Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

I&T Weekly holiday break
I&T Weekly is taking a holiday break. We will be back on Friday, January 12, 2018 with a fresh selection of innovation and technology news. On behalf of the entire UNU-MERIT team, we wish our readers an excellent 2018!

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All headlines
  • France announces landmark ban on fossil fuel production
  • Extreme laser bursts may lead to practical nuclear fusion
  • Gene editing staves off deafness in mice
  • Integrated circuits could make quantum computers scalable
  • 'Water cloak' uses electromagnetic waves to eliminate turbulence
  • Cold cigarette lighter will power satellite
  • France announces landmark ban on fossil fuel production
    In a historic first, France has passed into law a sweeping environmental agenda that symbolically puts the country at the forefront of climate leadership.

    On Tuesday, the French National Assembly voted to immediately ban any new licences for oil and gas exploration, and to cease all oil and gas extraction in mainland France and all its territories by 2040. The new laws also make permanent a former prohibition on fracking within France, coming just a week after a major US study provided the strongest evidence yet that hydraulic fracturing affects human health.

    The mew environmental regime effectively makes France the first nation in the world to commit to an outright ban on all oil and gas production although Costa Rica previously instituted a moratorium on all petroleum exploration and extraction until at least 2021.

    But while France's bold bans are certainly historic, they are also largely symbolic. The nation produces the equivalent of about 815,000 tonnes of oil per year - only a few hours' worth of Saudi Arabia's annual output - with 99% of the country's oil and gas being imported.

    Nonetheless, it's an important step that could in turn be followed by other countries around the world, especially since the tide is turning right now on fossil fuels. Just a week ago, the World Bank announced it would no longer offer financial support for oil and gas exploration after 2019.

    Science Alert     December 21, 2017