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Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Danish environment and energy priorities for EU Presidency

Council of the EU webcast on the presentation by two Danish ministers of their priorities for climate, energy and environment.

 

Positive: minister Auken mentions the interconnectedness between the financial crisis and the sustainability crisis. Negative: the usual fairytale answers of "green growth" and "decoupling". Worth viewing anyway.

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Our decade from hell will get worse in 2012

Our decade from hell will get worse in 2012 | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Fasten your seat belts: 2011 was far worse than expected. Our earlier predictions for America’s Worst Decade just got worse.

 

Paul B. Farrell has some very gloomy predictions for the coming nine years at MarketWatch. Worth reading.

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Building Green Is No Longer Enough, It is Time To Build Resilient

Building Green Is No Longer Enough, It is Time To Build Resilient | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
We have to build our homes and buildings in a way that we can maintain them in the face of changing conditions, economic and climactic.

 

Very useful article in Treehugger blog: how to move from green building to resilient living.

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Homes responsible for one quarter of European greenhouse emissions from energy — EEA

Homes responsible for one quarter of European greenhouse emissions from energy — EEA | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Home energy use is responsible overall for 25 % of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union (EU), according to a new analysis from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
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Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Race for Greener Bottles

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Race for Greener Bottles | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Despite dueling announcements claiming technological breakthroughs in all-plant bottles, neither Coke nor Pepsi is confident enough in the technology to offer a firm timetable.

 

Well researched article in the NY Times on the green bottles efforts by the two beverage giants.

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As economic growth fails how do we live? Part I: The four horsemen of the economic apocalypse

The Energy Bulletin has an excellent analysis by energy consultant Craig Severance of the Energy Economy Online blog explaining why we have entered the post-growth era in Western economies.

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The Worst and the Best of Austerity

The Worst and the Best of Austerity | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

At Project Syndicate, Jean Pisani-Ferry, director of Bruegel, the international economics think tank, has some reservations over current indiscriminate austerity policies in Europe.

 

The Achilles heal of all these traditional economists reading of the current debt crisis is that they all still believe this crisis is temporary and we will return to growth in the not too distant future. What if this crisis is more fundamental and we have really entered the post-growth society in Western economies?

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Global rebellion: The coming chaos?

Global rebellion: The coming chaos? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Global elites are confused, reactive, and sinking into a quagmire of their own making, says Californian Sociology and Global Studies Professor William I. Robinson in this absolutely brillant, must-read, analysis of the current crisis of capitalism.

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Re-thinking Progress: The Circular Economy

"There's a world of opportunity to re-think and re-design the way we make stuff. 'Re-Thinking Progress' explores how through a change in perspective we can re-design the way our economy works".

 

Good YouTube video - worth having a look at.

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Soaring Oil and Food Prices Threaten Affordable Food Supply

"The current global food system is highly fuel- and transport-dependent. Fuels will almost certainly become less affordable in the near and medium term, making the current, highly fuel-dependent agricultural production system less secure and food less affordable. It is therefore necessary to promote food self-sufficiency and reduce the need for fuel inputs to the food system at all levels."

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Water Will Be the Critical Limiting Factor of 21st Century Production

Water Will Be the Critical Limiting Factor of 21st Century Production | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Morgan Stanley’s Global Investment Committee recently released a report in which it argues that the “perfect storm” of declining water supply and and rising demand are likely to make water the critical limiting resource of our time. The report, entitled “Peak Water: The Preeminent 21st Century Commodity Story,” paints a convincing picture of a world that is on the brink of a severe water crisis."

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How fast should Africa go Green?

How fast should Africa go Green? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

".. left to its own resources, – and the costs of energy implied – Africa should lag not lead in green energy. However, it is not in the global interest for Africa to be left to its own resources. If the capital inputs to energy generation and saving were available at world prices, the world could reduce emissions at much lower cost in Africa than in the North. Whether Africa leads or lags on greening thus depends upon whether international finance and regulation can rectify the region’s deficiencies in its own capital endowment."

 

Excellent article by Paul Collier on the opportunities and challenges for the greening of Africa's economy and energy system.

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Bank says no? Ditch the bank – borrow from the crowd

Bank says no? Ditch the bank – borrow from the crowd | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Traditional banks have failed us.Will online peer-to-peer lending rescue our personal finances, asks MacGregor Campbell...

 

New Scientist has this very interesting but also critical article on citizens' banking.

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Eco-innovation Action Plan Launched

Eco-innovation Action Plan Launched | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The European Commission launched last week the Eco-innovation Action Plan. The Action Plan is part of the Innovation Union Flagship Initiative and builds on the 2004 Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP).

 

It is remarkable to see how "silently' this initiative was presented and how little media attention there has been. Does this mean these initiatives are just "hollow phrases" with no real impact?

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Real wealth: Howard T. Odum’s energy economics

The Energy Bulletin has a good introduction to the work of the great Howard T. Odum and the implications of his thinking on energy security and our economic crisis.

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Shipping first in climate cash lineup

(Thomson Reuters Point Carbon) - The international maritime sector remains firmly in the U.N's crosshairs when it comes to finding cash to fill a global fund to help poor countries tackle climate change.

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The Oil Drum | Wind Fights Solar; Triangle Wins

The Oil Drum | Wind Fights Solar; Triangle Wins | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

On the Oil Drum, physics professor Tom Murphy does the maths on wind, solar and fossil fuels. Some fascinating figures in this excellent analysis.

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Why is it so easy to save the banks – but so hard to save the biosphere?

Why is it so easy to save the banks – but so hard to save the biosphere? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
George Monbiot: Agreements to bail out banks happen in days – but despite some good progress at Durban, we still don't have a legally binding deal to bail out the planet...
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Energy: Roadmap 2050 - European Commission

Energy: Roadmap 2050 - European Commission | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

On 15 December 2011, the European Commission adopted the Communication "Energy Roadmap 2050". The EU is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 in the context of necessary reductions by developed countries as a group. In the Energy Roadmap 2050 the Commission explores the challenges posed by delivering the EU's decarbonisation objective while at the same time ensuring security of energy supply and competitiveness. 

 

Despite some unrealistic assumptions in the modelling, the EU Commission study demonstrates that a high renewables and energy efficiency scenarios would not cost Europeans more than business as usual.

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Life after the end of economic growth

Life after the end of economic growth | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
A continually rising GDP is not necessarily possible – or even desirable. So why do policymakers obsess over it?

 

Good piece in the Guardian by Richard Heinberg

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Mario and the Confidence Fairy

Mario and the Confidence Fairy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"I guess in Europe today “technocratic” is a synonym for “delusional”.

"Europe’s delusional technocrats apparently still believe that one more turn of the austerity screw will do the trick."

 

As always, Krugman is provocative but sooo correct!

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Top 12 Predictions for Corporate Responsibility in 2012

Top 12 Predictions for Corporate Responsibility in 2012 | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Senior Vice President and Director of Global Marketing at Fenton, Susan McPherson shares her predictions for corporate responsibility in 2012.
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The inevitability of traceability in the oil and gas sector

The inevitability of traceability in the oil and gas sector | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Companies are going to need to develop mechanisms to ensure products can be traced and sourced with sustainability in mind, says a new Report by SustainAbility

 

Great idea but I am sure there will be a lot of lobbying and "no can do" arguments from the fossil fuel industry against such concepts.

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A Manifesto for Sustainable Capitalism

A Manifesto for Sustainable Capitalism | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
In The Wall Street Journal, Al Gore and David Blood write about how businesses can embrace environmental, social and governance metrics.

 

Interesting opinion piece in the WSJ on how businesses should integrate sustainability in their strategies and operations.

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New fiscal compact does not solve European Union’s existential crisis

New fiscal compact does not solve European Union’s existential crisis | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Is this it? Have the Euro and the European Union been saved? In all the media noise about the splendid isolation of Britain, one might forget that the EU is facing not one but several crises and that the “fiscal compact “summit might well have postponed or even killed the more essential debate on its political future. This could have been the crisis which the EU should never have wasted.
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