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Environment

Suppressing Growth: How GMO Opposition Hurts Developing Nations

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 15, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Campaigns against genetically modified organisms (GMOs), originating primarily in Europe, have created significant obstacles to the development and adoption of genetically modified crops. While the policies and practices resulting from these campaigns impose considerable costs on the economies of origin, they disproportionately hurt those nations with the greatest need for more productive agriculture—particularly the developing nations of sub-Saharan Africa. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) estimates that the current restrictive climate for agricultural biotech innovations could cost low- and lowermiddle- income nations up to $1.5 trillion in foregone economic benefits through 2050. In short, anti-GMO activists have erected significant barriers to the development of the poorest nations on earth.
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25
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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

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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

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
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?

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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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