After Rio+20, the proposed post-2015 framework needs to learn from the shortcomings of the MDG-process and merge care economy and green economy approaches to advance and finance truly gender-equitable sustainable development
The Stadtwerke Schwaebisch Hall, a community-owned utility has been showered with prizes and distinctions for its progressive energy policies. Most recently, the old mark town of Schweabisch Hall, which has a population of 37,000, was named Germany's "energy municipality of the year."
The German Energiewende shows that the current German electricity system can easily cope with 25 percent renewables. But exceeding these 25 percent will be a crossroad, as now event the strongest proponents of the Energiewende agree that Germany needs to reform its energy system to accommodate for the next influx of renewables.
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013, launched on July 10th in Brussels, debunks the myth that the world is seeing a nuclear renaissance.Two years after Fukushima, global nuclear power generation continues to decline.
In his book Smart Growth: the Green Revolution, Ralf Fücks, President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation argues that while the calls for the end of growth are not realistic there is a possibility to follow a growth pathway that goes hand-in-hand with ecological sustainability.
This summer the Heinrich Böll Foundation is leading several tours to enhance awareness of the renewable energy revolution in Europe. The tours include US congressional staff examining EU low carbon economies, US energy and climate funders looking at renewable communities, and American and European journalists focusing on environmental issues.
While the US energy sector is good for big business, Germany’s is good for citizens. Germans not only want clean power; they also want to make it themselves. When locals own and control their environment, the acceptance of renewables increases, argues Craig Morris.
Germany's tansition to a renewable energy economy will not succeed without smart grid technologies. They play an essential part in the "Energiewende" towards an electricity supply system based on high energy efﬁciency and changing renewable energy supplies. Upgrading the grid is the most urgent task, but restructuring it has to follow suit.
Many powerful transnational corporations (TNCs) have growing influence over the governance of resources in sectors, such as energy and agriculture. This paper addresses the strategic dilemmas faced by civil society organizations that address corporate power in their struggles to curb global warming and achieve the human rights, including the rights to food and energy.
Natural resources are back on the agenda. After the rise of new economic powers such as China, India, and Brazil, global competition has perceptibly increased strategic concerns. Germany, the EU, the US and others have formulated raw material strategies that put concern over access and supply at center stage – but the environmental and the socio-political dimensions are widely neglected in these strategies.
On the eve of Rio+20, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America has asked several of its partners from civil society to reflect in short commentaries about some of the linkages and synergies between gender equity and key issue areas of sustainable development.
Since the first UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, we've seen a worsening of all important ecological trends, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and scarcity of resources. This essay describes a policy of less and wealth measured in "just enough" to allow a decent life without poverty for all.
In the past 10 years, Brazil has undeniably gone through a remarkable process of transformation. The international community sees Brazil as success story. This collection of articles addresses the discrepancy between the perception of Brazil abroad and at home where NGOs and social movements have been criticizing the Brazilian development model.
In a time of economic hardship, dangerous climate change, and growing demand for reliable and cleaner sources of energy, global fossil fuel subsidies for production and consumption remain staggeringly high; however, momentum for subsidy reform is growing internationally. Greater transparency and equity need to be at the heart of such reforms, argues this report.
The urgent need to address climate change, the concerns of depleting fossil fuel reserves, volatile global oil prices and continued economic crisis amongst other reasons have put energy at the center of public policy debates. While the discussions are centered around addressing energy security, often focused primarily around electricity generation, the more immediate energy crisis is in creating equitable energy access and eradicating energy poverty.
At Rio+20, the concept of the "green economy" focuses on industrial production from biomass as one way to overcome fossil fuel dependency. The push for a bio-based economy comes with a call for market-based mechanisms for the financialization of the Earth’s natural processes, re-branded as ‘ecosystem services’, which also encourage land and water grabs.
The Green Deal Nigeria study commissioned by the Heinrich Böll Foundation focuses on the potential for a greener Nigeria and is being launched as the country prepares for the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit. The study provides an overview and practical examples of how to green Nigeria before 2020 and explains the long-term measures that Nigeria needs to take today to make the economy grow beyond oil.
The World Bank's May 2012 volume on "Inclusive Green Growth" has some positive solutions to offer, but falls short in several crucial ways: the lack of emphasis on poverty reduction, equality and human rights; an uncritical regard for market mechanisms to govern asset markets, and a view of infrastructure as the “heart of green growth,” among other things.
The chemical industry in Germany plays a key role in the economy as a whole and the country's international competitiveness. It provides more than 290,000 well paying jobs. The capacity of the chemical industry for innovation is crucial for finding solutions to some of the major challenges of our time such as climate change and the resource crisis: chemicals can help to insulate buildings, generate solar power, build cleaner cars and increase material efficiency.
Since 2002, the world community has been struggling to formulate a framework for sustainable consumption and production. In this paper, "Preventing Wall-E", Victoria Floor describes the struggle, the high stakes and the importance of a Rio +20 agreement.
Germany has seen record investments in solar energy. Thus, coal and nuclear utilities are calling for an end to solar incentives. They might be able to delay the boom of solar power. But it is too late to stop it altogether, argues Volker Quaschning in this article.
In this essay, the president of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, Barbara Unmuessig, critically reflects on the opportunities for and the shortcomings of the concept of a "Green Economy" to influence economic policy making globally, its relationship to the paradigm of sustainable development and the need to rethink our understanding and focus on growth.
Today, prospects for sustainable development remain a serious challenge as our global economy, our natural environment, our social well-being, and our political structures are in crisis. From the economy to climate change to food and agriculture, systems of governance are in disarray. Everyone is struggling more intensely in today’s world – particularly women and girls.
The multiple crises – the financial crash, hunger, climate change and resource scarcity – demonstrate emphatically that neoliberal market globalization cannot fulfill its promises: namely to bring about the optimal allocation of resources on the entire planet and thus be a win-win game for all.
In this paper, Mats Abrahamsson takes a closer look at a region that could be a pioneer for regional cooperation in the EU: the Baltic Sea Region. As the first region with an EU regional cooperation initiative and with a long-lasting tradition of cooperation, this region could play an essential role in showing the EU the way forward by sharing their large potential of diverse renewable energy sources.
The story of climate change is not merely the story of changing components in the atmosphere, nor is it the story of drowning polar bears and melting icebergs. Climate change is also a mirror of the erroneous household management by humanity.
The German Green Party suggests turning climate change cooperation into a strategic priority in the transatlantic relationships. This is the core demand of the motion 17/7356 passed by the Greens in the parliament, the Deutscher Bundestag. Though Congress is so far not acting on climate change, there are other pillars in the US society to connect to and foster collaboration and mutual learning across the Atlantic. One of the vehicles for this is the Transatlantic Climate Bridge of the German government that should be strengthened, according to the resolution of the Greens.
The global economic crisis has not been overcome; its character has merely changed. Similar to the crisis in the banking sector, the European government debt crisis is typical of a large-scale financial crisis, the “Second Great Depression,” and managing it has to be addressed in this context.
In this latest report of the Climate Network, policy-makers, civil society actors and local stakeholders in both the US and Europe address how to enhance renewable energy policies in rural and industrial regions despite current economic and political barriers.
The links between climate change and industrial agriculture create a nexus of crises—food insecurity, natural resource depletion and degradation, as well as human rights violations and inequities. This report unravels the interrelated causes of and effects on these issues.
This report is in the final product of the Midwest Renewable Energy Tour. It shares the German success of using policy to develop rural renewable energy projects and how farms in the US states of South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin can increase their renewable energy capacity.
The upcoming summit "Rio+20" is not only to set the stage for a green economy, but also to provide an impetus for the institutional reform of the UN environmental sector. An analysis by Barbara Unmüßig.
Ralf Fücks, President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, gave a welcome address at the conference “Opportunities and Challenges: The Future of E-mobility in Germany and the US”. The e-mobility conference was hosted by the German Embassy and The Representative of German Industry and Trade in Washington D.C. on March 30, as part of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge initiative.
Americans consumed 275lb of meat in 2010. That is more than 341 grams each day. Most Americans do not know - or care to know - where their daily meat comes from. The truth is: in the United States, 79% of pigs are raised on farms with 2,000 pigs or more. These factory farms promised better employment, affordable food for everybody and better, more efficient farming practices. They delivered the opposite.
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has recently published a new report: The Myth of Green Jobs - The European Experience. It claims that clean energy technologies increase energy prices and don’t lead to a net job growth in Europe. Given the German experience, Arne Jungjohann argues, AEI’s report has several flaws.
The Heinrich Boell Foundation has published a new report on greening the budget by pricing carbon and cutting environmental harmful subsidies. The publication provides lessons on how greening the budget combines fiscal responsibility with the environmental sensibility that is inevitable for a sustainable future.
In many places, including Germany, the idea of a Green New Deal continues to be criticized from the well-known conservative angle and, more recently, from a progressive perspective as well. This new critique of the Green New Deal is not valid because it fails to understand that the Green New Deal does not entail a simple “greenwashing” of the existing system.
Der Kopenhagener Klimagipfel hat in Europa für Enttäuschung gesorgt. Nicht so in der USA. Klimaschützer kämpfen hier weiter um das Klimagesetz. Doch eine Mehrheit ist alles andere als sicher. IN GERMAN ONLY.
According to an estimate of the U.S. Congressional Research Service, the global financial crisis destroyed 40% of the world’s GDP. Since then, stock indices show a significant recovery of the lost wealth; however, analyses are likely to show that, on the whole, the response to the crisis (government stimulus packages and especially bank bail-outs of worldwide estimated $14 trillion) redistributed wealth upward. In the U.S., unemployment has exceeded the 10% mark and one out of every nine people receives food stamps.
Humanity is confronted by historic challenges. While the economic and financial crisis has rocked the foundations of our economic system and threatened the livelihoods of millions of people here in Europe and in the rest of the world, we cannot afford any further delay in tackling the crises in the realms of climate change and global justice.
The green industrial revolution will, on a grand scale, create new products, services, and jobs. Although much remains to be done, the great transformation is on its way. In this collection of short articles, the authors debate the pros and cons of carbon capture and storage, the American turn to "green," and the questions of how economic growth and climate protection can be reconciled.
The outcome of the Copenhagen climate conference will be discussed for years to come. While European governments are frustrated and disappointed, most climate advocates in the United States define Copenhagen as a success. Why is it Swing time in the US and Europe plays the climate Blues?
Since the inauguration of Barack Obama, the US-Administration is accelerating climate protection efforts. However, obstacles in both chambers of Congress delay these efforts. The authors review recent achievements in US-climate legislation, provide an outlook on the probable US position in the upcoming Copenhagen conference and explain what this implies for viable strategies for European and other countries. read more (in GERMAN ONLY)»
Two major global challenges - the financial crisis and climate change - make it urgent to rally the world behind the idea of a “green new deal” or a “global green recovery.” To help G20 nations overcome these challenges, the Federal Foreign Office asked Atlantic Initiative to develop specific and actionable policy recommendations on how to provide effective international support to green technology markets and push the issue in the G20 framework.
The grave financial and economic crisis that broke into full view in the fall of 2008 has dominated headlines and politics. The imagery of a Green New Deal is important in that it suggests an ambitious approach predicated on the need for strong government action and a decisive break with old policies.
The dramatic convergence of multiple crises — global warming, hunger and depletion of natural resources such as water - compels us to challenge the dominant industrial agriculture model and consider a new way forward.
Urban Futures pursues two corresponding ideas: The first objective is to deepen the transnational dialog over the role of cities in solving the climate crisis. The second objective is to collect visions and models of sustainable architecture and urban planning and present them to a broader public.
The publication is a combination of two papers: the first written by Wilson Rickerson and others providing an overview of the current US situation on renewable heating and cooling, and the second written by Uwe Leprich and others providing a detailed look at the German support mechanisms for renewable heating and cooling policy in Germany.