What we learned this week

Andrew Simms and Peter Newell argue that a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty might be a new way to avert climate breakdown.

Great to see the EU parliament vote to ban a range of single-use plastic items across the region. I am unclear at this point how it will relate to Britain, but it’s a big vote in favour of biodegradeable alternatives and should spur their ongoing development.

This week the World Bank dropped what is apparently the last coal project on its books. “We are required by our by-laws to go with the lowest cost option and renewables have now come below the cost of coal” said president Jim Yong Kim.

10:10 are running a campaign to get the government to reconsider the cutting of export payments for solar PV, which will essentially mean that solar home-owners have to give their surplus power away for nothing. You can send their letter to your MP here.

I’ve been on half term this week and when I take some time off I read fiction. In this case, Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman, a story of social breakdown in a California drought. I found it in the young adult fiction section and while a bit over the top towards the end, it would be a good conversation starter on climate change and resilience if you have teenage readers in the family.

Last week I read the Wall Street Journal, which is an excellent global newspaper with particularly good coverage of business stories – not that I got to read much of it. The paywall is relatively new I take it. This week I shall be reading president Erdogan of Turkey’s favourite newspaper Daily Sabah.


  1. Just re-read this and noticed you said degradable. Not sure if it’s the same there but there has been so much confusion in Australia about degradable vs compostable. Basically it turns out degradable can still be plastic here (which just breaks down into micro-plastics faster so arguably even worse than regular plastic). Whereas compostable is made of natural materials and becomes natural/soil again.

    This infograph is helpful: https://biobagworld.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/infographic-degradable-v-compostable.jpg


  2. A good point. My understanding is that biodegradeable means it returns to nature as part of a biological process. Just degradeable without the bio would have no such implication. Compostable is nice and clear!

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