The summer of extreme weather, GM’s plans for a million electric vehicles and turning trash into money

This week Current climatewhich every Saturday brings you the latest in sustainability business. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every week.

Eearlier this week, the city of St. Louis saw more than 8 inches of rain overnight, breaking the highest since 1915, which caused flash flooding and road closures. In Kentucky, the rains caused flooding severe enough to kill more than a dozen people and the president said it was a “major disaster”. Meanwhile, heat waves in other parts of the country have sparked wildfires and temperatures have gotten so high they’re killing livestock in Kansas.

These extreme weather conditions are likely to continue, particularly the increase in heat, as the climate changes over the coming years and decades. Heat is already the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the United States, meteorologist and Forbes contributor Jim Foerster writes. But in addition to the human cost, the oppressive heat is also weighing on the country’s economic prospects. Foerster notes that extreme heat quantifiably reduces productivity and GDP. But more importantly: much of the world was not built for a warmer climate.

“These extreme temperature challenges are unlikely to go away, so business leaders will need to be prepared for the ongoing challenges of these temperatures,” Foerster writes. “Not only with the direct – and critical – effects of high temperatures such as health and safety, but also the secondary effects that affect business operations and productivity.”

Special thanks to Forbes Fellow Ariyana Griffin for her help with this week’s newsletter.

The big read

How Bill Gates-backed Republican Services Turn Trash Into Big Money

Garbage was the quintessential commodity business until a young McKinsey consultant figured out how Republic Services could turn itself into a profit machine by pricing all kinds of junk high. He is now CEO of the overperforming junk food giant. Learn more here.

Discoveries and Innovations

The CDC announced that a potentially deadly bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomalleiwas first detected in soil and water samples in the United States.

Planting trees to reduce carbon dioxide is fine, but if you want to reduce carbon dioxide in marine environmentsyou have to plant seagrass.

Climate change is driving the biggest extinctions among birds be carried by unique species that live in particular ecological systems.

Engineers have created a biodegradable battery partially composed of paperwhich they hope could be used to reduce e-waste from items such as smart packaging.

Sustainability Deals of the Week

Gravity Climatewhich launched a software platform to help industrial customers manage their carbon emissions targets, announced a $5 million seed round of Eclipse Ventures.

Company specializing in lithium and battery technology EnergyX announcement a $450 million financing agreement of the investment group Global Emerging Markets, in order to continue its efforts towards the commercialization of its technology.

The EU organization that brings Europe’s contribution to the international fusion experience, Fusion for energyannounced a multi-million contract with architecture firm IDOM and industrial construction company Alsymex to develop the systems that will keep the fusion project’s plasma heated enough to provide sustainable energy.

Clean energy company intersection power aoyielded 2.4 GW high-performance photovoltaic solar modules from First Solar, with a delivery schedule between 2024 and 2026.

on the horizon

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Egypt in November, which will give the African continent a spotlight to show how it could serve as a renewable energy plant from the future.

What else we read this week

The scientists who changed course to fight climate change (Nature)

The Big Business of Carbon Landfill (Wired)

Designers want to solve the big problem with solar panels (Bloomberg)

Green Transportation Update

Jthings are heating up in the battery production space in the United States as companies such as Tesla, General Motors, Ford, Hyundai and Volkswagen race to manufacture more lithium-ion cells in domestic factories. Redwood Materials, led by Tesla co-founder JB Straubel, aims to help build this large-scale battery production base with a massive $3.5 billion plant in Nevada to manufacture the cathodes they need to supply millions of vehicles – using some of the recycled material it already produces from old batteries and electronics.

The great history of transport

General Motors strikes deals to ensure EV battery production as second quarter falls

Speaking of batteries, General Motors has big plans to grow its EV business and to do that, it needs lots and lots of these electrical devices. CEO Mary Barra says she has secured supply deals that allow her to meet her goal of building one million electric vehicles a year by 2025. Read more here.

More green transport news

Wireless EV Charging Company WiTricity Wins Major Investments and Partnership as Wireless Charging Grows

Concept EV, Drive-By-Wire Van aims to shake up the last mile delivery industry

Future Tech Watch: Sono Motors’ Sion EV is covered in solar panels to absorb free energy

EV drivers love that quick acceleration – and it’s forcing companies like Pirelli to rethink tire design

Drive and load the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT through the redwoods

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