Europe and the Global Green Economy
Europe leading the "Global Green Economy" ? : Rio +20
The fragile agreement – seen as a positive surprise - on cutting carbon emissions reached at the end of 2011 in Durban, is widely held to have emerged thanks only to the vigorous efforts of the EU contingent. Europe proved itself, still, to be a key player. But can Europe now lead the way towards a genuinely sustainable, green, economy?
Questions on the table include: What are the new economic and social benefits of a green economy? Can Europe - and surrounding regions - afford a green economy if no binding UN agreements are reached on carbon emissions, labor rights or environmental protection? What economic and development sacrifices can, and will, Europe make in the quest for such agreements? What role shall be played by the E.U. in making this happen? How should Europe work with powerful countries such as the US, and China, and Russia? Are sanctions possible - and ethically acceptable - to ensure binding and meaningful agreements?
We invite students and scholars to enter the discussion by contributing their views on issues surrounding the conference. Interested participants should contact the Europaeum office with submissions.
Reprinted from The Financial Times by Pilita ClarkThe latest round of international climate change talks start on Monday in Lima, Peru.
Thousands of ministers, negotiators, company executives and environmental campaign groups from more than 190 countries will descend on the capital for the two-week meeting, which Peruvian ministers say is the biggest conference their capital has ever hosted.
How important are these talks?
This is the last big meeting before world leaders are due to sign a global agreement in Paris at the end of next year that is supposed to curb the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change.
Auditorium Ivan Pictet
Maison de la paix, Geneva
Please register here.
David Hone, Chief Climate Change advisor to Shell and author of Putting the Genie Back: 2°C Will Be Harder than We Think, will kick off the series, taking on the subject of climate change in a frank and open discussion, built on more than 30 years in the energy industry.
Taking place the 21st and 22nd of November, this prestigious long standing forum is the UK's largest student climate change conference.
This year, a fantastic line-up of leading academics, activists and environmentalists will focus on ‘ACTION’ from putting a price on carbon through to how to communicate about climate change effectively.
Speakers include Greenpeace CEO Kumi Naidoo; Chris Llewellyn Smith, Director of Energy Research at Oxford University; and former politician and thinker on climate policy Lord Giddens. There will also be a video message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu!
The press has logically covered this event, reminding us that "time is running out to tackle climate change", "rapid carbon emission cuts are vital to stop severe impact of climate change", and that failing to adopt greenhouse emission reduction policies could lead to "increased extreme weather conditions, food shortages, coastal flooding and destruction of local ecosystems".
Reprinted from Oxford Consilium by Dr Raveem Ismail
Recent reports have rung the bell on the increase in extreme weather events over the past decades (Figure 1), alongside their increasing cost (Figure 2).
Governments, environmental and international bodies and the (re)insurance industry's attention has also been called to the growing gap between total and insured losses due to these extreme weather events (Figure 3).
Whilst insured claims have risen, the growth from total losses have outpaced these. Given the increase in extreme weather events and in overall costs of the damage, primarily due to flood, this gap is set to widen in years and decades to come.
Please continue reading the article, complete with the figures, here
Submitted on 22/08/2014 by Marcin Chrusciel
It is difficult to imagine a world without water. In an interesting article under this title, Pilita Clark argues that if no measures preventing water scarcity are taken, what is difficult to imagine today, may become a reality tomorrow.
Actually, I believe, the growing number of water-related conflicts worldwide suggests that water is already becoming a deficit commodity. The article proposes what steps should be taken to try to reduce this process. It reveals, for example, how many litres it takes to produce a hamburger (some 2,400), in comparison to a potato (30 litres), and why does it make any difference.
And why do such leading global companies as Coca-Cola, Nestle, or Google want to tackle the problem of water scarcity? It seems, as the article shows, that their investments in water-saving is underpinned not only by the will to protect their global reputation, but also by the need to reduce their costs of water usage.
Britain’s Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges has signed a three-year agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme under UNEP’s Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability scheme, according to a recent report in Wolrd University News.
As a follow-up to the Rio+20 Summit, UNEP recently convened the first session of the historic United Nations Environment Assembly earlier this month. The assembly has established a platform for leadership on global environmental policy, with the participation of all 193 UN member states. The global universities partnership scheme, known as GUPES, is intended to foster closer linkages between UNEP’s policy domain and universities across the globe.
Reprinted from the Oxford school of Martin newsLeading figures from a range of countries and organisations committed to addressing climate change met last week to discuss a new coalition to kickstart action on the issue. The C20-C30-C40 coalition of countries, companies and cities is one of the recommendations proposed in Now for the Long Term, the report of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations. During the same week, the Commission report was presented at France Stratégie (a unit within the French Prime Minister's Office), and productive discussions were held with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, on the Commission's Fit Cities recommendation, and with the Secretary-General of the OECD, Ángel Gurría, on a range of Commission proposals.
Please read the entire article here
Gaining a better understanding of how water is linked to energy and food production is critically important to mitigate international risks and foster sustainable development in the 21st Century. In May 2014, an exciting International Conference on Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus took place in Bonn, Germany. This ambitious Conference brought together leading experts and policy makers from across the globe for an 'internal policy consultation process', with the aim of informing and influencing key actors into action so as to kick-start the development and implementation of 'strategies that jointly address water, energy, and food in a comprehensive nexus approach'. There were over 100 presentations on over 20 stimulating session topics ranging from 'The Water-Energy Nexus in Shared River Basins - How Hydropower Shapes Cooperation and Coordination' to 'Agriculture, Biofuels, and Watersheds: Nexus Governance Challenges at Local and Global Scales'.
Submitted on 29/05/2014 by Laurent Lambert, Oxford University Centre for the Environment,
Europaeum Research Director for 2012 Prague Workshop and for 2010 Paris Workshop
The presentations (available here) covered more than 20 session topics. Here are just 7 that reflect this broad spectrum of research and applications:
Submitted on 10/09/2012 by Sheena Miller, graduate student, Helsinki University 2011-13
Some are still applauding the 692 voluntary agreements made at the historic United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) which recently t ended. Combined, these agreements ambitiously aim to tackle manifold issues, ranging from gender empowerment and poverty to youth unemployment and access to clean water, are worth unimaginable amounts, estimated at some $513 billion US dollars.
It seems to me, a few of the agreements do indeed have impressive financial support behind them. For example the Asian Development Bank along with eight additional multilateral development banks pledged to invest nearly $200 billion in the development of sustainable transport systems. The sheer size of these numbers reflects an unparalleled pledge from governments, civil society and the private sector to the fundamental principles at the core of sustainable development and economic well-being. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon even remarked “These huge numbers, [give] a sense of the scale and growth of investment going into sustainable development.”