background preloader

Waste not want not: Sweden to give tax breaks for repairs

Waste not want not: 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’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. Bolund has been a key figure in driving through the new incentives. But emissions linked to consumption have stubbornly risen.

Related:  SustainabilityCircular EconomyGovernancesustainablezero waste

Wind, solar and electric cars are booming. Too bad that’s not enough to stop climate change The tough thing about halting climate change is that it means altering pretty much everything about how we get and use energy. We have to change how we generate electricity — how we power our homes, our buildings and operate the grid. We have to change transportation, how we get around, travel, transport goods. Circular economy: Lessons from China Yongsky/ The Suzhou New District was one of the first industrial parks in China's circular-economy programme. China's consumption of the world's resources is reaching crisis levels. To produce 46% of global aluminium, 50% of steel and 60% of the world's cement1 in 2011, it consumed more raw materials than the 34 countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) combined: 25.2 billion tonnes.

Kids Win the Right to Sue the US Government Over Climate Change A bright speck of climate news was quickly overshadowed by the presidential election this week—America’s children have officially won the right to sue their government over global warming. Yesterday, a lawsuit filed by 21 youth plaintiffs was ruled valid by US District Judge Ann Aiken in Eugene, Oregon. A group of citizens, whose ages range from nine to 20, charged President Obama, the fossil fuel industry, and other federal agencies with violating their constitutional rights by declining to take action against climate change. “Federal courts too often have been cautious and overly deferential in the arena of environmental law, and the world has suffered for it,” wrote Judge Aiken in her ruling. Along with renowned climate scientist James Hansen, who in 1988 pleaded with Congress to consider the harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions, the youth group was applauded by activists who saw their lawsuit as a much-needed beacon of hope for future generations.

Upcycling Goes High Fashion What was once considered merely a new way to recycle has turned into a movement. Innovative, sustainable companies like Looptworks, Rewilder, and Bureo are making high-quality, trendy and desirable products using wasted materials, bringing us ever closer to a circular economy. This isn’t your environmentalist or hippie friend’s upcycling anymore. Upcycling is now not only good for the environment. Investors' neglect of small-scale renewables threatens universal energy access Investing in a large-scale wind farm is a better guarantee of profits than multiple, small, off-grid renewables projects but without the latter, argues a recent report, the sustainable development goal of low-carbon energy access for all will never be met. It is estimated (pdf) close to $50bn a year is needed to achieve universal access to electricity and clean cooking facilities by 2030. Yet traditional forms of climate finance are not working.

How the Internet of Things is transforming sustainability Please sign in or register to read the rest of this article. To access unlimited free content, and in order to make edie more relevant to you, we are asking regular visitors to log in if they read more than five articles per month. Existing website users: Click here to sign in for full access to all content New website users:

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Follow-up The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development is the central UN platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015. High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Preamble This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.

Food Waste Forum - Slow Food International At this year’s Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, five actors involved in addressing the current food waste crisis came together to share their work and encourage change for the future. On the panel were three experts: Alexandre Meybeck, Senior Policy Officer at FAO, Professor Paolo Corvo of the University of Gastronomic Sciences and Maria Louisa Amerio, a nutrition expert who recently conducted a food waste report within Piedmontese hospitals. Joining them were Kathleen Mann, an American college student, and Kazuhiro Kimura, a Japanese chef. In recent years, the problem of food waste has begun to receive attention from governments, consumers, and businesses in countries around the world.

Welcome to earthships: an off-the-grid solution to Canada's housing crisis? Francine Doxtator is on a search for used tires. For months, the soft-spoken 56-year-old has asked everyone she knows – and anyone new she meets – if they happen to have any lying around. “I tell them to just drop ’em off,” she said, motioning to the hundreds of tires haphazardly piled three-feet high behind her trailer. Starting this week, these tires and hundreds more donated by an auto shop will be packed with dirt and stacked neatly to form the backbone of Doxtator’s new house – an off-the-grid home being touted as a potential solution to the housing crises facing many First Nations communities across Canada. When Doxtator found out two years ago that she had been selected to receive a new, donated home, she didn’t believe it.