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Climate change

ESPAS Report 2019 : Global Trends to 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, April 5, 2019
Abstract in English: 
For something as unknown as the future, it appears to have become surprisingly predictable. A Google search of ‘future 2030’ yields more than 97 million results, all more or less claiming similar things: that 2030 will see a more connected, yet fragmented world, with hazardous shifts in demography and energy, and dangerous changes in technology, environment, and politics.
The future, while overall negative, appears to be a rather certain place.
This illusion of definitiveness is created by two dynamics: first, the pessimistic tone that runs through the vast majority of foresight reports. This is a common feature when it comes to future thinking, with one study showing that all studies undertaken on the future over the last 70 years have one thing in common; pessimism. The reason for this is simple: although both optimism and pessimism are natural human dispositions, the latter is more prevalent by far. Humans are, genetically speaking, biased towards the negative – some studies even indicate that this is particularly the case for Europeans. Second, pessimism in foresight is encouraged by the grave air that surrounds it: in general, negative statements are given more attention than positive ones. That said, more pessimism in foresight does not equal greater accuracy, as one study shows.
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52
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The Outlook for Natural Gas and LNG in China in the War against Air Pollution

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The outlook for gas demand in China is one of the most important questions facing the global gas market, as it will have significant consequences for gas producers and consumers across the world. The rapid rise in China’s gas demand has been catalysed by environmental concerns, in particular air quality, in the country’s major cities and the authors of this report, Akira Miyamoto and Chikako Ishiguro, provide a detailed analysis of the progress that has been made in introducing environmental legislation to pursue the goal of cleaning up China’s skies. They consider the impact that this has had on gas consumption in China over the past decade before analysing the major goals of the Blue Sky Action Plan and outlining its potential consequences for gas demand over the next two to three years.
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61
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The Global Risks Report 2019

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Is the world sleepwalking into a crisis? Global risks are intensifying but the collective will to tackle them appears to be lacking. Instead, divisions are hardening. The world’s move into a new phase of strongly state-centred politics, noted in last year’s Global Risks Report, continued throughout 2018. The idea of “taking back control”— whether domestically from political rivals or externally from multilateral or supranational organizations— resonates across many countries and many issues. The energy now expended on consolidating or recovering national control risks weakening collective responses to emerging global challenges. We are drifting deeper into global problems from which we will struggle to extricate ourselves.
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114
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Global trends of methane emissions and their impacts on ozone concentrations

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 29, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Methane is a greenhouse gas and air pollutant producing health damaging tropospheric ozone. By 2050 in Europe 6,000 to 11,000 ozone-related premature deaths can be avoided per year (worldwide 70,000 to 130,000) when implementing ambitious methane reduction strategies worldwide. This works informs Europe’s forthcoming methane strategy.
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101
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Trends and projections in Europe 2018 - Tracking progress towards Europe's climate and energy targets

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 16, 2018
Abstract in English: 
With sights now set on the new 2030 targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, renewable energy and energy efficiency, renewed efforts towards achieving these targets will be necessary.Following the political agreements between the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the European Commission reached in June 2018, the EU now has full clarity on its climate and energy targets for 2030.
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118
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Innovative Approaches to Building Resilient Coastal Infrastructure

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This Policy Paper comprises an Issue Brief and Background Report prepared by the OECD for the G7 Environment, Energy and Oceans Ministers. It outlines the rising risks faced by coastal communities, which are being exacerbated by climate change. It shows how governments can harness innovation in information, planning, financing and monitoring to help improve resilience of those areas to climate change, and emphasises the need for close engagement with coastal communities.
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15
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Two futures and how to reconcile them

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 3, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Although there is little argument about the fact that climate change and the digitalisation of the economy are the two main trends that will matter most over the coming decades, to date they have predominantly been considered separately rather than together. The first step towards shaping our future is being able to think about it, however, and the compartmentalisation of research efforts (climate change on the one hand and digitalisation on the other) is unhelpful in this respect. Yet cross-cutting investigations present a challenge since the academic communities and social dynamics underlying both fields of research are entirely distinct. The aim of this Foresight Brief is therefore merely to initiate a debate by analysing the different versions of these two narratives. The author then examines the potential interrelation and ranking of these narratives and explores the emergence of digital and green capitalism and its consequences. The publication concludes by proposing a scenario involving a two-step approach to change.
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11
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Energiewende: From Germany’s Past to Europe’s Future?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Germany’s historical experience explains how the energy transition (Energiewende) came about, and largely explains the resilience of the policies to abandon nuclear power and to scale-up renewables in the face of the challenges they have posed to Germany’s consumers, utilities, and international competitiveness. Whereas the success of the Energiewende to date has come from the way it takes a unifying approach to energy, environment, and labor policies, its success will require expanding the scope from a German to an EU-wide scale.
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12
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The America First Energy Plan: Renewing the Confidence of American Energy Producers

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Abstract in English: 
US energy policy is on the brink of a dramatic shift as President Donald Trump seeks to dismantle the Obama Administration’s environmentally-friendly energy initiatives, remove environmental and climate concerns from US energy policies, and reorient focus on producing low-cost energy and creating American jobs. To achieve the desired increase in domestic fossil fuel production and energy employment, President Trump, his administration, and his allies have promised to implement the America First Energy Plan, intended to reinvigorate the US coal industry, expand domestic fossil fuel production, cut regulations, open federal land for fossil fuel exploration, and reduce federal support for climate and environmental programs.
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12
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Global Trendometer - Essays on medium- and long-term global trends

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The EU faces challenges from the outside and the inside. Most of those are the symptoms of big underlying trends, and handling them needs foresight. The Global Trendometer tries to provide foresight for decision makers in the EU by analysing the changes in these long-term trends. This publication does not offer answers or make recommendations. It presents summarised information derived from a range of carefully selected sources. This issue of the Global Trendometer analyses long-term trends on India, the labour-share of income, and democracy and artificial intelligence. It also features two-pagers on geoengineering, remittances, food security in China, economic waves, the US after Trump, public procurement and deep fakes.
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56
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