World Future Council
Take a look at our annual report "Pathfinder 2013" to find a 16 page overview of our goals, projects, publications, donors and supporters. It is possible to download the report as a PDF but if hard copies are required, please contact the World Future Council.
Seven Principles for Future Just Lawmaking
Future Justice means putting the values that are essential to our survival at the heart of every law, and every policy. To help with this, we have developed seven policy principles for future just lawmaking. They are clearly represented in a leaflet that you can download as PDF here.
World Future Council Flyer
Here at the World Future Council we endeavor to be an ethical voice for the needs and rights of future life. With the help of our unique global network we challenge short-term thinking in order to improve national and global governance. Learn more about us in our flyer.
Global Policy Action Plan
The interlinked crises brought about by human action are threatening the very capacity of the earth to sustain life. Defining a political framework for changing course, the World Future Council now presents an emergency policy agenda consisting of 24 tipping-point policies that need to be implemented globally to preserve a habitable planet. Download it here and help spreading it!
Annual report 2010
Read about our activities in 2010 and our commitments for 2011 in this publication.
Shaping our Future - Creating the World Future Council
By Jakob von Uexkull and Herbert Girardet
ISBN: 1 903998 46 8
Publisher: Green Books / World Future Council Initiative
Date: June 2005 (Revised and Expanded Edition)
Price: Free to download here
As a result of rampant materialism, consumerism and a very narrow view of the world, we have created a profoundly unsustainable civilisation which is effectively a world without a future. Shaping Our Future was the first attempt to define the need for, and structure of, The World Future Council. First published in 2004 with the title Creating The World Future Council this book outlines the original vision of the WFC, set up to challenge this situation.
Annual Report 2008
This Annual Report informs about the World Future Council's work in 2008: You will find information on projects and events, an outlook on 2009 and a detailed financial report. Download the report here.
Annual Report 2007
This Annual Report informs in detail about the World Future Council, its 2007 activities and planned projects. Download the report here.
Climate and Energy
Powering Africa Through Feed-In Tariffs
A new report for policy makers launched by the World Future Council and the Heinrich Böll Foundation shows that Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff policies (REFiT) are a promising mechanism to unlock the renewable energy development in Africa. The report provides an in-depth analysis of existing policies in 13 African countries and doubles as a comprehensive guide for African decision and policy makers.
An executive summary can be downloaded here.
From vision to action: Policy Recommendations for 100% Renewable Energies in European Regions
It is a fact that non-renewable energies will, by definition, deplete. It is also a fact that in the meantime, dependence on these energy sources is causing multiple existential global crises. If human beings are to preserve planetary habitability, we must soon shift to 100% RE in all sectors. This report provides an in-depth policy analysis of renewable energy frontrunner countries and identifies successful policy elements and instruments. It builds on a parliamentary hearing that the World Future Council hosted together with Climate Service Center in the Nordic Folkecenter last October and outlines solutions as well as implementation strategies for a fossil free society. The overall goal of this publication is to educate and inspire a broader range of stakeholders who must engage, if we are to advance the goal of 100% RE in European Regions.
A Renewable World. Energy, Ecology, Equality
“Here's the book we've been waiting for, a thorough, up-to-date, and above all proportionate response to our climatic predicament. When I say proportionate, I mean: it tells us how to solve the problem we really have, not the one we wish we had. It's truly important!” - Bill McKibben, founder, 350.org
A Renewable World was developed in conjunction with dozens of world experts and features solutions on renewable energy, biosequestration, energy sufficiency, energy for developing countries, green collar jobs, cities, transport, agriculture and food, regional economies, and civil participation and democracy. It seeks to clarify what can be done, and how we can all benefit, long into the future. Further information and free download >>
A Future for Gulf Cities (English Version)
Modern cities are the most complex systems ever created by humans, approximating the complexity of living systems in an ecological web. To assure that cities are benign to both their inhabitants and the ecosystems on which they depend, bold new approaches to policy, planning, design and use of technology are urgently needed. The brochure explores perspectives and strategies for future proofing urban development and ways of creating regenerative cities in the Middle East and across the world.
Creating regenerative cities primarily means one thing: initiating comprehensive political, financial and technological strategies for an environenmentally enhancing, restorative relationship between cities and the ecosystems from which they draw resources for their sustenance. Introducing the concepts of "Agropolis", "Petropolis" and "Ecopolis" this WFC brochure by Herbert Girardet explains how such a healthy relationship can be built. Download "Regenerative Cities" as a PDF document.
Energy Position Paper
The WFC regards the threat of global warming as the greatest facing future generations. We urgently need to overcome the gap between "knowing" and "acting" in all areas of climate change. The global community can change course. The WFC believes that the point of no return has not yet been reached, if humanity acts now with consistent political will. The sky literally is the limit!! Both in terms of the limited capacity of the atmosphere to absorb greenhouse gases, but also with regard to the boundless potential of renewable energy! Download "The Sky is the Limit" - the WFC position on energy and climate change.
Powering the Green Economy
By Miguel Mendonça, David Jacobs and Benjamin Sovacool
Publisher: Earth Scan
Date: October 2009
Price: £24.95 (order your copy here)
‘This book should be essential reading for any government committed to a more sustainable energy path.’ - Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director
Powering the Green Economy – The Feed-in Tariff Handbook, the latest climate and energy book from the World Future Council has been published by Earthscan in October 2009. It is a collaborative effort, written by Miguel Mendonça, the WFC Research Manager, David Jacobs and Benjamin Sovacool. It provides detailed analysis of feed-in tariff design, and provides a guide to campaigning for them. It includes discussion of other support schemes, of barriers and technical issues, and of the place of good policy in driving a green collar economy.
Surviving the Century - Facing Climate Chaos & Other Global Challenges
Edited by Herbert Girardet
Date: October 2008
Price: £16.99 (order your copy here)
"The combined analysis presented here of why current arrangements are failing the future and clear insights of the way to go, offer us hope." - Mary Robinson, President of Realising Rights, Ethical Globalisation Initiative, and former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
This book, the first major book to be published by the World Future Council, is focused primarily on environmental issues. Above all else its eight chapters are concerned with making new choices about dealing with climate change -probably the greatest ever collective challenge faced by humanity, and one that goes right to the heart of the growth philosophy underpinning modern urban industrial civilisation. With leading researchers saying we may have little more than ten years to stop catastrophic climate change from becoming irreversible, not facing this challenge will be an intolerable crime against the future.
As Ross Gelbspan notes in his chapter, "a meaningful solution to the climate crisis could potentially be the beginning of a much larger transformation of our social and economic dynamics". This book offers a contribution to this transformation. Looking in turn at issues relating to energy, agriculture, forests, cities, industrial processes, international trade, and the democratic system, this books contributors consider the gaps between where we are and where we need to be, and point to ways of bridging these.
Cities People Planet - Liveable Cities for a Sustainable World
By Herbert Girardet
ISBN: 0 470 85284 4
Date: April 2008
Price: £24.99 (order your copy here)
There is a huge amount of interest in the future of the planet and how architecture and design can contribute to this. This book considers the ecological design of the city and includes ideas and best practice examples of ecological architectural and urban design around the world.
The tone of the book is extremely accessible as it demonstrates how small changes in one area of the world can have impacts elsewhere. It gives an optimistic view and leaves the reader fascinated at the intricacies of the planet's ecosystems and how architecture and urban design can affect it. Examples range from Ladbroke Grove solar city in London to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Copenhagen, Curitiba, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Helsinki, Portland Oregon, New York and New Delhi.
It is an extremely well rounded book with a balance of focus across history and around the world and is set to be a complete and comprehensive work written by one of the leading figures in this field.one of the leading figures in this field.
Feed-In Tariffs - Accelerating the deployment of renewable energy
By Miguel Mendonça
Date: April 2009
Price: £29.95 (order your copy here)
'No other policy mechanism has produced more renewable energy more quickly than feed-in tariffs. Mendonca explains why this policy works so well and how others can use it to power a global renewable energy revolution.' - Paul Gipe, author, advocate and analyst of renewable energy
This book offers a concise and unique introduction to feed-in law - examining the experience of countries that have implemented this model, and providing policy makers with the information required to consider feed-in tariffs as a model. The author argues that the policy should be implemented anywhere with a suitable national power grid infrastructure, and identifies variations on the policy for those areas without. Alternative models are examined, and their comparative advantages and disadvantages discussed, to provide policy makers with the information required to consider the implementation of feed-in tariffs, and to introduce the concept to renewable energy technology manufacturers, producers, investors and supporters.
A feed-in tariff is a renewable energy law which obliges energy suppliers to buy electricity produced from renewable resources at a fixed price, usually over a fixed period. These legal guarantees ensure investment security, and the support of all viable renewable energy technologies. It was recommended in the Stern Report as the best policy tool for the fastest, lowest-cost deployment of renewables, and Germany's world leadership in renewable energy is thanks largely to their exemplary version.
100% Renewable Energy - and beyond - for cities
What does '100 percent renewable' really mean, and what does 'and beyond' signify? '100 percent renewable' means zero fossil or nuclear fuel content in operational or embodied energy, in stationary use or in transport. 'And beyond' means improvements in the efficiency of urban energy use. It also means building the capacity of smaller, rural communities to supply excess renewable energy to large cities and other parts of the economy. 'Beyond' also refers to finding ways of enhancing the capacity of soils, forests, wetlands and water bodies to absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. And above all else, 'beyond' means assuring that the renewable energy transition will directly contribute to poverty reduction, job creation, health improvement, education and social empowerment for disadvantaged people.This important document sketches out the options and the processes that have started to transform urban energy systems and that will power our cities in the very near future. Download the brochure as PDF document.
Grading North American Feed-in Tariffs
The report "Grading North American Feed-in Tariffs", written by wind energy Paul Gipe for the World Future Council and published in May 2010, looks at how existing North American Feed-In Tariff programs stand up to best practices worldwide. As a result, it examines and grades North American FITs and gives many valuable answers to policy-makers looking at how to design efficient and fair FIT programs. Download the brochure as PDF document.
The brochure "FITness Testing: Exploring the myths and misconceptions about feed-in tariff policies", published in January 2010, reviews common criticisms of feed-in tariffs (FITs). Discussion about FITs and other policies to boost renewable energies has grown considerably in the USA - this brochure explains how FITs work and what they can contribute to improve energy security, create new jobs, and address the growing risks of climate change. Download the brochure as PDF document.
Renewable Energy Policy Fund
This brochure proposes how the introduction of a Renewable Energy Policy Fund financed by industrialised countries would provide an easy-to-use, flexible and self-sustainable support mechanism for renewable energy development in developing countries. Download the brochure as PDF document
This brochure presents eight proven and effective policies to help reduce worldwide energy consumption, such as energy audits for existing buildings, phasing out of incandescent light bulbs, energy performance contracting, and carbon-negative cooking. Read more about the World Future Council's climate and energy work and download the brochure as PDF document.
Creating Impact: Feed-In Tariff Laws
An accelerated switch to renewable energy is essential if the world is to avoid climate chaos. And Feed-In Tariff policy is essential to that effort; the single most effective way to speed up the switch to renewable energy. A combination of critical research, public awareness raising, advocacy and direct assistance to policy makers, are the hallmarks of the World Future Council Feed-In Tariff project.
Bringing together key stakeholders and building momentum for change is where the World Future Council excels. The evidence of success is clear. Rapid adoption of Feed-In Tariff laws around the world is making clean energy a reality for all. Read the documentation here.
The World Future Council regards the Feed-in tariff system as the most effective available policy to increase the deployment of renewable energy. Download the WFC Guide to this successful policy here
The World Future Council has commissioned Dr. David Toke from Birmingham University to examine the performance of the UK government's Renewables Obligation (RO), and the general case for a Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT). Read the Full Report with the list of prominent backers here. Read the Summary of the Report here.
This brochure gives policy recommendations for 100% renewable urban transport. Read more about the World Future Council's climate and energy work and download the brochure as PDF document.
Future Policy Award 2009 - Celebrating the Belo Horizonte Food Security Policy
This brochure presents the World Future Council's Future Policy Award. The Award honours exemplary laws that promote equity and sustainability. Each year, the World Future Council selects one topic of critical political concern and receives nominations from all over the world for best policies. In 2009, the topic was Food Security and the award was given to the Food Security Programme of the Brazilian city Belo Horizonte. Read more on the Future Policy Award and download the brochure here.
Agriculture, Food and Climate Change
The agriculture and food sector is not only a victim of climate change, it is also a major contributor to the acceleration of global warming. This brochure explains the mutual relationship between food and agriculture and climate change, providing concrete policy solutions. Download the brochure as PDF document.
Designing Future Just Laws on Biodiversity
Training Materials for Government Officials and Parliamentarians
Future Just laws must embody the highest standard of sustainability, respect for human rights, and respect for the environment. This training material presents an approach to drafting and preparing a Future Just biodiversity law for a technical audience, with the aim of supporting national focal point officials or other government officials tasked with preparing biodiversity legislation. Download the training material here.
Survey of Future Just Biodiversity Laws & Policies
This paper surveys the world’s best national biodiversity laws and sectoral policies and highlights exceptional provisions as examples of Future Justice in law. An analysis of five exemplary biodiversity laws is presented and successful sectoral policies on biodiversity and some of the reasons behind their successes are highlighted. It was written by members of the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) and the World Future Council (WFC). Download the Paper here.
Crafting Visionary Biodiversity Laws: Costa Rica's Biodiversity Law 1998
The WFC and CISDL use the seven principles for sustainable development law as the basis for their research and in the evaluation of different laws and policies. This paper surveys Costa Rica’s biodiversity laws and highlights exceptional provisions as examples of Future Justice in law. It also applies those principles to biodiversity laws and policies to help explain to decision-makers how to develop visionary biodiversity laws and the key elements to those laws. Download the paper in English | Español.
Future Policy Award 2010 - Celebrating the world's best biodiversity policies
In the International Year of Biodiversity the World Future Council presented its Future Policy Award to the Biodiversity Law of Costa Rica. The Future Policy Silver Award was given to the the Australian Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act jointly with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. To learn about the awarded and other exemplary biodiversity policies download our brochure here.
Crafting Future Just Biodiversity Laws and Policies
This paper applies the seven principles for sustainable development law to biodiversity laws and policies to help explain to decision-makers how to develop visionary biodiversity laws and the key elements to those laws. It also surveys the world‘s best national biodiversity laws and sectoral policies and highlights exceptional provisions as examples of Future Justice in law. Download the paper as PDF document.
Identification and Assessment of the Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing
This paper provides a legal research on the laws on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing, covering: Review of different existing laws on access and benefit, review of existing literatures on ABS case studies, comparative survey of the best ABS national or regional legislation and an evaluation of best access and benefit sharing law. Download the paper as PDF document.
Forests for People
Rwanda's successful forest policy is explored in the book titled “Forests for People – Insights into Rwanda’s Prized Forest Policy”. Rwanda's National Forest Policy, which we awarded with the 2011 Future Policy Award, has halted deforestation and the country's forested area has even increased by 37 per cent since 1990. The book illustrates the Rwandan forest policy in an enjoyable way and promises “a story of world records, brave people, rare animals and good solutions for the challenges of our time”, says WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull. The book can be downloaded here or ordered as a hard copy.
Future Policy Award 2011 - Celebrating the world's best forest policies
In the International Year of Forests 2011 the World Future Council presented its Future Policy Award to the National Forest Policy of Rwanda. The Future Policy Silver Award was jointly given to the Gambian Community Forestry Policy and the USA Lacey Act with its amendment of 2008. To learn about these awarded as well as other exemplary policies that contribute to the conservation and sustainable development of forests, download our brochure in English | Français | Español | 汉语 | العربية | русский
Money, Debt, People and Planet
The widespread failure to understand money creation plays a key role in the current policy impasse. In a world ruled by money, this failure disempowers and prevents serious consideration of alternatives. Download the PDF here.
The Monetary Cost of the Non-Use of Renewable Energies
It is often claimed that renewables are still too costly and not yet competitive with conventional energy sources. But what costs are incurred when renewable energies are not used? Every day during which potential renewable energy sources are not utilised but exhaustible fossil fuels burnt instead speeds up the depletion of these non-renewable fuels. This study concludes that, estimated conservatively, the future usage loss resulting from our current oil, gas and coal consumption is between 3.2 and 3.4 trillion US Dollars per year. Download the study here.
What We Need is a Preventive Testing of Financial Innovations
"Separating the wheat from the chaff does not get rid of the chaff: What we need is a preventive testing of financial innovations (Finance TÜV)" is the answer of the World Future Council to the consultation of the European Commission on the Liikanen-Report. The report's key proposal is to separate investment banking activities from deposit-taking within a banking group. Download the PDF here.
Suleika Reiners and Dr. Matthias Kroll from WFC Future Finance on Sustainable Development
Article "Whatever a society can do, it can also finance: financing sustainable development" in World Commerce Review Vol. 6 Issue 2 / June 2012
The financial system, endogenous money and financing climate protection with newly created SDRs
This paper provides academic background to "Breaking the Funding Deadlock" and convincingly argues that it is possible to finance new climate protection investments with newly created SDRs without a rise in inflation. Download the paper as a PDF document.
Breaking the Funding Deadlock
This brochure presents the World Future Council’s policy proposals to finance climate protection on a global scale by bridging the gap between the financial requirements of developing countries and the current political inability of rich countries to provide the funding. Download the brochure as PDF document.
Future Finance Policy Brief
Legal non-enforcement as an instrument of financial market regulation. Policy brief on the principle of legal non-enforcement as a means of financial market regulation. April 2011
Future Finance Discussion Paper
Adjusting Regulation to Systemic Risk in Banking and Financial Markets.Discussion paper on the fundamental problems of financial market regulation November 2010
Peace and Disarmament
Moving Beyond Nuclear Deterrence to a Nuclear Weapons Free World Nuclear Abolition Forum · Issue No. 2
This second edition of the Nuclear Abolition Forum, explores the topic “Moving beyond Nuclear Deterrence to a Nuclear Weapons-free World”, discussing the validity, utility and risks of nuclear deterrence. Aimed at advancing the dialogue surrounding nuclear deterrence, the publication offers a range of perspectives and opinions on the deterrence doctrine and examines alternative cooperative security approaches which could help to progress beyond nuclear deterrence. You can download it here.
International Humanitarian Law and Nuclear Weapons
The Nuclear Abolition Forum was launched in October 2011 in New York to foster dialogue between academics, governments, disarmament experts and NGOs on key issues for achieving and sustaining a world free of nuclear weapons. The inaugural issue of its periodical has as its theme the application of International Humanitarian Law to Nuclear Weapons and its implications. It offers a range of perspectives on this important issue through articles from various high-level contributors.
Supporting nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament
The Handbook "Supporting nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament" identifies existing examples of good practice in the area of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and offers recommendations for further parliamentary action. The Inter-Parliamentary Union has commissioned Rob van Riet, Coordinator of the WFC Disarmament Programme, and Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and WFC Councillor, to produce the handbook.
Climate change, nuclear risks and nuclear disarmament
This report is based on groundbreaking research conducted by the WFC Disarmament Working Group member Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran of the University of Hamburg. It examines the linkages between nuclear and climate risks, noting that these two clear threats may interfere with each other in a mutually enforcing way. It also acknowledges that finding solutions to one problem area could lead to solutions in the other. Prof. Dr. Scheffran offers an approach to move away from these security threats to building sustainable peace. Download the report as PDF document.
Securing a nuclear free-weapon world today
This Booklet is the first result of the WFC Disarmament Working
Group. Although it has been specifically released for the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (New York, May 3-28, 2010), as long as nuclear weapons exist, its message will remain valid: securing a nuclear weapon-free world today is our responsibility to future generations. Download the booklet as PDF document.
Relevant Appeals against War and for Nuclear Disarmament from Scientific Networks 1945 - 2010
On July 16th 1945, the first atom bomb exploded at the Trinity Test Site in the New Mexico desert. Less than a month later atomic bombs would be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing roughly 250,000 people. A week before the 10 year commemoration of the Trinity Test, on July 9th 1955, Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell published the Russell-Einstein Manifesto in London in which they urged world leaders to abolish nuclear weapons and make an end to war. It would mark the beginning of a movement of scientists speaking out against war and for nuclear disarmament. To remember both events and to draw attention to the global responsibility of scientists and engineers, the World Future Council and the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES) offer an overview of appeals made by scientific networks throughout the Nuclear Age. Download the PDF document.
For a world without barriers - Zero Project Report 2013
The Zero Project advocates the rights of persons with disabilities internationally whilst creating platforms for sharing and developing models that clearly improve the daily lives and legal rights of persons with disabilities. Each year, on December 3, the project’s research work and findings are published as the Zero Project Report. The Zero Project Report 2013 focuses on the employment situation of persons with disabilities and presents over 50 innovative practices and policies.
Guarding our Future - How to include future generations in policy making
Bringing the voice of future generations to the negotiating table is fundamental for tackling today’s issues and challenges like climate change, biodiversity protection or poverty eradication. It is the quality of life of our children and grandchildren that we are deciding when we debate issues such as environmental protection, youth unemployment, pension systems, public debt and so on. By appointing a legal representative, a Guardian that actively speaks up in the name of future generations, we can bring 21st century checks and balances to our political institutions. Read more about how to include future generations in policy making in our brochure Guarding our Future.
Findings on Accessibility of the Zero Project
The Zero Project advocates the rights of persons with disabilities internationally by monitoring the national implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and by highlighting good policies and practices. Knowledge collected over the last several years by the Zero Project, in cooperation with over 100 experts from NGOs and foundations, academics and persons with disabilities, has been summarized briefly in this brochure with a special focus on accessibility. Download the brochure here.
National Policies & International Instruments to Protect the Rights of Future Generations
This legal research paper by the World Future Council and CISDL explores the instruments currently used for engagement in policy and law making that can affect the rights of future generations, and effective monitoring of the impacts of such policies on future generations. Download as PDF document.
Tread Lightly on the Earth
Von C.G. Weeramantry
Publisher: Stamford Lake Ltd.
Price: $29.50 + postage and handling. Order here.
For the past four hundred years international law has distanced itself from religious teaching, largely because of the wars of religion prevailing when it took shape. WFC Councillor Judge Weeramantry, former Vice-President of the International Court of Justice, argues that the common core of teachings of all religions regarding our duties to the environment and to future generations is a reservoir of enriching wisdom which international law has neglected at great cost to itself and to humanity. The result is that we are on the verge of destroying the environment and the human future with it.
This study, prepared for the World Future Council, can revolutionise international law and international relations. It distils the wisdom of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.
Infusing Global Wisdom into International Law
With this research paper for the World Future Council Judge C. G. Weeramantry aims to give a stimulus towards the task of translating the common environmental teachings of all religions and customary systems into international law. Download as PDF document.
State of Society
Commissioned by The Center for Partnership Studies that was founded by WFC Councillor Riane Eisler, the "State of Society" report focuses on indicators that go beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to include key factors in a nation’s quality of life and economic success, including health, education, human rights, workplace fairness, and poverty levels. The report, published in June 2010, pays special attention to the still largely ignored, but bellwether status of the majority: women and children. Download the report as PDF document.