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Planet Pioneers

Reaching net zero emissions will require innovative solutions at a global scale. In this series, in partnership with the Rolex Perpetual Planet initiative, WIRED highlights individuals and communities working to solve some of our most pressing environmental challenges. #PerpetualPlanetFIND OUT MORE AT ROLEX.ORG

To Save Coral Reefs, Luiz Rocha Wants us to Think a Little Deeper

We must learn more about life in the ocean's deep mesophotic zone, says a Rolex Awards for Enterprise-winning ichthyologist.
Nature Did It First

Architects Are Copying Nature to Make Low-Carbon Buildings

Plants and animals have adapted to their environments—and some hope biomimicry tools will help humans do the same.

How Studying Volcanic Eruptions Can Help Us Understand Climate Change

Volcanologist and Rolex Laureate Yves Moussallam says studying active volcanoes can reveal critical insights about our climate
Blow by Blow

The Race to Build Wind Farms That Float on the Open Sea

There’s huge potential to generate renewable energy far out in the ocean. But designing turbines that can survive rough waters isn’t exactly a breeze.

People Hate the Idea of Car-Free Cities—Until They Live in One

Removing cars from urban areas means lower carbon emissions, less air pollution, and fewer road traffic accidents. So why are residents so resistant?

How Mapping Indigenous Knowledge is Helping Nomadic Communities to Fight Climate Change—and Extinction

Rolex Awards for Enterprise Laureate Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is combining tradition and technology to empower the peoples of Lake Chad and the Sahel
Magical Fruit

The Secret to Tastier Fake Meat? Breeding Better Beans

Scientists are using genomics to create high-protein soybeans and peas. Their aim? To make meat and milk substitutes that can rival the real thing.
Clean Up

How to Solve the Problem of Plastic Packaging

Single-use bottles, wrappers, and containers are often simply discarded—but reforms that could make them infinitely recyclable are on the horizon.

Dr Sylvia Earle is Protecting the Oceans, one Hope Spot at a Time

The ocean explorer on her plan to protect 30 percent of the ocean by 2030.
Deep Trouble

It’s Not Too Late to Stop Mass Extinction in the Ocean

A quarter of a billion years ago, rising temperatures emptied the oceans of life. The planet now faces a similar threat, but the outcome is in human hands.
Going Both Ways

The Future of EV Charging is Bidirectional, If You Can Afford It

Idle electric vehicles could act as massive batteries for homes and the energy grid. But the technology to pull this off is tricky.

Microbial Rainforests are Colouring Greenland’s Ice Sheets

Microbes may be melting the ice sheets, says glacial microbiologist and Rolex Awards for Enterprise Laureate, Joseph Cook.
Tall Order

A Bold Idea to Stall the Climate Crisis—by Building Better Trees

Changing the genetic makeup of trees could supercharge their ability to suck up carbon dioxide. But are forests of frankentrees really a good idea?

Brace Yourself For the Comeback of Citizen Scientists

From water-testing polluted rivers to measuring radiation levels, ordinary people are taking environmental research into their own hands.

These Scientists Scaled Everest to Take Climate Science to New Heights

Rolex is supporting climate scientists gathering vital weather data at the top of the world.
Carbon Credit

A Crypto Company Thinks It Can Help Fight Climate Change

Toucan is leveraging blockchain to reinvent the carbon credit market. But thorny questions abound.

How Local Communities Can Save Species on the Brink of Extinction

To save the Amazon's giant arapaima fish, Rolex Awards for Enterprise Laureate João Campos-Silva is empowering local communities.
Bug 2.0

For Insect Farming to Work, Scientists Need to Build a Better Bug

Faster-growing, fatter critters could provide the protein needed to raise more climate-friendly livestock and pets.
Bright Skies

Scientists Are Tinkering With Clouds to Save the Great Barrier Reef

Super-reflective clouds could shelter coral from scorching sunlight. But environmentalists are concerned that such plans could prolong our addiction to fossil fuels.

Is There Really Such a Thing as Low-Carbon Beef?

The USDA is making it easier for farmers to market their meat as “low-carbon.” Not everyone is happy about it.