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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

“Black cloud” over Cairo disappears because of smart government policy

** #3 When government policy works, part II: The Black Cloud. For as long as many of us at Enterprise have been alive, Cairenes have choked each fall on the acrid “black smoke” that blankets our fair city. The cause? The burning of straw by rice farmers. But this autumn has been particularly smoke-free, and you can thank a government program that gave traders an EGP 50 per-ton incentive to buy the straw from farmers, Reuters reports, citing remarks by Mohamed Salah, head of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency. The straw is then sold as animal feed, the newswire reports, though we have primarily seen it used in waste-to-energy programs.

This is the second time this week we’ve found evidence that smart policy can make a difference. The government’s white cab program, which pulled ancient taxis off the roadways by providing subsidized finance for new vehicles, slashed Egypt’s carbon dioxide emissions by 310k tonnes in 2013-2017, according to a World Bank report we noted on Monday.

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