In a speech commemorating the thirty-fifth anniversary of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2009, former U.S. secretary of state, Henry Kissinger recalled how the energy crisis of 1970s awakened the world “to a new challenge that would require both creative thinking and international cooperation.” He explained that as “global demand continues to grow, investment cycles, technologies, and supporting infrastructure will be critical.” As a top U.S. diplomat in the 1970s, Kissinger is credited with promoting energy security as a third pillar of the international order through a trifecta of initiatives to bolster incentives to energy producers to increase their supplies, encourage rational and prudent consumption of existing supplies, and improve development of alternative energy sources. These efforts contributed to the establishment of the IEA in 1974 as a principal institutional mechanism for enhancing global energy cooperation among industrialized nations. Read more>>
Tag: Climate Economy
The New Climate Economy (NCE), a flagship project of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate has released a report documenting how urbanization drives of productivity and growth in the global economy. The report titled, ‘Better Growth, Better Climate,’ observes that as the global economy undergoes a deep structural transformation the next 15 years will be marked by: (i) rapid global economic expansion by more than half, (ii) rapid technological advancement that will have profound impact on both businesses and lives, (iii) migration of a billion more people into cities, and (iv) investment of nearly US$90 trillion in infrastructure in asset intensive sectors mainly in urban, land use and energy systems.
To overcome market, policy and institutional barriers to low-carbon growth, the report recommends harnessing three key “drivers of change,” notably: raising resource efficiency, investing in infrastructure and stimulating innovation in new business models, technologies, business models and social-technical innovations and practices to stimulate both growth and emissions reduction.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Philipp Rode, the Executive Director of LSE Cities and Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science said that:
dispersed peripheralized development of many developing world cities in particular leads to a very regressive form of urban development replicating income and wealth inequalities by limiting access to common goods such as healthcare, better schools, and public transport.
The report identifies better urbanization, better development, and better coordination of critical economic systems as vital drivers of change in cities.
The report recommends a 10-point global action plan, including:
- integrating climate into core economic decision-making processes to accelerate low-carbon transformation;
- phasing out subsidies for hydrocarbon fuels, and incentives for urban sprawl;
- introduce strong, predictable carbon prices;
- pursue a strong, lasting and equitable international climate treaty;
- strengthen incentives for long-term investment in forestry and forest protection;
- reduce capital costs for low-carbon infrastructure investments;
- scale up innovation in key low-carbon and climate-resilient technologies;
- emphasize on developing a connected and compact cities paradigm;
- accelerate fuel switching away from polluting coal-fired power generation to low carbon fuels; and
- restore lost or degraded forests and agricultural lands by 2030.
A new X Challenge to clean up the oil in the Gulf Region has been announced. The Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge is a $1.4 Million prize to promote highly efficient methods for cleaning up crude oil on the ocean surface. “The goal of the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE is to inspire entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists worldwide to develop innovative, rapidly deployable, and highly efficient methods of capturing crude oil from the ocean surface” X PRIZE Foundation said in a statement. “The devastating impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill will last for years and it is inevitable that future spills will occur – both from wells and from transport tankers,” stated X PRIZE Chairman Peter H. Diamandis.
The competition begins on from August 1, 2010 and will close in April 2011. An expert panel of judges from industry and academia will evaluate all of the proposals along the following criteria: a) Technical approach and commercialization plan b) No negative environmental impact c) Scalability of and ability to deploy technology; cost and human labor of implementation and d) Improvement of technology over today’s baseline booms and skimmers. The winner will be announced at the National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility (OHSMETT) in New Jersey and will receive the $1 million Grand prize. Second place will win $300,000 and third place will win $100,000 in purses.
An excellent article by Angelica Valeria Ospina, from the Centre for Development Informatics, University of Manchester, titled “e-Resilience: Rethinking the Potential of ICTs towards Climate Change Adaptation.” In the article the author asks, “how can vulnerable contexts that are already facing the burdens of poverty and marginalisation, build resilience?” Certainly, “The rapid diffusion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), such as mobile phones and the Internet, is adding new angles to this debate. Effective access and use of ICTs could pose new opportunities for developing countries that are at the forefront of climate change impacts to build resilience and achieve adaptation.”