Snippets for 18 June 2020



Welcome to this week's edition of our Snippets newsletter. In this edition we discuss why COVID-19 economic recovery plans should include heavy investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as outline the potential economic consequences of the declining fossil fuel industry. We also look at solar energy, green roofs, biodiversity benefits of improved farming practices, environmentally friendly meat alternatives and sustainable rubber.

According to a recent study by Ernst and Young, as part of a COVID19 recovery, the Australian government should invest heavily in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Investing as little as 10% of the proposed investment total could create 100,000 jobs in Australia, which is almost three times the job creation of fossil fuel investments. Unfortunately it appears that the Australian government will be backing fossil fuels, in spite of it. Read more.....






This article details the impact that COVID19 has had on the fossil fuel industry and discusses potential future impacts that could be catastrophic to global financial systems. The article argues that since these companies have been resistant to change for so long, they stand to be hit very hard by shocks, and with a quarter of world equity markets drenched in fossil fuels, the economic impact could be huge! Read more.....






There is a new trend in large solar PV installations and that is to go au naturelle! By that we mean to say that there are benefits to leaving natural ground coverings in place, rather than covering over with gravel or bare dirt. Benefits include the ability to grow crops that need shade, reducing soil moisture loss and the ability to help regenerate soils. They can even provide an environment to support bees for pollination and honey production. Read more.....






Expanding on solar and plant life, all new rooftops in commercial zones must be covered in plants or solar panels in France. The new ‘green roof’ law is cooling city streets, providing food and places for birds, bees, and other species to live, and also improving water quality. The green roof law is proving so popular that old building owners are voluntarily setting up roof top solar and or gardens. Greening of city roofs seem to have no downsides! Read more.....




Moving to farming, next we take a look at Chinese farmers and how they have been capturing methane for decades by using manure as fuel in anaerobic digesters. One of the main benefits of doing this is that it helps improve indoor air quality by reducing wood burning. Digesting manure is a form of waste treatment that reduces odours, pathogens, and waste volume. The digested manure still retains the nutrient content to fertilise crops and anaerobic digesters are scalable. Read more.....




Staying with farming but this time in Ireland, in the past European subsidies incentivised farmers to achieve maximum yield at all cost. This led to degraded land and water ways. With a new scheme in Ireland, Farmers are being paid when their practices result in positive environmental outcomes. This has resulted in big gains in biodiversity and improvements in land and water quality. Read more.....







The alternatives to meat only go from strength to strength and as the recent pandemic demonstrated, have more robust supply chains and increasing consumer appeal. Real meat production suffered, due to many workers falling ill with the virus, leading to plant closures in the US, with pork production down 25% and beef down 10%. The opposite was the case for the alternative meat providers, even leading to one start-up, ‘Beyond’ reporting an accidental $2 million first quarter profit. Read more.....


And there are plenty of alternatives to meat. With some 14.5% of human-produced global greenhouse gases coming from the meat production industry, there are significant opportunities to lower emissions if their consumption is curbed. We examine a number of alternatives to steak and sausages from animals, for example Soy products such as Tofu and Tempeh, Lupins, Beans, Lentils and Peas, Seitan (Wheat protein), Sunflower Seeds, Quorn, etc. However, their one common downside is a lack of Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient and found in meat.. Read more.....



Rubber is found in products as varied as car tyres, hoses and medical gloves, with some 85% of the natural rubber grown globally produced by small, family-run enterprises in Asia, whose plantations cover just a few hectares. Given the small size of operations, there is a lack of industry understanding of what sustainably grown rubber is. The non-profit Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber is setting out to change that, but argues it will be necessary to compensate farmers properly in return. Read more.....





This week we have a local innovation article - New Zealand company Futurity are starting a bio-refinery to make materials out of pine. Futurity is aiming to create jobs, increase the value we get for timber grown here, and help keep carbon in the ground. Read more...






Copyright of all featured articles lies with the original authors


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Twitter Basic Square

© 2019 web design by Carbon EMS

Banner Image © Chris Sisarich

Toitu_carbonzero_Organisation.png