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The State of the World's Forests: Forest Pathways to Sustainable Development

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, January 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a commitment made by countries to tackle the complex challenges we face, from ending poverty and hunger and responding to climate change to building resilient communities, achieving inclusive growth and sustainably managing the Earth’s natural resources.
As governments determine how best to commit national efforts to achieve transformational change, The State of the World’s Forests 2018 (SOFO 2018) analyses the role that forests and trees – and the people who use and manage them– can play in helping countries achieve their objectives and bring about a brighter future. It shines a light on the profound interlinkages that exist between forests and many other goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda, enabling policy-makers to strike the right balance in actions, investments and partnerships directed towards food security, poverty alleviation, ecological conservation and, ultimately, to find pathways to sustainable development.
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139
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AidForTrade at a Glance 2017

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Abstract in English: 
This is the sixth edition of the Aid for Trade at a Glance publication. Since 2007, successive editions of this flagship publication have shed light on the steps being taken by developing country governments and their development partners to leverage trade for development. The 2017 edition adds further weight to the already substantial body of evidence highlighting the effectiveness of aid for trade. It focuses on how and why trade connectivity is critical for inclusiveness, sustainable growth and poverty reduction. It is intended to inform both practice and policy regarding aid for trade’s contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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553
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Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The focus of this report is on harnessing AI systems today, and as they evolve, to create maximum positive impact on urgent environmental challenges. It suggests ways in which AI can help transform traditional sectors and systems to address climate change, deliver food and water security, protect biodiversity and bolster human well-being. This concern is tightly linked with the emerging question of how to ensure that AI does not become harmful to human well-being.
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52
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Skill Shift: Automation an the Future of the Workforce

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the nature of work. In this discussion paper, part of our ongoing research on the impact of technology on the economy, business, and society, we present new findings on the coming shifts in demand for workforce skills and how work is organized within companies, as people increasingly interact with machines in the workplace. We quantify time spent on 25 core workplace skills today and in the future for the United States and five European countries, with a particular focus on five sectors: banking and insurance, energy and mining, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.
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84
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The Role of Natural Gas, Renewables and Energy Efficiency in Decarbonisation in Germany

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, April 30, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This paper looks at the implications of the 2015 Paris Agreement for renewables, energy efficiency and natural gas and draws conclusions on the limitations of renewables for meeting national and international climate targets, illustrated by the past and present German renewable-focused approach. It discusses the need to complement an all-electric renewable approach with the important contribution decarbonized natural gas can make to meet the decarbonisation targets of the Paris Agreement within the time frame given by it. Finally, it illustrates the overlap of EU decarbonisation and German renewable policy and how this hinders short term fuel switching to natural gas and possible remedies. Throughout the paper “gas”, unless otherwise specified, should be taken to mean “natural gas”.
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65
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Wold Energy Issues Monitor 2018

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The monitor helps to define the world energy agenda and its evolution over time. It provides a high-level perception of what constitute issues of critical uncertainty, in contrast to those that require immediate action or act as developing signals for the future. It is an essential tool for understanding the complex and uncertain environment in which energy leaders must operate, and a tool through which one can challenge own assumptions on the key drivers within the energy landscape.
This ninth iteration of the monitor is based on insights provided by more than 1,200 energy leaders to provide over 30 national assessments across six regions. It first discusses global issues regarding energy, then deliver country by country assessments of what the latter's national energy agendas should look like.
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128
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State of the World’s Plants - 2017

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Last year's State of the World’s Plants report focused predominantly on synthesising knowledge of the numbers of different categories of plants: How many vascular plants are currently known to science? How many are threatened with extinction? What is the number of plants with uses? etc. We also looked at the main threats to these plants, including climate change, land- use change, invasive plants, disease and over-exploitation. However, simply knowing how many plants there are and how many are under threat is not enough – what is also needed is an understanding of why some plants are more vulnerable than others. This year, therefore, we have also examined the emerging evidence for the characteristics of plants that appear to make some types less/more resilient to current and future threats.
It is not all doom and gloom, however. In this year’s State of the World’s Plants, we also highlight the rapidly accumulating discoveries and knowledge that provide important sign-posts to the next food crops, medicines, timbers etc. Information is now also emerging on the effectiveness of conservation actions and policies in protecting some of the most important plant species and communities across the globe. While there is still much more to do, these positive outcomes demonstrate that with scientific knowledge and evidence-based global actions, it is possible to conserve the extraordinary diversity of plants on Earth and to build on the unique combination of beauty and science which can together provide some of the solutions for the global challenges facing humanity today.
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100
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Farm performance and climate

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, May 15, 2017
Abstract in English: 
This study examines the effect of climate variability and climate change on the productivity of Australian cropping farms between 1977–78 and 2014–15. The productivity of Australian cropping farms is heavily affected by climate variability, particularly the occurrence of droughts. While Australian farmers are well accustomed to managing this variability, the emergence of climate change is presenting some new challenges.
This study combines ABARES farm survey data with spatial climate data to estimate the effect of climate conditions (such as, rainfall and temperature) on cropping farm TFP (Total Factor Productivity, i.e the combined productivity of labor and capital). The study then presents climate adjusted productivity estimates with the effects of climate removed. For comparison, similar results are generated for farm wheat yields using the same data sources and methods.
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71
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Gas in the European Energy Transition: Challenges and Opportunities

Title Original Language: 
Le gaz dans la Transition Energétique Européenne: Enjeux et Opportunités
Abstract Original Language: 
Les performances environnementales du gaz lui permettent de réduire rapidement et dès maintenant les émissions de CO2 du secteur électrique quand il remplace le charbon, deux fois plus émetteur. Sa flexibilité lui permet aussi de pallier l'intermittence du solaire et de l'éolien, facilitant ainsi le développement des ENRs. Il contribue de même à un approvisionnement électrique fiable et réduit les coûts d'équilibrage du système électrique. Il pourrait aussi être utile pour réduire les émissions des transports routiers et maritimes.
Le gaz a donc toute sa place dans le futur bouquet énergétique européen, a condition de décarboner encore son usage, d'augmenter l'intégration et la compétitivité du marché gazier européen et d'assurer la sécurité d'un approvisionnement qui dépendra de plus de plus des importations extra-européennes.
Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, January 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Thanks to its environmental performance, gas can help to quickly reduce the CO2 emissions of the electricity production when replacing the twice-as-emitting coal power. Its flexibility also help make up for the intermittence of the sun and wind powers, thus facilitating to the development of the renewable energy production. It similarly contributes to a reliable electricity supply and reduce the balancing cost of the electric system. It could also be used in the near future to reduce the emissions of the road and maritime transportation sectors.
In nutshell, gas could play a key role within the future European Energy Cluster, provided the further decarbonization of it usage, the increase in the integration and competitiveness of the European gas market, and the securing of its supply-which will increasingly depend on extra-European imports.
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90
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The rise of offshore wind power in the North Sea

Title Original Language: 
L'essor de l'éolien offshore en Mer du Nord
Abstract Original Language: 
Les acteurs industriels européens ont su préserver le marché de l'éolien offshore pour leurs produit et services. Le savoir-faire ainsi acquis les place en bonne position sur ce marché, dont le potentiel paraît immense. Cependant, la compétition ne fait que débuter et de nombreux groupes extra-européens ont déjà pris des parts dans des projets en Mer du Nord, acquérant à leurs tours les compétences nécessaires pour essaimer sur d'autres rivages.
Autour de la Mer du Nord, les politiques de soutien à ce secteur ont évolué vers des procédures concurrentielles, notamment par des appels d'offre. Jointe à une maîtrise technologique croissante, cette démarche a abouti à une remarquable baisse des coûts pour les projets annoncés après 2018, dans les pays déjà équipés. La compétitivité ainsi accrue de l'éolien offshore offre des perspectives considérables en Mer du Nord. Hélas, elle bute encore sur les coûts d'extension du réseau électrique. A l'heure où chaque Etat mène sa propre politique énergétique, la coordination interétatique est indispensable pour minimiser les coûts d'exploitation de cette ressource.
Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, July 16, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Over the past years, European industry players have acquired a significant know-how that they can value on the promising global offshore wind market. Yet, competition is still at an early stage and many non-European stakeholders have taken shares in projects in the North Sea, hoping to gain similar expertise before wandering to other shores. Support policies have recently moved to competitive tenders ad, combined with a growing technological lead, the have contributed to a remarkable fall in prices announced for projects to be commissioned after 2018. Offshore wind represents a strategic opportunity for Europe but requires strong investments in grid infrastructures. While each national government is currently defining its own targets and support schemes, cross-border coordination is imperative to guarantee the integration of massive wind production at minimal cost.
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46
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