Picture: 123RF/PETKOV
Picture: 123RF/PETKOV

1. Ire over cheap chips

European nations hammered by Covid-19 lockdowns are dumping frozen fries in other parts of the world, prompting New Zealand’s government to open a formal investigation. Producers’ body Potatoes New Zealand says countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium have "deliberately targeted" the New Zealand market with their discounted frozen fries as the market for them has largely dried up in Europe due to lockdowns, the Guardian reports. A campaign to buy local fries has kicked off under the hashtag #SaveOurFries, and Potatoes New Zealand says consumers need to question the origins of their food if they want local growers to survive.

2. Green hits new highs

Global renewable electricity installations will hit a record level in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says almost 90% of new electricity generation in 2020 will be renewable, with just 10% powered by gas and coal. The trend puts green electricity on track to become the largest power source in 2025, displacing coal, which has dominated for the past 50 years, The Guardian says.

The IEA says shares in renewable equipment makers and project developers have outperformed most stock market indices, and that the value of shares in solar companies has more than doubled since December 2019.

3. Egypt makes tracks

Egypt has announced its intention to build a railway line to the Sudanese city of Wadi Halfa, and to extend a line in the north to Libya’s Benghazi, AFP reports. The expansion projects are part of efforts to overhaul the country’s transport system. Its railway network has suffered from decades of underinvestment and has a poor safety record. Since coming to power in a military coup in 2013, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has stated his intention to build cross-border railway lines with neighbouring countries to revive regional trade.

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