Electric buses rolling into full production.
Breaking down the impact of global agriculture on climate change.
The recent climate change conference in Marrakech saw the Canadian government release its Mid-Century Long-Term Low-Greenhouse-Gas Development Strategy, and with it a requirement for “very deep emissions cuts from every sector by mid-century.”
The magnitude of the contribution that the agricultural sector (and indeed the entire food system) makes to global emissions continues to be widely under-appreciated, eclipsed by discussions of transportation and electricity-related emissions reductions.
Agricultural biotechnology giant Monsanto agreed in September to a global non-exclusive licensing agreement with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to use the ground-breaking CRISPR-Cas gene-editing tool.
The St. Louis, Missouri-based company, which is in the midst of a merger with Germany’s Bayer under regulatory review, plans to use the technology for agricultural purposes. “Genome-editing techniques present precise ways to dramatically improve the scale and discovery efficiency of new research that can improve human health and global agriculture,” said Issi Rozen, chief business officer of the Broad Institute. “We are encouraged to see these tools being used to help deliver responsible solutions to help farmers meet the demands of our growing population.”
Sweden introduces tax breaks for repairs in bid to cut waste
The Swedish government has proposed several tax changes designed to incentivize consumers to repair broken items instead of discarding them.
Lawmakers from the ruling Social Democrat and Green Party coalition added provisions into the most recent budget, reducing Sweden’s value-added tax for all bike, clothing and shoe repairs to 12 per cent from 25 per cent. In addition, households that pay to repair appliances such as washing machines will be eligible for a tax deduction. The two initiatives are projected to cost the national treasury $114 million annually, but will be partially offset by a controversial new levy on electronics that contain chemicals the government describes as dangerous to humans. These include the fire retardant pentaBDE, often found on cellphone covers. The initiatives will be voted on later this month, but are widely expected to pass.