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Climate change

The Futures of Low-Carbon Society: Climate Change and Strategy for Economies in APEC Beyond 2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, November 1, 2010
Abstract in English: 
Human societies have always been climate dependent, but we are only now coming to grips with the fact that our climate also depends on us. As the second decade of the 21st century gets underway, we now recognize that we are faced with two challenges created by our ever-increasing emissions of greenhouse gases. First, the atmosphere is warming, setting the stage for a host of problems from droughts, extreme weather events, coastal erosion and inundation, to which we have to adapt. And second, we must begin implementing strategies to slow down our greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the scale of these impacts while putting in place corresponding adaptation measures.

These challenges are particularly problematic for countries and economies in the Asia Pacific. On the one hand, the region is slated to face some of the greatest climate related impacts relative to other regions of the world. On the other, developing economies in the region will see substantial expansions of their middle classes and the greenhouse gas emissions their lifestyles generate.

The future scenario(s) aimed to illustrate how social, economical and political demand could be harnessed to move the Asia Pacific along a path toward putting far less carbon into the atmosphere by 2050. Science and technology development, including technology transfer, that respond to such demand was seen a key driver of this transition and thus was a major focus of the project. The future scenarios and policy recommendations developed from this project were meant to reflect the economic and social conditions among APEC economies and be consistent with their common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities. While the project’s main focus was on longer-term perspectives, recommendations were to be developed for APEC and member economies that spell out short-term actions that could be taken to more quickly reduce the region’s carbon
footprint.
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40
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APEC Low-Carbon Model Town Development Model and Toolkit Study

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, October 16, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The low-carbon cities in the APEC region differentiate from each other in terms ways and focuses of development due to their distinctive natural conditions, economic development, industrial structure and cultural tradition. Drawing from the experiences from all the member economies, this report offers suggestions for the development models and toolkit of low-carbon cities.
The concept of Low Carbon City originates in Low Carbon Economy, which was put forward in the context of coping with the global climate change and advocating less greenhouse gases emission during human production and living activities. In 2003, the government of United Kingdom published its "Energy White Paper" entitled "Our Energy Future: Creating a Low Carbon Economy", in which the concept of Low Carbon Economy was first put forward. The White Paper pointed out that Low Carbon Economy means to achieve more economic output by less natural resources consumption and environmental pollution, in order to create approaches and opportunities for a higher living standard and better living conditions, and to provide new business opportunities and more job opportunities for the development, application and output of advanced technologies. Low Carbon Economy gives consideration to both "Low Carbon" and "Economy", of which Low Carbon is a model that humans respond to the climate change to realize sustainable economic and social development. Low Carbon means we must reduce or even stop depending on carbon-based fuel to the greatest extent and realize energy utilization transition and economic transition in the pursuit of economic development; Economy, means we need to maintain a stable and sustainable economic development on the basis and in the course of energy utilization transition, however this concept should not exclude the maximum of development, output, and long-term economic growth.
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78
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North American Environmental Outlook to 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, November 1, 2010
Abstract in English: 
This report summarizes recent research concerning the major forces and underlying trends that are likely to shape the environment of North America in 2030. The intention of this report is not to present a prediction of the future. Rather, it is to consider the possibilities that the future might hold in light of the environmental and social stresses facing North America and the world at this time.

The report has been produced in response to a request by the Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). It complements the CEC’s 2008 report, The North American Mosaic (CEC 2008), which focused on recent environmental trends and divided issues by subject or medium—air and atmosphere, biodiversity and ecosystems, pollutants, and water. This allows for the telling of a coherent story for each issue, but can hide the interconnections among issues. This report takes a more systems approach, following a Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response model. Thus, it follows more directly from the discussion paper prepared for the June 2008 conference, North America 2030: An Environmental Outlook, hosted by the CEC’s Joint Public Advisory Committee (Stratos Inc. and IISD 2008), upon which it expands. Together, these and other initiatives are intended to assist the CEC in the consideration and development of its work program by highlighting possible areas for cooperative action to support environmental mitigation, adaptation and innovation strategies across all three countries.

Several factors restrict the scope of this report. First, as a review, it is necessarily limited to available work to-date. Second, because it takes a North American perspective, the choice was to focus primarily, although not exclusively, on cases where consistent and comparable information is available for Canada, Mexico, and the United States. This precluded using some country-specific data, which provide greater within-country detail and may differ from similar data presented in international data sets. Third, there are numerous aspects of the environment for which historic data are available, but for which there has been no effort to make forward-looking projections. Fourth, each of these restrictions is exacerbated by the desire to include quantitative information as much as possible. Finally, most studies, including those explored here, have tended not to consider in detail the possibility of dramatic, albeit imaginable, surprises that would alter their projections significantly.
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84
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Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Abstract in English: 
This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world on to a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what they did not achieve. They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.
The Goals and targets will stimulate action over the next 15 years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet.
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35
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Expect the Unexpected: Ten Situations to Keep an Eye On

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The individual elements that come together to create the crises and problems politicians and policy-makers find themselves dealing with are generally already well-known. It is their interaction that is unpredictable, and therefore not plannable. Unplanned situations are increasingly becoming the norm, especially in the international context, as globalisation accelerates the speed of events and the number of actors exerting direct or indirect influence grows apace. Of course we cannot predict the exact situations in the foreign policy and security environment that German politicians will have to respond and adapt to. This study outlines possible future scenarios that are deserving of special attention because the situations they could create would present great challenges to Germany and Europe.
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49
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The challenge of resilience in a globalised world

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The challenge of resilience in a globalised world discusses the concept of resilience from different perspectives and the role of science in the continuous process of building a resilient, stable, competitive and prosperous Europe.

Resilience is a fundamental prerequisite for Europe as the largest integrated economic area in the world and has an important social dimension which requires the active cooperation of all stakeholders; citizens, the private sector, governments and NGOs included.
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76
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Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Abstract in English: 
This report brings together these two overarching objectives and explores how they can be more easily achieved if considered together. It demonstrates the urgency of efforts to reduce poverty and the vulnerability of poor people in the face of climate change. It also provides guidance on how to ensure that climate change policies contribute to poverty reduction and poverty reduction policies contribute to climate change mitigation and resilience building.
Our studies show that without action, climate change would likely spark higher agricultural prices and could threaten food security in poorer regions such as Sub- Saharan Africa and South Asia. And in most countries where we have data, poor urban households are more exposed to floods than the average urban population.
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227
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Encyclical Letter LAUDATO SI' Of The Holy Father Francis On Care For Our Common Home

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Publication date: 
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Abstract in English: 
On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si') is the new appeal from Pope Francis addressed to "every person living on this planet" for an inclusive dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. Pope Francis calls the Church and the world to acknowledge the urgency of our environmental challenges and to join him in embarking on a new path. This encyclical is written with both hope and resolve, looking to our common future with candor and humility.
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184
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Global Transitions and Asia 2060: Climate, Political-Economy, and Identity

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Abstract in English: 
The purpose of this study is to embed a long-term futures-thinking approach in current policy discussions on the future of Asia in academic, governmental, and business arenas. The objective is to explore the future of Asia given current conditions on the planet, expressed in three subthemes: 1) Asia at the carbon and energy crossroads, 2) Asia and new models of economy and governance – toward an Asian Union, and 3) Asian identity in transition and transformation.
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54
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Trends and projections in Europe 2013 – Tracking progress towards Europe's climate and energy targets until 2020

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, October 4, 2013
Abstract in English: 
This report provide an assessment of the progress of the EU and European countries towards achieving their climate mitigation and energy policy objectives. These targets include international commitments pursuant the KP and the EU 2020 commitment to reduce by 20 % greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to 1990, to create 20 % of energy consumption from renewables and to increase energy efficiency by 20 %. The assessment is based on GHG data for the period 2008–2012, including recent estimates of proxy 2012 GHG emissions, GHG projections until 2020 submitted by Member States in 2013, as well as energy statistics until 2011.
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148
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