Recent Councillor Activities
David Krieger – Roadmap to a nuclear-weapons free world
At a conference of the parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on the 6th May at the United Nations, WFC Councillor David Krieger’s Nuclear Age Peace Foundation organised a panel on “Nuclear Abolition: Renewed Signs of Hope.” David Krieger and WFC Councillor Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima, were among the participants on the panel. Mayor Akiba referred to the “Obamajority” around the world who support a world free of nuclear weapons and spoke for the Mayors for Peace campaign to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons by the year 2020. David Krieger supported Obama’s Prague speech, but raised certain concerns. He also pointed to an outline he has prepared on “A Roadmap to Abolition,” which could be accomplished over a period of 10 to17 years. That is, with US leadership and political will, abolition could be achieved within the timeframe of 2020, as called for by the Mayors for Peace.
Hermann Scheer – Award for pioneering promotion of renewable energy
For his long-lasting and worldwide commitment to the dissemination of solar energy, WFC Councillor Hermann Scheer, member of the German parliament, president of EUROSOLAR, chair of the World Council for Renewable Energy and recipient of the alternative Nobel Prize, has received the Karl Boer Solar Energy Medal of Merit 2009 on the 5th May in Newark, USA. In his speech, Hermann Scheer underlined the important benefits resulting from a global and accelerated promotion of renewable energies. "The present phase of the global economy presents us with enormous potentials for an ecologic upswing", Scheer said. He is, after former US-president Jimmy Carter (1993), the second politician to receive this award which is given to individuals who have made significant pioneering contributions to the promotion of solar energy as an alternate source of energy.
Manfred Max-Neef – Graduates urged to look beyond what is currently possible
Economics expert and WFC Councillor Dr. Manfred Max-Neef urged the 289 graduating seniors on the 10th May at St. Francis University to "do what needs to be done so we can see the glimpses of a better world.” Max-Neef is a Chilean economist and environmentalist who began his teaching career at the University of California, Berkeley. He has served as a visiting professor at various universities, as well as living with and researching the poor. He gave the commencement address at St. Francis University telling the graduates the No. 1 challenge facing their generation is the United States' financial crisis, which he called a "crisis of humanity." Max-Neef, who received an honorary degree at the ceremony, said "I call upon you to go beyond what you now see and to go beyond what is now possible”.
Frances Moore Lappé – “Getting a Grip”
From the 11th to 20th May, WFC Councillor Frances Moore Lappé presented her newest book in seven German cities and in Salzburg, Austria. "Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity and Courage in a World Gone Mad" is already on the New York Times list of books that the US president should read. In the book Moore-Lappé, recipient of the Right Livelihood Award and author of the bestselling "Diet for a Small Planet", makes clear how our basic values determine whether or not we believe in being able to contribute to saving the planet from chaos. She also explains her concept of "living democracy", shows new ways to deal with fear, power and hope and reminds readers of their power and their passion.
Nicholas Dunlop – Promotion of clean energy supergrids
WFC Councillor Nicholas Dunlop, Secretary-General of the eParliament, last month promoted the idea of clean energy supergrids in meetings with politicians and business leaders. Among those who have recently signed the ‘Call for Clean Energy Supergrids’ is Danish MP Steen Gade, Chair of the Danish Foreign Affairs Committee and former Director of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency. Part of the eParliament's supergrid strategy is to encourage the formation of cross-party groups in national parliaments to work on getting supergrids built. In April Nicholas Dunlop presented the eParliament Supergrid Initiative in a first meeting of a group in the German Bundestag which was convened by German legislator Hans-Josef Fell to explore policy options. Hans-Josef Fell expressed his intention to draft an amendment to Germany's Renewable Energy Law to include special feed-in tariffs for renewable energy imports from outside the EU. Another such meeting took place earlier this week in the Finnish Parliament, convened by Finnish MEPs Sirpa Pietikainen and Satu Hassi.
Bianca Jagger – World leaders responsible to act on climate and financial crisis
On 19th May, WFC Chair Bianca Jagger gave a speech to the British and Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Geneva. Ms Jagger emphasised the responsibility of world leaders to take action in both the financial and climate crises, stating, ‘These crises should not be regarded as separate issues. Many of the causes and some of the solutions are the same. They were preventable. It is the poorest and the most vulnerable who will invariably suffer the most. The time has come for our political leaders to put the future of people first.’
On 27th May, Bianca Jagger participated in the St James’s Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium in London. It is co-ordinated by the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, with the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales. Nobel Prize-winners and eminent artists will join leaders from business, the public sector, civil society and climate-science, to initiate a consideration of the creative contribution they and their organisations can make to the challenge of climate change. Ms Jagger joined Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Laureate, Antony Gormley, artist and Frijof Capra, Director of the Centre for Ecoliteracy, amongst others. More information can be found here.
Prince Hassan – Pact between the followers of religions and civil society
WFC Councillor HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies (RIIFS), in a speech on the 20th May called for a pact between the followers of religions and civil society to overcome extremism in all its forms. Addressing the participants in the first Colloquium of RIIFS and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue held in Amman, Jordan, Prince El Hassan said that there is a need to activate the moral silenced majority in the world, as security is a wide-ranging concept which contains environmental, health, and human aspects. On the 19th April, Prince Hassan, Martti Ahtisaari, Former President of Finland and Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon Foundation inaugurated the West Asia North Africa (WANA) Forum in Amman. The meeting concluded with an agreement for continued collaboration to tackle economic, social and environmental challenges. The WANA Forum is a new initiative that brings together people of all backgrounds from across the region to address these concerns and promote regional cooperation.