Materials World July 2017

In June, Donald Trump announced that the USA would withdraw from the Paris Agreement. If, and when, it leaves in 2020 – the earliest possible withdrawal date – it will become only the third UN country not party to the Agreement, the other two being Syria and Nicaragua, which chose not to enter at the outset. 

The withdrawal may, however, be largely symbolic. 12 US states are already members of the United States Climate Alliance, a bi-partisan group committed to upholding the objectives of the Paris Agreement, while ten more have so far pledged their support for the Agreement in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s announcement, as have the mayors of 323 American cities, including the ten most populous. 

Industry, meanwhile, has been widely adapting its practices to reduce emissions since well before the Agreement was signed in 2015, and while practically every other UN country continues to observe the voluntary commitments of the Agreement, it seems clear that a reversal of the broad global commitment to reducing emissions has a snowball’s (or polar ice cap’s) chance in hell. In this issue, Alastair Marsh uniquely frames his response to the USA’s withdrawal.

On an entirely different note, we would like to wish the very best of luck to our excellent Features Editor, Natalie Daniels, who after three years in the team is departing this month to fulfil a long-held dream of travelling the world. Natalie has been an integral part of the MW team – so integral, in fact, that you’ll be seeing several features that she has already commissioned and edited for two or three months to come. But, most importantly, Natalie has been a wonderful person to know and an absolute pleasure to work with.

News this issue:

Not so crystalline

60 seconds on… the world’s thinnest metallic nanowire

Boosting fuel cells

October trials for Bloodhound SSC

A plastic Industry 4.0

Making a biomass diesel

Exploring the ocean's reserves

10 minutes with… Bramley Murton on deep-sea mining

Transforming energy technology

Mining industry steadies ship

Best foot forward for gait recognition

Patent of the month: Diamond aggregate sorting apparatus

New concrete mix resists salt damage

Features this issue:

The benefits of chartership

Back to school

Q&A with Viacheslav Zyrin

Spotlight: Additive manufacturing

Material Marvels: Basilica de la Sagrada Família

The Paris Agreement will succeed without the USA