In An Earth Day Test For Synthetic Biology Field, Zymergen Raises $500 Million In IPO

Zymergen's Hyaline optical film is made with biology not petrochemicals.

The past few years have been boom times for synthetic biology. Today, in a big test for public markets’ appetite for the emerging field, Zymergen raised $500 million in an initial public offering set to value the company at more than $3 billion.

“I love the symbolism that we’re going public on Earth Day,” cofounder and CEO Josh Hoffman told Forbes in a morning video call. “There’s a bit of luck there, but I’m just super pleased. It is really cool.”

Hoffman, 50, a former McKinsey consultant and Rothschild merchant banker, founded Zymergen in 2013 with two former Amyris execs, Zach Serber, 46, now chief science officer, and Jed Dean, 43, now vp of of operations and engineering. They named it Zymergen as a mash-up of the words zymurgy (the study of fermentation), merge and genomics. Based in Emeryville, California, a hotspot for biology startups, the company’s scientists ferment molecules that can become part of industrial coatings, insect repellant or whatever final product the company is developing.

Zymergen is one of a number of companies that are using biology, along with machine learning and robotics, to transform how we manufacture stuff. And after years of flying under the radar, investors are taking notice. In addition to Zymergen’s IPO, Gingko Bioworks, which we profiled in Forbes magazine in 2019, is now reportedly considering a SPAC deal worth more than $20 billion.

“I love the symbolism that we’re going public on Earth Day.”

Zymergen’s first product is a transparent polymer film, called Hyaline, that it’s marketing for use in consumer electronics. It has 10 other products in development in electronics, personal care and agriculture. The potential market opportunity, by Zymergen’s calculations, is $1.2 trillion. “I’m not saying we’re ever going to sell $1.2 trillion, let’s not be absurd, but it’s ubiquitous across product classes,” Hoffman says. “We’re trying to make better stuff in a better way across the economy, and last I checked there was a lot of stuff to go make.”

But this is a long game: Though Zymergen had raised more than $1 billion from investors that include SoftBank, True Ventures and DCVC before its IPO, it’s just beginning to commercialize its first product. Revenue last year was a meager $13 million, “substantially all” of which came from R&D service contracts and collaboration agreements for developing, testing and validating its biomanufacturing platform, according to its prospectus. The company reported a net loss of $262 million for 2020, and has said that it does not expect to be profitable in the foreseeable future.

Hoffman, who has an undergraduate degree from the Unviersity of California, Berkeley, and a graduate degree from Yale, never intended to be an entrepreneur. He started his career at the Carter Center in Atlanta, then worked for the Uganda Ministry of Finance before winding up in banking. “Entrepreneur is not a label I apply to myself,” he says. “I would be a little uneasy if somebody called me that, but it probably fits.”

Hoffman had been doing some advisory work at Amyris, and when Serber left to start his own company the two started hanging out and talking about the potential. Today, their Emeryville labs are a high-tech space, where scientists wearing white lab coats with a stylized letter “Z” on them run experiments rapidly thanks to the company’s custom automation.

In a video tour of the labs last summer, Zymergen showed off how it had integrated systems to not only have colony-picking robots, but to design software that could put the pieces together in modular fashion. “Jed Dean and I traveled to China to visit car parts factories and Apple factories to learn how the work is done,” Will Serber, Zymergen’s head of automation, who has a master’s degree in astrophysics from Princeton, explained then.

Zymergen’s Hyaline product is a bio-based polymer film that is transparent and strong, yet bendable, making it good for use in foldable touchscreen phones, high-density flexible printed circuits, wearable sensors and other consumer electronics. The company launched it commercially in December 2020, and is currently doing qualifications with potential customers.

Most of the materials currently in use as optical films are petrochemical-based and decades old, giving Zymergen’s product an advantage in sustainability. But Zymergen’s pitch to customers is more than that. “If you show up at a phone company or an OEM and you’re like ‘biology can change your world,’ they’re like, ‘that’s cool, but I don’t know what to do with it.’ But if you show up with an optical film, that’s a different story,” Hoffman says. “We’re not selling sustainability, we’re selling performance.”

Among the next products in development are another optical film, for launch in 2022, and a next-generation film that could be used in flexible electronics and as insulation for antennas to deliver 5G data speeds, planned for 2023. In agriculture, meanwhile, it is working on a bio-based, non-Deet insect repellant and a microbial alternative to synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

“We’re still in the first mile of a 100-mile race,” says Hoffman, who owns just over 3 million shares of stock worth $93 million at the offering price. “The goal was not to create a company to go public. It was to create a generation-defining company that allows us to make products in a better way. It’s going to be years before we fully realize that.”

I’m a senior editor at Forbes, where I cover manufacturing, industrial innovation and consumer products. I also edit the Next Billion-Dollar Startups list. Before rejoining Forbes in 2016, I was a senior writer or staff writer at BusinessWeek, Money and the New York Daily News. My work has also appeared in Barron’s, Inc., the New York Times and numerous other publications. I’m based in New York, but my family is from Pittsburgh—and I love stories that get me out into the industrial heartland. Ping me with ideas, or follow me on Twitter @amyfeldman.

Source: In An Earth Day Test For Synthetic Biology Field, Zymergen Raises $500 Million In IPO

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With Russia’s Help, China Becomes Plastics Making Power In Pandemic

After giving up on recycling — American recycling that is — China is still in love with the plastics biz. In fact. their companies are becoming dominant in all things plastic, one of the most important supply chains in the world.

In other words, it will be yet another segment in global business that the world will need Chinese companies to get supply.

The pandemic has helped the petrochemicals industry make up for losses in oil and gas demand. Plastics are tied to the fossil fuels industry. Stay-at-home orders throughout the U.S. and Europe has led to more take-out food orders and a lot of that is being placed in plastic containers.

I’d like to highlight one thing though: China’s Sinopec is the behemoth in this space, and although you can buy into Sinopec on the U.S. stock market, if the incoming Biden Administration makes good on a Trump order to delist Chinese companies that are not compliant with the financial audit rules under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, then Sinopec will probably leave the NYSE.

According to industry consultant Wood Mackenzie, petrochemicals will account for more than a third of global oil demand growth to 2030 and nearly half through 2050.

The growth in both plastics consumption and production is mostly coming from Asia where economies are catching up with the western levels of plastics consumption, and becoming a source for plastics exports to the U.S. and Europe.

Within Asia of course, China is the powerhouse. Last year Exxon Mobil XOM -4.8% began constructing its $10 billion petrochemical complex in Huizhou, China.

Russia Joins China, Wants To Be ‘Indispensible’

Russia’s petrochemical giant Sibur is also locked into China, mainly through a Sinopec partnership. The two companies began work on one of the world’s largest polymer plants for plastics making last August, spending $11 billion on the Amur Gas Chemical Complex in Russia.

The two sides are intimately connected in the global plastics biz.

“Amur is a milestone in the cooperation between Sinopec and Sibur,” Zhang Yuzhuo, chairman of Sinopec, says in a press statement, calling it a “model for Sino-Russian energy cooperation.”

The entire industry, while not exactly the sexy and green industry the Davos crowd is promoting heavily in the Western world, is seen by China and still-emerging markets like Russia — as a development tool for regions far away from the big city hubs of Moscow or Shanghai. This is as much about job creation as it is pumping out plastic molds and the ethylene needed to make it.

Russia recently introduced negative excise tax on LPG and ethane used in petrochemicals which was a meaty financial bone thrown to Sinopec and Sibur’s Amur project, among others in the Russian far east. 

The Sibur Russia angle has gained momentum recently due to the ramp up in production from the new ZapSib Siberian facility last year. They make polyethylene and 500 thousand tons of polypropylene there; all must-have ingredients for plastics manufacturers.

Their relationship with Chinese investors, buyers and counterparties was one of the main reasons to even build that manufacturing plant in the first place, and is something the Moscow market likes to give as one of the best reasons to be bullish about a rumored initial public offering for Sibur.

Sibur has said in press statements that they expect “another jump in scale” of plastics chemicals output with the addition of the Sinopec project, Amur.

“Sibur has long built relationships with Chinese clients, partners, and investors and Sinopec has been our strategic partner since 2013,” says Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the Management Board for Sibur. Konov told Reuters recently that there was no timeline for any IPO in the Moscow Exchange. Moscow was home to one of the top four largest IPOs last year, shipping firm Sovcomflot.

Konov said their logistical advantages in the far east, near China, and competitive pricing for its polymers means they will “scale up these relationships to further expand the delivery of high-quality petrochemicals from Siberia to China.”

VTB Capital, a Russian investment bank, says those projects would allow Russia to become one of the world’s top four producers of ethylene by 2030. Russia wants to position itself as the indispensable partner to China in this space, much in the way that China has positioned itself as the key source for numerous key inputs, whether its cobalt used in electric vehicle car batteries, or solar panels now expected to criss-cross the U.S. in the Biden Administration.

Due to the pandemic, China has been focused on industries of the future alongside those needed to get itself, and its trading partners, out of the pandemic rut — those polypropylene Olive Garden to go containers might not come from China, but the plastics that made it sure might.

China remains the place for growth in this space, too. Plastics-use patterns and penetration are rising. Figure the Asians are a good 10 to 20 years behind the U.S. in terms of plastics use. They’re gaining fast.

China As Plastics Demand Driver

Plastics aren’t made from tree bark, that’s for sure. It comes from fossil fuels and non-organic chemical compounds that make the stuff designed to last hundreds of years.

And China now accounts for roughly 40% of the demand for the chemicals used in making it, an increase of just 20% in 2005. 

China’s ethylene demand grew by 8.6% between 2014-17 while global demand grew by only half that. 

Looking out five years, Deutsche Bank industry analysts said in a November 25 report that China will account for over half of global consumption growth for ethylene (to which Sibur and Russia are happy as their go-to for now). 

China has 50% self-sufficiency in ethylene and derivative products – the domestic desire to expand capacities and increase self-sufficiency remains high. Russia is a solution. But Sinopec will invest domestically, as will the big Western multinationals who are frowned upon doing similar work back home. Exxon is case in point.

China was a relatively late entrant to the global petrochemical industry, but that does not mean much. They ramp up, and rev up fast due to state subsidies and state-owned companies’ ability to obtain raw materials and pass them along downstream for pennies on the dollar. These are loss leaders, but China doesn’t care about that stuff. They are looking to produce plastics for the locals, and for the export markets, especially U.S. and Europe, which are increasingly disinterested in anything fossil fuels related, at least on paper. 

In the 1990s, the Chinese petrochemical industry was significantly smaller than the U.S. In 1995, China’s ethylene capacity totaled 3% of global capacity. In comparison, Japan had 9% of global ethylene capacity and Korea had 5% of global capacity. Ethylene is naturally occurring.

During the 2000s, China’s petrochemical industry grew substantially driven by government support and strong demand from government-directed infrastructure spending, a burgeoning middle class with rising disposable incomes, expanding residential construction and exports of course.

Between 2004 and 2012, China’s ethylene capacity — the flammable gas used to make ethanol for cars, fruit ripeners, and — more importantly, plastics — doubled to 11 million tons per year. Within 25 years, China’s capacity has moved from 3% of global to 16% of global. Who thinks they’re going to slow that down? Need plastic? China will have it. For now, Russia has the chemicals. China might just gain on that next. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn

Kenneth Rapoza

Kenneth Rapoza

I’ve spent 20 years as a reporter for the best in the business, including as a Brazil-based staffer for WSJ. Since 2011, I focus on business and investing in the big emerging markets exclusively for Forbes. My work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Nation, Salon and USA Today. Occasional BBC guest. Former holder of the FINRA Series 7 and 66. Doesn’t follow the herd.

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Enterprise Software CEOs From The Cloud 100 Predict A Massive Upswing In 2021

A GGV Capital survey reveals 94% of private cloud companies expect improved revenue in 2021, while two-thirds do not expect the pandemic to impact their businesses beyond next year.

The Covid-19 pandemic has upended almost every facet of our lives; enterprise software companies, from startups to multibillion-dollar public companies, have not been immune to 2020’s headwinds. Yet this sector also benefited from the mass shift to work-from-home and accelerated digital adoption. For the last decade, companies have been transitioning their business processes, applications, and data to the cloud, and COVID-19 simply sped up this digital transformation.

As an investor in the software industry for over 20 years, I wanted to explore the impact of the pandemic on enterprise companies and what their CEOs predict will happen to their businesses in 2021. So I conducted an informal survey; I polled 25 CEOs of top software companies, from growth-stage to pre-IPO, listed in this year’s Forbes Cloud 100, and 17 responded. It’s hardly a scientific study, but the CEOs’ responses were illuminating, proving the pandemic has hurt many software companies’ 2020 top-lines but also provided unprecedented opportunities for growth.

Survey response showing the impact of Covid-19 on annual ARR for current forecast vs. pre-pandemic plan
ADAM SHARRATT AND STUDIO 96 PUBLISHING

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Nearly 90% of respondents say the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted their 2020 top-line results. Seven companies project their top-line annual ARR to come in up to 20% below their pre-COVID plan, while six project results that are 20-50% below their pre-COVID plans. Two companies actually project higher ARR than planned pre-COVID, proving some software business models flourished during work-from-home orders.

Not surprisingly, however, the overall top-line impact of the pandemic for this group was negative in the down 20% to down 50% range. Yet valuations for many private enterprise software companies surged during the pandemic; public market funds and venture investors alike clearly believe organizations will continue their digital transformations via cloud computing, AI, and open source.

Public Company Performance vs. Estimated Internal Pre-COVID Plan
ADAM SHARRATT AND STUDIO 96 PUBLISHING

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Interestingly, many public cloud companies also underperformed in 2020 compared to projected guidance, but they seemed to have weathered the pandemic better than private cloud companies. GGV took a look at published financial records for 36 public cloud companies, and, in aggregate, roughly two-thirds of these companies undershot our estimate of their internal, pre-COVID top-line plans for 2020, but they did so by a smaller margin than the 17 private companies I surveyed. Their median underperformance compared to plan was -2.9%.

The other one-third of the public companies we examined actually exceeded our estimates of their internal, pre-COVID top-line plans. Why did public cloud companies perform better than private ones in 2020? We don’t think public cloud companies are necessarily higher quality than private ones, but, more likely, they were not growing as fast as their private counterparts leading into COVID, so they didn’t have as high a hill to climb to maintain planned internal growth assumptions.

It has also been easier to sell new business into existing accounts than to find new accounts during the pandemic, giving public companies with a large installed base an advantage.

[Note: To identify the public companies’ internal pre-COVID growth plans for 2020, we took the simple average growth rate from the full-year 2020 public guidance these companies offered when reporting their Q4 ’19 results, just prior to the pandemic, and the full-year growth these companies sustained in 2019. Although not perfect, this seems a pretty good proxy for most public companies’ pre-COVID 2020 plans.]

Survey response on the level of optimism for the 2021 vs. 2020 business climate
ADAM SHARRATT AND STUDIO 96 PUBLISHING

Private cloud companies are already recovering and confident regarding the future. Almost all of the software CEOs we surveyed are more optimistic about 2021 than they are with the reality of 2020. Out of the 17 respondents, 16 believe their businesses will improve in 2021. Seven said their businesses would perform significantly better in 2021, and nine thought business would be mildly better next year. Additionally, while no one knows how the pandemic will play out, two-thirds of the CEOs surveyed believe the pandemic will not impact their businesses beyond 2021. 

Survey response showing the expected impact of the pandemic on business beyond 2021?
ADAM SHARRATT AND STUDIO 96 PUBLISHING

Many of the CEOs we surveyed believe that, with vaccines becoming widely available, the world will return to some semblance of normal in mid-2021. “I see a massive upswing in in-person experiences such as entertainment, travel, and social engagement beyond pre-COVID levels as people ‘make up for lost time’, and with that, I see corresponding success for tech platforms enabling these,” said one CEO.

“2021 will be the perfect storm for enterprise software—massive IT budget increases, paired with a distributed workforce,” said one CEO. Seeing strong demand for remote workforce technologies, security infrastructure, and data capture and analytics software, the CEOs were confident revenues would improve. “There will be a sustained momentum in digital transformation even as we move past COVID,” predicted one CEO, while another expects an “acceleration of technology that connects people and teams and that creates more business agility.” 

As demand for enterprise software booms in 2021, the CEOs believe a shakeout may come later in the year. “Competition between cloud providers will lead to lower margins, with each cloud trying to differentiate themselves with exclusive software,” said one CEO. Another commented that we should expect to see “much higher volatility between the winners and losers, and if the model is right, business will accelerate; if it is not, there will be no room for error and companies will collapse.”

I believe the enterprise software companies that will succeed post-pandemic will fall into three broad categories: those that serve developers with offerings that win their hearts and minds utilizing open source and API-driven models such as Hashicorp, Confluent, and Stripe; those enabling knowledge workers through low-code or no-code apps, such as SmartSheet and Notion; and those helping organizations extract value from massive quantities of data, including Snowflake, Databricks, and MongoDB.

Of course, these companies are already success stories, and many startups will emerge in an ecosystem around these winners in the next few years. With 2020 in the rearview mirror, I’m sure I speak for everyone in that I can’t wait to see what 2021 brings.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here

Glenn Solomon

Glenn Solomon

I am a Managing Partner at GGV Capital, a global venture capital firm focused on local founders. I invest in Enterprise Tech startups across seed to growth stages and across key areas including Open Source, cloud, infrastructure and cyber security sectors. I have been a VC for the the past 20+ years and in the last decade helped nine companies complete IPOs. I write about the trends and companies driving the next $1 trillion enterprise market and host the Founder Real Talk podcast, where I interview founders and startup executives about about the challenges they face and how they’ve grown from tough experiences.

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Amazing Stock

http://goo.gl/WPKt5w The world is divided in many different ways. We’re divided by invisible national boundaries, which carve up the land into different countries. We’re separated by seas and continents, which force us to live apart. Aside from that, we’re also separated by religion, and culture, and language. Because of all this, it’s sometimes hard to remember that we’re all one human race, and we all need to work together to deal with some of the issues that could change the face of the whole planet.

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Japan To Release Radioactive Fukushima Water Into Ocean

The new Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, is facing additional international pressure over the weekend, amid reports that Japan will be accelerating plans to dump millions of gallons of radioactive water directly into the ocean.

Reports have being widely circulated among Japan’s leading news agency and across international media that suggest the decision has already been taken by the new Japanese Government, and will be publicly communicated later this month.

Over 1.2 million tons of radioactive cooling water from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant will be released. Recommended For You

Residents travel on the opened road in f
The May 2011 tsunami devastated Japan. AFP via Getty Images

While the water will be treated, it will still be radioactive. 170 tons of new radioactive wastewater is generated each day and is stored in 1000 specially designed tanks.

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Environmentalists and local fishermen have been urging the Japanese Government to reconsider this option, after almost a decade trying to build back their reputation around the plant, where elevated radioactive levels can still be detected.

JAPAN-QUAKE-DISASTER-TUNA
14 Apr 2011: 17 tons of tuna caught off Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean were put up at auction … [+] AFP via Getty Images

South Korea still bans all seafood imports from this part of Japan, and has held urgent talks with Japanese counterparts to try and find a more measured approach to managing the Fukushima water crisis that would not risk the environment or human health.

The outrage over these plans come just three weeks after Prime Minister Suga personally visited the Fukushima plant, on September 26.

Japanese Prime Minister Suga inspecting the water at Fukushima.  This comes amid a scandal engulfing Japan's scientists.
Japanese Prime Minister Suga inspecting the water at Fukushima. This comes amid a scandal engulfing … [+] TEPCO

It follows a series of policy announcements by Japan that raises questions about how effective the country is a sustainable steward of the ocean amid the global climate and biodiversity crisis. In 2019, Japan withdrew from the International Whaling Commission to begin commercial whaling. At the UN shipping regulator, the IMO, Japan chairs the influential Environment Committee and has consistently pushed for much lower emission and pollution standards for its powerful shipping lobby.

Running out of storage space

A Look At TEPCO's Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant In Fukushima
29 Jan 2020: Members of the media and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) employees walk past a storage … [+] Getty Images

To cool radioactive fuel cores at the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan had pumped 1.2 million tons of water through the rods and this water became contaminated with radioactive tritium. Once used for cooling, this radioactive tritium cannot be removed, so the water was placed into storage.

Japan is now running out of space as it rushes to fully decommission the nuclear plant. The clean up has already cost the Japanese utility owner, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), $200 billion.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Environment, its tanks will be full by 2022.

Japanese Ministers under former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Government had been pushing for the dumping of radioactive waste in the ocean for years. Last year, Japan’s environment minister said that the only solution was to “release it into the ocean and dilute it.”

“There are no other options,” he said.

With the new Prime Minister in place, it looks like Japan wishes to move ahead quickly.

Japan ignoring UN advice

JAPAN-POLITICS-NUCLEAR-QUAKE-TSUNAMI
Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (front) visits Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in … [+] JAPAN POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Several UN human rights experts had been urging Japan not to release the radioactive water, amid fears it would drift into the coastline of neighboring countries and enter the food chain.

This comes as Japan appears to be rushing forward the decision following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and using the cover of Covid-19 to restrict debate.

Scandal surrounding Japan’s Scientific Council

New particle accelerator in Dresden rock cellar laboratory
04 July 2019, Takaaki Kaija, physics Nobel Prize winner from Japan and member of Science Council of … [+] picture alliance via Getty Images

Prime Minster Suga is already engulfed in a scandal around political interference in the once neutral Scientific Council of Japan.

A pattern seems to be forming with the new Japanese administration, where there has been greater political interference into academia whenever scientific truth appears to be inconvenient.

In the Japan Scientific Council scandal, several academics had challenged the Japanese Government on whether the growing militarization of Japan’s armed forces was permitted under the Constitution. They were then rejected from the Governing Board of the 206 member organization. This is the first time such an interference has occurred, and had been widely criticized by Japan’s academic and research community, including several Nobel Prize Winners, who argue this is political interference in academic freedom.

This comes on the back of Japan taking a very controversial position on climate change, the oil spill response in Mauritius due to a Japanese vessel, and now with significant questions about the safety of releasing Fukushima water into the ocean.

Released as ballast water?

JAPAN-POLITICS-ENVIRONMENT-DIPLOMACY-WHALING
A captured minke whale is unloaded from a whaling ship at a port in Kushiro, Hokkaido Prefecture on … [+] AFP via Getty Images

One of the ideas that had been suggested in Japan was whether the radioactive Fukushima water could be taken as ballast water in ships, far away from Japan’s shores.

This would be in strict violation of several UN ocean ship pollution laws, called Marpol.

However, the IMO has been criticized for being lax in the monitoring and enforcement of such laws that it was so proud to announce and accept external funding for from another UN trust fund, GEF, in 2017.

As islanders in Mauritius are still reeling from the aftermath of the deadly oil spill, new questions are being raised about the potential content of the ballast water from the Japanese-owned and operated vessel.

MAURITIUS-ENVIRONMENT-DISASTER-OIL
An aerial view taken in Mauritius on August 17, 2020, shows the MV Wakashio bulk carrier, belonging … [+] AFP via Getty Images

70 days on, and there are an unprecedented number of unanswered questions, ranging from how much oil was actually spilled in the oil spill, to the amount of ballast water that was being carried by the empty 200,000 ton Capesize iron ore bulk carrier (one of the biggest ships in the ocean), to what has happened to the fingerprinting of the oil.

The Japanese owners of the Wakashio, Nagashiki Shipping, have not responded to any question from the media since August 30, prompting further anger among Mauritians who are still in a state of national environmental emergency.

Hundreds of local fishermen have been banned from venturing into seven of Mauritius’ coral lagoons amid high cancer-causing PAH readings from fish samples. Yet, large industrial fish farms just five miles from the oil spill have been allowed to continue producing and selling 3 million fish into international export markets.

The oil spill surrounded the one major aquaculture farm in Mauritius, yet it has been permitted to continue exporting fish amid a general ban in the lagoon
Satellites show the oil spill surrounded the one major aquaculture farm in Mauritius, yet it has … [+] Ursa Space System | Iceye

Satellite analysis by Ursa Space Systems and Iceye, taken in the immediate aftermath of the spill showed the toxic oil spreading ten times in size in just five days, reaching Mauritius’ more northerly islands, 14 miles away.

President Macron folds to Japan’s weaker climate position

FRANCE-LEBANON-POLITICS-DIPLOMACY
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Japan’s position on the ocean has been strongly criticized, and it has been found putting forward proposals that would undermine the Paris Agreement.

Global shipping is the sixth largest emitter of carbon, and produces more carbon than France and Germany combined.

President Macron, once seen as a champion for the environment, appears to be siding with Japan at next week’s crunch UN talks on ship emissions that will decide the trajectory of ship emissions for the next decade.

US-FRANCE-SHIPPING-CMA CGM BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is the largest container ship to ever call at a North America port, seen … [+] AFP via Getty Images

Japan’s proposals are less than a quarter of the level of ambition needed to meet Paris commitments on climate change, leaving shipowners with very little changes that they need to make to their ships.

With France having the world’s fourth largest container ship company, CMA-CGM, whose revenues at over $30 billion are more than double that of Wakashio operator, Japan-based Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), meeting emissions targets would have impacted the French shipping company harder than the Japanese major.

Perhaps this was the deal that was needed to allow Japan to get rid of that other inconvenient problem – radioactive Fukushima water.

Nishan Degnarain

Nishan Degnarain

I am a Development Economist focused on Innovation, Sustainability, and Ethical Economic Growth. I currently work with leading Silicon Valley technology companies on sustainable growth opportunities, particularly targeted at lower income nations. I Chair LSE’s Ocean Finance Initiative, am a member of WEF’s Global Expert Network, and a member of CCICED’s China Council. My book on Sustainability in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, called ‘Soul of the Sea in the Age of the Algorithm,’ focuses on an Ocean and Climate Renaissance and builds on my experience as an Economic and Innovation adviser to Fortune 500 CEOs and Governments around the world. I hold degrees in Development Economics from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and University of Cambridge.

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Ending over seven years of debate on how to dispose of the radioactive water from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant,… Tokyo is reported to have finally admitted that it plans to release the water into the sea. Kim Hyo-sun has more. The Japanese government will most likely to release radioactive water from the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean,… amid growing concerns over its environmental impact. Citing government officials, Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun reported Thursday that the Japanese government will convene a Cabinet meeting on the matter this month to reach a final decision.

A massive amount of underground water has seeped in to cool the reactors that suffered core meltdowns in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The space, however, is expected to run out by the summer of 2022,… with contaminated water increasing by about 170 tons per day. The stored water has totaled 1-point-23 million tons,… filling up over 1-thousand tanks as of last month. In September, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo wants to “make a decision as soon as possible,”… on how to deal with the increasing water,… during his visit to the Fukushima plant.

According to Mainichi,… it would take at least two years until the water is actually discharged into the sea following the government’s final decision to do so,… as a new system as well as an approval by Tokyo’s Nuclear Regulation Authority are required. Until then, the Japanese government will most likely try and persuade local fishing communities and residents who are widely opposed to the idea. It’s also expected to face increasing opposition from neighboring countries like South Korea. Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News. 2020-10-16, 07:00 (KST) #Fukushima #radioactive_water #Japan 📣 Arirang News(Facebook) : https://www.facebook.com/arirangtvnews 📣 Arirang News(Twitter) : https://twitter.com/arirangtvnews 📣 News Center(YouTube) : https://www.youtube.com/c/NEWSCENTER_…

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