Google to team up with UN for sustainability goals
UN Environment is teaming up with internet giant Google to help improve the environment through data analytics.
The organisations will work together to monitor the impact of human activity on the environment. Google will help to establish a platform for open-source data and analysis of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The data can then be used by governments and NGOs as well as the public to track progress in terms of targets for environmental development.
Organisations will then be able to see which areas are falling short and where investment is needed, as well as monitoring the progress they make with various initiatives.
Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, stated: “We will only be able to solve the biggest environment challenges of our time if we get the data right. UN Environment is excited to be partnering with Google to make sure we have the most sophisticated online tools to track progress, identify priority areas for our action and bring us one step closer to a sustainable world.”
The partnership was officially announced last week at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York. Rebecca Moore, Director of Google Earth, Earth Engine and Earth Outreach, said: “This partnership announcement builds on a common shared vision between our organisations. We are excited to enable all countries with equal access to the latest technology and information in support of global climate action and sustainable development.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.