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Take a look through all of the month's most-read news stories, and click the links in the descriptions below to read them for yourself

Plastics pacts, Mission Possible pledges and the Autumn Budget: Top 10 sustainability stories of October 2018

As October comes to a close and we begin to dust off our old Halloween costumes, edie rounds up some of the top sustainability stories and standout pieces of content from the last 31 days - from new collaborative commitments to plastic and Mission Possible pledges to the green economy measures outlined in this year's Budget.

Sustainable mobility: A blueprint for business leadership

This edie insight report explores five of the most important areas of focus for sustainability professionals – from electric vehicles (EVs) and greener fleets, to smarter business travel.

This nine-page insight report explores five of the most important mobility areas of focus for sustainability professionals – from EVs and greener fleets, to smarter business travel

A blueprint for business leadership: edie launches sustainable mobility report

edie has today (22 October) launched a brand-new insight report which explores how UK businesses can take the lead on accelerating the transition to more sustainable forms of mobility.

The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign estimates that the plans will see an extra 80,000 flights depart from Gatwick each year

Green campaigners slam Gatwick's plans to use emergency runway to boost capacity

Green campaign groups have criticised Gatwick Airport's newly-announced plans to bring its emergency runway into daily use, citing concerns over climate impacts and air pollution.

Heathrow estimates that there are currently more than 100 electric aviation projects underway globally. Image: Airbus

Heathrow to waive landing fees for world's first electric aircraft

Heathrow Airport has announced that it will waive a year's worth of landing charges for the world's first electric passenger plane once it is developed, in a bid to encourage the low-carbon transition to gather pace in the aviation sector.

This week's best innovations could drive significant change across the fashion, aviation and agricultural sectors

Carbon-negative batteries and food waste plastics: The best green innovations of the week

A number of eye-catching and potentially transformational innovations have emerged that could help businesses and nations accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy. Here, edie rounds-up six of the best.

Virgin has said it will explore the feasibility of sourcing enough of the low-carbon fuel to power more of its long-haul routes

Virgin Atlantic to showcase low-carbon 'recycled' jet fuel next month

Virgin Atlantic has announced that it will use an innovative low-carbon jet fuel made from recycled waste gases to power one of its London to Florida flights in October.

(L-R): Presenter Global Action Plan partner Chris Large; the Virgin Atlantic team; and compere Rufus Hound

Meet the Sustainability Leader: Virgin Atlantic - Employee Engagement and Behaviour Change

With entries now open for edie's revamped 2019 Sustainability Leaders Awards, this new feature series will showcase the achievements of the 2018 winners, revealing their secrets to success. Up next: our 2018 Employee Engagement and Behaviour Change winners, Virgin Atlantic.

The innovations were judged as the best solutions to some of the key sustainability challenges facing the aviation sector

Heathrow to act as test bed for green corridors and plastic-waste roads

Heathrow Airport is set to install innovative road surfacing made from recycled plastic waste alongside "green corridors", after announcing the winners of its inaugural Sustainable Innovation Prize.

The current carbon price in the EU is €18.28 - up more than threefold since May 2017

Report: EU carbon prices could hit €40 over next five years

European Union (EU) carbon prices could more than double to €40 per tonne between 2019 and 2023, spurring the transition away from coal power across the bloc.

Marine transport has time and time again been highlighted as an industry where green progress continues to be slow

Innovation required to spur cargo shipping sector towards 2050 emission reduction targets

Despite recent progress towards decarbonisation by the world's leading maritime shipping companies, the sector is in need of innovation to spur it towards the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) 2050 target of halving CO2 emissions from 2008 levels.

£68m has been set aside to support small and medium-sized companies with research and development opportunities

UK to champion green aviation through £343m Sector Deal

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark has vowed that the UK will "lead the world" on an electric and hybrid aircraft revolution, after announcing the £343m Aerospace Sector Deal as part of the UK Government's Industrial Strategy.

The exclusive edie webinar will include a presentation from Heathrow Airport's chief executive John Holland-Kaye, who will also join a live audience Q&A afterwards

Inside Heathrow 2.0: One week left to register for webinar featuring Airport's chief executive

Taking place on Monday 23 April, edie's next webinar will see Heathrow Airport's chief executive and director of sustainability join representatives from Business in The Community and The Climate Group to provide a progress update on the 'Heathrow 2.0' sustainability plan.

LanzaTech's jet fuel is currently undergoing a review process and will need to be qualified for use on commercial flights. Image: Virgin Atlantic

Sir Richard Branson: Commercial low-carbon jet fuel 'within touching distance'

A decade on from Virgin Atlantic's first commercial flight using low-carbon fuel mix, the company's founder Sir Richard Branson believes that government incentives can help scale-up sustainable fuel use at a price on par with traditional aviation fuels.

8 global sustainability trends to watch out for in 2018

Over the past 12 months, challenges around addressing sustainability issues have featured consistently in global headlines. Despite mixed political messages about our transition to a low-carbon future, the private sector has continued to drive sustainability up the business agenda; from Science Based Targets (SBTs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to increased investor scrutiny over non-financial reporting.

Airbus will be responsible for overall integration of the E-Fan X project

Airbus, Rolls Royce and Siemens aim for electric plane lift-off by 2020

Airbus, Rolls Royce and Siemens have teamed up to develop a hybrid-electric plane which the group hopes will be ready to fly in 2020.

The EU ETS sets a cap on the total emissions from electricity generation and enables UK-based industries to purchase emissions reductions from overseas

European Commission moves to Brexit-proof Emissions Trading System

The European Commission has agreed on a new measure to protect its Emissions Trading System (ETS) against a potential breakdown in Brexit negotiations.

T&E, Oxfam and Friends of the Earth are among nearly 100 environmental groups protesting the proposal

New airplane biofuels plan would 'destroy rainforests', warn campaigners

A new plan to accelerate production of biofuels for passenger planes has drawn stinging criticism from environmentalists who argue that most of the world's rainforests might have to be cleared to produce the necessary crops.

Fasten your seat belt, sustainable air travel is preparing for take-off

We have hybrid cars, and it now appears that the prospect of being able to fly more sustainably is no longer beyond the realms of possibility.

Investment will be available for projects that produce low-carbon waste-based fuels for vehicles too heavy to use electric power

Ministers give double boost for low-carbon road transport and aviation

The UK Government has provided a helping hand for low-carbon transport with separate funding announcements for cleaner buses and waste-based fuels for planes and lorries.

The transition to a circular economy has the destination mapped out, but the journey is far less clear cut

Circular trailblazers: Mapping the journey to a closed-loop business model

As waste and resource scarcity issues have an increasing impact on supply chains across the world, edie explores how two circular economy leaders - HP and Philips - are continuing to navigate a complex minefield of challenges in their mission to drive a global resource revolution.

The 38-page sustainability report outlines Heathrow's aim to ensure the Airport's expansion is seen as

Green buildings focus helps Heathrow hit 2020 carbon reduction target

The installation of more than 100,000 LEDs and a rooftop solar system helped Heathrow Airport achieve a 14% year-on-year reduction in carbon emissions from its buildings, enabling the business to hit a target that was set for 2020.

The reductions were delivered though investments into the Boeing 787 aircraft

Virgin Atlantic cuts aircraft emissions by 22% in 10 years

A multi-billion-dollar Boeing fleet investment, engine taxiing and weight management have together contributed to Virgin Atlantic reducing total aircraft carbon emissions by 22% since 2007, with similar footprint reductions generated for other carbon-efficiency measurements.

The inaugural league table was published this week, using data from January to March, and placed British Airways, Aer Lingus and Etihad Airways at the top of the rankings

Heathrow expands airline league table to incentivise emissions reductions

The 50 busiest operating airlines at Heathrow Airport are being incentivised to reduce emissions and noise in their operations through a new public ranking system.

The new generation of aircraft will help easyJet to further reduce emissions which have dropped since 2000 from 116.2g to 79.98g, a fall of more than 30%

easyJet's fuel-efficient aircraft set for take-off

Budget airline easyJet is preparing for this week's launch of a new aircraft which could deliver emissions reduction and fuel efficiency savings of up to 15% compared to existing generation models.

Many businesses already utilising fleet management and telematics technology have reported fuel savings of as much as two gallons per vehicle per day

Driving change: How can businesses increase efficiency for a greener fleet?

Whether it's the rollout of electric vehicles (EVs), the use of telematics, or the strategic positioning of distribution centres, there is now a multitude of options available to businesses looking to reduce fleet emissions. But which is the best route to take? edie's George Ogleby investigates.

Is 2017 the Year of the Flying Car?

According to recent reports, flying cars could finally 'get off the ground' and be commercially available this year. By coincidence I was in Brussels with the Evaluation Expert Panel for the latest Horizon 2020's 'Green Vehicles' proposals at the same time, and over tea breaks we discussed the likelihood of this year being the 'Year of the Flying Car'. Not surprisingly, there was the usual degree of scepticism by the gathered experts about these new claims.

Autonomous systems for environmental monitoring

Autonomous systems are a key priority in governmental agendas. In 2013, David Willetts included them as one of the Eight Great Technologies that will propel the UK to future growth. In 2017, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund was created that prioritised "robotics systems...that can be deployed in extreme environments."

easyJet’s emissions per kilometre travelled by passengers fell from more than 82g to 79.98g last year

easyJet sets new carbon goal after emissions tumble by 31%

Airline company easyJet has set a new emissions reduction goal for 2020, after a range of fuel-saving techniques helped record a 31% reduction since 2000.

As part of its response, the Government revealed that it will publish an Aviation Strategy white paper in 2018 as part of a broader aviation commitment

MPs criticise Government over carbon 'fantasy' for Heathrow expansion

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has criticised the UK Government for refusing to commit to air quality targets in relation to the third runway expansion, labelling the associated carbon calculations as a "fantasy".

Beware false sustainability solutions

It is inescapable and undeniable that we live in a finite world. It is also becoming widely accepted that we are using resources and polluting air, land and water at unsustainable levels. That's why the term 'sustainability' is pervading many aspects of government policy, locally, nationally and internationally, and prompting business and industry to radically change the ways they operate.

Processing 10.5 tonnes of Category 1 waste every day, the new site will boost the airport's recycling rate from 52% in 2016 to around 85% by 2020. (Scroll down to play video)

Video Inside Gatwick's 'world-first' waste management plant

Gatwick's newly opened £3.8m waste processing plant takes the airport to brave new heights for sustainable aviation. Join edie on the ground for an exclusive behind-the-scenes video tour of this state-of-the-art facility, and read the full case study to find out how it works.

The five-year project will see SEAT provide CNG vehicles to test the new fuels over a total test run distance of 120,000km

Breakthroughs for biofuel in aviation and transport sectors

Car manufacturer SEAT has provided insight into its innovative project that turns wastewater into a biomethane fuel capable of reducing CO2 emissions by 80% compared to traditional vehicles, while NASA has released data on the viability on using biofuels in jet engines.

Around 2,500 commercial flights have now taken place using some amount of biofuels

EU sees 'strategic advantage' of biofuels in aviation

In sectors like aviation where decarbonisation options are limited, there is a strategic advantage in encouraging the use of biofuels, a European Commission official has said.

A CGI image of Heathrow's planned expansion to a third runway, which will make the airport the UK’s largest source of carbon emissions

Inside Heathrow 2.0: a flight path towards true sustainability leadership

Heathrow has just unveiled a sustainability strategy that could prove a game-changer for sustainable aviation. But does it make the airport's controversial expansion worthwhile? edie editor Luke Nicholls sits down with the firm's director of sustainability and executive director of expansion to find out.

Heathrow's new sustainability strategy sets a wide range of targets to tackle carbon emissions, illegal levels of local air pollution, and noise

Heathrow 2.0: Airport launches sustainability super-strategy ahead of expansion

A rapid transition to 100% renewable energy, the development of a Centre of Excellence for sustainable aviation, and the carbon-neutral expansion to a third runway are among the key commitments made by Heathrow Airport in a bold new CSR strategy.

The Government told the EAC that it intends to base its carbon policy for the runway on scenarios that use assumptions about passenger use and demand

Report: Heathrow expansion will create a 'black hole' in future carbon budgets

The UK Government's lack of commentary on how it plans to mitigate the environmental impacts of the third runway expansion at Heathrow Airport could create a "black hole" in future carbon budgets, a new report has warned.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye last week announced that all of the Airport's energy usage will be generated from renewable sources within the next few months

Heathrow 'surprised' as Government omits air quality regulation from plans

Heathrow Airport has today (3 February) urged the Government to ensure independent regulation of the air quality impact of the Airport's expansion, a day after ministers launched a consultation on proposals for the third runway.

Heathrow Airport's chief executive John Holland-Kaye gave this speech on day two of edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye speech: 'Airport expansion a model for sustainable growth'

Heathrow Airport chief executive John Holland-Kaye took to the stage at edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum this week to announce that all of the Airport's energy usage will be generated from renewable sources within the next few months, ahead of its controversial expansion. Here's a full transcript of his speech.

Jeremy Rowsell hopes that his inaugural On Wings of Waste flight will change the mindset of airlines and aviators across the world

On Wings of Waste: Plane fuelled by plastic waste completes trailblazing flight

British-born pilot and environmentalist Jeremy Rowsell has made history this week by flying a light aircraft across Australia using a conventional fuel blended with fuel derived from plastic waste.

The aviation and maritime sectors are currently responsible for around 5% of global emissions, but this is expected to rise without if left unregulated

Shipping and aviation set to reverse half of Europe's transport carbon savings

Almost half of the carbon savings made by Europe's land-based transport by 2030 will be effectively cancelled out by continued emissions growth in the shipping and aviation sectors, according to new research commissioned by green group Transport & Environment (T&E).

DfT confirmed details of the new £390m funding for future transport technology, and outlined several proposals to develop renewable fuels in aviation

Government prepares for green transport revolution with EV and sustainable aviation frameworks

British transport is set for a significant low-carbon boost with several new Government consultations and funding schemed announced over the past few days in a bid to drive a green transport overhaul.

The fuel is believed to be the world’s first of its kind produced from forest wood

Alaska Airlines flies first commercial jet powered by forest biomass

Alaska Airline passengers have taken to the skies in a "world-first" commercial flight running on sustainable alternative jet fuel made from forest residuals from the Pacific Northwest.

The addition of a third runway at Heathrow has been widely criticised by politicians and campaigners due to its potential impact on noise and air quality

'Climate-wrecking' Heathrow Airport expansion approved by Government

The long-anticipated expansion of London's Heathrow Airport has been approved by Government ministers - a decision that has been lambasted by green groups and environmental campaigners for its potential impact on Britain's air quality and emissions.

MEPs lamented that the agreement will be mandatory only after 2027, while only 65 countries will join the voluntary phase from 2021

Global deal to curb aviation emissions 'not enough', MEPs warn

European lawmakers on Wednesday (12 October) gave a lukewarm reception to the landmark deal reached by the 191 members of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to limit aviation emissions.

Nations agreed to a last-minute decision to drop plans of aligning ICAO policies with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5/2C pathway

Global aviation climate deal agreed: 'Mission accomplished' or 'timid step' forward?

Representatives from 191 nations finally pieced together a global deal to introduce a carbon offset scheme for the aviation sector in Montreal last night (6 October), although the agreement has been acknowledged as a "timid step in the right direction" by green groups.

New analysis has claimed that despite needing an upgrade, the current EU ETS is functioning with the “potential to deliver real emissions reductions”

Is 'imperfect' ETS a better option for aviation emissions than a voluntary ICAO draft?

As nations meet today (26 September) to edge a global aviation deal closer, new analysis has suggested that the European Union's Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is still "superior" to the drafted proposal offered by the United Nation's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

With United Nations heavyweights calling for the Paris Agreement to be delivered by the end of 2016, countries need to start practicing what they preach

From the US to the Marshall Islands: Global climate action is on the march

COP21's frantic, last-minute climate deal bookmarked a new era for global sustainability, and as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) evolve into tangible action, edie looks at six recent instances where national action is speaking louder than words.

The process could be retrofitted across 65% of the world’s steel mills, leading to the creation of 15bn gallons of AtJ fuel – representing around 19% of global aviation fuel

Virgin unveils aviation 'game-changer' with alcohol-to-jet fuel

Virgin Atlantic has today (14 September) announced that an innovative partnership with carbon capture company LanzaTech has successfully produced 1,500 gallons of low-carbon, alcohol-to-jet (AtJ) fuel.

The energy generated will be used to power the new processing plant and provide heat for the North Terminal

Gatwick to build world's first airport energy-from-waste facility

Gatwick will become the first airport in the world to generate energy from Category 1 waste, when it launches an onsite processing plant in November.

According to plans currently under consideration, the global market-based system would be fully up and running in 2027 only, six years later than the initial 2021 deadline

MEPs shocked by 'secretive' ICAO plan to cut aviation emissions

A six-year delay, exemptions for poor nations, and a gradual phase-in system for participating countries are all being considered as part of talks to curb aviation pollution at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), MEPs discovered at a hearing in Parliament today (1 September).

The ICAO report looks at the potential of sustainable alternative fuels and innovative technology to reduce an airplane’s carbon footprint

Aviation industry urged to ramp up commitment to combat climate change

The aviation industry must prepare for the impacts of climate change by utilising clean technology and policy tools to significantly reduce its carbon footprint, the International Civil Aviation Organisation has claimed.

A CGI of the City Airport expansion plans, which includes an extended terminal, a new aircraft taxiway and upgraded public transport links, creating more than 2,000 jobs

Sadiq Khan's pollution pledges called into question with City Airport expansion approval

The approval of planning permission for a £344m expansion of London City Airport has been described by green groups as a "terrible" and "reckless" decision for the capital, with Mayor Sadiq Khan accused of backtracking on his pollution policies.

The Solar Impulse 2 journey has seen the plane pass over China, the US and Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

Solar Impulse 2 completes record-breaking round-the-world trip

A solar-powered plane, equipped with 17,248 solar cells, completed the final leg of its record-breaking circumnavigation journey around the world last night (25 July).

The EC has called on Member States to accelerate Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) deployment

European Commission set to establish post-2020 transport efficiency standards

Plans outlined in a leaked draft document from the European Commission (EC) to introduce efficiency standards for new cars, vans and trucks by the mid-2020s has been lauded as a "step in the right direction" by Transport & Environment (T&E).

Despite the political willingness, talks could drag on until the very last hour given the technical complexity of the deal

Aviation industry preparing for 'eleventh hour' deal on emission trading

An agreement on curbing emissions from international flights will be reached at the ICAO general assembly this autumn, according to industry sources, while biofuels continue to struggle to emerge as a long-term solution for greening the sector.

NASA believes that Maxwell, which can reach cruising speeds of 175mph, will lead to shorter journeys for passengers

Meet Maxwell, the electric plane from NASA set to shake-up the aviation industry

US space agency NASA has unveiled a new experimental aircraft that harnesses 14 electric motors along uniquely-designed wings to replace traditional gas-fuelled piston engines, in an attempt to sever the aviation sector's dependence on fossil fuels.

The G7 nations also committed to the “transparent and robust” implementation of their collective nationally determined contributions (NDCs)

G7 nations commit to ending 'inefficient' fossil fuel subsidies by 2025

Plans to drive a low-carbon transition as part of the recent Paris Agreement have been given a timely boost, after the G7 nations agreed a landmark deal to end the majority of fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.

Heathrow Airport caters for 70% of the UK’s scheduled long-haul flights, compared to 11% at Gatwick

Air quality takes centre stage in Gatwick and Heathrow's expansion battle

Gatwick Airport has claimed it is the "only" airport that can deliver the economic benefits of expansion without "dramatic and unacceptable" impacts on air quality, after the Transport Committee continued to back the third runway development plans at Heathrow.

Solar Impulse 2 has already broken the world record for distance and duration of solar aviation. Photo: Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse 2 to return to the skies

The longest non-stop solo aeroplane flight in aviation history is set to resume flying after entering "Mission Mode" for the next leg of its adventure from Hawaii to North America.

Jet airliner rivals Airbus and Boeing are forming new collaborative projects in an attempt to curb aviation emissions

Airbus and Boeing thrust sustainable aviation into spotlight

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus is teaming up with Siemens to introduce a range of hybrid passenger planes, while rival Boeing has partnered with NASA to reduce emissions through lighter wing designs.

The competitive nature of the aviation sector is creating a roadblock which Thomas Cook can’t push past without collaborative help

How Thomas Cook is flying high with data management to drive sustainability

EXCLUSIVE: The story of sustainability at Thomas Cook is a 'complicated' one. Faced with regressing economic resources dedicated to energy management, a once bustling team of sustainability experts has been streamlined in a bid to deliver a more holistic approach and create a 'truly transparent' company.

British-born pilot and adventurer Jeremy Rowsell climbs on board the 'On Wings of Waste' plane to raise awareness of plastic pollution

On wings of waste: Plane fuelled by recycled plastic wins Attenborough's approval

A plan to fly across America in a plane powered by recycled plastic has been welcomed by legendary broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough as a "sign of hope in a very depressing world".

While efforts have been made to improve transport infrastructure around the airport, Heathrow is still researching the uptake of newer aircraft models

Green technology could mitigate environmental impacts of Heathrow expansion

Technological advancements will mitigate the environmental impacts, such as noise and air pollution, of the controversial third runway developed at Heathrow, a new report from the Independent Transport Commission (ITC) has found.

International Civil Aviation Organisation plan of 4% fuel reduction of new aircraft starting in 2028 not enough to halt emissions, environmental groups say

Global initiative introduces first proposal to reduce airplane pollution

International Civil Aviation Organisation plan of 4% fuel reduction of new aircraft starting in 2028 not enough to halt emissions, environmental groups say

Easyjet will trial the hydrogen technology later this year. (Standard Easyjet aircraft pictured)

Easyjet's hybrid 'plane of the future' set for takeoff

The UK's largest airline has unveiled plans to develop a hybrid plane featuring a hydrogen fuel cell which could save around 50,000 tonnes of fuel a year.

New York announces a huge clean energy financial drive while the UK struggles with regulation

Sustainability stats: This week in numbers

While New Year's resolutions to give up alcohol or head to the gym are strained or even broken, this week saw the continued commitment to building a sustainable future - even if some sectors are struggling to shed those stubborn carbon footprints.

Airbus and Boeing aircrafts account for more than 90% of global aviation emissions

NGOs slam 'gas guzzling' Airbus over fuel efficiency 'betrayal'

Aviation giant Airbus has been accused of undermining fuel efficiency standards for new aircraft by a group of 17 European NGOs which claims that Airbus is prioritising profit over planet.

Donald Trump faces a £1,610 penalty due to flights to the UK in a plane from DJT Operations I LLC

Donald Trump hit with aviation emissions fine for UK flights

US Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has been fined for the carbon pollution caused by part of his aircraft real estate, joining the Bahrain royal family and Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox America in breaching EU emissions trading schemes.

NASA's design concept for supersonic flight is one step closer through new commercial green tech innovations

NASA cleantech offers emissions windfall for aviation industry

NASA has claimed that America's aviation industry could reduce pollutant emissions by 75% - saving $250bn in the process - by incorporating refined green technologies that the Agency has developed over the past six years.

An early Christmas present for the green economy...

With that historic global climate deal agreed in Paris over the weekend, I was asked to deliver a speech to sustainability professionals on whether or not COP21 would constitute a 'success' for the green economy. Here's what I said...

The US called for the 1.5 degree goal to be recognised in the final agreement

US demands 1.5 degree warming limit in COP21 deal

The United States was officially unveiled on Wednesday (9 December) as the most influential new member of the 'High Ambition Coalition' and immediately threw its weight behind a future 1.5 degree global warming limit in the international climate change agreement negotiations, in Paris.

Seating configuration and aircraft fuel burn explain about 80% of the variation in fuel efficiency among  airlines

British Airways ranked as least efficient major transatlantic airline

British Airway has ranked last in a new analysis of the fuel efficiency of the 20 largest airlines that fly transatlantic routes.


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