Here are the answers to our quiz on key news topics from December, plus some additional background information.

1. What is the Montreal Carbon Pledge?

Answer: a

Additional notes: University of Ottawa has become the first Canadian University to sign the pledge. They agree that investment decisions can be made that consider environmental, social and government impacts.

2. Canada is the most educated country in the developed world. 

Answer: a

Additional notes: According to an OECD report, 54% of Canadians have attained some form of post-secondary education, well above OECD average of 33%.

3. Which city issued its first ever smog red alert?

Answer: b

Additional notes: Beijing has closed schools, restricted car travel and closed some factories to reduce the pollution.

4. What is COP21?

Answer: a

Additional notes: The Rio Earth Summit in 1992 set out the UN framework which calls for an annual conference with its 195 member parties. This year the conference took place in Paris.

5. Which Canadian garnered the most nominations for the 2016 Grammy awards?

Answer: c

Additional notes: The Weekend got seven Grammy nominations, including record of the year and album of the year.

6. The World Trade Organization ruled that Canada can impose $780 million in retaliatory tariffs against which trading partner?

Answer: a

Additional notes: the WTO ruled that the U.S. used packaging labels on its meat that disadvantaged both Canada and Mexico. U.S. congress is working to repeal the labelling law.

7. What is the sharing economy?

Answer: e

Additional notes: The sharing economy encompasses all of these things and more. Examples include Zip car, Airbnb, and co-ops.

8. What major breakthrough did researchers at Cornell University have?

Answer: d

Additional notes: seven puppies were born July 10 as a result of in-vitro fertilization in a test tube. It is a scientific breakthrough that is very cute.

9. What are negative interest rates?

Answer: d

Additional notes: Commercial banks are willing to accept negative rates on their deposits with the central bank as it is still less expensive to have the Central bank hold large deposits of money than to hold and store themselves.

10. How many Syrian refugees has the Canadian government committed to accepting?

Answer: a

Additional notes: The first refugees arrived in Dec 10. The government had committed to 10,000 by the end of 2015 and the balance early in the new year.

Click here to view questions.