Kategoriarkiv: EcoCities

EU to cut carbon emissions by 40% by 2030

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Guardian: Europe will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, the toughest climate change target of any region in the world, and will produce 27% of its energy from renewable sources by the same date.


Guardian: Europe’s 40% emissions cuts target has set the course for a low-carbon future

Connie Hedegaard , the EU commissioner for climate action

The European commission outlined its proposals for climate and energy policies up to 2030 recently. These include a binding emissions reduction target of 40% from 1990 levels and an EU-wide binding target of at least 27% of energy coming from renewable sources. And on energy efficiency, the energy commissioner will first review the current legislation before proposing the next steps. But they will come.

Overall, these proposals seemed to have had a timid reception here in Europe compared to the more positive comments coming from international leaders. But these give us reasons to believe that the real ambition of our proposals and what they mean to the fight against climate change have been recognised.


Greening economic growth

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WEF: Greening economic growth is the only way in which sustainable, inclusive development can be achieved that will satisfy the basic needs of 9 billion people and provide them with equal rights to material prosperity. A key challenge is the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions to avoid the catastrophic impacts of global warming. Another imperative is the need to increase natural resource productivity to meet unprecedented demands for clean water, food and urban development. More

Germany and Denmark Top the 2012 Global Green Economy Index

New Green City Survey Ranks Copenhagen #1

ENN: Results from the 3rd edition of the Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) show that expert practitioners in the green economy rank Germany as the top national green performer while an index defined by 32 datasets scoring country performance places Denmark on top.

The first-ever survey measuring green city reputations ranked Copenhagen #1, followed by Stockholm, Oslo, Amsterdam and New York. This city survey ranked perceptions of green performance in the main urban area associated with each of the 27 nations tracked in the GGEI. Continue

Mapping the World’s Sustainable Cities

With all the attention given to new technology for improving building design and performance, it’s easy to lose sight of the broader goal: creating not just one green building but entire sustainable cities.

In partnership with the Carbon Disclosure Project, Autodesk is trying to keep that longer view in focus with the development of an interactive map displaying the cities around world that are trying to fight climate change as participants in the CDP Cities program.

The map, which becomes available later today at http://www.cdpcitiesmap2011.com, displays the 43 cities that participated in the program’s first questionnaire on greenhouse gas emissions and activities to counter climate change. The tool also displays the responses to the questionnaire. By clicking on the map, users can learn how the cities are addressing storm, drought, heat, flooding and other climate risks.

EU not reaching climate goals says EU Climate Policy Tracker 2011

wwf climate tracker 2011

This website presents up-to-date developments in climate and energy policies across the 27 EU member states. With a uniquely developed scoring method, it provides results in aggregated scores on a scale A to G, for all member states, at EU level, and for different economic sectors. The 2050 goal of near total decarbonisation sets the benchmark for an ‘A’ rating. Continue

IPCC: Close to 80 percent of the world energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century

The Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN), published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on May 9th in Abu Dhabi, assesses existing literature on the future potential of renewable energy for the mitigation of climate change. It covers the six most important renewable energy technologies, as well as their integration into present and future energy systems. It also takes into consideration the environmental and social consequences associated with these technologies, the cost and strategies to overcome technical as well as non-technical obstacles to their application and diffusion.

Continue: IPCC Special Report on renewable Energy and Climate Change Mitigation

Press Conference – 9 May 2011Launch of the Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN)Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (United Arab Emirates),


More: IPCC press realease

Guardian: Renewable energy can power the world, says landmark IPCC study

WWF: Groundbreaking report underscores advantages of renewable energy future

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – A major new report by the United Nations-supported Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launched today underscores the incredible environmental and social advantages of a future powered by renewable energy over the next decades, WWF said.

The 900-page Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation compares 164 scenarios on renewable energy and is the most comprehensive analysis ever of trends and perspectives for renewable energy.


Stockholm Environment Institute_1259241294363

SEI has unveiled a new version of weADAPT, an online ‘open space’ on climate adaptation issues for practitioners, researchers and policymakers.

Created in collaboration with a wide range of partners, weADAPT is designed to help users access credible, high-quality information about adaptation – including synergies with mitigation – and to share experiences and lessons learned.

The new release of weADAPT includes several innovative tools, including the Adaptation Layer, a Google Earth interface that maps adaptation initiatives around the world and allows users to post their own ‘adaptation stories’, accessible by clicking on dots on the 3-D map

weADAPT 4.0 2011-04-27 12-13-18 weadapt sei

Continue: Stockholm Environment Institute, weADAPT

weADAPT 4.0 2011-04-27 12-22-34 adaption layer google earth sei

Carbon Nation – The Movie


Carbon Nation doesn’t waste time arguing that climate change is real and caused by humans, the film steps right into what can be done about it. The main theme — that it makes simple, good business sense to use energy more efficiently and to find alternatives to fossil fuels — is developed on economic arguments. Fossil fuels are getting more expensive and we must find alternatives. When evaluated on basic economics, the new fuels are nearly always renewable energy sources.

carbon nation

Continue: Carbon Nation

Global Green Cities Preview

From Singapore’s high tech congestion management system to New York’s PlaNYC 2030 to Yokohama’s zero-carbon emissions goal, the future greening of cities is becoming our global “Plan A” for survival–economic and species–and will be the topic of the “Global Green Cities” conference in San Francisco, Feb. 23-25. The invitation-only event will mash up top planners, designers, strategists, technologists, mayors and financiers on how design, technology and behavior can facilitate the cross-fertilization of critical ideas and perspectives.

Continue: Post Carbon Institute

10 amazing facts you probably didn’t know about renewable energy.

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In all the spin from fossil fuels and nuclear industries, it is easy to start believing that renewable energy can’t get us out of the climate change hole. Think again – not only is an Energy [R]evolution happening, it’s already underway.

Continue: Greenpeace

Mexico City Pact: Cities Addressing Climate Change

Mayors from around the world have signed an agreement to address climate change at the World Mayors Summit on Climate, hosted by the Government of Mexico City and Marcelo Ebrard, mayor of Mexico City and chair of the World Mayors Council on Climate Change. During the summit, representatives from 135 global cities signed the Mexico City Pact, which establishes a monitoring and verification mechanism for cities to address climate change. The Mexico City Pact will be presented to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) when it meets later this month in Cancun, Mexico.

“With more than half the world’s population today living in cities for the first time in human history, mayors and urban leaders are on the frontline of the planet’s fight against a changing climate. Today, the cities meeting here are taking action to reduce harmful greenhouse emissions through their commitment to the Mexico City Pact,” said Marcelo Ebrard.

In partnership with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and the World Mayors Council on Climate Change (WMCCC), the Government of Mexico City organized the summit to provide a forum for the signing of an agreement that commits cities to action and urges national governments to advance a binding global treaty.

“Cities have great capacities to address climate change, even in the absence of a binding global treaty among nations, which is why we are here today. We are demonstrating the leadership of mayors and cities around the world to take action,” said Martha Delgado, Mexico City’s secretary of the environment and ICLEI vice president.

The Mexico City Pact calls for cities to develop and implement climate action plans that promote local laws and initiatives to reduce GHG reductions. To establish and follow up on cities’ commitments, the signers will establish their climate actions in the Carbon Cities Climate Registry (CCCR) at the Bonn Centre for Local Climate Action and Reporting (carbonn).

Continue: Sustainable Cities Net

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Germany: Climate-friendly, reliable, affordable: 100% renewable electricity supply by 2050

„Germany can be supplied with 100% climate-friendly electricity from renewable sources by 2050” declared the Chair of the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU), Prof Martin Faulstich, today in the Environment Committee of the German Bundestag where the Council presented its scenarios for a renewable electricity supply in Germany. “This is the time for the German Federal Government to set the course for the transition of the energy system”, Prof Faulstich added.

The energy expert of the SRU, Prof Olav Hohmeyer, emphasised: “The transition towards a renewable electricity system does not require either an extension of the operating life of nuclear power plants or the construction of new coal power plants.” The “bridge” towards renewable energy is already in place.

The German Advisory Council on the Environment shows in a range of different future scenarios that a fully renewables-based electricity supply by 2050 is possible at competitive costs. Security of supply can be guaranteed at all times, every hour of the year. This provides an opportunity for sustainable innovation, enhancing the outlook for Germany’s economic future.

Continue: SRU

Threat to Security of Energy Supply

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As the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has amply demonstrated, growing global energy demand and the anticipated restricted availability of some conventional fossil fuels pose an escalating threat to the security of energy supply for global businesses. Sustainable Energy Security: Strategic Risks and Opportunities for Business, produced jointly by Chatham House and Lloyd’s, reveals multiple vulnerabilities in our current energy system and urges both business strategists and government policy-makers to take into account a range of encroaching risks and be bold in making plans for a more resilient and low carbon energy future.

Report:  Sustainable Energy Security: Strategic Risks and Opportunities for Business

Key Findings:

* Businesses which prepare for and take advantage of the new energy reality will prosper – failure to do so could be catastrophic

* Market dynamics and environmental factors mean business can no longer rely on low cost traditional energy sources

* China and growing Asian economies will play an increasingly important role in global energy security

* We are heading towards a global oil supply crunch and price spike

* Energy infrastructure will become increasingly vulnerable as a result of climate change and operations in harsher environments

* Lack of global regulation on climate change is creating an environment of uncertainty for business, which is damaging investment plans

* To manage increasing energy costs and carbon exposure businesses must reduce fossil fuel consumption

* Business must address energy-related risks to supply chains and the increasing vulnerability of ‘just-in-time’ models

* Investment in renewable energy and ‘intelligent’ infrastructure is booming. This revolution presents huge opportunities for new business partnerships

Continue:  Chatham House

Governments have their heads in the sand when it comes to oil


Sir David King, Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, has today called on governments to recognise that they need to develop alternative solutions to reduce our continued dependence on oil reserves and create a clear pathway towards a de-fossilised economy.

The former UK chief scientific adviser said that as global oil demand starts to outstrip supply, oil companies will be forced to drill in unconventional places.

More:  http://www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk/governments-have-their-heads-in-the-sand-when-it-comes-to-oil-says-sir-david-king/

Smith Scholl Oxford

Climate Crisis, Credit Crisis: The Quest for Green Growth

climate crisis credit crisis

April 2010 —

The Global Economy and Development program at Brookings today released a new report — “Climate Crisis, Credit Crisis: The Quest for Green Growth” — focused on finding solutions to the world’s two most pressing challenges: restoring sustainable and balanced global economic growth and reducing the risks of climate change.

As the global economy struggles to sustain its recovery from the deepest recession in sixty years, another challenge looms large: preventing the Earth from warming more than 3.6 °F, widely considered by climate experts as the acceptable level to reduce the risk of irreversible global damage resulting from climate change. To meet these challenges, we must look beyond our national borders, recognize that we face an uncertain future, and collaborate to ensure our collective well-being. Our success or failure will depend both on our timeliness and resolve—and will shape the fate of our planet for years to come.


Roadmap 2050: A Practical Guide to a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Europe.

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Europe can switch to low carbon sources of energy without jeopardising reliability or forcing up energy bills to punitive levels, according to a major new study that claims to be the most comprehensive assessment to date of the viability of zero carbon power supplies.

Roadmap 2050: a practical guide to a prosperous, low-carbon Europe will be released later today and will demonstrate how transitioning to a low or zero carbon power supply based on high levels of renewable energy would have no impact on reliability, and would have little impact on the cost of producing electricity in the period up to 2050.

The report was developed by think tank the European Climate Foundation (ECF) in collaboration with a number of leading economists and energy industry experts, and includes contributions from McKinsey, KEMA, Imperial College London and Oxford Economics.

Its analysis argues that cost effective zero carbon power is not reliant on technology breakthroughs, although it warns that they would help to further reduce the cost of decarbonisation.



Nominees Globe Sustainable City Awards 2010

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The city of Malmö (Sweden), Murcia (Spain)and Stargard Szczecinski (Poland) have been nominated for the Sustainable City Award 2010. This is the fourth edition of the Globe Awards. The jury has evaluated the effectiveness of new technologies and policies on how to make a city sustainable. Malmö , Murcia and Stargard Szczecinski are the only nominated European cities competing against global cities such as Curitiba (Brazil), Songpa (South Korea) and Sydney ( Australia). “The selection process of most sustainable city has for the jury been a fantastic moment with unexpected good and professional applications from cities all around the globe. Sustainable development 2.0 with a fresh, innovative and holistic approach is definitely here to stay for the benefits of future citizens!” – says Jan Sturesson, Partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers and Global Leader of Government and Public Service in Sweden and Chairman of the Sustainable City Award. The winner will be announced the 7th of April and the Award Ceremony will take place the 29th of April in Stockholm.


Global Award

Globe Award is a world covering award which is given out in four categories to recognise and encourage societies, the corporate sector, individuals and academia that have excelled in the area of sustainability. Globe Award is a non-for-profit organisation with the aim of fostering sustainable development in society. Our role is to inspire actors to do more and to take responsibility through awarding great cases within research, innovations, large corporations and cities.

Globe Award sees the need to support research and innovation as well as motivate large corporations and cities in order to get the needed changes that will take us towards a sustainable future. Therefore the award is given in the following categories: Sustainability Research, Sustainability Innovation, Sustainable City and Sustainability Reporting.

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ICLEI launches Local Renewables Web Portal

Local Renewables Web portal- Home & News_1270020720821 ICLEI

ICLEI, in partnership with the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), has launched the Local Renewables Web Portal, a comprehensive collection of information and resources on renewable energy at the local level. The online portal is a one-stop shop containing policies, guidelines, technologies, information sources, events and other core sources, as well as tips on how to become a ‘Local Renewables Model Community’.

Local Renewables Web portal- Home & News_1270020765076 ICLEI logo


The Economic Case for Slashing Carbon Emissions

green economy post

Amid a growing call for reducing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 to 350 parts per million, a group of economists maintains that striving to meet that target is a smart investment — and the best insurance policy humanity could buy.

by Frank Ackerman, senior economist with the Stockholm Environment Institute at Tufts University – Yale Environment 360

The climate change news from Washington is cautiously encouraging. No one in power is listening to the climate skeptics any more; the economic stimulus package included real money for clean energy; a bill capping U.S. carbon emissions emerged, battered but still standing, from the House of Representatives, and might even survive the Senate. This, along with stricter emission standards in Europe and a big push for clean energy and efficiency standards in China, provides grounds for hope for genuine progress on emissions reduction.


All renewables: How realistic is it?


by Stefan Nicola

Berlin (UPI) Mar 16, 2009

Europe can meet 100 percent of its power supply from renewable sources by 2050 if countries work together and massively invest in grids and storage, experts and politicians say


Transforming Australia’s cities

They must change to cope with population growth and climate change or face social unrest and urban decay

(SYDNEY) Australia circa 2050, population 35 million, climate change induced rising sea levels have flooded the Gold Coast resort region, apartment blocks are now used to grow food and people commute in monorail pods above the sea.

In another city, Australians live on floating island pods with apartments both below and above sea level, the population has shifted from land to the sea because of the sky-rocketing value of disappearing arable land.

Climate change has also forced many Australians to move inland and create new cities in the outback, relying on solar power to exist in the inhospitable interior.

These are just a few urban scenarios by some of Australia’s leading architects shortlisted for ‘Ideas for Australian Cities 2050+’ to be staged at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale.


Water scarcity is increasing in most urban areas worldwide

water in a changing world

In an effort to ensure that diverse groups of actors whose decisions impact our planet’s water resources can make better and more informed decisions, UN Water has produced ten short “messages” for businesses based on the findings of the 3rd World Water Development Report. Each message addresses a particular influential group of decision-makers.

water management well water changing world



Visit Top 5 greenest cities in the world

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This article by Beth Hodgson originally appeared in GlobalPost.

5. Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver has been recognized for trying to make the Winter Olympic games sustainable, but it’s their day-to-day focus that really allows this Canadian city to earn its ranking. Ninety percent of Vancouver is powered by hydroelectricity.

Wind, solar, wave and tidal energy all help ensure that this city remains green. Plus, they’ve got even greater goals for the future.

4. Malmo, Sweden

This is one international city that is focused on green space. They are well-known for their parks, but also upon sustainable urban develop. It’s one of the largest cities in Sweden and it’s truly urban. They’ve been transforming neighborhoods to make them environmentally friendly.

3. Curitiba, Brazil

This Brazilian city focuses upon maintenance using green methods, for example, parks that are trimmed by sheep. They are also known for one of the best transit systems, so commuters are encouraged to leave their cars at home.

2. Portland, Oregon, United States

Although many U.S. cities are now jumping on board, this was the first to focus upon alternative transit with light-rail and extensive bike path networks to encourage people to leave their cars in the driveway! It was also one of the first to pledge to reduce emissions and start transitioning buildings to use sustainable materials.

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

This city is run entirely on green power, including geothermal and hydroelectricity. Their transit system also uses hydrogen buses and it’s motivated to become Europe’s cleanest city.

The ET Carbon Rankings: the world’s largest companies ranked by absolute greenhouse gas emissions.

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Launch of ET Carbon Ranking

Monday 22.02.2010 saw the launch of the Environmental Investment Organisation’s new Global Carbon Rankings. For the first time a Ranking has been created which penalises and rewards companies on a global scale against absolute emissions with a particular emphasis on the reliability of the data being provided.

The effect of the Rankings is first and foremost to encourage disclosure and verification amongst companies. It will then begin to create incentives for companies to reduce their emissions through share price pressure.

Over the coming months the Environmental Investment Organisation will be working with the investment community to put the final touches to its Environmental Tracking (ET) Index Series so as to make them as attractive as possible to large scale index investors.

Michael Gill, chairman of the EIO and former City analyst points out: “due to the way the indexes have been designed – that is to replicate traditional mainstream indexes with minimum tracking error whilst still applying sufficient pressure to companies to reduce their emissions – we expect the investment community to respond well to this new product which offers them a tool harness the power of the financial system in tackling climate change.”


Bill Gates on energy: Innovating to zero!

inovating to zero bill gates

At TED2010, Bill Gates unveils his vision for the world’s energy future, describing the need for “miracles” to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he’s backing a dramatically different type of nuclear reactor. The necessary goal? Zero carbon emissions globally by 2050.


Video: http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html

State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures

Worldwatch Institute_1263469275963 logo

Washington, D.C.-Without an intentional cultural shift that values sustainability over consumerism, no government pledges or technological advances will be enough to rescue humanity from unacceptably hazardous environmental and climate risks, concludes the Worldwatch Institute in the latest edition of its flagship annual report, State of the World 2010. The book, subtitled Transforming Cultures: From Consumerism to Sustainability, defines “consumerism” as a cultural orientation that leads people to find meaning, contentment, and acceptance primarily through what they consume.

“We’ve seen some encouraging efforts to combat the world’s climate crisis in the past few years,” says project director Erik Assadourian. “But making policy and technology changes while keeping cultures centered on consumerism and growth can only go so far. To thrive long into the future, human societies will need to shift their cultures so that sustainability becomes the norm and excessive consumption becomes taboo.”


US PEW Center: Climate TechBook


Greenhouse gas emissions come from diverse sources across the economy. The magnitude of emissions and diversity of sources means that no single technology, policy, or behavioral change will be able to “solve” climate change. Rather, a portfolio of solutions is needed. A wide range of technologies already exist, or are currently under development, to facilitate greenhouse gas emission reductions.

climate techbook The Pew Center on Global Climate Change_1262884027604

Emissions by Sector

This chart shows the percent of greenhouse gas emissions from each of the five key economic sectors in the United States. Greenhouse gas emissions data come from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2007. Click on a sector to learn more about the emissions from that sector, as well as the technologies that can help lower emissions.

Technologies by Sector

Select a technology to learn more about how it works, how it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and what policy options exist to help promote it. Note that certain technologies can play a key role in more than one sector.

2 Climate TechBook - Pew Center on Global Climate Change- The Pew Center on Global Climate Change_1262884084498


Visit a typical Danish Recycling Station

Denmark has a long tradition for professional handling and sorting of waste. The waste is delivered to Recycling Stations where you sort your own waste for reuse.

Recycling Stations are an important part of waste treatment, and they are used frequently.

You could say that the Recycling Station have an unwritten contract with the citizens: They sort and deliver their waste, and the Recycling Station care to remove the waste for the environmentally sound processing.

Both individuals and businesses in  the relevant municipalities have access to use all recycling stations where you can deliver over 20 different types of waste from garden waste and paper chemicals and recyclable PVC.

Visit a typical Danish Recycling Station here:


First Assessment Report on Climate Change in Cities

UCCRN- Urban Climate Change Research Network_1261342982086 Colombia

“The First Assessment Report on Climate Change in Cities makes clear that urban areas are vulnerable to changing climatic conditions in ways which make the risks their populations face complex and multi-faceted. Understanding the nature of these threats, the strategies necessary to address them, and where information gaps exist is crucial.”

The ARC3 is the outcome of more than a year’s work by 45 researchers from the UCCRN, a global consortium of academic, NGO, private sector and government researchers who specialise in urban climate change science, impacts, adaptation and mitigation.


A Copenhagen Prognosis: towards a safe climate future

sei copenhagen prognosis potsdam

SEI, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) launch A Copenhagen Prognosis: towards a safe climate future, a synthesis of the latest science on climate change, environment and development.

The Prognosis presents a concise diagnosis of the state of the bioshpere and observed trends and offers a treatment plan that is consistent with a 2°C warming threshold, equity and economic development. Among it’s key conclusions are that:

– Emerging scientific results suggest that greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions targets currently being tabled are not consistent with the expressed political will to protect humanity against high risks of devastating climate impacts and significant risks of self-amplifying global warming.

– Based on the available carbon budget, and if we are to have a good (75 per cent) chance for warming to stay below 2°C, global GHG emissions would almost certainly need to decline extremely rapidly after 2015, and reach essentially zero by midcentury.

– There is no evidence suggesting it is impossible to rise to this challenge. To the contrary, the growing body of analytical work examining such scenarios at the global and regional level suggest it is not only technically feasible but also economically affordable, even profitable.


Europe’s Share of the Climate Challenge

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This report examines how Europe can show leadership in keeping global climate change within these limits: firstly, by undertaking domestic actions to rapidly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and secondly, by fulfilling its international obligations to help other countries address the twin crises of climate change and development.

Even while science is unambiguously telling us that even 2°C of warming would be highly dangerous for our planet, many people are rapidly losing all confidence that we will be able to prevent this level of warming or even far more. But a climate catastrophe can be averted.

The report first analyzes how Europe can embark on a domestic transition to a low GHG future – enabling it to achieve GHG emissions reductions of 40% by 2020 and close to 90% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels through a combination of radical improvements in energy efficiency, the accelerated retirement of fossil fuels and a dramatic shift toward various types of renewable energy forms.

Stockholm Environment Institute_1259241294363


Western lifestyle unsustainable, says climate expert Rajendra Pachauri



Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warned that western society must undergo a radical value shift if the worst effects of climate change were to be avoided. A new value system of “sustainable consumption” was now urgently required, he said.


Humanity Now Demanding 1.4 Earths

Deficit_Earths_NFA_09_thumb planeter 1,4 earth

One the eve of the Copenhagen climate conference, Global Footprint Network is releasing data today that reveals a growing gap between human demand on ecological services and the rate at which nature can supply those services. It would now take nearly one and a half Earths to generate all the resources humanity consumes and absorb all our CO2 emissions, according to the latest Ecological Footprint and biocapacity calculations. These figures are based upon source data from 2006, the most recent year for which such data are available.

The data show that humanity’s demand on the biosphere for providing natural resources and absorbing carbon dioxide emissions is 44 percent more than what nature can provide. This ecological overshoot means it now takes approximately 18 months for the Earth to regenerate what we use in one year. The urgent threats we are facing today – most notably climate change, but also biodiversity loss, shrinking forests, declining fisheries and freshwater stress – are symptoms of this trend.

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Urban Development and Sustainability

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Rotterdam Urban Summit 3 – 4 december

The City of Rotterdam is centre stage for a challenging business event on the eve of the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen. For the first time a live dialogue is held on 3-4 December whereby cityplanners, scientists, citizens, experts, project developers, corporations and architects participate to create a blueprint for the future of cities. Come and learn from smart initiatives, creative minds and inspiring examples from across the globe.


Sustainable City–The Copenhagen Way

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Scandinavias largest Metropolitan Development Project.

Nordhavnen could become the greatest and most ambitious metropolitan development project in Scandinavia for years to come. Nordhavnen is a 200-hectare area currently used for a number of harbour-related activities. It is also an extensively used area whose piers, canals, harbour basins and location next to Øresund offer a unique potential for developing a completely new city district full of life and with a special soul, character and identity. Nordhavnen has a central location in Copenhagen and thus in the Øresund region.

Nordhavnen has the potential to become a model for urban development on a sustainable basis. The new district should set new standards in urban development that focus on sustainability and the creation of vibrant urban life. The ambition of CPH City and Port Development and the City of Copenhagen is to make Nordhavnen a locomotive in the development of Copenhagen as an attractive metropolis in the global big city competition.


Exhibition: Green Architecture for the future.

louisiana fremtidens arkitektur grøn

Louisiana’s exhibition focuses on new departures in architecture that meet the need for sustainable development. Highlighting potentials and possibilities relevant to the current debate, wherefore the exhibition remains open during the Climate Change Conference.

A sustainable future calls for new inventions, materials, processes and complex architectural methods in the built-up environment. For sustainable architecture is a far more complex matter than rainwater collection and solar cells. That is why the architecture of tomorrow is inextricably bound up with the exploration of new scientific and technological frontiers.


The Copenhagen Climate Summit for Mayors: 14 – 17 December 2009

mayor summit copenhagen

The Copenhagen Climate Summit for Mayors will put cities on top of the global climate agenda and send the message to the heads of state, the media and citizens that

Cities act – we must, we can and we will.

Half the world’s population is now living in cities and the number is rapidly growing. Cities of the world are responsible for up to 80 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Any solution to the climate crisis therefore, has to involve active participation from the cities.

The City of Copenhagen is looking forward to welcoming mayors from all over the world to the Copenhagen Climate Summit for Mayors in December 2009.

mayor summit cities


One word: bioplastics

MIT bioplastic

Every year, more than 250 billion pounds of plastic are produced worldwide. Much of it ends up in the world’s oceans, a fact that troubles MIT biology professor Anthony Sinskey.

“Plastic does not degrade in the ocean. It just gets ground up into tiny particles,” he says. In the Pacific Ocean, a vast swath twice the size of Texas teems with tiny bits of oil-based plastic that can poison ocean life.



Reducing greenhouse gases may not be enough to slow climate change

Georgia Tech City and Regional Planning Professor Brian Stone publishes a paper in the December edition of Environmental Science and Technology that suggests policymakers need to address the influence of global deforestation and urbanization on climate change, in addition to greenhouse gas emissions.



Mobile Source CO2 Mitigation through Smart Growth Development and Vehicle Fleet Hybridization.

Brian Stone, Jr.*†, Adam C. Mednick‡, Tracey Holloway§ and Scott N. Spak

City and Regional Planning Program, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, 30332-0155, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Wisconsin−Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Departments of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin−Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, and Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin−Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

Environ. Sci. Technol., 2009, 43 (6), pp 1704–1710

DOI: 10.1021/es8021655

Publication Date (Web): February 11, 2009

Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society

Imagine for a moment taking all America’s cars and trucks off the road.


Unlocking energy efficiency in the U.S economy

In this report, McKinsey & Company offers a detailed analysis of the magnitude of the efficiency potential in non-transportation uses of energy, a thorough assessment of the barriers that impede the capture of greater efficiency, and an outline of the practical solutions available to unlock the potential.

The research shows that the U.S. economy has the potential to reduce annual non-transportation energy consumption by roughly 23 percent by 2020, eliminating more than $1.2 trillion in waste – well beyond the $520 billion upfront investment (not including program costs) that would be required. The reduction in energy use would also result in the abatement of 1.1 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions annually – the equivalent of taking the entire U.S. fleet of passenger vehicles and light trucks off the roads.



Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Global Cities

EUKN - European Urban Knowledge Network - Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Global Cities_1256403312097

Cities around the world are showing concern for their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The paper ‘Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Global Cities’ explores the GHG emissions of ten major cities. It shows that emissions differ greatly between cities. While Barcelona has relatively low per capita emissions, the North American city of Denver, emits a significantly higher amount. According to the researcher, the differences in GHG emissions can largely be explained by geophysical and technical factors. In order to exchange successful methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, the researchers encourage the exchange of best practices between cities.

The paper ‘Greenhouse gas emissions from global cities’ presents the following conclusions:

* The total end use emissions for the ten cities range between 4.2 and 21.5 t e CO2/cap;

* Barcelona has the lowest per capita emissions, whereas Denver has the highest;

* The next two highest cities are Los Angeles (13.0 t e CO2/cap.) and Toronto (11.6teCO2/cap.);

* Other than Geneva at 7.8 t e CO2/cap., the other cities all have emissions fairly close to 10 t e CO2/cap. These values for end use emissions are typical of those reported by municipal governments.


Article: Kennedy, C., Steinberger, J., Gasson, B. et al. (2009). Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Global Cities. Environmental Science & Technology. 43(19):7297-7302.