin consumes roughly as much energy as Switzerland, according to a new online tool from the University of Cambridge.

The reason behind this is how the crypto-currency network uses computer processing power to verify transactions. People ‘mine’ Bitcoin by connecting to its network to assist this process and are occasionally rewarded with a small amount of Bitcoin. To make as much money as possible people connect large numbers of machines working more or less constantly. In some areas, entire warehouses of machines are used.

Currently, the tool estimates that Bitcoin is using around seven gigawatts of electricity, equal to 0.21% of the world’s supply.

Source: BBC News

Britain’s first climate assembly took place in Camden, north London. The assembly brought together more than 50 residents and a team of climate experts to develop proposals that could be taken up by the council to reduce carbon emissions and increase sustainability.

The council leader, Georgia Gould, emphasised her commitment to taking meaningful actions. “We declared a climate emergency and that can’t just be a statement or a piece of paper, it has to be real action,” she said.

Source: The Guardian

Oil and gas firms have been reclassified under ‘non-renewable energy’ on the London Stock Exchange. Green energy producers, most of which were grouped under alternative energy, have been reclassified under renewable energy.

Susan Quintin, managing director of product management at FTSE Russell, said the changes would provide “greater visibility to other forms of energy such as renewables”.

The classification of a company is based on its main source of revenue meaning oil and gas companies would have to invest substantial sums in greener revenue streams to escape the “non-renewable” category.

Source: The Guardian

New electric vehicles will have to feature a noise-emitting device, under a recent EU ruling.

It follows concerns that low-emission cars and vans are too quiet, putting pedestrians at risk because they cannot be heard as they approach.

All new types of four-wheel electric vehicle must be fitted with the device, which sounds like a traditional engine.

A car’s acoustic vehicle alert system (Avas) must sound when reversing or travelling below 12mph (19km/h).

Source: BBC News