Bill Gates: Startup could harness solar power to end fossil fuel use | Research aims to improve e-waste recycling via "artificial volcano" | Oil-and-gas sector says climate change is matter of policy, not litigation
November 27, 2019
Aon Enviromental Risk Advisor
Risk Management, Insurance and Claims
Bill Gates: Startup could harness solar power to end fossil fuel use
Bill Gates is supporting a Heliogen project that would use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to generate temperatures high enough that cement could be manufactured without fossil fuels. The solar array could generate temperatures above 1,832 degrees and could lead to industries no longer using fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide.
The Guardian (London) (11/19),  The Hill (11/19) 
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Research aims to improve e-waste recycling via "artificial volcano"
A team of students at the Eindhoven University of Technology, in the Netherlands, has developed technology designed to improve recovery of precious metals by using an "artificial volcano" in recycling electronic waste. The research involves generating a reaction that reaches temperatures as high as 3,500 degrees, at which point most materials break down into their base elements.
VentureBeat (11/10) 
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Laws and Regulations
N.J. governor sets offshore-wind target of 7,500 MW by 2035
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has issued an executive order that more than doubles the state's goal for installed offshore-wind capacity from 3,500 megawatts by 2030 to 7,500 by 2035. "No other renewable energy resource provides us either the electric-generation or economic-growth potential of offshore wind," he said.
Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (11/19),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/19),  Into the Wind blog (11/20) 
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Calif. hits pause on proposed exception to rooftop solar mandate
Homebuilders in Sacramento, Calif., cannot yet use solar farms instead of rooftop solar to meet the state's residential solar mandate under a move by the California Energy Commission. The commission delayed a decision on the city's proposal after hearing opposition from solar companies and environmental groups.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/13) 
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9th Circuit: Asbestos, lead improperly disregarded in EPA review
The Environmental Protection Agency is still responsible for accounting for hazards posed by toxins including lead and asbestos even if such materials are not currently being manufactured, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has held. The Trump administration has moved to reduce the scope of a congressionally mandated safety review to involve only chemicals still in production.
ABC News/The Associated Press (11/14) 
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Green Construction
USGBC event emphasizes sustainability, air quality
The US Green Building Council's Greenbuild conference has an emphasis on sustainability and indoor air quality this year, with the theme of "A New Living Standard" relating to both issues. "Our focus must be on human beings because the standards we are most committed to raising is that of the quality of life itself -- for every member of this community, and in populations spanning every corner of the planet," said president and CEO Mahesh Ramanujam.
Contractor Magazine (11/20) 
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News from Aon
The consumer debt crisis: A vicious circle of finances, stress and health
Around the world, personal borrowing is on the rise. Nearly half of workers in the US carry credit card debt they can't pay off each month. The link between amounts owed and their impact on a country's society and financial health is well known. Yet the shock waves of excessive borrowing are being felt in another crucial part of the broader economy: the workplace. Learn more in Aon's DC and Financial Wellbeing Global Employee Survey.
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