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Norway Aims for Electric Planes to Help Slow Climate Change
The Scandinavian country aims to be the first in the world to switch to electric air transport.
"In my mind, there's no doubt that by 2040 Norway will be operating totally electric" on short-haul flights, Dag Falk-Pedersen, head of Avinor, said at an aviation conference in Oslo.
The long-held dream of electric airliners has been stymied by battery technology and limited range. However, the aviation industry is stepping up to make this dream a reality.
Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens announced plans last year to collaborate on a hybrid-electric commercial airplane that the companies aim to test by 2020. Seattle-based startup Zunum Aero—backed by the venture capital arms of Boeing and JetBlue Airways—is also working on bringing a 12-seater, hybrid-electric commuter aircraft to market by 2022.
Thanks to generous tax breaks and incentives such as free parking and recharging points, more than half of all new cars sold in Norway last year were electric or hybrid—the first country in the world to reach that landmark. Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen told Reuters that the government wants the same success with electric planes.
Paradoxically, despite being a global leader in electric transport, Norway is western Europe's biggest oil producer and is falling behind on its 2015 Paris climate agreement to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
Electric-powered flight would not only help Norway reduce emissions and meet its climate goals, it will make flying cheaper, as Jan Otto Reimers, special adviser in Avinor, told Norway Today.
"What's particularly exciting is that you'll reduce costs to passengers to a much lower level. The planes will become similar to buses, and will be far more effective than trains or other means of transport. Simultaneously, they'll have a fantastic environmental profile," said Reimers.
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Wolves and Jaguars Are Already Threatened by Border Razor Wire As Trump Vetoes Bid to Block Emergency Wall Funding
President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency Friday, overturning Congress' vote to block his national emergency declaration to fund a border wall that environmental advocates say would put 93 endangered species at risk. However, the president's decision came the same day as an in-depth report from UPI revealing how razor wire placed at the border in the last four months already threatens wildlife.
Yet another whale has died after ingesting plastic bags. A young male Cuvier's beaked whale was found washed up in Mabini, Compostela Valley in the Philippines Friday, CNN reported. When scientists from the D' Bone Collector Museum in Davao investigated the dead whale, they found it had died of "dehydration and starvation" after swallowing plastic bags―40 kilograms (approximately 88 pounds) worth of them!
By Joe Sandler Clarke
"Don't expect us to continue buying European products," Malaysia's former plantations minister Mah Siew Keong told reporters in January last year. His comments came just after he had accused the EU of "practising a form of crop apartheid."
A few months later Luhut Pandjaitan, an Indonesian government minister close to President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, warned his country would retaliate if it was "cornered" by the EU.
By Luis Torres
For some people who live along the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump's attempt to declare a national emergency and extend the border wall is worse than a wasteful, unconstitutional stunt. It's an attack on their way of life that threatens to desecrate their loved ones' graves.
At least 150 people have died in a cyclone that devastated parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi over the weekend, The Associated Press reported Sunday. Cyclone Idai has affected more than 1.5 million people since it hit Mozambique's port city of Beira late Thursday, then traveled west to Zimbabwe and Malawi. Hundreds are still missing and tens of thousands are without access to roads or telephones.
"I think this is the biggest natural disaster Mozambique has ever faced. Everything is destroyed. Our priority now is to save human lives," Mozambique's Environment Minister Celso Correia said, as AFP reported.