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2016

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Senegal Launches Digital Currency; eCFA. Durban, South Africa.

Senegal Launches Digital Currency; eCFA

Ontario Initiates UBI Pilot Project. OPEC Agrees First Production Cut Since 2008. DOES OPEC matter?

OPEC Agrees First Production Cut Since 2008

Germany Bans Meat at Official Functions to 'Set a Good Example for Climate Protection' Eating less meat is essential to curbing climate change, which is why Germany's Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks is only serving vegetarian food at official functions.

Germany Bans Meat at Official Functions to 'Set a Good Example for Climate Protection'

"We want to set a good example for climate protection, because vegetarian food is more climate-friendly than meat and fish," the ministry said in a statement published in The Telegraph. The ban was reportedly enacted at the end of January. The German newspaper Bild also reported that the food served at official events should be organic, seasonal, local and only travel from short distances. Fair trade products are also preferable. Sweden to Give Tax Breaks for Repairs. The Swedish government is introducing tax breaks on repairs to everything from bicycles to washing machines so it will no longer make sense to throw out old or broken items and buy new ones.

Sweden to Give Tax Breaks for Repairs

Sweden’s ruling Social Democrat and Green party coalition is set to submit proposals to parliament on Tuesday to slash the VAT rate on repairs to bicycles, clothes and shoes from 25% to 12%. It will also submit a proposal that would allow people to claim back from income tax half of the labour cost on repairs to appliances such as fridges, ovens, dishwashers and washing machines. “We believe that this could substantially lower the cost and so make it more rational economic behaviour to repair your goods,” said Per Bolund, Sweden’s minister for financial markets and consumer affairs and one of six Green party cabinet members. Australia's First Heavy Rare Earths Mine Gets Approval. Australia is a step closer towards developing its very first heavy rare earths mine after a state government approved a pilot processing plant for a rare earths deposit that straddles the border between Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Australia's First Heavy Rare Earths Mine Gets Approval

The Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) green-lighted the Browns Range Pilot Plant Project Management Plan earlier this month. EU hits energy reduction target six years early. Europe has met a landmark goal of slashing its energy consumption six years ahead of time, cutting greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to switching off about 400 power stations.

EU hits energy reduction target six years early

US, China Formally Join COP21. The two biggest greenhouse gas emitters in the world have formally joined the Paris climate agreement.

US, China Formally Join COP21

Shortly after China adopted the agreement, U.S. President Barack Obama today made the announcement that the U.S. had followed suit while he was in Hangzhou, China, ahead of this weekend's G20 summit. Together, the U.S. and China are responsible for some 38.76 percent of global emissions. Hezbollah Deploys Drones. The cheap commercial drone the militant group deployed to bomb Syrian rebels in Aleppo could soon be seen above battlefields all over the world—and it’s way ahead of U.S. defenses.

Hezbollah Deploys Drones

As if Syrian regime forces, Russian airstrikes, and internal squabbling weren’t enough to worry about, Syrian rebels have apparently now come under attack from Hezbollah drones dropping bombs. On Aug. 9, the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group posted a video online purportedly depicting a commercial, quad copter-style drone dropping small explosive devices at alleged rebel positions in Aleppo, a major opposition-held city in northern Syria. Unprecedented Travel Advisory Issued For Zika In Continental US. Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, talks with The Post's Lena Sun about how it's tackling the mosquito-borne virus as local cases spread in the United States Watch: CDC director talks about Zika in Miami (The Washington Post) Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, talks with The Post's Lena Sun about how it's tackling the mosquito-borne virus as local cases spread in the United States (The Washington Post) On Aug. 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged pregnant women to avoid visiting a South Florida neighborhood where mosquito-borne cases of the Zika virus have emerged.

Unprecedented Travel Advisory Issued For Zika In Continental US

It was the first time officials have warned against travel to part of the continental United States because of the outbreak of an infectious disease. EPA Finding Clears Way for Limit on Aircraft Emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday declared that jet engine exhaust endangers public health by contributing to climate change, a key milestone as it works to develop regulations that will cut carbon emissions from commercial aircraft.

EPA Finding Clears Way for Limit on Aircraft Emissions

Large commercial jets account for 11 percent of all emissions from the global transportation sector. Aircraft emissions are expected to grow by 50 percent by 2050 as demand for air travel increases. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is one of a new generation of fuel efficient commerical aircraft. Credit: Wilco737/flickr Regulating aircraft emissions is part of the Obama administration’s goal under the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Portugal Powered By Renewables Alone For 4 Days.

Portugal just did something pretty amazing. In fact, it’s historic — something no other nation has ever done. Portugal just powered its entire country’s electricity needs for four consecutive days using nothing but renewable energy. San Francisco The First US City to Mandate Solar on New Buildings. By Kayla Matthews Although those who reside outside of San Francisco may not be aware of the fact, mid-April 2016 marked a huge milestone in the advancement of green technology in the city and its mandated usage in all newly-constructed buildings.

The new legislation, unanimously approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on April 19, states that all new buildings with 10 stories or fewer, including all residential and commercial projects, must include a photovoltaic solar panel installation that encompasses 15 percent of the building’s total rooftop. FAA Rules Open Skies to Commercial Drones. Small commercial drones will soon be free to take to the skies without getting special permission, as long as their operators follow new rules published Tuesday by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Amazon to Test Drones With UK Government. World's First Passenger Drone Cleared for Testing. Germany Gives €1bn Subsidy to Boost EV Sales.

Mexico City Crowdsourcing Its New Constitution. Mexico City just launched a massive experiment in digital democracy.