Zero carbon and economic growth can go together

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Australia could slash its carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and still experience average economic growth of 2.4% a year, according to a UN-backed study.

The Deep Decarbonisation Pathways report, released by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, analysed the 15 countries that account for 70% of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere, which includes Australia, the US, Britain and China.

According to the report, compiled by academics from each of the countries, the 15 countries could make deep cuts to emissions while also tripling economic output.

Ailing pteropods point to climate change

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Pteropod, meaning “wing foot”, refers to a group of animals that have neither wings nor feet as we usually think of them. Instead, these seagoing snails get their name from wing-like extensions they use to swim (the “foot” being the muscular part of their body). They are unknown to most people and recent news articles discussing ocean acidification and pteropod shells probably did not grab the public’s attention. But perhaps they should have.

France proposes €1 billion credit line for India projects

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New Delhi: France has proposed to give India a €1 billion (Dh5 billion or $1.4 billion) credit line to fund sustainable infrastructure and urban development projects, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday.

The credit line would be available over three years and would be delivered through the French Development Agency, Fabius, who began his India visit on Monday, told reporters in New Delhi.

The right kind of plant genes

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Alan Krivanek, a tomato breeder for Monsanto, dons a white protective suit, wipes his feet on a mat of disinfectant and enters a greenhouse to survey 80,000 seedlings. He is armed with a spreadsheet that will tell him which ones are likely to resist a slew of diseases. The rest he will discard.

Krivanek, 42, is part of a new generation of plant breeders who are transforming the 10,000-year history of plant selection. And their work has quietly become the cutting-edge technology among today’s major plant biotech companies. Instead of spending decades physically identifying plants that will bear fruits of the desired colour and firmness, stand up to drought, and more, breeders are able to speed the process through DNA screening.