Digital • Envi • Mobility & Energy • Agri & Food • Health • Scipol & Comm • EU initiatives • Curious news
In the spotlight
Carbon removals: the secret to reaching net zero emissions
Europe plans to drastically cut its emissions to reach climate neutrality by mid-century, but there is another weapon in the battle against global warming that policymakers say will also be essential: carbon removals.
Germany to transfer hydrogen technology to Africa
The German government is planning to transfer hydrogen production technology to African countries amid its efforts to quit coal and nuclear energy, a German government official said on Wednesday.
A new, sustainable way to make hydrogen for fuel cells and fertilizers
A new sustainable and practical method for producing hydrogen from water has been discovered by a team of researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan led by Ryuhei Nakamura. Unlike current methods, the new method does not require rare metals that are expensive or in short supply.
‘The power of stars to meet our energy needs? This is something to be excited about’
If you want proof that the process known as nuclear fusion can produce energy at scale somewhere in the universe, you need only look at the night sky: each pinprick of light is a natural nuclear fusion-powered reactor.
— World Economic Forum (@wef) February 16, 2022
Ukraine says it suffered worst DDoS attack in standoff
A cyberattack aimed at paralyzing banks and government websites was the worst of its kind in Ukrainian history, officials in Kyiv said, as the standoff with Russia continues to draw warnings of a potential invasion.
Russian drivers are avid users of dashboard-mounted cameras. In recent weeks these have captured reams of footage of tanks and other equipment on the move by road and rail—much of which is uploaded to TikTok https://t.co/qeH5Pis6il
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) February 18, 2022
Deep-ocean creatures previously unknown to science may be fighting climate change
As the deep ocean faces growing peril from climate change, seabed mining and other threats, scientists have discovered that seafloor sediments are home to vast populations of previously unknown organisms that may play a crucial role in carbon sequestration and marine food webs.
Invasive species prevention ‘could save trillions’
The cost of damage caused by invasive species around the world, including to agriculture, fisheries, and forestry, is at least 10 times that of preventing or controlling them, an international study suggests.
Tschüss, cars: a path to sustainable transportation emerges in German countryside
In rural parts of Germany, it’s nearly impossible to get by without your own car. But a few simple changes could make a big difference.
A festival at the 💚 of the movement transforming #Europe – from the lens of sustainability.♻️
A space where local communities, regional & national actors, as well as EU-wide organisations & project representatives meet.
— European Research Council (ERC) (@ERC_Research) February 17, 2022
🌊 @UNESCO has announced that at least 8️⃣0️⃣% of the world's seabed will be mapped by 2030 — compared to only 20% today.
— UN Biodiversity (@UNBiodiversity) February 15, 2022
Mobility & Energy
EU says it is prepared for partial disruption of Russian gas flows
The European Union would be able to cope with a partial disruption to gas imports from Russia, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
👏 Just adopted: New EU road charging rules – a key step f. smart & sustainable EU transport! #EUGreenDeal
— EU Transport (@Transport_EU) February 17, 2022
Surprisingly, the world’s biggest city is also one of its most liveable https://t.co/2FFDye9hMK
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) February 16, 2022
To encourage use of cleaner vehicles, road charges could be extended to cover lighter vehicles (inc passenger cars) & charges differentiated based on CO2 emissions + reductions for low emission vehicleshttps://t.co/BwDe8P4d4v#EPlenary @EP_Transport @KarimaDelli @giosiferrandino pic.twitter.com/1lxZOrXQz8
— European Parliamentary Research Service (@EP_ThinkTank) February 16, 2022
Agriculture & Food
Europe proposes drastic cuts of BPA, a hormone disruptor found in plastics and food
In a move that could signal a new approach to regulating potentially hazardous compounds, European health experts are recommending a drastic cut in the allowable human consumption of a common chemical in food. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has proposed reducing by a factor of 100,000 the tolerable daily intake of bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disruptor that interferes with hormone systems and has been linked to disease.
What COVID breakthrough infections might look like in the future
If you’re vaccinated, here’s what you may be able to expect with new COVID-19 waves and what experts still don’t know.
‘It’s not just my own health’: why the vaccine-hesitant are changing their minds
While most of the population is now fully vaccinated, some remain hesitant. Here, two people explain what prevented them from getting the jab – and why they changed their minds.
As we respond to #COVID19, now more than ever, we must ensure routine immunization continues to stop vaccine-preventable diseases and avert the risk of multiple disease outbreaks.
— WHO/Europe (@WHO_Europe) February 18, 2022
Science policy & Communication
‘Follow the science’: As the third year of the pandemic begins, a simple slogan becomes a political weapon
Two years ago, when science writer Faye Flam launched a podcast to explore why so many Americans were drawn to misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, she settled on a name she figured would steer clear of politics: “Follow the Science.”
20 journalists from across the US and Global South will be hired by AP to cover the intersection of the climate and economy, thanks to $8m in philanthropic funding. https://t.co/JQz5yKBto5
— Reuters Institute (@risj_oxford) February 16, 2022
‘Why I won’t watch that video ‘debunking’ climate change’
It happens pretty frequently. I get tagged on social media by someone pointing out a You Tube video that I should watch (thank goodness for Mute features). It is usually some conspiracy theory or pseudo-science “mumbo jumbo” twisting or misrepresenting the science. I received one of these yesterday. Here’s why I don’t watch the videos and some suggested ways to respond when a random follower or your favourite uncle sends that stuff your way.
— World Economic Forum (@wef) February 17, 2022
💉The Covid States Project's new report on vaccine misinformation trends looks at vaccine misinformation beliefs and uncertainty across states and demographics in the US. https://t.co/08hGlfcKg1
— Reuters Institute (@risj_oxford) February 17, 2022
Study – The impact of influencers on advertising and consumer protection in the Single Market
Influencer marketing as part of the advertising industry has grown significantly in recent years, becoming one of the most popular and effective forms of online advertising. The fast growing market of influencers comes with potential risks for consumers and creates several challenges for regulators. This study was provided at the request of the committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).
Climate change is citizens’ main priority in EU reform agenda
44% of Europeans believe that climate change is the main topic that should be addressed in the Conference on the Future of Europe, according to a new Eurobarometer survey commissioned by the European Parliament and the European Commission.
Plans for lump sum funding move forward amid scepticism
Disagreements persist over the use of lump sum funding in Horizon Europe, as the European Commission gears up for broader implementation over the next couple of years. At a meeting organised by the European Parliament’s panel for the future of science and technology (STOA), Horizon Europe rapporteur Christian Ehler MEP debated the pros and cons of lump sum funding, with policymakers in the Commission. Meanwhile, research stakeholders continue to call for caution and a slower rollout of the new system.
The @Europarl_EN has adopted the report by @mortenhelveg on the 🇪🇺 #OffshoreRenewableEnergy strategy, supporting the sharp acceleration in the deployment of #offshore #renewables for achieving a #ClimateNeutralEU by 2050. #EUGreenDeal
Press release ➡️ https://t.co/UWUHeMWPdE pic.twitter.com/wr7aYjmw1x
— Energy4Europe 🇪🇺 (@Energy4Europe) February 16, 2022
Fundamental questions science cannot yet answer
Mystery of life on earth and beyond extends to the Big Bang, dark matter and much more.
On February 10th @elonmusk unveiled @SpaceX’s monstrously big, dirt-cheap Starship rocket. On our “Babbage” podcast @alokjha and Tim Cross investigate how the project might reimagine space exploration https://t.co/d0S5rnNQ3p
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) February 18, 2022