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Climate Change

Urban Governance in the EU - Current Challenges and Future Prospects

Title Original Language: 
Urban Governance in the EU - Current Challenges and Future Prospects
Abstract Original Language: 
The quality of territorial foresight and, in particular, of urban foresight, is nowadays measured not so much in terms of the ability to anticipate possible futures, always challenged by the increasing uncertainty and the exponential rate of change, as in terms of the ability to construct collective visions of the future that are ambitious, proactive and engaging for stakeholders and citizens.
What foresight has to offer is its capacity to approach both long-term challenges, perceived in the present, as well as shared aims and values in a distant horizon. This publication attempts to address these challenges by ‘imagineering’ the future of cities though the application of methods and techniques drawn
from the strategic foresight and prediction fields in a systematic, rigorous and holistic way.
Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Abstract in English: 
The quality of territorial foresight and, in particular, of urban foresight, is nowadays measured not so much in terms of the ability to anticipate possible futures, always challenged by the increasing uncertainty and the exponential rate of change, as in terms of the ability to construct collective visions of the future that are ambitious, proactive and engaging for stakeholders and citizens.
What foresight has to offer is its capacity to approach both long-term challenges, perceived in the present, as well as shared aims and values in a distant horizon. This publication attempts to address these challenges by ‘imagineering’ the future of cities though the application of methods and techniques drawn from the strategic foresight and prediction fields in a systematic, rigorous and holistic way.
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199
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OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050 - The Consequences of Inaction

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, June 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050 asks “What could the next four decades bring?” Based on joint modelling by the OECD and the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, it looks forward to the year 2050 to ascertain what demographic and economic trends might mean for the environment if humanity does not introduce more ambitious policies to manage natural assets with greater care.

This Outlook focuses on four areas: climate change, biodiversity, water and the health impacts of pollution. These four key environmental challenges were identified by the previous Environmental Outlook to 2030 as “Red light” issues requiring urgent attention (see Chapter 1). It concludes that the prospects are more alarming than the situation described in the previous edition, and that urgent – and holistic – action is needed now to avoid the significant costs and consequences of inaction. Policy makers must take decisions despite uncertainties. The Outlook presents achievable solutions, highlighting the linkages between different environmental issues and some of the challenges and tradeoffs in the face of competing demands.
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353
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Policy Challenges for the Next 50 Years

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Abstract in English: 
This paper identifies and analyses some key challenges that OECD and partner economies may face over the coming 50 years if underlying global trends relating to growth, trade, inequality and environmental pressures prevail. For example, global growth is likely to slow and become increasingly dependent on knowledge and technology, while the economic costs of environmental damages will mount. The rising economic importance of knowledge will tend to raise returns to skills, likely leading to further increases in earning inequalities within countries. While increases in pre-tax earnings do not automatically transform into rising income inequality, the ability of governments to cushion this impact may be limited, as rising trade integration and consequent rising mobility of tax bases combined with substantial fiscal pressures may hamper such efforts. The paper discusses to what extent national structural policies can address these and other interlinked challenges, but also points to the growing need for international coordination and cooperation to deal with these issues over the coming 50 years.
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Latin America in a Changing World

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
This publication is the second in a series dedicated to raising awareness of global trends analysis and how future scenarios will affect Latin America. In the Question and Answer section, experts from throughout the region examine the most important global trends for Latin America and how policymakers should address them. In the second section, Program Director Sergio Bitar discusses the need for a stronger relationship between global trends analysis and education policy. The final section offers a summary of Bitar’s recently published book, Why and How Latin America Should Think about the Future.
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Study of FLAs in the area of Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
This report has been prepared in response to the invitation for a study on Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy, in support of the work of the European Forum for Forward-Looking Activities. The aim of this Study is to develop mechanisms for ensuring that Horizon 2020 takes account of a wide range and fuller set of challenges for the area under review. The scope of the study was broadly defined by the societal challenge in this area as set out in the proposal for Horizon 2020, summarised by the objective:
“The specific objective is to make the transition to a reliable, sustainable and competitive energy system, in the face of increasingly scarce resources, increasing energy needs and climate change.” (DS 1293/12, p.93)
The key questions addressed in this report are:
- Will the implementation of the SET-Plan help to link research and innovation programmes?
- Identification of the main challenges and sub-challenges in respect of the transition of the energy system;
- Comparison of these challenges with the announced broad lines of activities under Horizon 2020;
- Assessment of the extent to which these challenges are disruptive for the assumptions or proposals of Horizon 2020;
- Identification of any adjustments to the themes in the light of this; and
- Whether any important challenges or issues are missing from the announced broad lines of activities.
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Study of FLAs in the area of Climate Action, Resource Efficiency and Raw materials

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The Review of Forward-looking Activities (FLAs) undertaken in recent years at national, European and international level in this area, indicates that while the H2020 proposals on climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials aim to address a highly relevant set of themes, H2020’s proposed approach and the mechanisms for implementation need to be better specified, to ensure that an effective framework for addressing the grand societal challenges is put in place.
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24
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Costs and Benefits to EU Members States of 2030 Climate and Energy Targets

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Publication date: 
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
Delivering both economic growth and GHG emissions reductions is essential to avoiding dangerous climate change, with its associated economic, social and environmental costs. Keeping the global temperature rise below 2°C represents a major challenge, particularly while ensuring decarbonisation is cost-effective and maintaining security of supply and competiveness. A number of policies have been implemented throughout the EU to reach its 2020 targets; the next challenge is to look ahead to 2030.
To continue the process of transforming to a low carbon economy and set the next waypoint towards the EU’s 2050 objective of reducing GHG emissions by 80-95%, the European Commission has released its proposal for an EU 2030 framework for climate and energy policies. Pursuant to this, the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change commissioned a set of detailed quantified scenarios for GHG emissions and the energy sector, in order to look at the costs and benefits to individual Member States and the EU as a whole from different potential EU policies and objectives for 2030.
Significant potential exists within the EU to reduce GHG emissions at reasonable costs, both in the short and long term. The 20% reduction of emissions by 2020 will likely be overachieved despite the current low ETS price; indeed, even with the existing surplus of EUAs, this will probably be the case without further policy intervention. The Commission’s
Low Carbon Roadmap suggests that a tighter cap and target would put the EU on a more cost effective pathway to 2050.
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Regional challenges in the perspective of 2020. Regional disparities and future challenges - Climate Change

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Publication date: 
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Abstract in English: 
"In this paper climate change is understood as a set of alterations in the average weather caused by global warming due to the emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases.
Climate change is serious and scary. Amongst all challenges that are dealt with in this project it is the one challenge that potentially has the most severe impacts, globally and on Europe. The very reason for this is that climate change affects virtually every aspect of our every day life, economic, social and environmental. It is a multidimensional challenge, with its impacts not only ranging from issues like human health, supply of safe water and food, biodiversity, economic development etc., but also has impacts on all the other four challenges dealt with under this project.
The impacts of climate change can be extreme, almost unbelievable. To illustrate, pessimistic estimates predict that if global temperature increases by around 3°C above pre-industrial level additional 550 million people (approximately the size of the EU) will be at risk of hunger in world. Likewise, for the same increase in temperature, 50% of animal species may be extinct, and this is just the top of the (by then non-existing) iceberg.
Climate change is not an European challenge. It is a global challenge with effects on Europe. This has to be made aware of. Because just as Europe is responsible for safeguarding its people from the negative impacts of climate change, it has, being one of the world’s major force, to take up its responsibility for the other parts of the world. It is certainly not enough to sit back and enjoy the privilege of being born into a developed part of the world that, if let alone, could deal with any problem or challenge. Our actions affect people all over the world, just as their actions affect us. From that, if philanthropist reasons are not enough for Europe to take up its responsibility, it should do so, because the impacts climate change has in other parts of the world might have military, social and economic repercussions on the Europeans.
In the light of the severity of the impacts climate change can have, it is surprising how little is known about it in public. Sure, climate change gained public attention in 2007, when Al Gore and the IPCC won the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change". But still it is felt that public awareness is much too low.
Tackling climate change and finding the right policies is not only about mitigation, adaption and analysing the problem. It is also about making it known to the people, because in the end it is us that, with our every day actions, are responsible of what the future climate will be.
Task
In this spirit, and since climate change is, as mentioned, a multidimensional challenge this paper, by reviewing the current literature, aims at giving an overview of the multiple impacts climate change can have globally and on Europe. Its main focus are the economic, environmental and social consequences, firstly at the world and secondly at the European level, with the ultimate aim to derive some conclusions on how climate change affects the European Union’s NUTS-2 regions.
The remainder of the paper is organised as follows:
Chapter 2 reviews current findings on the global and European impact of climate change, also taking into account developments in neighbouring regions, likely repercussions from global effects on Europe and some aspects of adaption to climate change. Chapter 3 develops an indicator to assess the vulnerability of EU NUTS 2 regions to climate change. Finally, chapter 4 by taking into account the insights from the previous chapter the paper dares to present two scenarios of potential impacts of climate change on regions: a pessimistic scenario based on the assumption that climate change and global warming cannot be stopped and an optimistic scenario based on the hypothesis that global warming will stop at the EU’s target of a temperature that is only 2°C higher than in the pre-industrial era.
Importantly, it has to be noted that mitigation will not be covered in this paper, as this will be done in the paper on the energy challenge."
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Regions 2020 - Climate change challenges for European regions

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Abstract in English: 
This paper summarizes main findings on the impact of climate change on temperature and precipitation, outlines some of their impacts on socio economic conditions as well as identifying vulnerable regions. Conclusions are drawn in respect of the impact on the regional growth potential, sustainability and equity. The analysis on which the findings of the note are based are uncertain to some degree, as they relate to projections of climate conditions in the future. There are also significant uncertainties involved in presenting impacts on a regional level which result from modelling results which are based on more aggregated data.
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