Tuesday, August 19, 2014
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) establishes minimum volumes of various types of renewable fuels that must be included in the United States’ supply of fuel for transportation. Those volumes—as defined by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA)—are intended to grow each year through 2022 (see the figure below). In recent years, the requirements of the RFS have been met largely by blending gasoline with ethanol made from cornstarch. In the future, EISA requires the use of increasingly large amounts of “advanced biofuels,” which include diesel made from biomass (such as soybean oil or animal fat), ethanol made from sugarcane, and cellulosic biofuels (made from converting the cellulose in plant materials into fuel).
Access full Report: http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45477
Hunger ● Nutrition ● Climate Justice - A New Dialogue: Putting People at the Heart of Global Development
The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, together with the Irish Government, hosted this unique event, combining key policy makers in global development with the people living on the frontlines of climate change and food insecurity.
The Conference was organised in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).
See full Press Release: http://www.mrfcj.org/food-and-nutrition-security/hunger-nutrition-climate-justice-2013.html
- Providing universal access to modern energy services;
- Doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and
- Doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
Monday, August 18, 2014
SUBSIDIES for renewable energy are one of the most contested areas of public policy. Billions are spent nursing the infant solar- and wind-power industries in the hope that they will one day undercut fossil fuels and drastically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being put into the atmosphere. The idea seems to be working. Photovoltaic panels have halved in price since 2008 and the capital cost of a solar-power plant—of which panels account for slightly under half—fell by 22% in 2010-13. In a few sunny places, solar power is providing electricity to the grid as cheaply as conventional coal- or gas-fired power plants.
See full Article: http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21608646-wind-and-solar-power-are-even-more-expensive-commonly-thought-sun-wind-and?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
In the Foreword to the special issue, Mary Robinson writes ”The report also clarifies that while people all over the world are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, the poor and marginalized are the most vulnerable. With this in mind, I believe that the world needs to respond with a climate justice approach to shape a global response that is rights-based in its actions to lower emissions and build resilience.”
See full Press Release: http://www.mrfcj.org/news/climate-justice-and-the-right-health-journal.html
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Las interacciones entre el cambio climático y la contaminación del aire pueden tener un papel importante en frenar los suministros de alimentos.
Muchos estudios han demostrado el potencial del cambio climático global para cortar los suministros de alimentos, pero, en su mayor parte, estas investigaciones han ignorado las interacciones entre el aumento de la temperatura y la contaminación del aire, específicamente la polución por ozono, que es conocida por dañar los cultivos.
Ver Artículo completo: http://www.europapress.es/ciencia/habitat-y-clima/noticia-calentamiento-mas-ozono-igual-menos-comida-20140728114700.html
The Board of the Green Climate Fund will meet on the 30th of June in Oslo with potential donor countries to discuss who will contribute to the fund, when and how those contributions will be made.
The Green Climate Fund (“GCF”) will be the primary funding vehicle of the UNFCCC. Fully funded, the GCF can make crucial resources available to countries with pressing needs due to climate change induced risk and enable the transition to low carbon development.
See full Press Release: http://www.mrfcj.org/news/real-potential-deliver-innovative-action.html
Saturday, August 16, 2014
The latest Climate Change Report from the IPCC argues that human interference with the climate system is occurring, and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems. The report identifies eight major risks with high confidence, and says that each of these risks contributes to one of more of the five “reasons for concern” (RFC) the authors identify:
- Unique and threatened ecosystems and cultural systems.
- Extreme weather events.
- Uneven distribution of impacts, with disadvantaged people and communities facing greater risks.
- Global aggregate impacts, for example global biodiversity loss.
- Large-scale singular events, such as Arctic ecosystems or warm water coral reefs reaching an irreversible tipping point.
Choosing a future: Special edition of Journal of Human Rights and the Environment on the legal and social aspects of climate change
The Editors Anna Grear , Founder and Director of the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment and Professor of Law at the Universities of Cardiff and Waikato, and Conor Gearty, Professor of Human Rights Law in the London School of Economics, write in their editorial:
See full Press Release: http://www.mrfcj.org/news/special-edition-human-rights-environment-journal.html
Friday, August 15, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - State aid: Commission authorises UK aid package for renewable electricity production
EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - State aid: Commission authorises UK aid package for renewable electricity production
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
After months of difficult negotiations, commissioners agreed to a goal they termed ambitious but realistic.
Some member states have been pushing for an even higher target amid concern over the security of gas supplies from Russia.
See full Article: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28446509
Monday, August 11, 2014
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Many existing water-sharing treaties should be re-assessed in the context of climate change, write Shlomi Dinar, David Katz, Lucia De Stefano, and Brian Blakespoor in a World Bank working paper.
While “water wars” have historically been incredibly rare, the changes to water systems wrought by climate change may change things. “Environmental changes may aggravate political tensions, especially in regions that are not equipped with an appropriate institutional apparatus,” the authors say.
The working paper analyzes water bodies that cross state borders and the treaties that govern them. Contrary to popular belief, Dinar et al. find that cooperation between states increases as water variability rises, but only to a point. Widespread changes in rainfall amount and predictability may cause increased water stress and/or flooding that affect core national interests and force states to take defensive postures over who controls their water sources. “Once variability increases beyond a certain threshold, cooperative behavior is negatively affected,” write the authors.
See full Article: http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2014/07/climate-change-test-water-sharing-agreements/
Participants included, among others, Troika+ members Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the Climate Change Secretariat of the UNFCCC, Connie Hedgaard, the European Commissioner for Climate Action, the Dutch Minister for the Environment, Wilma Mansveld and a delegation from the South African Ambassador at Large for Climate Change who came together to exchange ideas and share experiences on the following two topics:
- How to further strengthen the participation of women and to promote gender sensitive climate policy
- How to Identify ways of strengthening the integration of human rights into the work of the UNFCCC process
Saturday, August 09, 2014
In March, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest comprehensive synthesis of climate change research. The report concludes that “impacts from recent climate-related extremes, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones, and wildfires, reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems to current climate variability.”
Climate change is not a sector unto itself, nor is it a sub-sector of the environment, but will touch on nearly every part of life
The impacts of climate-related extremes, the report continues, include disruption of food production and water supplies, damage to infrastructure and settlements, increased morbidity and mortality, and consequences for mental health and general well-being. “For countries at all levels of development,” the report states, “these impacts are consistent with a significant lack of preparedness for current climate variability.”
See full Article: http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2014/07/closer-usaids-climate-strategy-climate-smart-development-work-progress/
You might wonder what the Cold War has to do with climate change, but as I listened last month to historian James Graham Wilson talk about the “triumph of improvisation” that ended the nearly 50-year stare-down between the United States and the U.S.S.R., I was struck by the parallels. The idea of individual leaders escaping the momentum of conventional approaches and adapting on the fly to solve a major global issue deeply resonated with me. It’s exactly what international climate change negotiations desperately need.
Creative improvising means leadership not hemmed in by the past; leadership that considers many different pathways, venues, and agreement configurations to get to the end goal. For humanity, as the stranglehold of greenhouse gas emissions tightens, it is time to decide whether it is more important to sign a piece of paper or have a real impact on global warming.
See full Article: http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2014/05/time-creative-cold-war-lessons-climate-negotiators/
Energy Technology Perspectives 2014 focuses on how to increase use of renewables and clean up coal-fired power generation
Twin challenges are testing India as it strives to transform its energy sector: to maintain strong economic growth, while seeking to provide electricity to the 300 million citizens still without access. India is pursuing a low-carbon growth strategy, but how will the country develop its energy sources? What emissions trajectory will India find itself on as it builds new infrastructure and tackles the efficient distribution of electricity and continued investment in more effective, more environmentally benign operations and equipment?
In a focus section on India, the IEA publication Energy Technology Perspectives 2014, (ETP 2014) offers both analysis and guidance aimed at helping the country meet its goals under a long-view scenario.
See full Press Release: http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2014/july/an-iea-blueprint-for-a-lower-carbon-india.html
Addressing the Forum on Freedom and Solidarity in Caen France, organized by the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union on “rethinking the economy of the future” Mary Robinson argued that “In rethinking the economy of the future, it is now time to commit to a world unconstrained by carbon emissions and to work backwards from there, identifying and taking the steps we need to take to have a fair pathway to that carbon neutral world. This is not purely a technical challenge; it is fundamentally a moral and political challenge, because it has to be done fairly bearing in mind the different development stages of the countries of the world.”
See full Press Release: http://www.mrfcj.org/news/freedom-solidarity-forum.html
Friday, August 08, 2014
Against the stunning backdrop of Marojejy National Park, I recently crossed paths with a conservationist from a very different background, working on the opposite side of Madagascar. But, it turns out, the communities we work with face many of the same challenges, and our meeting spawned a new population, health, and environment (PHE) program.
After an intense and productive visit to Blue Ventures’ PHE program in southwest Madagascar, where I serve as medical director, I was looking forward to my trip to Marojejy. Designated as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 for its immense biodiversity, high numbers of endemic species, and stunning mountain scenery, the park is rightly on Madagascar’s priority list for conservation. It’s also the location of the Duke Lemur Center’s new SAVA Conservation project.
The communities we work with face many of the same challenges.
Based in Sambava, one of four cities in northeast Madagascar that make up the acronym in the project name, SAVA began in January 2012 and takes a multi-faceted community-based approach to biodiversity conservation with strong collaboration between a host of partners.
See full Article: http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2014/02/chance-meeting-population-health-environment-program-born-madagascar/
During a news conference in Moscow last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticized laws-of-war violations by Ukrainian government forces, referring to a Human Rights Watch report I wrote about the government's unlawful use of unguided rockets in populated areas. Since Lavrov is concerned about laws-of-war violations, there are other issues he should be speaking out about, and other audiences he should address.
Recently I was present when local authorities started exhuming 14 bodies from a mass grave in Sloviansk. Local authorities appear to have identified at least some of the bodies as having been detained and killed by Moscow-backed insurgent forces when they were in control of the city from mid-April to early July. In fact, after the insurgent forces fled Sloviansk, journalists found execution orders in the secret service building that they used for headquarters and detention facility.
See full Press Release: http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/08/06/russia-must-recognize-ukraine-rebels-human-rights-abuses
Much fossil fuel is burnt to produce heat, but renewable options abound, from wood pellets to geothermal. Solar hot water is already a winner.
More than 40% of the world’s primary energy supply of natural gas, and 20% of both coal and oil supplies, go to producing heat. Using renewable energy sources would cut CO2 emissions and increase energy security, especially for countries heavily reliant on fossil-fuel imports.
Renewable sources already play a large role, at almost one-quarter of global energy use for heat. But most of this is in the form of traditional, inefficient use of biomass in developing countries to heat and cook, leading to deforestation and indoor smoke pollution. Modern biomass, such as wood pellets, plus solar thermal and geothermal heat, accounted for only 3% of the total global energy use for heat in 2011, though use grew dynamically in the last decade.
See full Press Release: http://www.iea.org/ieaenergy/issue6/basking-in-the-sun-emissions-free-heat-production.html
Sub-Saharan Africa's agricultural sector needs to harvest the fruits of biotechnology in order to establish sustainable development, says a report.
A key challenge is to attract funding for biotechnology projects on staple crops, such as cassava, it added.
These crops were often ignored by commercial funders because they had a limited market, the authors suggested.
See full Article: BBC News - Africa 'missing out on biotech green revolution'
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Getting Specific About Climate Conflict: Case Studies Show Need for Participatory Approaches to Adaptation
Will climate change cause conflict? That question, which has sparked heated debates in academia and the media, resists simple answers. But is climate change already contributing to conflict in some places? If so, how exactly? And more importantly, what should be done about it? These questions were the focus of a 2013 preliminary report produced for USAID by international development firm Tetra Tech ARD, which examines the climate-conflict nexus in Uganda, Ethiopia, and Peru.
Author Jeffrey Stark writes that previous studies were either speculative and empirically weak; grounded in hard data but lacking explanatory power; or focused on geospatial analysis that offers little actionable guidance for development practitioners.
See full Article: http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2014/05/specific-climate-conflict-case-studies-show-conflict-sensitive-adaptation/
This week, more than 40 heads of state and government from across Africa are joining President Obama in Washington for the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Since 2000, the continent has seen enormous progress. Rates of extreme poverty and hunger are down. The number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa dropped by almost 40 percent between 2001 and 2012. Access to education and health care is on the upswing.
As a result, Africa today is a continent of opportunity. Six of the 10 fastest-growing economies are on the African continent, driven by a rising middle class and a generation of optimistic young people. By 2035, the continent will have a working-age population bigger than that of China or India.
This is the time for the United States and African leaders to look beyond the crises of the moment to the opportunities the next 10 to 15 years have in store — which is why the theme of this week’s Leaders Summit is “Investing in the Next Generation.”
See full Press Release: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/08/05/us-africa-leaders-summit-climate-change-makes-sustainable-development-crucial-africa
Dr Shine’s presentation, ‘Listening and Learning: A case study on engaging active participation by grassroots practitioners at an international conference,’ was delivered to delegates on the second day of the latest round of negotiations, which take place from 4 – 15 June 2014.
See full Press Release: http://www.mrfcj.org/news/participation-presentation-bonn.html
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
Vulnerability to climate change is in part determined by exposure to specific changes – proximity to low lying coastal areas or areas of likely drought – but state capacity also plays a major role. And interventions targeting either must reflect the complex links that bind the two, says International Alert’s Janani Vivekananda in an interview with adelphi’s Environment, Conflict, and Cooperation platform.
Vivekananda describes climate vulnerability as the combination of a country’s exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. While the first two “are in the hands of luck,” adaptive capacity is closely tied to governance and stability. Both can be in short supply in weak or fragile countries, creating an “inexorable link between climate change and security,” she says. “If we’re trying to understand how to address the issue we need to understand these linkages.”
See full Press Release: http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2014/03/fragile-states-vulnerability-climate-change-institutional-environmental-janani-vivekananda/
See full Press Release: http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/agencyannouncements/world-energy-investment-outlook-presented-in-china.html
Far from being a mindless exercise, "integrated reporting" needs to be seen for what it is: the story of how your company creates value
Too often we treat reporting as a mindless compliance exercise, rather than as something that actually does influence behavior, in positive or negative directions. Given its influential role, corporate reporting needs to encompass corporate citizenship, ethical responsibilities, accountability and fairness.
See full Article: http://www.ieseinsight.com/review/articulo.aspx?doc=114437&seccion=2&issue=21
- Google ha convocado el concurso The Little Box Challenge.
- La idea es conseguir un modelo de inversor más sencillo, que podría revolucionar sistemas de energías renovables.
- La compañía ha decidido colaborar con la organización Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Board-shareholder dynamics have been evolving since the financial crisis. In this interview, Harvard Business School's Jay Lorsch, Louis Kirstein Professor of Human Relations, discusses a business environment still struggling to regain societal trust and the potential influence of new shareholder empowerment on board decisions.
See Interview: http://www.ieseinsight.com/fichaMaterial.aspx?pk=114079&idi=2&origen=1&ar=20
Monday, August 04, 2014
The Arctic is a nearly pristine environment containing vast resources that are attracting a growing number of non-Arctic nations. And questions about the changing nature of the region present challenges to our understanding of how to best approach a fragile ecosystem. Are the questions and challenges surrounding the Arctic regional or global in nature. Willy Østreng shares his thoughts during the final installment of our series, “Who Owns The Arctic?”
Willy Østreng, is Senior Researcher and Chairman of the Research Institute Ocean Futures in Oslo and affiliated faculty at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He was scientific director/professor at the Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters from 2003-2009. He was special advisor to the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1998-99, and is a member of numerous scientific boards, national and international. He is an elected member of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and letters, and of the International Academy of Regional Development and Cooperation in Russia. Presently, he is Vice-President of the Norwegian Academy of Polar Research. He has published more than 250 scientific works, among them 25 books, on polar affairs and international security, ocean resource management, polar and ocean policy and on the preconditions of interdisciplinary research.
See full Press page: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/who-owns-the-arctic-part-7-regional-or-global-resource
The United States will soon begin a term chairing The Arctic Council. Will it make the Arctic a priority and does the U.S. have a clear strategy for the region? Heather Conley discusses the view from the US in part 6 of the CONTEXT series, “Who Owns The Arctic?”
About Heather Conley
Heather Conley is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The Europe Program provides new analysis and policy recommendations on the growing geopolitical and strategic challenges of the Arctic. Prior to joining CSIS, Ms. Conley was a senior adviser to the Center for European Policy Analysis. From 2005 to 2008, she was the executive director of the Office of the Chairman of the Board at the American National Red Cross. From 2001 to 2005, she served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs with responsibilities for U.S. bilateral relations with the 15 countries of northern and central Europe.
See full Press page: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/who-owns-the-arctic-part-6-focus-the-united-states
Boards are unique institutions, says Herman Daems, Chairman of the Board, BNP Paribas Fortis. In this interview he discusses the qualities that help board members succeed in their role, how shareholder activism is changing the dynamics between management and minority shareholders, and the corporate governance principles he has helped put into place as a member of the Belgian Corporate Governance Committee.
See Interview: http://www.ieseinsight.com/fichaMaterial.aspx?pk=114395&idi=2&origen=1&ar=3
Sunday, August 03, 2014
Russia expert, Marlene Laruelle, shares her thoughts on Russia’s leading role as an Arctic nation and how it might react to a China-US partnership in the region.
About the Guest
Marlene Laruelle is a Research Professor at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She directs the Institute’s Central Asia Program. Her areas of expertise include political science, sociology, identity issues, migrations in Russia, the Arctic, and Central Asia. Her research focuses on political and social evolutions, identity issues, critical geopolitics, nationalism, citizenship and migration in Russia and Central Asia. She is author of the recently published book, “Russia's Arctic Strategies and the Future of the Far North.”
See full Press page: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/who-owns-the-arctic-part-5-focus-russia