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Environment

World climate and security report 2020

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Abstract in English: 
While there has been progress over the past decades, with militaries and security institutions increasingly analyzing and incorporating climate change risks into their assessments, plans and policies, the “World Climate and Security Report 2020” shows that the risks are increasingly urgent, and more must be done. This contributed to the report’s “Key Risks and Opportunities” findings.
This report is published by the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) chaired by Tom Middendorp, former Chief of Defence of the Netherlands and Senior Research Associate at the Clingendael Institute. Louise van Schaik, Head of our EU & Global Affairs Unit & Planetary Security Initiative, is a co-author.
The report is written from the vantage point of international military and security experts, providing a global overview of the security risks of a changing climate, and opportunities for addressing them. It recommends “climate-proofing” international security – including infrastructure, institutions and policies, as well as major emissions reductions to avoid significant-to-catastrophic security threats.
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152
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Implementing the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention No. 169: Towards an inclusive, sustainable and just future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 3, 2020
Abstract in English: 
In 1989, the ILO adopted the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention No. 169. Since then, the Convention has been ratified by 23 countries, and has guided and inspired governments, trade unions and employers’ organizations as well as indigenous peoples across the world in their work to promote and protect indigenous peoples’ rights.
Thirty years have passed since the adoption of Convention No. 169. This report presents the social and economic situation of indigenous women and men today by looking at key aspects such as population, employment and poverty, as well as the important strides made in public policies, particularly with regard to institutions, consultation and participation. It highlights the critical role of the Convention as a framework for social justice, peace, participatory democracy, and inclusive and sustainable development for all – which is necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and undertake meaningful climate action.
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160
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Shaping a Multiconceptual World - 2020

Title Original Language: 
Shaping a Multiconceptual World
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Abstract in English: 
In the report’s opening chapter, “The Expansion of Geopolitics”, World Economic Forum President Børge Brende argues the number of actors exerting geopolitical influence is growing and domains for geopolitical competition or cooperation are also expanding. Within this context, Brende calls for a cooperative order: “The more powers compete and pursue strategic advantage at the expense of addressing shared technological, environmental and economic challenges, the more likely it will be that a broader sense of friction will develop across the global system. A rivalrous global system will in turn make it more unlikely that shared priorities are fulfilled,” he writes. Brende notes that global coordination in the wake of the 11 September 2001 terror attacks and the 2008 global financial crisis offer a paradigm for a more collaborative response to geopolitical challenges. Cooperation, he argues, will ultimately prove more beneficial to individual states – and to the world at large. “As the world becomes even more interconnected in terms of flows of information, capital and people, states will be more reliant on one another to realize positive outcomes for themselves and the global community,” Brende writes. “At a time when power dynamics are in flux, there is an opportunity for stakeholders to make the decision to shape geopolitics in a cooperative, rather than competitive, manner.”
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78
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Megatrends in Africa

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The reports are not academic research as such. The authors are academically qualified researchers, however, and they base their findings on academic studies. In this study, six major trends in Africa are defined as megatrends: population growth, climate change, urbanisation, migration, techno­logical development and democratic development.
Megatrends in Africa are deep and long-term transformation processes that are irreversible. They can and should be mitigated, but will inevitably require adaptation as well. The trends also have an element of foresight, in regards to how they are set to develop in the future.
All the megatrends are interlinked and affect each other. Population growth and climate change can be seen as mega-megatrends that have an especially strong effect on the other trends.
The study contains reports on all six megatrends, which are examined through a Pan-African lens. The study also includes a summary of all megatrends and the interaction of their effects.
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56
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Circular economy for climate neutrality

Title Original Language: 
Circular economy for climate neutrality
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 22, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The previous Commission policy on resources management was part of the priority for jobs and growth and economic competitiveness. The circular economy will be no less important for the new political priority of climate neutrality; it will become one of the indispensable elements for meeting the EU’s ambitions. EU climate policy and the circular economy are by and large complementary and mutually reinforcing. The circular economy is more than just another ‘product standards’ policy.In order for this to happen, •there is a need for a framework that is able to systematically address trade-offs, such as between the circular and the bioeconomy, but also between material efficiency and energy use, as well as •a mechanism to steer and monitor progress, touching upon the question of whether and if so, how to increase ambition and develop tools to monitor progress, for example via targets, and •the new Commission will need to develop and then scale up successful products and processes to create opportunities for new value chains while addressing risks, such as dependency on raw materials. Circular economy products for the foreseeable future will require both technology push and market pull policies. Both the circular economy and low-carbon economy will require new and often yet unknown business models. This will also require new methods of regulation. The principal challenge will be to create ‘lead markets’ for the circular economy in combination with low-carbon products. Many ideas for this exist. They include, for example, ‘carbon contracts for difference’, carbon budgets for projects, consumption charges, taxes and tax exemptions, sustainable finance, product standards and public procurement. Ideas now need to be tested to see whether they could work in practice. Finally, the EU circular economy will need to be underpinned by a robust and transparent carbon accounting system. If effective, such as system can at the same time act as a catalyst -carbon products and processes.
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11
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Quality Unknown : The Invisible Water Crisis

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Water quantity—too much in the case of floods, or too little in the case of droughts—grabs public attention and the media spotlight. Water quality—being predominantly invisible and hard to detect—goes largely unnoticed. Quality Unknown: The Invisible Water Crisis presents new evidence and new data that call urgent attention to the hidden dangers lying beneath water’s surface. It shows how poor water quality stalls economic progress, stymies human potential, and reduces food production. Quality Unknown examines the effects of water quality on economic growth and finds upstream pollution lowers growth in downstream regions. It reveals that some of the most ubiquitous contaminants in water, such as nitrates and salt, have impacts that are larger, deeper, and wider than has been acknowledged. And it traces the damage to crop yields and the stark implications for food security in affected regions. An important step toward tackling the world’s water quality challenge is recognizing its scale. The world needs reliable, accurate, and comprehensive information so that policy makers can have new insights, decision making can be evidence based, and citizens can call for action. The report calls for a paradigm shift that emphasizes safer, and often more cost-effective remedies that prevent pollution by combining smarter policies with newer technologies. A key message of Quality Unknown is that such solutions exist and change is possible.
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142
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World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, July 15, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The report offers a five-course menu of solutions to ensure we can feed 10 billion people by 2050 without increasing emissions, fueling deforestation or exacerbating poverty. Intensive research and modeling examining the nexus of the food system, economic development, and the environment show why each of the 22 items on the menu is important and quantifies how far each solution can get us. This site presents text from the Synthesis Report, with download links to full chapters from the complete report.
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564
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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 Future of Rail - Opportunities for energy and the environment

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, February 8, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Global demand for transport is growing fast. On present trends, passenger and freight activity will more than double by 2050.Such growth is a token of social and economic progress. But it carries with it growth in energy demand and in emissions of CO2 and atmospheric pollutants.Greater reliance on rail can cut that growth. The world is becoming ever more urbanised and rail travel is well matched to urban needs.High-speed rail can serve as an alternative to short-distance air travel. Conventional and freight rail can complement other transport modes to provide efficient mobility.This book shows what can be done and how. Its scale is global, with a special focus on the needs and opportunities in India.
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175
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Global Material Resources Outlook to 2060 - Economic Drivers and Environmental Consequences

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Abstract in English: 
This report presents global projections of materials use and their environmental consequences, providing a quantitative outlook to 2060 at the global, sectoral and regional levels for 61 different materials (biomass resources, fossil fuels, metals and non-metallic minerals). It explains the economic drivers determining the decoupling of economic growth and materials use, and assesses how the projected shifts in sectoral and regional economic activity influence the use of different materials. The projections include both primary and secondary materials, which provides a deeper understanding of what drives the synergies and trade-offs between extraction and recycling.The report projects a doubling of global primary materials use between today and 2060. Population and converging per capita income growth drive the growth in materials use. However, structural change, especially in non-OECD countries, and technology improvements partially dampen that growth. Metals and non-metallic minerals are projected to grow more rapidly than other types of materials.
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214
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