Snippets for 25 March 2021


Welcome to this week’s Snippets newsletter. In this edition we cover some announcements that will allow for the value of natural assets, climate-related risks and zero carbon targets to be included in national and international financial reporting. These changes should lead us towards better accounting of the externalities of our global and national economies.


Also, we discuss how as climate leaders we need to go beyond climate neutrality and aim to be regenerative in order to offset the inaction of climate laggards.


Since covid, cycling has become increasingly popular in European cities and investment in European cycle-ways are leading the economic recovery and helping to reduce air pollution. New developments in wind energy as offshore wind begins to catch on in the US and new technology such as Skybrator’s might allow wind energy to be produced by residential consumers.


Lastly, we look at a great innovation from New Zealand to reduce plastic waste and whether diamonds made from carbon emissions might help clean up the precious stone industry and the atmosphere.


Our opening article heralds the news that the UN Statistical Commission has adopted as an international standard, the Ecosystem Accounting framework. Countries can now calculate the services that ecosystems provide – such as carbon storage and flood protection – and their contributions to the economy, in a standardised way and with the same confidence as they calculate GDP to measure their economic production. This is a huge step towards seeing nature as an economic asset that needs to be managed and preserved to ensure sustainable growth. Read more.....



Achieving net zero emissions is the best way of minimising the risks posed by climate change to the stability of the financial system. And as a new report claims, central banks, being best placed to ensure this happens, need to "ensure that their activities are coherent with net zero government policy" and "consistently integrate climate change into monetary frameworks and models, to adequately account for the impacts of climate change on macroeconomic outcomes". Specifically, it recommends investment practices for central banks' portfolios should include a net zero target. Read more.....




Here in NZ, Finance Minister Grant Robertson, in his letters of expectation to large Crown investors such as ACC and the NZ Super Fund, now includes requirements for climate disclosure. The Government is essentially asking Crown financial institutions to lead by example and demonstrate how accurate and timely reporting of climate risks can contribute to improve investment performance. Risks could include physical risks from climate change such as extreme weather events or rising sea levels, as well as economic risks such as more stringent regulation of carbon emissions. Read more.....





Most companies aren’t on track to become carbon neutral, so the rest of us need to do way more and go beyond climate neutrality. We need to somehow offset those who do nothing, improving our own performances to well above being 100% climate neutral, and not in the distant future. Here’s an example of a company, Ecosia, who have done just that, and this article explains how they did it. Read more.....





It's been happening in Europe for a while, but now commercial scale offshore wind is becoming a thing in the USA. The potential for offshore wind generated electricity is huge, and as a large proportion of all people live near the coast, it seems like a no brainer. There has been controversy & opposition in the past from those who don’t like looking at these wind farms when looking out to sea, but some of these issues have been resolved. Read more.....



We need to find ways of doing things that are outside the box, and offshore wind farms may seem to be a good solution, but as we see in the next article there are downsides that need to be considered, from destruction and noise created during installation, to displacement of habitats and collisions with birds and bats. We need to find ways of creating energy without destroying our ocean environments. Read more.....




No matter what your opinion on renewable energy, this article is bound to be entertaining at the very least. The article discusses new innovations in the area of wind energy, one of them has been called the “Skybrator”, and when you see it, you will know why! Regardless of if this technology changes the world or not, at least the article should entertain! Read more.....





How will cities look “post covid”? Well, in Europe, bicycles will play a bigger part in both getting people around and also bringing environmental benefits. The main benefit is that more bike riding equals less car journeys (less harmful emissions). The success of pop up cycle ways through various cities during covid lockdowns has given both central and local governments the confidence to expand the cycling network and make a number of the pop up cycle ways permanent. Read more.....



We next take a look at a couple of New Zealand brothers that are aiming to wipe out single use plastic bottles in the home cleaning segment. Dazz is a specially formulated tablet that just needs to be dropped into water to create various home cleaning products (there are a few different tabs). They are offering a pack of 3 reusable glass bottles along with cleaning tablets. Considering we throw away 1.7 billion (mostly plastic) bottles each year, good luck to them. Read more.....



Diamonds are shiny and nice but have a troubled history with minimal people benefitting from the industry which began back in 1871. Blood diamonds & workers being treated poorly over the years haven’t helped the industry’s reputation. But what if you could own a diamond created from CO2 where each carat removes 20 tons of greenhouse gas from the sky? No big mining holes in the ground, no worries about people being treated poorly. Shiny and nice along with climate friendly (still pricey though). Read more.....




In our innovation section this week, we have an article about possible huge improvements to Li-ion batteries, and another about making solar panels from food waste.

- New material will triple the capacity of lithium-ion batteries

- Student Creates Ingenious Solar Panels Made From Food Waste













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