Snippets for 14 January 2021


Welcome to the first edition of Snippets for 2021. We start by looking at the sentiment from the NZ public about the recent climate change declaration. It turns out Kiwis are in favor of big action from the government to follow up the declaration. We also look at how the US may be about to make progress with passing climate change legislation which would benefit the entire world. Additionally, the data shows that we may have already passed peak oil and peak ICE vehicle sales globally and in Norway EV sales are now the majority of vehicle sales.


Back in New Zealand the government is making good on its promise to clean up waterways and in the UK farming subsidies are being reset in an effort to incentivise sustainability. We've also included some interesting articles on plastic and waste that we think you'll enjoy.


This article discusses the results of a recent NZ survey on climate change, and also provides a few quotes from submitters. The long and the short of it is that Kiwis want real action on climate change, and not just platitudes. In a very telling sign of the times, comments were made about how quickly the government acts on COVID, so why not do the same with climate change? Read more.....



It is no small secret that climate change action has been held back by populist leaders worldwide, from Trump in the US to Bolsanaro in Brazil and many other places. Thus, it is with a great sigh of relief that we receive the election results in the USA. Incoming president Biden has signaled that he plans to move fast on climate change, along with Europe and China. With any luck, smaller nations will fall into line! Read more.....




The concept of peak oil has been around for many years, and it has frequently been miss-interpreted and laughed at. Often times people think that the issue is one of “running out of” oil; when in fact the question has always been about the point at which the resource becomes economically un-viable. Well, it seems that even some of the big boys are starting to admit that we have hit peak oil! This article is a good read to help understand the issues! Read more.....



One of the many reasons that we are reaching “peak oil”, is that alternative technologies are experiencing rapid price reductions at volume. With improving battery technologies and reduced prices for them, we are seeing the market for EV’s grow rapidly. On top of that, the incentive to move away from fossil fuels in order to address climate change is providing plenty of stimulus to find alternatives. Norway is moving faster than most when it comes to EVs! Read more.....


Looking to New Zealand, A $36 million funding round to clean up and protect waterways that will potentially create more than 400 jobs, has launched with nineteen projects. They will begin in the second quarter of this year. Environment Minister David Parker says, "From the high-country slopes in Canterbury to sensitive wetlands in the Nelson region, rivers in Northland, Taranaki, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and Otago - this funding will help our freshwater systems right across the country." Read more.....



Imagine being a landowner and receiving money from the government for no other reason that. Well, a 1.6 Billion Pound subsidy is about to end for some of the wealthiest landowners, who in some cases receive over 150 thousand pounds a year. The money will still be available, but it will be used to improve, restore wild habitats, create new woodlands, and boost soils and cut pesticide use. Money much better spent! Read more.....




If you have ever been wondering how long things take to decompose, this next article should go someway to easing your mind. Material decomposition rates of rubbish sent to landfills vary significantly and in surprising ways. For example a paper towel takes between 2 to 4 weeks, an apple core 2 months, cigarette filters 5 years, plastic bags up to 20 years, aluminum cans between 80 to 200 years and disposable diapers a whopping 450 years. Read more.....




With decomposition rates as long as they are for plastic, its use needs to be managed, otherwise when it leaks from the value chain, it can turn from being a benefit to society to pollution. Currently, more than 11 million metric tons of plastic are flowing into the oceans each year, with the prediction this could triple over the next twenty years. This is prompting a call to introduce a UN treaty on plastic pollution, whereby the aim is to transition toward a circular economy for plastics. Read more.....



Looking back at 2020, we review the coolest sustainability innovations of the year. Eco-Business highlights their pick of sustainability innovations that made 2020 more bearable. This includes pandemic-proof packaging, which disrupts how viruses reproduce, the first wind turbines made of wood, an alternative to leather using nopal – a species of cactus, being able to recycle batteries using old orange peel in a solution of citric acid and even Carbon-free iron ore. Read more..... (Note: You will need to subscribe to Eco-Business read this article)




Staying with 2020, we also review the new words and phrases that became common parlance during a year like no other. These include Guerilla gardening – the cultivation of plants on land that the grower does not own; Agritourism – teaching city folk about life on a farm and how the food they eat is grown; Climate diets – eating less meat and drinking less coffee, all ways of changing diets to shrink the environmental footprint; Shecession – a way to describe a recession that was hurting predominantly non-white females, etc. Read more... (Note: You will need to subscribe to Eco-Business read this article)




For our innovation article this edition we cover the (soon to be) largest battery storage plant in the world. Read more.....













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