Mark Ruffalo to David Cameron: Fracking Push Is 'Enormous Mistake'
Join Hollywood star @MarkRuffalo in telling David Cameron #dontfracklancs. Share & sign: https://t.co/wjhajAWYl9 https://t.co/Rzqtgmwt3M— Friends of the Earth (@Friends of the Earth)1454924941.0
Last summer, the Lancashire County Council rejected two applications from energy company Cuadrilla to frack in Lancashire. In response to the rejected application, the federal government promised to step in if local councils didn't “fast track” fracking applications. On Tuesday, a planning inspector will hear Cuadrilla’s appeal, The Guardian reported.
“Mr Cameron, you’re making an enormous mistake, and it’s a legacy mistake. Because there’s no fracking that can be done safely,” Ruffalo said in a filmed interview with the environmental group Friends of the Earth.
He accused Cameron of going back on his word. “You have already told them once before that if they didn’t want it you wouldn’t push them to take it. And you’re turning back on your word, sir," Ruffalo said. "What is a politician if he is not credible?
“So I would say to you, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to honor your people, to honor their will but also to take them into the renewable energy future of the world.
The acclaimed actor helped successfully campaign for New York's fracking ban and he serves on the board of The Solutions Project, whose mission is to accelerate the transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy for all people and purposes.
A leaked letter last week revealed UK ministers wanted the secretary of state to have the final say on fracking decisions, Friends of the Earth said. "This would take away the voices of local people and force fracking on communities that don’t want it," the group added. "David Cameron said that local people's voices would be listened to, and now he’s breaking that promise."
But the central government is insistent on its plans. “We are backing shale because it’s good for our energy security and will help create jobs and growth," a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change told The Guardian.
“There is no question that we need natural gas in the UK and if just 10 percent of the estimated gas in shale rock could be recovered, it would be enough to meet our energy demand for almost 40 years," the spokeswoman said. “We are encouraging safe exploration so we can know for certain how much is there and how much we can get out of the ground.”
Watch Mark Ruffalo's video message to Prime Minister David Cameron:
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While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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