Power to the People
The WFC is one of the top references for Feed-In Tariff (FIT) laws that unlock renewable energy development in the international arena. Worldwide, over 60 countries have implemented a renewable energy policy and it is fair to say that the WFC has contributed significantly to this achievement. In 2012 alone the WFC has hosted and co-hosted over 20 parliamentary hearings, expert hearings, workshops, side events and roundtable discussions. The WFC Climate and Energy team also generated media clippings in more than 100 nationwide newspapers, magazines, radio stations and online platforms. Highlights include interviews with Al Jazeera, Swedish National Radio and ZDF, and WFC editorials in the Financial Times and Süddeutsche Zeitung. On the subject of climate and energy, the WFC has published three books, various brochures, five short films and numerous articles. It has hosted or co-hosted workshops with experts from more than 50 countries, directly advising governments, parliamentarians and international organisations such as REN 21, IRENA, UNEP and UN-HABITAT.
African Renewable Energy Alliance
The AREA network that the WFC founded in 2009 currently comprises over 1100 members from 72 countries from all backgrounds, including politics, business, civil society and academia. It has become an important platform for various stakeholders in the field of renewable energy. The 2012 highlight was the conference on Access to Sustainable Renewable Energy in Africa, co-hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre. It brought together experts, politicians and investors from 17 countries. Furthermore, the WFC conducted an in-depth study on Feed-In Tariffs in Africa, particularly looking into mechanisms to combine Feed-In Tariff policies with the need for off grid solutions in rural areas. Presenting at several conferences like the MDG Summit in Cape Town and the Financing Sustainable Rural Electrification workshop in Benin enhanced the visibility of AREA and the WFC. Various international organisations, such as REN21 (Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century), are seeking the advice of AREA and the WFC.
Breaking the Funding Deadlock
With four side events at the UNFCCC gatherings on the subject of climate finance, the WFC highlighted the need to make use of Special Drawing Rights of the IMF to develop renewable energy in developing countries. The WFC proposal was circulated widely among international think tanks and civil society organisations, especially to representatives from developing nations. Personal briefings with the IMF and government representatives of Germany, France and Norway as well as several EU Commissioners have taken place. Several articles related to the subject have been published in leading newspapers like the Financial Times Germany.
Expert Commission on Cities and Climate Change
The international Expert Commission on Cities and Climate Change was founded by the WFC and Hamburg HafenCity University in 2008. The commission comprises 20 outstanding experts in the field of sustainable city development, including architects, city planners and representatives of UN-HABITAT. The WFC convened six expert commission meetings and published four reports, including on the overarching vision of ‘regenerative cities’. The WFC presented its reports at the UN World Urban Forum, held four side events at the UN climate summits, organised numerous public events and was invited to speak at various international conferences. Holding direct advisory mandates for UN-HABITAT’s World Urban Campaign, the WFC provided the campaign’s network with a catalogue of criteria for future just policies. The highlight of 2012 was the expert hearing on the Future of Gulf Cities in Dubai in cooperation with the Dubai-based al Habtoor group. The WFC brought together a large amount of outstanding experts from all parts of the world. Various high level representatives from the Gulf countries, including the Minister for Environment and Water of the Emirates, participated. The WFC has also been appointed as a member of the policy advisory board of UN-HABITAT to develop UN policy guidelines on urban and territorial planning.
Future Policy Award
The World Future Council’s Future Policy Award is the first prize to honour future just policies on an international level. In 2013, the Award was presented to the world's best disarmament policies in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) at UN Head Headquarters in New York. In 2012, the Award celebrated the world’s best ocean and coastal policies at the UN Biodiversity Summit in Hyderabad, India in partnership with Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Future Policy Award 2011 was presented to the three most effective policies preserving the world’s forests in partnership with the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), FAO and CBD. The Future Policy Award 2010 celebrated extraordinary policies preserving biodiversity at the 10th Meeting of State Parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan. FPA brochures in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian were produced by the the United Nations. From 2011 to 2013 the winning policies were announced in a live-streamed media conference at UN Headquarters in New York.
The unique policy database www.futurepolicy.org presents proven policy solutions and assists decision-makers in developing and implementing future just policies. It contains exemplary policies on renewable energies, energy efficiency, cities, forests, nuclear disarmament and food production and also allows users to design their own policies, such as a custom-made Feed-In Tariff Law. Over 1200 unique visitors per month use our policy database.
Future Just Lawmaking Methodology
The WFC developed the Future Just Lawmaking Methodology to provide a practical tool for policy makers, to assist with designing, evaluating and amending legislation. The Methodology is based on the 7 Principles for sustainable development law which were presented by the International Law Association and adopted at the World Summit in 2002. The Principles help to ensure that important universal standards of sustainability and equity, human rights and freedoms, and respect for the environment are taken into account. The Methodology is used for the World Future Council’s Future Policy Award.
Campaign to End Crimes Against Future Generations
As a result of WFC workshops and symposia attended by high-ranking lawyers and judges from the International Court of Justice based in The Hague, our appeal for the consideration of Crimes Against Future Generations as criminal acts has become increasingly recognised. The Campaign to End Crimes against Future Generations was launched and the WFC has supported the movement to have ‘Ecocide’ established as the fifth Crime Against Peace.
Campaign for Ombudspersons for Future Generations
The WFC campaigns strongly for Ombudspersons for Future Generations at the international and national levels. We maintained a strong, high level presence and visibility at the Rio+20 negotiations with highly regarded advocacy work with government negotiators and co-ordination with representatives from UN agencies and with civil society organisations. As part of the Rio+20 outcomes, the UN Secretary-General was invited to present a report on intergenerational solidarity and future generations, which was launched in September 2013. As a result of our work with UNDESA, the UN agency taking the lead on the report and other UN agencies the Secretary General's report outlines various models to institutionalize concern for future generations at the United Nations level, as well as suggesting options for the way forward.
The WFC, along with six other organisations, is part of the EU-funded BRAINPOoL Project which aims to assist the development of a new kind of economy that is more equitable, more sustainable and more effectively delivers human well-being. It aims to do this by enhancing the effective use of alternative indicators of progress, and 2012 saw the release of its first report which categorises the range of beyond-GDP indicators available to policymakers and charts some of their already impressive impacts.
Nuclear Abolition Forum
The Nuclear Abolition Forum was launched in 2011 as a joint project of eight leading organisations in the disarmament field, hosted by the WFC and supported by the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. The Forum aims to examine and debate key nuclear disarmament issues with the aim of achieving and sustaining a nuclear weapons free world. To this end it offers a dedicated website and a periodical. The inaugural issue focuses on International Humanitarian Law and Nuclear Weapons, whilst the second issue, released in January 2013, focuses on Moving Beyond Nuclear Deterrence to a Nuclear Weapons Free World.
Best practice for nuclear disarmament
Disarmament for Sustainable Development
At Rio+20 we presented a life-sized tank fully covered with bread to underline the realistic possibility of eradicating hunger and extreme poverty by redirecting military spending towards sustainable development. The tank was coupled with an appeal signed by 22 Nobel Prize Laureates amongst many others. In collaboration with the International Peace Bureau and the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility we raised worldwide awareness for the issue, won the support of Mayors for Peace and ICLEI and generated media coverage in 32 countries.
Innovative Policies for Persons with Disabilities
Recognising the widespread exclusion of persons with disabilities, the WFC has established a five-year cooperation with the Essl Foundation under the name “Zero Project”. In February 2014, the WFC will be co-organizer of the third Zero Project Conference and present in particular 15 innovative policies that advanced the right to accessibility of persons with disabilities. About 400 stakeholders from around the world are expected to attend this event at UN Vienna. Since 2011, the WFC has researched 34 innovative policies that helped to advance the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We have presented the results at numerous conferences, including at the European Parliament, at the Human Rights Council, at the Conference of State Parties and at the Inter-Parliamentary Union.