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Environmental Sustainability

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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Woody Biomass for Power and Heat-Demand and Supply in Selected EU Member States

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, June 7, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This paper is one of a series on biomass produced by Chatham House. Between them these papers aim to provide an analysis of the growth in the use of wood for power and heat and a discussion of its impact on the global climate and on forests. In addition, the series intends to reach conclusions on the appropriate treatment of woody biomass for energy in policy frameworks. This paper provides background information on the use of woody biomass for power and heat within the EU – the main global source of demand for non-traditional uses of biomass – and examines patterns of demand and supply in nine EU member states, together with the policy frameworks that support the use of biomass for energy.
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97
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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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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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Perspectives on transitions to sustainability

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The overall ambition of this report is to provide an initial analytical overview of framings, conceptualisations and selected analytical tools relating to sustainability transitions and transformations, bringing together insights from multiple academic communities. The report aims to illustrate how these different perspectives relate to each other and to begin to explore what potential guidance they offer for policymaking and governance more broadly.
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164
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The circular economy: reconciling economic growth with the environment

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The circular economy transition embodies the actions and transformations which allow the different economic players (including the final users) to pursue value creation by reducing negative externalities as well as the resources that only exist in limited amounts.
Thus, the concept meets the perspective of a sustainable economic growth and relies both on innovation and on the collaboration of all economic players. This transition calls for a change, from a linear model of society based on “extraction, production, consumption, waste”, to a circular model that turns waste into resources.
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104
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Electric vehicles in Europe

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, September 26, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This report provides a non-technical summary of the latest information on electric road vehicles in Europe, including those with hybrid technologies. It focuses upon electric passenger vehicles, explaining the different types that are now available on the market, how each type works, and their respective advantages and disadvantages.
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39
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Reviewing the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - “Early Movers” Can Help Maintain Momentum

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Abstract in English: 
At the Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015 the heads of state and government of all the UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Several countries, including Germany, committed to move rapidly on implementation. During the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2016, twentytwo countries volunteered to conduct national reviews of their implementation. Moreover, UN member states plan to adopt a resolution on the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda before that meeting. What initiatives would be most helpful for maintaining the momentum and making ambitious progress on implementing and reviewing the Agenda?
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4
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The Future of Electricity in Fast-Growing Economies

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Electricity markets in fast-growing economies face different challenges than those in more mature markets. Mature markets with stable demand for electricity are transitioning to a more sustainable mix of power generation technologies while continuing to support economic growth with affordable and secure power. Fast-growing markets are trying to serve voracious new demand for electricity as their economies grow, as more customers are connected to the grid and as per capita consumption grows.

This report recognizes the need for policy to balance the objectives in the Forum’s energy architecture triangle: security and accessibility, short- and medium-term affordability, and environmental sustainability. The fact that 1.2 billion people lacked access to electricity in 2012, combined with the scale of poverty, will inevitably focus attention on accessibility and affordability. But even as they make progress on achieving reliable universal access, fast-growing markets will need to develop roadmaps that take advantage of new technologies to make their power affordable while increasing environmental sustainability.
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