Snippets for 16 January 2020

Welcome to the first SnippETS newsletter of the new year and a big welcome back, we hope 2020 brings many positives.

We start 2020 with a look back at 2019, reviewing some significant and noteworthy happenings, the health of the ocean ecosystems that have been affected by climate change & humans, mining minerals (the next steps), carbon tech became a business, a growing appetite for sustainable food systems and much more.

We will look at some of the positives to come out of 2019 concerning issues like: intensifying climate action, rapid electrification of transport networks and an awakening to the global plastic problem and the fact that climate science denial is more and more becoming a thing of the past!

What we eat and the way it’s produced are changing fast, plant-based meat products manufactured in the lab and using 3D printing are expanding very quickly. Even traditional farming practices are changing and there is a trend toward vertical farming close to the market and a plethora of technologies aim to revolutionise the ‘traditional’ farming sector through the use of AI and data.

We also look at rural Vietnam, where devastating storm damage and loss of life lead to a rethink about the value of mangroves. Moreover, the role of women in re-planting mangroves and the part they played in vital decision making as they finally found their voices.

We wrap up this week with a look at The NZ Government’s proposal to cap emissions at 2020 levels with some big changes to ETS Pricing. In the mix, a ban on some new coal fired boilers, limiting the amount of credits and changing to the unit pricing structure.


The first article is a look back on 2019, the ups and downs of climate action and trying to put forth a positive spin on the year. The article discusses the frustrations of the year in climate but tries to balance the downs with positive stories and actions. It is an attempt to celebrate the stories that no-one hears, but that are making a difference all the same. Read more.....







To continue the theme of “reasons to be positive”, we have an article that delivers 10 reasons for climate optimism. The article runs through a shopping list of some very big changes that are happening, as well as the details as to why the actions are important and the impacts they are having.. Read more.....








This article discusses the history of the “climate debate”, how vested interests have tried to side-line progress and how their arguments have been fully discredited. We have all more than enough evidence to be certain that human activities are the main cause of climate change and there are no excuses left. The article is a commitment by “The Guardian” to properly report on climate change and a plea to all journalists to speak truth to power . Read more.....




In our next series of articles we look at new foods, new farming methods and practices and how we can track where our food comes from. Experts suggest that in order to feed a growing global population, we will need to eat less meat and change our agricultural methods. Plant-based meat alternatives may be part of the solution, but do people actually want to eat these alternatives? The good news is that even amongst the world’s top meat consumers, Americans, people are embracing plant-based meat products. Read more.....






It’s great that there is demand for meat alternatives because scientists have now discovered a way to make food from microbes and water. It’s sounds like magic, but bacteria taken from the soil and multiplied in the laboratory, can produce a substance that can be processed into a rich yellow flour and then made into pancakes in this case! Read more.....




Along with food created by fermentation, various companies and researchers are working on developing methods to address the growing need for meat alternatives. These include applying extrusion, 3D printing and cellular agriculture to produce meat alternatives and reduce our reliance on emissions intensive animal products, such as beef and lamb. Read more.....



While many are working on alternative protein sources, there is an entire industry being created around indoor vertical farming. Compared to traditional farming, indoor vertical farm-grown fruits and vegetables require only a little water and land to produce, offer flexible supply dynamics, have short grow cycles, offer year-round production and have easy product traceability. Read more.....


Food production methods may be changing significantly in the near future, but there are many new technologies available to assist farmers use the techniques they already know and trust on a bigger scale. Here are 21 tools that recognize innovations changing agriculture and improving technology access worldwide through AI and big data, from identifying plants/weeds, pests, to sharing equipment/tractors, get insurance, diagnose disease, manage water and analyse soil. Read more....





A former investment banker from Korea has raised more than $10 million to expand a start-up that helps developing-nations farmers who are using green and ethical methods to earn more by linking them directly with food buyers around the world. Our own farmers need to be aware of investors changing preferences, and the ability of smaller remote developing-nation farmers to now be a bigger player in the global picture. Read more.....







Our next article is set in Vietnam, where rural communities are planting Mangroves to protect against tidal surges, provide a fertile breeding ground for fish and crustaceans, and a means of sequestering carbon. The planting is mainly being done by women, which in Vietnam have for many years been suffering from inequality, hampered by social, cultural and political disadvantages. The planting programme has seen the women involved grow in self-confidence, skills, knowledge and a feeling of parity with men. Read more.....






A NZ Government announcement released near the end of 2019 proposes changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), with the price ceiling shifting up from $25 to $50 a tonne, with a floor price of $20 a ton. There will also be a cap on the number of ETS units the government would sell into the market. Other items included a ban on new low and medium temperature coal fired boilers and a phasing out of all coal fired boilers by 2030. Read more.....






London is starting to do its bit to help with the imminent threats posed by climate change and pollution, and has begun to put greener, more sustainable methods into practice. Three new City Trees, a series of CO2-filtering structures have just been installed in Leytonstone. Read more.....




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