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News from the front

Positive environmental stories from 2022 that keep us optimistic

The notions of eco-anxiety, climate unhappiness or existential fear of the environment are increasingly used to describe the anguish generated by the climate and biodiversity crisis. There are indeed many reasons to worry but when despair becomes the dominant emotion, apathy is to be feared. That is why it is important to show that hope exists and that there are positive events to hold on to.

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London startup that replaces plastic with algae wins Prince William's Earthshot Award

NotPla won a $1.2 million prize in Boston at an event hosted by the Prince and Princess of Wales. The venture began in a student kitchen eight years ago, where college friends created a green alternative to plastic packaging from seaweed. While Notpla has made more than a million takeaway food boxes this year, it has also collaborated with a young watch brand based on the circular economy.

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COP15, what can we learn from the Kunming-Montreal Agreement on Biodiversity and Ecosystems?

The COP15 ended in Montreal with an Agreement that sets the framework for international action to protect ecosystems. If it constitutes a huge progress, the success of this COP will however depend on the way the actors will mobilize to implement it in the years to come. It is essential that the signatory states develop action plans and concrete and relevant regulations.

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The reform of the European carbon market: carbon tax at the borders, end of free quotas, extension to individuals

The European Union finalized a major agreement on December 13 concerning the reform of the carbon market, which represents a real pillar of its climate policy. End of free "rights to pollute" for industrialists, taxation of emissions from heating and cars, inclusion of the maritime and aviation sectors in the carbon market, social fund for the transition...

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Vestiaire Collective eliminates fast fashion. Even in second hand, fast fashion is still fast fashion.

The second-hand sales and purchasing platform has developed a three-year plan to promote more responsible fashion and better management of textile waste. Vestiaire Collective announced on Black Friday, the ultimate symbol of overconsumption, the withdrawal of about 20 references from its site. It is currently targeting 27 brands, including Shein, Topshop, Boohoo, Missguided and Asos. The goal is to get rid of disposable fashion by 2024.

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The forgotten craft of canning in the fight against food waste in Geneva

In Geneva, an entrepreneur is working to save fruits and vegetables that don't meet the beauty standards demanded by consumers, while reviving the know-how of canning, a forgotten craft. Cream of zucchini soup in overproduction, syrups of purple basil that the heat wave made bloom too quickly, compotes, tomato coulis, carrot tops chips, Le Cri de la carotte sublimates these foodstuffs whose destiny would have been to end up in the garbage.

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Fashion will not be able to achieve its sustainability goals without changing its business model and educating its consumers

Business and policy leaders from around the world gathered at the DealBook Summit in New York earlier this month to address the question: can fashion be profitable without growth? Producing too many clothes is no longer a good thing. That's the conclusion of a task force of fashion industry leaders who agree that things must change now.

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How to choose your Christmas gifts in an eco-friendly way?

Reporterre offers us a 5-point guide to avoid toys made in China, to make sure they have been manufactured in conditions that respect nature and the workers, the labels to observe and the brands to favour. Green Is the New Black has put together a 10-point guide for thinking about responsible gifts for older children and imagining a family Christmas feast that respects the planet.

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Los Angeles bans oil and gas drilling within city limits

After years of complaints by city residents, the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that will ban all new oil extraction and end existing operations within 20 years. Oil wells are located in nearly every neighborhood in the city, Wilmington, Harbor Gateway, downtown, West LA, South LA and the northwestern San Fernando Valley and are causing health problems for residents.

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The commodification or personalization of nature, two false good ideas.

One of the challenges in the fight against global warming is to find a way to better take nature into account in our economic system. The answers found and implemented so far are largely based on a market logic. But it is very risky to consider nature and the living as commodities. On the other hand, the idea of making nature a person is an anthropocentric concept that does not solve the problem.

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