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100 Panda-Shaped Solar Farms Are Being Built in China
By Tess Sohngen
As the country's national animal, pandas are everywhere in China. They appear on fuzzy slippers, crackers and coins.
And now, the beloved bear will make an appearance in a new field, quite literally: solar energy farms.
The Chinese energy company Panda Green Energy Group is building 100 panda-shaped solar energy farms across the country. From above, the assortment of panels will look like a cartoon panda smiling up at the sky.
The group has already build one in Datong, Shanxi province and is currently working on another. Still, one-fourth of China's coal reserves come from Shanxi, making the northern province a key area for the country's energy infrastructure.
According to Panda Green Energy Group, one panda-shaped solar farm will prevent the equivalent of 1.06 million tons of coal from being burned and 2.75 million tons of greenhouse gas being emitted in the next 25 years.
China is not alone in building adorable solar farms. The island nation of Fiji announced its plan in May to build a panda-shaped solar farm.
The plan to build 100 panda-adorned farms is part of a larger effort by the Chinese government to open new trade, energy and business opportunities. Titled the "Belt and Road" Initiative, the plan to create a 21st century trade route across the Eastern Hemisphere follows the ancient Silk Road path.
Infamous for its smog-filled cities, China is one of the world's worst offenders for pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. More recently, the country has put together a PR campaign to show China as a leader in renewable energy production.
China is quickly catching up to the world's top solar energy producers. According to a 2017 report, China ranks third in the world for countries that use the most solar power (8,300 MW). Germany and Italy rank first and second, respectively.
With the installment of its smiling panda farms, China is taking a step in the right direction.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Global Citizen.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jeff Turrentine
First off: Bangkok Wakes to Rain, the intricately wrought, elegantly crafted debut novel by the Thai-American author Pitchaya Sudbanthad, isn't really about climate change. This tale set in the sprawling subtropical Thai capital is ultimately a kind of family saga — although its interconnected characters aren't necessarily linked by a bloodline. What binds them is their relationship to a small parcel of urban land on which has variously stood a Christian mission, an upper-class family house, and a towering condominium. All of the characters have either called this place home or had some other significant connection to it.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law Thursday banning public schools or universities in the state from using Native American mascots, names or imagery. Mills' action will make Maine the first state in the nation with such a ban once it goes into effect later this year, The Bangor Daily News reported.
Inslee's 'Evergreen Economy Plan' Calls for $9 Trillion Investment in New Green Jobs, Would Help Fossil Fuel Workers Transition
By Julia Conley
A new climate action plan put forth by Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday is being praised for highlighting the enormous benefits that would result from a rapid shift in the U.S. to a renewable energy economy that centers on the needs of workers and vulnerable communities.