This bill would help us grow climate change solutions

June 25, 2020
As we mentioned yesterday, the Senate Agriculture Committee has been looking at legislation that would boost the biofuels industry—and we’re here for it. We have the details on yesterday’s hearing, plus news from our friends in Australia about COVID-19 vaccines, in 830…
BIO

As we mentioned yesterday, the Senate Agriculture Committee has been looking at legislation that would boost the biofuels industry—and we’re here for it. We have the details on yesterday’s hearing, plus news from our friends in Australia about COVID-19 vaccines, in 830 words, just about 4 minutes.

This bill would help us grow climate change solutions

Here’s a recap of an important Senate hearing yesterday, which looked at legislation that would benefit farmers, support renewable biofuels development, and advance the production of biobased products at a time when our climate and rural economies need them the most.   

The hearing: The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry examined the Growing Climate Solutions Act (S.3894), which “aims to break down barriers for farmers and foresters interested in participating in carbon markets so they can be rewarded for climate-smart practices,” reports Biomass Magazine

Specifically: The bipartisan legislation would “create a certification program at [U.S. Department of Agriculture] to help solve technical entry barriers that prevent farmer and forest landowner participation in carbon credit markets…The agency would also administer a new website that would serve as a one-stop-shop of information and resources for producers and foresters who are interested in participating in carbon markets,” Biomass Magazine continues in the detailed recap.

What they’re saying: “The Growing Climate Solutions Act would help farmers gain access to new revenue streams through private sector environmental markets, while also establishing a process that I think is really important to certify that greenhouse gas emission reductions can both be quantified and verified,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) at the hearing.

BIO’s take: Climate change is a threat to agriculture and society. However, innovative, biology-based tools will enable agriculture to adapt and be part of the solution. BIO is a strong supporter of the Growing Climate Solutions Act for the significant positive impact the legislation will have for American farmers, sustainable fuel producers, and biobased manufacturers. (Here’s our full statement.

And we’ll say it again: We have to do something about air pollution, climate change, and the economy. Biofuels can help solve all three problems at once. It’s that simple. 

Watch the hearing on the Committee’s website.  

 
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I am BIO
Meet Dr. Mo: Physician & Hospital Volunteer
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We’re officially launching I am BIO, our campaign to put a face to the biotech industry. 

Every Thursday, we’ll feature a new video showcasing the heroes and sheros who are making an impact on society with science, or someone whose life has been changed because of scientific breakthroughs—people exactly like you.

Today, meet Merck physician and hospital volunteer Dr. Mo Ali—who put his work on hold as Merck’s Associate Vice President of Global Market Access to treat COVID-19 patients in London and help the UK’s National Health Service beat the pandemic.

Visit www.bio.org/iambio to learn more and share your story!

 
 
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Vaccine news from down under

We checked in with our colleagues in Australia to learn about what they’re doing to find COVID treatments and vaccinesand we heard some promising news.

ICYMI: The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) recently announced more funding for three vaccines in development, including “the first advanced market commitment from the ACT Accelerator to supply COVID-19 vaccines to low and middle-income countries at no cost,” as BioCentury reported earlier this month

And two of those vaccines are linked to Australia, as BIO’s sister organization AusBiotech, which represents Australia’s biotech industry, told us.

One vaccine developed in partnership with the University of Queensland and CSL has shown to produce high levels of antibodies to neutralize the virus. CSL and CEPI will fund the Phase I study in July, which “will be followed by late-stage clinical trials and industrial-scale manufacturing at the CSL Behring facility in Melbourne,” according to AusBiotech

Meanwhile, Novavax is conducting trials of its “recombinant spike protein nanoparticle vaccine” in conjunction with Nucleus Network in Melbourne and Brisbane

What they’re saying: “Australia holds world-class talent and facilities. The development and participation in potential vaccines is demonstrative of the global connections that the thriving and mature Australian life science community nurtures. We are proud of the cutting-edge science that is being developed and is at the forefront of the global response to COVID-19,” says Lorraine Chiroiu, CEO of AusBiotech. 

As we’re seeing spikes in COVID-19 cases in the United States and other countries as lockdowns start to ease, this promising news from Australia is yet another reminder of why it’s more important than ever to collaborate globally on treatments, vaccines, and diagnostics for this deadly disease.

 

More Health Care News: 

Biopharma Dive: Fauci 'cautiously optimistic' about coronavirus vaccine by 2021
The “comments came in a hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which focused on whether President Donald Trump asked public health officials to slow down COVID-19 testing to limit increases in case counts.” 

Reuters: Sanofi clinches $2 billion vaccines deal with Translate Bio
“The companies said they would expand their partnership to develop a wide range of mRNA vaccines.” 

The Washington Post: CDC and drugmakers boost flu vaccine doses amid fears of an unprecedented respiratory illness season
“[M]ajor flu vaccine manufacturers say they plan to boost production by about 10 percent, to about 189 million doses, up from 170 million doses last year, to ensure enough doses exist for an anticipated surge in people seeking flu shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken the rare step of buying 7 million doses directly from manufacturers to be distributed to states for adult vaccination.”

 
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President Trump’s Thursday: Participating in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Korean War Veterans Memorial, then heading to Wisconsin, where he’ll participate in a Fox News town hall, then visiting the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipbuilding facility. And in case you’ve been wondering, Democrats have announced what they’ll do about their Milwaukee convention (H/T Axios).

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: Yesterday, House Democrats introduced a new health care plan; POLITICO has details and the outlook. Today, the House will take up police reform.

 
 
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