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Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Germany tops energy efficiency score card

Germany tops energy efficiency score card | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Willy De Backer's insight:

Energy efficiency is good for competitiveness and jobs. Why is so little done then at EU level?

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Building Resilience in a Changing Climate

Building Resilience in a Changing Climate | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"In many respects a resilient society defies the imperative of economic efficiency. Resilience needs dispersed inventories and redundancy, while economic efficiency—in its ruthless pursuit of competitive advantage—eliminates inventories and redundancies everywhere it can. Economic efficiency leads toward globalization, resilience toward localization. Economic efficiency pursues short-term profit as its highest objective, while resilience targets long-term sustainability. It would appear that industrial society circa 2012 has gone about as far in the direction of economic efficiency as it is possible to go, and that a correction is necessary and inevitable. Climate change simply underscores the need for that course correction."

 

New Richard Heinberg article on the need to change the compass of our economy towards resilience instead of efficiency.

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New Report: U.S. Better Off “Thinking Big” about Energy Efficiency Instead of Focusing First on Development of New Energy Sources

America is thinking too small when it comes to energy efficiency, while also making the mistake of “crowding out” economically beneficial investments in energy efficiency by focusing on riskier and more expensive bids to develop new energy sources, according to a major new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

 

Titled The Long-Term Energy Efficiency Potential: What the Evidence Suggests, the new ACEEE report outlines three scenarios under which the U.S. could either continue on its current path or cut energy consumption by the year 2050 almost 60 percent, add nearly two million net jobs in 2050, and save energy consumers as much as $400 billion per year (the equivalent of $2600 per household annually).

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Ambitions watered down on energy savings in buildings

Ambitions watered down on energy savings in buildings | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

European member states prove once more that for all their talk about energy efficiency, they are unwilling to take the necessary political measures.

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Businesses Lack Credit Access For Green Schemes

Businesses Lack Credit Access For Green Schemes | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
British businesses are struggling to find suitable credit lines and loans from banks and financial institutions, in order to fund their energy efficiency investments.

So says a new report from the Energy Efficiency Financing Scheme, created by the Carbon Trust and Siemens. (Source: TechWeek Europe UK)

 

I suppose there is not enough profit in financing these investments. Time to regulate? Make bail-outs conditional on energy-saving investment loans?

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New EEA report: From efficient water use to quitting fossil fuels

Resource efficiency is a policy priority for Europe. However, across the region there are many different approaches to ‘doing more with less’, as shown by a survey of countries’ policies, carried out by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

 

Interesting survey with one main conclusion: "Europe still has a long way to go if it is to make comprehensive plans for resource efficiency. According to the results, only a few countries have policies addressing the more fundamental issue of consumption, instead attempting to improve technical efficiency"

 

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Fatih Birol (IEA): energy efficiency has been an epic failure by policymakers

Fatih Birol (IEA):  energy efficiency has been an epic failure by policymakers | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Fatih Birol, chief economist of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, is the lead author of an eye-catching new report projecting that the United States will become the world's leading oil producer within a few decades.

 

Good to see Birol highlighting the role of energy efficiency, water scarcity and climate change and not focussing on the "energy-independent" US story. Confirms my view that this year's IEA report was "tweaked" by the Obama administration.

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New UNCTAD report on the dangerous illusions of green growth

This UNCTAD Discussion Paper "argues that growth, technological, population-expansion and governance constraints as well as some key systemic issues cast a very long shadow on the “green growth” hopes. One should not deceive oneself into believing that such evolutionary (and often reductionist) approach will be sufficient to cope with the complexities of climate change. It may rather give much false hope and excuses to do nothing really fundamental that can bring about a U-turn of global GHG emissions. The proponents of a resource efficiency revolution and a drastic change in the energy mix need to scrutinize the historical evidence, in particular the arithmetic of economic and population growth."

 

Brilliant and thought-provoking must-read paper.

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Energy Efficiency Lives! Devastating Debunking of Rebound Effect

Energy Efficiency Lives! Devastating Debunking of Rebound Effect | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Our fact-checking revealed that empirical estimates of energy rebound cited by the Breakthrough Institute are over-estimated or wrong, and they contradict the technological reality of energy efficiency gains observed in many industrial sectors.

 

A new interesting report summarised on Joe Romm's blog indicates the rebound effect of energy efficiency measures is less than sometimes feared.

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Energy efficiency talks focus on finance, deal uncertain

European Union member states are all very big on rhetoric about energy efficiency but when it comes to binding targets and financing energy-saving measures they are far from "walking the talk".

 

Read this EurActiv coverage of the obstructions of EU governments to the Commission's modest Energy Efficiency Directive.

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UNEP: EU wastes 99% of its high-tech metals | EurActiv

UNEP: EU wastes 99% of its high-tech metals | EurActiv | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Recycling less than 1% of high tech metals, Europe has no moral justification to blame the Chinese for restricting their exports of rare earths, Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker from the United Nations Environment Programme argued in an interview with EurActiv.com.

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