Webinar: Why 100% RE is leaving no one behind – the key to sustainable development

Webinar hosted by the Climate & Energy Team of the World Future Council

Tuesday, 26 June 2018; 1pm GMT

Energy is a prerequisite for development and a life of dignity. Access to electricity is essential to overall human progress, social welfare, and technological advancement and unlocks access to many human rights. Without reliable access to electricity, societies would have never reached the standards of living that many countries across the world enjoy today. While it would be naïve to understate the vital role that fossil fuel energy has played in improving livelihoods, it would be irresponsible, short-sighted and dangerous to ignore the threats of climate change, environmental degradation and concentration of political and economic power that this type of fossil-fuel-dependent development has produced. A significant shift is needed to ensure that energy can continue to play its fundamental role in driving development, supporting human progress and improving livelihoods across the world.

This webinar embraces this idea to promote the relationship between the transition to 100% Renewable Energy (RE) and sustainable development in the run-up to the High-level Political Forum. It describes how 100%RE can be the most significant catalyst for socio-economic development whilst also creating an equitable society for today’s and future generations. How this can play out will be discussed using hands-on examples from Tanzania and Bangladesh. All of which are currently working on defining and implementing the 100%RE vision.

The webinar aims to mobilise NGOs, development organisations and governments around the world to join the global 100%RE movement. To improve the work on the interlinkages of 100%RE and SDGs the webinar will actively engage the audience in a discussion on mobilisation, the necessary framework to monitor progress on 100%RE and SDG implementation and other relevant topics.

Draft Agenda

SessionSpeaker
Welcome & IntroductionAnna Skowron, World Future Council
The 100%RE visionRian van Staden, 100%RE Platform
The link between 100%RE and SDGs and the process behind itJoachim Fünfgelt, Bread for the World
Local development and the transition to 100%RESixbert Mwanga, CAN Tanzania; Jahangir Masum, Coastal Development Partnership Bangladesh; Christine Nettersheim, the greenwerk.
Discussion
Closing RemarksAnna Skowron, World Future Council

 

How to join

You can join the webinar online by clicking on the following link: https://zoom.us/j/6929919343

To receive follow-up information please RSVP by COB Monday, 25 June https://goo.gl/forms/JShaPUYgTZS7dlyy1

 

Contact

Anna Skowron

Project Manager Climate & Energy

 

 

 

Press Release: María Fernanda Espinosa was elected President of the 73rd UN General Assembly

Member of World Future Council and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, was elected President of the 73rd UN General Assembly

New York/Hamburg, 6 June 2018 – Dr. María Fernanda Espinosa, Member of the World Future Council and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility in Ecuador, was elected 73rd President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) yesterday.
According to the UN, Dr. María Fernanda Espinosa secured 128 votes against 62 votes obtained by the only other candidate, UN Ambassador Mary Elizabeth Flores Flake of Honduras.

Dr. María Fernanda Espinosa: The Ecuadorian politician and poet is the fourth woman and the first woman ever from Latin America and the Caribbean to preside over the UN General Assembly Picture (c) World Future Council

Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council (WFC), congratulates:

On behalf of the World Future Council, I would like to congratulate you on your election, and send my best wishes in your esteemed position as 73rd President. Your leadership and inspiring vision will help to strengthen the United Nations, and global society as a whole.

The forthcoming 73rd session offers a key moment to advance intergenerational equity in the UN System to ensure that the needs of present generations are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. We recognise the longstanding interest and support shown by the Government of Ecuador in these efforts, not least during your former position as Minister of Natural and Cultural Heritage. We are confident that with you as President of the UN General Assembly, future generations will have a strong advocate within the United Nations.

The World Future Council is working with the informal Governmental Group of Friends for Future Generations, which provides an important platform to develop new initiatives in this area. The Group of Friends endorsed the proposal to establish Global Guardians for Future Generations, to provide balanced advocacy for future generations, so that the UN can play a leading role in securing intra- and inter-generational equity globally. The innovative nature and normative legitimacy of the Global Guardians for Future Generations will play an important role in complementing existing efforts to help ensure that the UN Development System is more inclusive, impactful and coherent. With your esteemed leadership, the 73rd session of UNGA will seize new initiatives at a time when achieving fairness between generations in the context of sustainable development is becoming all the more important. This as a unique moment for significant breakthrough on the Global Guardians proposal, which would be welcomed by Member States and civil society.

We wish you just the best success for your endeavours, and strongly hope that working together decisively, we will promote the interests of future generations and our mutual values.

Yours sincerely,

Alexandra Wandel

Director

World Future Council

Ms. Espinosa (2nd from left) speaking during World Future Council (WFC) event in Hamburg in 2016. Also pictured: WFC Councillors Scilla Elworthy, Thais Corral and Rama Mani (from left to right). Picture (c) World Future Council

 

Media contact

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact

Miriam Petersen
Media & Communications Manager, World Future Council
Tel: +49 40 307 09 14 19

miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org

The World Future Council

The World Future Council (WFC) works to pass on a healthy planet and fair societies to our children and grandchildren. To achieve this, we focus on identifying and spreading effective, future-just policy solutions and promote their implementation worldwide. The Council consists of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, civil societies, academia, the arts and the business world. Jakob von Uexkull, the Founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, launched the World Future Council in 2007. We are an independent, non-profit organisation under German law and finance our activities from donations. For information on the Future Policy Award, visit: https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/future-policy-award

For press enquiries, please contact Miriam Petersen, miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org, +49 40 307 09 14 19.

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The Importance of Energy Communities – Side Event during the Policy Conference 2018

When it comes to the development of the energy transition, local communities play a central role in leading the way to a decentralised energy democracy. The Policy Conference organised by the European Commission aiming to share and discuss new policy developments, best practices and sustainable energy ideas. As part of the conference, we will hold a session on the importance of energy communities presenting new roles and pathways communities are currently developing around Europe.

Implementing a “climate bailout”: How to convert fossil fuel stranded assets into renewable energy investments

Abstract

To comply with the 1.5°C limit agreed in Paris, a significant fraction of fossil resources cannot be used for energy production. The loss of value of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal will cause considerable uncertainty and instability on the financial markets. Also, the unavoidable transformation of energy companies towards renewable energy generation will be even harder when they are weakened by the accelerated depreciation of their fossil fuel assets.

Therefore, a new financial instrument is required to enable energy companies to convert their de facto “stranded” fossil fuel reserves into renewable energy (RE) assets. Passing on the losses to taxpayers would be neither politically nor financially realistic. The only institutions that have the economic potential to implement a “climate bailout” are Central Banks, just as they have done in the banking crisis since 2008.

 

Experts to discuss solutions for Land, Soils and Food in Africa at Heliopolis University, Cairo

The Future Policy Award 2017 awarded exemplary policies that contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods in the drylands and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 15 Life on Land. This international prize was awarded by the World Future Council in partnership with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the World Future Council. During a conference at Heliopolis University in Cairo, we took a closer look at these World Champions in combating desertification and discussed solutions for food, soils and livelihoods in Africa.

 

Right: Helmy Abouleish, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Heliopolis University and CEO of the SEKEM Initiative & WFC Councillor

WFC councillor Dr. Auma Obama talking to media after the event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The conference at the Heliopolis University in Cairo which was convened by SEKEM Initiative, Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development together with the World Future Council. The aim of this event was not only to raise awareness on exemplary policies for land, soils and food in Africa, but also to create synergies between policymakers of international organisations (UN Convention to Combat Desertification, IFAD and World Future Council) and national stakeholders, i.e. ministries, Members of Parliament, civil society, academia and media.

During the conference, we were honoured to welcome experts on land and soil issues from across the globe. The event brought together high level participants and experts;  among them were Dr. Mohamed Abdel Aty, the Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation;  Dr. Auma Obama, World Future Councillor and Founder and Director of the Sauti Kuu Foundation;  Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD);  Hans Herren, President of Millennium Institute and Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award; Helmy Abouleish, Heliopolis University Chairman of the Board of Trustees and CEO of SEKEM Initiative and recently recognized as UN Champion for Facing Climate Change; and Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council Foundation which convened the Future Policy Award 2017 on Combating Desertification.

From left to right: Hans Herren, President, Millennium Institute and President, Biovision Foundation; Abdelkarim Sma, Egypt Country Director, International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD; Dr. Auma Obama, Councillor, World Future Council and Director of the Sauti Kuu Foundation; Monique Barbut, UN Under Secretary General, Executive Secretary, Convention to Combat Desertification; Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council; Lothar H. Fickert, Professor, Graz University of Technology; Prof. Hani Sewilam, Academic Director, Hydrology Department, RWTH Aachen University

Updates from our work in April

A step forward towards sustainable food systems

Our current food and agriculture systems are driving the vast depletion of natural resources, fuel inequality and contribute to climate change. We urgently need to shift to more sustainable food systems that deliver environmental and social outcomes and are able to withstand shocks and climate change! Agroecology is a key element in this process – this is why the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM – Organics International kicked off together the Future Policy Award 2018, a global contest for the world’s best agroecology laws and policies.

Our Climate, Energy & Cities team has changed

Our Climate, Energy & Cities team has a new director: on 1 April, Rob van Riet took over from Anna Leidreiter in managing the Climate Energy Programme. He will take up this post for the duration of Ms Leidreiter’s maternity leave. Mr. van Riet, who joined the World Future Council in 2010,  has previously coordinated the Peace and Disarmament Programme in our organisation.

The Climate Energy team has also been strengthened by a new Project Manager, Anna Skowron, who joined the team in February. In her main capacity, Anna is coordinating the media and communication work for the DEEDS project (“DialoguE on European Decarbonisation Strategies”), and advancing the team’s advocacy work for 100% renewable energy for sustainable development.

The Peace and Disarmament Programme will continue with a few of its key projects thanks to the continued involvement of some members of the Council.

Rob van Riet

Anna Skowron

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press Release: Scaling up Agroecology

How food security is possible: Future Policy Award to celebrate the world’s best policies for agroecology

Global contest announced by UN Food and Agriculture Organization, World Future Council and IFOAM – Organics International

Rome, 6th April 2018 – At the 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM – Organics International kick off a global contest for the world’s best agroecology policies.

Every year, the most visionary policies tackling humankind’s most pressing challenges are commended with the Future Policy Award (FPA), the only global award that recognises policies rather than people. The World Future Council has awarded this annual prize since 2010 in partnership with UN agencies. Recognising that scaling up agroecology is a key element to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the World Future Council, the FAO and IFOAM – Organics International will identify and honour policies that create enabling environments for agroecology in 2018. Now FAO and the World Future Council joined forces, signing a Memorandum of Understanding to work together in support of this year’s Future Policy Award.

Signing Ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between FAO and the World Future Council Image copyright ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti (via Flickr)

 

Agroecology: key to achieving food security and sustainable agriculture

In 2015, world leaders committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 2, “Zero Hunger”, seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. However, according to FAO, 815 million people go hungry even though there is more than enough food produced in the world to feed everyone. Agroecology can help transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems that ensure food security and nutrition for all, provide social and economic equity and conserve biodiversity and the ecosystem services on which agriculture depends.  The award highlights proven policies that effectively scale up agroecology at local, national and international levels

Our food system is at a crossroads

Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General, explains: “Agroecology can help transform the way we currently produce and consume food to build healthier and more sustainable food systems. But this calls for the full engagement of governments and policy makers. Only with significant commitment at the policy level, will we see the scaling-up of agro-ecological approaches take root and realise its potential.

 

“This year’s Future Policy Award will reveal proven solutions that make sustainable agriculture possible. The World Future Council is determined to further cooperate with FAO in order to identify and share the best policies for advancing agroecology in the interest of future generations. It is critical that we learn from the policies that are already making an impact,’’ says Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council.

 

 “World Leaders and the UN General Assembly recognise the potential of agroecology to achieve healthy nutrition for all and to address social injustice, climate change and biodiversity loss”, notes Peggy Miars, World Board President of IFOAM – Organics International. “We see it happen in numerous countries where the policy framework gets it right. Let’s showcase and reward these innovative policies!”

The winners of the 2018 Future Policy Award will be recognised in a ceremony at FAO in Rome around World Food week.

The Future Policy Award 2018 is supported by the FAO, the World Future Council, IFOAM-Organics International with the assistance of Green Cross International, DO-IT – Dutch Organic International Trade and Sekem Group (Egypt).

 

Joined forces (from left to right): Peggy Miars, World Board President of IFOAM – Organics International, Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General and Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council, at the 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology Image copyright ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti (via Flickr)

  Follow the 2018 Future Policy Award on Twitter with #FPA2018 or #FuturePolicyAward

Media contact

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact

Miriam Petersen
Media & Communications Manager, World Future Council
Tel: +49 40 307 09 14 19

miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org

The World Future Council

The World Future Council (WFC) works to pass on a healthy planet and fair societies to our children and grandchildren. To achieve this, we focus on identifying and spreading effective, future-just policy solutions and promote their implementation worldwide. The Council consists of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, civil societies, academia, the arts and the business world. Jakob von Uexkull, the Founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, launched the World Future Council in 2007. We are an independent, non-profit organisation under German law and finance our activities from donations. For information on the Future Policy Award, visit: https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/future-policy-award

For press enquiries, please contact Miriam Petersen, miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org, +49 40 307 09 14 19.

The Food and Agriculture Organization

The goals of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations are to reduce hunger and malnutrition, eliminate poverty through economic and social progress and support sustainable management and utilization of natural resources. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. FAO helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. Since the founding in 1945, FAO has focused special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world’s poor and hungry people.

For press enquiries, please contact Tina Farmer, tina.farmer@fao.org, +39 06 5705 6846

IFOAM – Organics International

Since 1972, IFOAM – Organics International has occupied an unchallenged position as the only international umbrella organization in the organic world, uniting an enormous diversity of stakeholders contributing to the organic vision. As agent of change, their vision is the broad adoption of truly sustainable agriculture, value chains and consumption in line with the principles of organic agriculture. At the heart of IFOAM – Organics International are about a 1000 Affiliates in more than 100 countries.

For press enquiries, please contact Gábor Figeczky,  g.figeczky@ifoam.bio, +492289265019, +4915756925021.

 

Amid growing dangers, experts highlight importance of the UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament

New York, NY – March 28, 2018. At a media briefing for journalists at the United Nations in New York today, nuclear disarmament experts and campaigners highlighted the critical need for successful diplomacy on nuclear-weapons related conflicts, including in Northeast Asia, between the US/NATO and Russia, and at the upcoming UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament.