Greenpeace leaks US-EU trade details

In a Panama Papers-style data leak, Greenpeace has obtained and released documents detailing high level US-EU trade talks. According to Greenpeace, the 248 pages of documents highlight how “American trade negotiators had pressed their European counterparts to loosen important environmental and consumer protections, along with other provisions,” The New York Times reports. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership has been pushed hard by the Obama administration and would cover trade deals in everything from telecommunications to agricultural products, financial services and intellectual property.

Overfishing threatens global tuna stocks

The global tuna industry is worth $42 billion annually but will be put at risk if countries and companies fail to implement sustainable fishing quotas according to a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Five out of eight tuna species are at risk of extinction because of overfishing, according to conservationists. As the Guardian writes, that sustainability can come in one of two ways: “either a regulatory process saying you can only catch this much, forcing the industry to adjust to that, or…market pressure from retailers saying we don’t want to purchase from any place that can’t actually demonstrate specific sustainability steps.”

Rise of the Robots

The global market for robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is growing rapidly driven in particular by manufacturing industry demand in China and Japan, the Financial Times reports. It cites data from tech research firm IDNC that estimates the robot market will be worth $135 billion by 2019. While robots have been working in assembly plants for years this new generation of machine learning will be cheaper and more flexible so they can adapt and integrate further into daily life. “From driverless cars and drones to the ‘cobots’ that work alongside humans in industrial settings, they try to sense and adapt to their surroundings,” writes the FT. 

The Tesla of garbage trucks

From machine learning to very big electric vehicle technology and news that the city of Wellington, New Zealand is breathing new EV life into its ageing trolley car fleet thanks to a  US $30 million deal with Wrightspeed, Curbed reports. Wrightspeed was founder by former Tesla Motors founder Ian Wright and specialises in bringing EV solutions to oversized buses, delivery vans, and even garbage trucks. Its “electric motors, battery packs, and a gas turbine can provide lumbering, multi-ton motor vehicles with 60 percent better fuel efficiency and 90 percent cleaner emissions,” Curbed writes.

Get social and sustainability smart 

Finally today, a quick reminder about our May 17th social media sustainability training workshop in London. You’ll learn how companies like GE, Sainsbury’s, Philips, Novo Nordisk and many more successfully communicate sustainability, CSR and purpose. There’s a 20% discount for our readers. Just use the code MEMBERS20. 

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