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Environment

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

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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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Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution for Water

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Publication date: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Abstract in English: 
As part of the Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth series, this paper explores the opportunity for advanced technology to help address global water and sanitation challenges. The Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies have the potential to assemble more complete, current and accessible information on water supply and demand. Satellite imagery and other earth observation tools are delivering profound new insights on water supply in parts of the world where conventional ground-based methods to measure water supply are not feasible or practical.
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26
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Challenges to the Future of Gas: unburnable or unaffordable?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Modelling studies suggest that COP21 targets can be met with global gas demand peaking in the 2030s and declining slowly thereafter. This would qualify gas to be considered a `transition fuel’ to a low carbon economy. However, such an outcome is by no means a foregone conclusion. There are limited numbers of countries outside the OECD which can be expected to afford to pay wholesale (or import) prices of $6-8/MMbtu and above, which are needed to remunerate 2017 delivery costs of large volumes of gas from new pipeline gas or LNG projects. Prices towards the top of (and certainly above) this range are likely to make gas increasingly uncompetitive leading to progressive demand destruction even in OECD countries. The current debate in the gas community is when the `glut’ of LNG will dissipate, and the global supply/demand balance will tighten. The unspoken assumption is that when this happens – generally believed to be around the early/mid 2020s – prices will rise somewhere close to 2011-14 levels, allowing a return to profitability for projects which came on stream since the mid-2010s and allowing new projects to move forward. Should this assumption prove be correct, it will create major problems for the future of gas. The key to gas fulfilling its potential role as a transition fuel up to and beyond 2030, is that it must be delivered to high income markets below $8/MMbtu, and to low income markets below $6/MMbtu (and ideally closer to $5/MMbtu). The major challenge to the future of gas will be to ensure that it does not become (and in many low-income countries remain) unaffordable and/or uncompetitive, long before its emissions make it unburnable.
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53
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Bike Sharing: Cornerstone of future urban mobility

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Pedal power is becoming the transport mode of choice for urban dwellers around the globe. Bicycles offer a means of travel that allows people to get to their destination quickly and cheaply, especially in large cities with congested roads. With worldwide sales of bike sharing services forecast to increase to EUR 8 billion by 2021, a veritable race for global supremacy has already begun. Rapid growth, especially in Asia, is fueled by the continued strong demand for cost-effective mobility, largely unregulated market access and massive investment. Private providers have recently mobilized more than USD 3 billion in venture capital to expand not just in China, but globally. Asian market leaders ofo and Mobike (each with 200 million registered users), which, unlike European providers, operate free-floating instead of station-based systems, have been pushing the European market since 2017. The study shows that the bike-sharing market is benefiting from rising global environmental awareness and the common sharing trend, as people are more willing to pay for mobility than for owning a car or a bicycle. In addition, cycling is cheaper than a taxi, ride-hailing or an own car, and more flexible than public transport systems. Because the use of a rental bike can also be easily combined with other means of transport, bike sharing will become an important pillar in a growing urban ecosystem of sharing (car, bicycle, ride-sharing) and mobility services (platforms, apps, aggregators).Despite the promising opportunities offered by the burgeoning bike-sharing market, the rapid pace of growth is not without its pitfalls. Operators are faced with becoming the target of vandalism, or oversupply in certain cities. We predict the market will consolidate in the coming years, with a smaller number of high quality offerings surviving the initial boom to find longer term success.
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28
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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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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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What A Waste 2.0 : A Global Snapshot on Solid Waste Management to 2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Abstract in English: 
By 2050, the world is expected to generate 3.40 billion tonnes of waste annually, increasing drastically from today’s 2.01 billion tonnes. What a Waste presents national and urban waste management data from around the world and highlights the need for urgent action. The publication provides a snapshot on how waste generation and management varies across income levels and regions, and shares good practices globally. Solid waste management is one of the most important urban services, yet it is complex and expensive, accounting for approximately 20% of municipal budgets in low-income countries and 10% of municipal budgets in high-income countries. Costly and complex waste operations must compete for funding with other priorities such as clean water and other utilities, education, and healthcare. Waste management is often managed by local authorities with limited resources and limited capacities in planning, contract management and operational monitoring. These factors make sustainable waste management a complicated proposition on the path of economic development and most low and middle-income countries and their cities are struggling to address the challenges. Waste management data is critical to creating policy and planning for the local context. Understanding how much waste is generated—especially with rapid urbanization and population growth—as well as the types of waste being generated allows for local governments to select appropriate management methods and plan for future demand. It allows governments to design a system with a suitable number of vehicles, establish efficient routes, set targets for diversion of waste, track progress, and adapt as consumption patterns change. With accurate data, governments can realistically allocate budget and land, assess relevant technologies, and consider strategic partners for service provision such as the private sector or non-governmental organizations. The publication strives to provide the latest and most realistic information available to empower citizens and governments around the world to take action and address the pressing global crisis of waste.
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