Daily briefing: How to close greenwashing loopholes in net-zero plans – Nature.com

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Mosquito nets are currently one of the main ways to prevent the spread of dengue.Credit: Erik De Castro/Reuters
A vaccine against dengue, called Qdenga, will be rolled out across Indonesia next year. Dengue is a mosquito-borne virus that infects millions of people annually and is endemic in more than 100 countries. Qdenga is only the second vaccine for preventing dengue, and it is the first that can be used in people who haven’t been infected with the virus. Some safety concerns linger: some scientists say that more research is needed to rule out the risk of a serious condition called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), in which vaccination induces antibodies that make a subsequent dengue infection worse. So far, no cases of ADE have been reported in four years of trial data.
Nature | 7 min read
A United Nations-backed report has called out businesses and financial institutions whose net-zero commitments have “loopholes wide enough to drive a diesel truck through”. The group points to those who continue to invest in fossil fuels, offset emissions with shoddy carbon credits and lobby behind closed doors to undermine ambitious government climate policies. It also calls for public reporting and regulation to ensure companies are doing what they claim. “We must have zero tolerance for net-zero greenwashing,” said UN secretary-general António Guterres. “The sham must end.”
Reuters | 6 min read
Reference: Report of the High-Level Expert Group on Net-Zero Commitments of Non-State Actors
Writer Noah Gallagher Shannon visited Uruguay to explore what a successful, sustainable world might look like. “There are countries more prosperous, and countries with a smaller carbon footprint, but perhaps in none do the overlapping possibilities of living well and living without ruin show as much promise as in Uruguay,” he writes.
The New York Times | 30 min read

Starting on Monday, I’ll be at COP27 in Egypt with the Nature News team as the conference enters a gruelling period of hard negotiations. We would like to hear your views about climate change, the summit and how science plays into the political process. Your comments might feature in future stories or help us to shape our coverage. Please e-mail me at at [email protected].
A Nature editorial explains the options for loss and damage compensation on the table at COP27. (5 min read)
Read more: for a graphics-led introduction to climate finance, try this short feature in The New York Times. (5 min read)
Kathleen Folbigg has spent 19 years in prison following the deaths of her four infant children. She was convicted of killing them in large part because it was deemed improbable that so many children in one family could die of natural causes. This month, researchers will present evidence suggesting that she should be released, because two of the children inherited a genetic mutation that might be linked to sudden death. The evidence is so complex that the Australian Academy of Science has been called in to act as an adviser. The case reaches beyond one family’s nightmare: it will touch on how science weighs the evidence for genetic causes of disease, and how that fits with the legal system’s concept of reasonable doubt.
Nature | 18 min read
Evidence and technical expertise are not enough to change decision-makers’ minds. Researchers need a “deep understanding” of how policies are made and to be prepared to invest time and money into working with policymakers to shape policy, writes Dewey Murdick, who trains researchers to be policy analysts.
Nature | 4 min read
Soundscapes based on data from the James Webb Space Telescope are captivating and beautiful. New research shows that sonification — when data is rendered as audio — is also useful. As well as making astronomy more accessible to people who are blind or have low vision, it can help scientists to better identify patterns in large astronomical data sets. “The work demonstrates that efforts to boost inclusivity and accessibility can have wider benefits,” argues a Nature editorial, calling for more rigorous evaluation of the technique.
Nature | 5 min read
Reference: Nature Astronomy paper
Environmental-law scholar Paulo de Bessa Antunes, who fought the administration of Jair Bolsonaro in the courtroom and has prosecuted many environmental cases in Brazil, says he is optimistic about the ability of incoming president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to protect Amazon forests. (Scientific American | 7 min read)
doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-022-03672-x
The French senate has passed a law that would require solar-panel shades over all parking lots with more than 80 spaces. (The bill still has to pass the National Assembly.) The plan joins others to put solar panels over existing flat bits such as motorway tunnels, reservoirs and railway sleepers.
Where would you like to see shining seas of photovoltaics arrive next? Let me know at [email protected] — and help energize this newsletter by sending your feedback along, too.
Thanks for reading,
Flora Graham, senior editor, Nature Briefing
With contributions by Nicky Phillips and Dyani Lewis
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Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), W&M
Gloucester Point,, VA, United States
City University of Hong Kong (CityU)
Hong Kong, China
The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)
Hershey, PA, United States
Cell Press
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
You have full access to this article via your institution.

Daily briefing: How mRNA vaccines could fight Ebola
Daily briefing: Nobel prizewinners call for freedom at COP27
Daily briefing: eLife won’t reject papers under review
Daily briefing: Vaccine hoarding might have cost 1.3 million lives
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