Polar Bears International

1/31/2014 4:08:17 AM

Good News Friday {Arctic Reprieve, Tunisian Constitution, Solar Bridge}

We like to go into the weekend with a smile on our face and we bet you do too. It's easy to get caught up in all the bad news for polar bears and the planet, and we want to change that.

On Fridays we look at the good things that are happening for polar bears and carbon reduction.

• A federal appeals court rulted Wednesday that the U.S. Interior Department wrongly awarded offshore oil leases in the Chukchi Sea near Alasaka in 2008 without considering the full range of environmental risks posed by drilling in the Arctic.  

• Then on Thursday, Royal Dutch Shell's new chief executive said the company is shelving its Alaska exploration program, at least for this year. While it's only for a year, we think that every little reprieve the Arctic gets is good news. 

• The Tunisian National Assembly on Sunday evening voted to approve what is one of the most progressive constitutions in the region, and they wrote climate change into the new constitution. "Contribution to a sound climate and the right to a sound and balanced environment shall be guaranteed," the constitution promises. "The state shall provide the necessary means to eliminate environmental pollution." 

• In England, a new solar powered bridge crosses the River Thames. As part of a project with solar installation firm Solarcentury, the roof of the bridge has been covered with 4,400 photovoltaic panels, providing up to half of the energy for London Blackfriars station. First Capital Connect, which runs Blackfriars, expects the panels to cut the stations' carbon emissions by an estimated 511 tons a year, further reducing the carbon footprint of its train routes to the south east of England. 

Have a great weekend!

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