Chinese Delegation visited Maryland to learn about Environmental Education

Silver Winner of FPA 2015, Maryland, inspires education experts from China

Environmental Education has been a priority in the Chinese education system. But unfortunately, there was no significant increase in the students’ engagement for environmental protection so far. China is therefore interested in learning from successful models in other countries.

We organised a conference in Maryland in 2016, and presented their award-winning Environmental Literacy Standards. During the conference, we looked into the success factors of the legislation which aims to educate students to become environmentally and sustainability aware citizens.

A Chinese delegation has also been present back in 2016. Inspired by the conference, they now visited Maryland again and met with officials at  Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). They discussed various topics and  questions, for instance regarding the curriculum framework and the relationship between government environmental agencies and school systems. How to provide more suitable materials and publicity channels for environmental education? How to improve the teaching staff’s environmental education level? And how to raise national awareness of environmental protection and establish public awareness of environmental supervision?

The delegation would like to conduct exchanges of experience in environmental education legislation in Maryland, particularly its experience in formulating environmental education standards, as well as successful cases of environmental improvement through education.

The World Future Council facilitated the meeting will follow up on this topic with the Chinese delegation.

Zero Poverty – a vision in action for the future of Oxford County

In Oxford County poverty eradication is high up on the agenda. To tackle this, the County has designed and implemented a comprehensive plan which is designed to assess inequalities across the community and suggest measures to lead as many people out of poverty as possible.

Community Energy: A possible solution for the power issues in Rio de Janeiro’s neglected areas

Communities in Rio de Janeiro

Rocinha. Source: The Guardian (2013), “Favelas of Rio de Janeiro – in pictures”. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/gallery/2013/nov/04/favelas-rio-de-janeiro-in-pictures

The most neglected areas in the city of Rio de Janeiro, commonly known as “favelas”, are irregular units that started to develop, usually onto hillsides, during a civil war in the final years of the nineteenth century. As it continued to grow over the years, it was embracing former slaves, immigrants coming from other parts of the country searching for jobs, and any other person that couldn´t afford to buy or rent a house in the city. The consequence is an area inhabited by the poorest class, with an un-existing urban plan, houses and buildings with bad infrastructure, difficult access and precarious public services. This reality created a separation between those inhabitants, commonly known as “people from the hills”, and the inhabitants from the rest of the town, known as “people from the asphalt”. Nowadays, there are around 762 of those communities in Rio with more than 1.4 million people residing in them (approximately 25% of Rio´s population) but, unfortunately, many of them are still neglected by the city.[1] The consequence of the weak presence of the state is that these areas work in a different system, with different rules, where inhabitants had to work in a self-sufficient manner. They had to learn how to protect and help themselves and thus developed a sense of a society that functions as a family[2]. With the goal of handling the daily challenges, and also as a way of having an internal political structure, they created their resident´s association, where a resident is elected by the inhabitants to be an active voice inside and outside the slums. They are responsible for organising forums, creating their land ownership titles, solve issues related to infrastructure, such as sanitation, medical care, energy, transportation and, especially, to establish a connection of those inhabitants with the city hall, bringing all the issues of their region[3].

Instead of what many may imagine, these areas in Brazil are responsible for generating 78,3 billion Reais (approximately 20 billion euros) per year. This is a direct consequence of the fact that residents had to learn how to be entrepreneurs in order to provide for their needs. Approximately 44% of inhabitants want to have their own business and 62% of them want to do it inside the community[4]. It has become part of their culture to fight for their interests and to show their value to the community, and to the rest of the city. Moreover, since the term favela became a derogatory way of talking about these neglected areas, especially the term favelado – a person that lives in the favela –, they requested to be recognised as a Community, a definition that fits perfectly with the way that they developed and behave.

Energy issues

The problems regarding infrastructure in the favelas are enormous. They have precarious sewage systems, transportation, water, and especially, electricity infrastructure. Energy consumption is increasing due to the rise of technology and evolution of electronic devices, and the expectation is that the demand for electricity is going to continue to grow even more. Light is the company that is responsible for producing and distributing energy in the entire city of Rio de Janeiro but, unfortunately, the service that is provided is not equal for every area of the town.

These circumstances developed a “culture of non-payment” in slums, where dwellers get their energy directly from the overhead cables, creating a system where their home will have electricity without the inhabitant having to pay for it[5]. Even though it seems like they are only taking advantage of the situation, there are many disadvantages to this system. Without a meter, residents cannot have an energy bill, and don’t have a proof of residency that is acknowledged by the city hall, which means they are unable to open bank accounts and receive mail. Moreover, they are vulnerable to electrocution and fire, due to overloads in the transformer. The key to the problem is not only that some residents cannot afford to pay for electricity, but that electric energy is part of a basic need of any resident of a big city, and they should be receiving a better quality service. In addition to these problems, ANEEL– Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency – has set a goal in which electric power companies have to reduce their commercial losses[6] of electricity annually[7], and now the inhabitants live in constant fear of getting a fine from the energy company.

Community Energy

Insolar and the community energy in Santa Marta slum. Source: Insolar (2018), “Histórias Inspiradoras”. Available: http://insolar.eco.br/

The main idea of community energy is that local members have full participation in the process of managing and generating their own power through renewable energy[8]. Considering that this is already in line with the modus operandi in Rio´s informal settlements, the implementation of this concept would come as a natural solution that will help dwellers to pay a reasonable price for electricity, lose the dependency on big electric companies, and have a quality service. The approach to this investment will be different in each community, since is important to consider the size, structure, political involvement, background and the need of every area in order to choose the right system[9].

In the Santa Marta community, the social organisation Insolar implemented such a community energy concept over a period of two years. Dedicated to promoting democratic access to energy through the installation of photovoltaic systems, it works closely with a variety of stakeholders, also providing awareness of the technology and environmental education. With the objective of having the inhabitants as the protagonist, they also invest in the local workforce to improve empowerment of the residents, teaching them how to install PV panels, getting them involved as much as possible, and having as a consequence an increased spirit of collaboration. They have fitted more than 150 PV panels to the roofs of many buildings in Santa Marta, which represents more than harnessing power from the sun – it is also shaping positive future of clean energy and generating a spirit of collaboration among inhabitants[10].

Barriers

Even though the sun shines for 2.000 hours a year in Brazil, only 0.2% of the country’s energy comes from solar power[11]. The current Brazilian legislation shows the lack of incentives for renewable energy and especially for solar home systems[12]. Residential and commercial customers are allowed to net-metering, a system that gives the possibility to use energy at any time of the day and in any climatic condition. Those connections will work through the Energy Compensation System, where all the power that is produced in excess becomes an “energy credit” for the customer, measured in kWh, and can be used to complement the months where the production is lower than the amount of energy that is consumed. However, this energy credit is only valid for 60 months, and after that this extra production is “given” to the company, according to normative resolution 482/2012 created by ANEEL[13]. Another critical issue is the minimum fee, or cost of availability, that is always charged even if the production is higher than the consumption, which is problematic for those dwellers that cannot afford to pay for the electrical bill. The necessary amount to invest in this new technology is also a big issue since is still very expensive and is considered to be profitable only after 4 or 5 years of use[14].

Promoting community energy in Rio

This investment is part of a long-term energy plan with several socio-economic benefits. Projects for community energy should prioritise and encourage local investors, especially to explore the vast possibility of income and finances that can be provided by it. However, the communities should also have in mind that any stakeholder is essential for its development. Implementing targets, creating regulations and facilitating equal market access is a good strategy to attract stakeholders and increase participation of the local inhabitants. Forming partnerships with a dealership, in order to get loans, could also increase the possibility to implement such a project. Moreover, it is vital to learn how to work with the government, considering that it can create special incentives, specifically for slums, in order to promote more significant investments in community energy[16].

– written by Mariana Cascardo –

 

Ressources

[1]Vox (2016), “Inside Rio´s favelas, the city´s neglected neighborhoods”. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3BRTlHFpBU [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[2] RevoluSolar Institucional (2016), “RevoluSolar – A solar Revolution in Babilônia”. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSTk-3oCAn8 [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[3] Brown University Library (2012), “Favelas in Rio de janeiro, Past and Present”. Available: https://library.brown.edu/create/fivecenturiesofchange/chapters/chapter-9/favelas-in-rio-de-janeiro-past-and-present/ [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[4] GloboNews (2018), “Mundo S/A: Negócios movimentam R$ 78,3 bilhoes em favelas”. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XmxrQURr3Q [Accessed 07 June 2018] (in Portuguese)

[5] The Guardian (2014), “Providing electricity to Rio de Janeiro´s favela”. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/providing-electricity-rio-de-janeiro-favelas [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[6] Commercial losses, also known as technical losses, is associated with the energy that is not billed, that is lost in the grid during the distribution process, measurement with errors or consumed by units without metering equipment.

[7] “Aneel define nível de perda por furtos e frauds no cálculo de tarifa”. http://www.brasil.gov.br/editoria/infraestrutura/2011/11/aneel-define-nivel-de-perda-por-furtos-e-fraudes-no-calculo-de-tarifa [Accessed 07 June 2018] (in Portuguese)

[8]REN21 (2017), “Renewables 2017 – Global status report“. Available: http://www.ren21.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/17-8399_GSR_2017_Full_Report_0621_Opt.pdf [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[9] REN21 (2017), “Renewables 2017 – Global status report“. Available: http://www.ren21.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/17-8399_GSR_2017_Full_Report_0621_Opt.pdf [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[10] Climate Reality (2017), “24 hours of Reality 2017: Democracy in Solar Action (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=252&v=oZG738Ou6hI [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[11] BBC NEWS (2017), “How solar power is charging lives in the Santa Marta favela in Rio”. Available: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-39485808/how-solar-power-is-changing-lives-in-the-santa-marta-favela-in-rio [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[12] The Guardian (2016), “From the favelas: the rise of rooftop solar projects in Brazil”. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/may/24/favelas-solar-energy-projects-brazil [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[13] ANEEL (2012), “Resolução Normativa nº 482”. Available: http://www2.aneel.gov.br/cedoc/ren2012482.pdf   [Accessed 07 June 2018] (in Portuguese)

[14] RevoluSolar Institucional (2016), “RevoluSolar – A solar Revolution in Babilônia”. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSTk-3oCAn8 [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[15]IRENA COALITION FOR ACTION (2018). ”Community Energy: Broadening the Ownership of Renewables”. Available: http://irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Articles/2018/Jan/Coalition-for-Action_Community-Energy_2018.pdf?la=en&hash=CAD4BB4B39A381CC6F712D3A45E56E68CDD63BCD&hash=CAD4BB4B39A381CC6F712D3A45E56E68CDD63BCD [Accessed 07 June 2018]

World Top Experts On Agroecology Form Jury of Future Policy Award 2018

Hamburg/Bonn/Rome, 25th July 2018: Today the World Future Council, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) and IFOAM – Organics International have announced the names of experts forming the jury of the Future Policy Award 2018. The Award will be celebrating the world’s best policies scaling up agroecology.

Jury members come from all continents – Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. Three members are also recipients of the Alternative Nobel Prize.

Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council, says: “The World Future Council is very honoured and grateful that these world top experts on agroecology have agreed to serve on the jury of our Future Policy Award. We look forward to their selection of the world’s best policies for agroecology.”

The jury will be deciding upon the winning policies of the Future Policy Awards 2018 – the best on Earth scaling up agroecology. A shortlist of the winning policies will be published in early September, whilst the winners will be announced and celebrated in October 2018 at the UN FAO Headquarters in Rome.

Renowned representatives of international organisations, academia, civil society and farmers organisations, foundations, and the private sector have agreed to serve on the jury. Among them are the following experts (in alphabetic order):

Helmy Abouleish

CEO, Sekem Group; President, Demeter International; UNFCCC NAP Champion; Ambassador, IFOAM – Organics International; Right Livelihood Award Recipient; and Councillor, World Future Council, Egypt.

Prof. Dr. Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger

Senior Director, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL); Affiliated Fellow, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge; and Founding Councillor, World Future Council, UK/Canada.

 

Prof. Dr. Olivier De Schutter

Co-Chair, International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food); Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; former UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food; Université de Louvain, Belgium.

images source

Dr. Hans Martin Dreyer

Director, Plant Production and Protection Division, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

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Prof. Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias

Chairperson of the 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology of the FAO; Professor Adjunto, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade de Brasília; and former Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

images source

Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren

World Board Member, IFOAM – Organics International; Right Livelihood Award Recipient; President, Millennium Institute; and President and Founder, Biovision Foundation, Switzerland.

images source

Ruth Richardson

Executive Director, Global Alliance for the Future of Food (GA), Canada.

Prof. Dr. Vandana Shiva

Director, Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology; Founder, Navdanya International; Right Livelihood Award Recipient; and Founding Councillor, World Future Council, India.

Eva Torremocha

Responsible for the Sustainable Food Programme Spain, Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation; and Researcher, University Pablo de Olavide, Spain.

images source

To learn more about this year’s Future Policy Award, click here or follow #FuturePolicyAward on social media.

Picture Credits

Prof. Dr. Olivier De Schutter: image by Heinrich Böll Stiftung from Berlin, Deutschland, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Hans Martin Dreyer: ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti via Flickr

Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren: © Peter Luethi

Eva Torremocha: image via IFOAM Website

 

 

Scaling up Agroecology: our Call for Nominations triggered unprecedented response

The world’s biggest contest on agroecology has been kicked off this year and the feedback in the first rounds stunned us: 20,000 experts from all over the world were contacted to nominate the most exemplary policies for our Future Policy Award. We received 51 policies from 25 countries from all continents that advance sustainable agriculture and food systems. Here is a quick overview of the process so far.

 

 

This year’s Future Policy Award is focusing on policies scaling up agroecology: Policies that contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods of small-scale food producers, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement climate-resilient agricultural practices.

The path to finding the most exemplary policies is quite elaborate and involves a number of steps: First of all, a Call for Nominations is spread to experts on the topic. Secondly, nominations are being researched and collected: Thirdly, an evaluation team screens, discusses and evaluates all nominated policies.

Our Call for Nominations was circulated by UN FAO, the World Future Council and IFOAM to a total of over 20,000 experts from intergovernmental organisations, non-profit organisations, academic and research institutions, government agencies, development banks and other notable organisations active in this field. This year, we were blown away by the incredible feedback we received from agroecology and agriculture policy experts worldwide: In total, the team received 51 policies from 25 countries and from all continents. These were six nominated policies from Africa, twelve from Asia, nine from Europe, twenty from Latin America, one from North America, and three are international ones.

From certain countries we received more than one nomination: Six from Brazil, four from Cuba, five from India, three from Italy and two from Argentina, Bolivia, Denmark, Ethiopia, Philippines, Spain and Venezuela. The policies we have received come from all governance levels, i.e. from city to state, national, continental and even international level. They reflect a wide range of law-making and policy approaches, addressing different aspects of the topic of agroecology, from supporting organic and agroecological production to comprehensive food policies tackling production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management.

This year, our research team was composed of 13 people coming from 9 different countries, speaking more than 6 different languages fluently. We engaged with more than 100 experts to receive their views and discuss with them the impact of the policies nominated for the Award. Overall, the evaluation team screened and discussed 51 policies, evaluating 21 of them fully.

The next steps

At the end of July, our international jury of experts discusses which of the evaluated policies best receive the Awards. Our jury this year will be composed of 9 eminent experts including representatives from organising partners – FAO, World Future Council, IFOAM – as well as CISDL, Demeter International, the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, IPES-Food, Navdanya International, Millenium Institute/Biovision Foundation and the Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation. Among them will be 4 women and 5 men coming from 5 different continents. They will be making important choices and decide upon 1 policy winning Gold and 2 for Silver, 3 receiving Honourable Mentions and last but not least 1 Vision Award.

Last but not least, the winners are being celebrated!

On the occasion of World Food Week in October 2018, the Award Ceremony will be held at FAO Headquarters celebrating the best policies on Earth that scale up agroecology. We are looking much forward to this festivity and to honour exemplary political will!

To learn more about the Future Policy Award click here.

 The Future Policy Award 2018 is organised by the World Future Council, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IFOAM – Organics International, with the support of Green Cross International, DO-IT – Dutch Organic International Trade and Sekem Group, Egypt.

 

CONTACT

Ingrid Heindorf

Policy Officer of FPA 2018

ingrid.heindorf@worldfuturecouncil.org

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Young people fight for sustainability

Students from Hamburg’s Julius-Leber-School (second level school) research living sustainably and support the work on “Rights of Children” at the World Future Council.

This is one of the times when we ask ourselves: who is helping whom? Are we helping the children and adolescents, or are they helping us?

The collaboration with the Julius-Leber-School in Hamburg began with an Erasmus+ project, called sustain.me, which was attended by the head of our Rights of Children department Samia Kassid in the early summer of last year. As part of sustain.me, second-level students from Germany, France, Belgium, Italy and Spain came together to work together on the project on sustainability. The students have been dealing with the topic, sustainability, for two school years and have taken a close look at areas such as nutrition, waste, consumption, fast fashion and clothing, tourism and sustainable living. The Hamburg students were experts on fast fashion and clothing. The event in Hamburg gave us, at the World Future Council, an exciting opportunity to share many insights into children’s rights with the students. We explained what children’s rights are and where and how they are being ignored, such as child labor in the clothing industry.

The students hand over the donations for the World Future Council to Samia Kassid.

A year later we received a message from the teacher Marion Walsh: The students had collected donations for us during the school year and she asked if it were possible for them to visit us. Of course we agreed and they came to the Hamburg Foundation Office. Along came the students, Aysenur, Begüm and Sanja, we were extremely impressed by their dedication to the cause.

The three young women could not let go of the topic: “We must leave a healthy planet for future generations,” says the 18-year-old Begüm and everyone has the opportunity to contribute to this! Since then, the students have given presentations to children from various levels, like 6th grade, on the topic of children’s rights and sustainability. They have talked to them about plastic in the oceans, violations of human rights in the value chains of the textile industry and how everyone can reduce their ecological footprint in everyday life, for example, through waste prevention or conscious shopping. They have also used the books and information distributed by the World Future Council to support their research. Amongst many lessons (students-teaching-students) they have held workshops with the students where they learned to make their own organic creams and scrubs thus demonstrating that these feel-good homemade products and gifts are not only more sustainable, but also more personal. All of this in English, of course. They question their own consumer behaviour and for them it is clear: It does not have to be meat every day and you can do without buying the clothes from the cheap chains.

At the annual school’s Christmas “open door day” and during school breaks, Aysenur, Begüm and Sanja set up a donation box for the World Future Council. Last week at our Hamburg office, the heavy box was handed over and we were delighted by the generous donation! Begüm even volunteered to give an interview in which she talked about her activities. We were thrilled with the dedication and enthusiasm of these young women and this not only contributed to an all-round good mood, but we also received a lot of input and inspiration for our work.

Begüm is one of the students from the Julius-Leber-School in Hamburg, who has passed on her knowledge on children’s rights, environmental protection and sustainability to younger students.

We would like to thank the pupils of the Julius-Leber-Schule for their commitment to present and future generations, when it comes to sustainability, and for their support for the World Future Council. A special thanks go to Aysenur, Begüm and Sanja as well as Marion Walsh. We plan to keep in touch with each other and look forward to collaborating again in the future.

Press Release: World Future Council commends fossil fuel and nuclear weapons divestment policies in Göttingen

Another step towards future justice

Hamburg/ Göttingen (Germany) 18th July 2018 – The University of Göttingen (Germany) announced yesterday that they will end all investments in fossil fuel and nuclear energy industries. The move follows an appeal from students of the university organised by Fossil Free Göttingen, and a similar announcement by the City of Göttingen in May last year.

‘We commend the University of Göttingen for taking this important step to divest from fossil fuels and help protect the climate for current and future generations,’ said Alyn Ware, Disarmament Programme Director for the World Future Council.

‘The growing threat to our future posed by climate change has stimulated students to take action,’ says Luisa Neubauer, Communications Officer for Fossil Free Göttingen. ‘The fossil fuel industry has been blocking change to sustainable energy for their own financial interests. We must therefore make it in their financial interests to change. Divestment can help achieve this.‘

‘In line with our motto “IN PUBLICA COMMODA – FOR THE GOOD OF ALL”, we not only bear responsibility for the findings of science, but also for how these findings can influence and guide society,’ said President of the University Ulrike Beisiegel. ‘For this reason, we also take on social responsibility for our investments and select them not only according to economic considerations, but also, in particular, using socially, ethically and ecologically sound criteria.’

The decision by the University impacts its investment portfolio of €190 million. Following the decision, the University Stiftung (investment foundation) will not invest in coal, gas or oil companies, nor companies involved in nuclear energy. 

However, unlike the City of Göttingen which decided to also exclude nuclear weapons and conventional weapons from its investment policy, the University of Göttingen decided not to exclude these industries.

Nuclear weapons divestment is part of Move the Nuclear Weapons Money, a global campaign initiated in 2016 by the World Future Council and others to cut nuclear weapons budgets, end investments in nuclear weapons and shift these budgets and investments into social, economic and environmentally beneficial enterprises.

‘We had hoped that they would also include nuclear weapons divestment in their recent decision. However, the nuclear weapons divestment campaign is still young, and perhaps the University will follow the example of Göttingen City once they have had experience of implementing their policy with positive result.’, says Alyn Ware, who is also the Global Coordinator for Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award (‘Alternative Nobel Prize’).

‘Nuclear weapons also pose an existential threat to humanity and absorb billions of dollars that are sorely needed for better purposes, such as investment in renewable energy,’ says Ms Neubauer. ‘In times of increasing tension between nuclear-armed countries, a demonstration of financial restraint can help governments step back from the nuclear brink.’

‘The Göttingen City action to divest from fossil fuels and weapons producers is a wonderful follow-up to the example of the Göttingen Eighteen, the group of Nobel laureates and other scientists from Göttingen who in the late 1950s argued against the deployment of nuclear weapons in Germany,’ says Dr Ute Finckh-Krämer, PNND Council Member and an adviser to the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign. ‘The action complements similar divestment actions at State and Federal level. Berlin City, for example, has taken action to exclude investments from city funds in fossil fuel, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons and the conventional weapons industry.’

 

Media contact

For interviews and all other media enquiries, please contact

Alyn Ware
Programme Director Peace & Disarmament
Tel: +420 773 638 867,

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

miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org

 

Press Release: Nuclear weapons in Germany inflame conflict between NATO and Russia

Hamburg, Büchel (Germany) 13th July 2018 – Peace and disarmament activists from the World Future Council, Büchel is Everywhere, Nukewatch, Abolition 2000 Youth Network, and other organisations gathering at the Büchel airforce base in Germany this weekend, claim that the U.S. nuclear weapons deployed at the base and at other NATO countries inflame the conflict between NATO and Russia, provoke nuclear counter measures and increase the risk of a nuclear exchange by miscalculation or accident. The weekend protest is part of an international peace action camp at Büchel which started on July 10 just before the recent NATO Summit and finishes two days after the July 16 Helsinki Summit of Presidents Trump and Putin. It includes delegates from a number of countries including Belgium, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States.

A principle target of the protest is the controversial practice of placing US nuclear weapons known as B61s in other countries, and US plans to replace the current bombs with new ones. Under a program called “nuclear sharing” Germany, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, and The Netherlands still deploy a total of 150 Cold War-era US gravity H-bombs. The governments admit to nuclear sharing agreements, but will not confirm the numbers or locations of nuclear weapons on their territories. Critics point out that all five countries are parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which explicitly prohibits nuclear weapons from being transferred to or accepted from others.
An overwhelming majority of the German public objects to US/NATO plans to replace the B61s deployed across Europe (including the 20 at Büchel Air Base) with new Hydrogen bombs called the B61-12,’ said Marion Küpker (Germany), a disarmament campaigner with the organization Büchel Is Everywhere. ‘Each of these bombs is more than 10 times as powerful as the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Our united resistance will stop the new, illegal nuclear bombs nobody needs.’

‘The world wants nuclear weapons abolished,’ said Bonnie Urfer (United States), former co-director of Nukewatch. ‘To waste billions of dollars replacing them with new ones is outrageous considering the millions now in poverty or in need disaster relief, emergency shelter, and safe drinking water.’

Nuclear weapons threaten current and future generations,’ said Marzhan Nurzhan (Kazakhstan), Convener of the Abolition 2000 Youth Network. ‘We continue to experienced the catastrophic impact of nuclear weapons in our country decades ago, so we know that any use of nuclear weapons in a war would create a humanitarian disaster that would continue for hundreds and thousands of years.’

Presidents Trump and Putin are about to meet in Helsinki to discuss how to reduce the tensions and military provocations between the two countries,’ said Alyn Ware (New Zealand/Czech Republic), Council Member of the World Future Council speaking from Buchel. ‘The nuclear threat is the highest since the end of the Cold War. The two Presidents should use this opportunity to take their nuclear forces off high alert, commit to never initiating a nuclear war, renew the New START treaty and supplement the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty by removing all tactical weapons from forward deployment, i.e. the US nuclear weapons in Europe and Russian tactical weapons deployed near their western borders.’

On July 11, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation and Cooperation in Europe approved the Berlin Declaration which endorses the call for nuclear-armed States to adopt policies never to initiate a nuclear war (‘no-first-use’ policies) and to adopt other disarmament and confidence-building measures. The declaration also calls on OSCE governments to affirm and achieve the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

As the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly includes the legislatures of Russia and the United States, as well as of all NATO countries, the Berlin Declaration could be very influential in the run-up to the Trump-Putin Summit and beyond the summit,’ says Mr Ware who also serves as the Global Coordinator for Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.  ‘The Berlin Declaration joins other parliamentary and civil society calls for Dialogue, détente and disarmament, indicating the breadth of support for the Buchel action this weekend.’

Note: The World Future Council 3DnukeMissile will be on display at the gate of the Büchel airbase on July 14.

Contacts for comments  or photos of the action and 3DNukeMissileAlyn Ware +420 773 638 867, Wolfgang Schlupp-Hauck +49 (0) 176 5062 8377, Marzhan Nurzhan +420 770 649 750 or Marion Küpker +49 (0) 172 771 32 66

 

 

 

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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HLPF side-event: Achieving Agenda 2030 through 100% Renewable Energy – Examples from Tanzania and Bangladesh

The World Future Council and Bread for the World are hereby cordially inviting you to their side-event on the margins of the High-level Political Forum 2018 in New York, on 17 July, at 3.30 pm in the Church Center of the UN.

3.30 – 5.00 pm; 17 July 2018
Church Center of the United Nations
777 United Nations Plaza, NY 10017, USA

The event describes the vital relationship between renewable energy (RE) and sustainable development. In particular, it demonstrates how supporting the transition to 100% RE is a driver for sustainable development that  leaves no one behind. Hereby, it unveils how transitioning to 100% RE contributes to the achievement of the Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The event convenes civil society organizations, policy makers, development agencies and community leaders involved in sustainable development especially in countries in the Global South. Learnings from Tanzania and Bangladesh will be presented to catalyze replication in other countries.

Achieving a transformation of the energy sector to stipulate pathways and scenarios for SDG7 is a necessary pre-condition for the achievement of the Agenda 2030 in full and the highly urgent implementation of other international commitments such as the Paris Agreement. Therefore, this event seeks to highlight the interlinkages between SDG 7 and the other 16 SDGs and how a strategic transformation towards 100%RE contributes to achieving all of them. How do these interlinkages manifest itself in different national contexts and how can we replicate learnings and findings? What is the role of the national government and how can 100%RE benefit domestic socio-economic development? What lessons can be learned from the German “Energiewende”?

Draft Agenda

Facilitator: Rob van Riet, World Future Council

TimeItemSpeaker
3.30 – 3.40IntroductionJohannes Grün, Bread for the World
3.40 – 4.00100%RE and the national dimension of Agenda 2030Sixbert Mwanga, Director, CAN Tanzania; Jahangir Masum, Executive Director, Coastal Development Partnership
4.00 – 4.35Roundtable DiscussionJoyce Msangi, Energy Officer, Government of Tanzania; Dr. Bettina Hoffmann, Member of German Parliament, MdB; Jahangir Masum, Executive Director, CDP; Sixbert Mwanga, Director CAN Tanzania
4.35 – 4.55Q&A
4.55 – 5.00Concluding RemarksRob van Riet, World Future Council

 

Join the conversation!

Are you attending the event? Join the conversation, and tweet using the Hashtags #HLPF2018 #go100RE #SDG7

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Contact

Anna Skowron

Project Manager Climate & Energy

anna.skowron@worldfuturecouncil.org

 

 

 

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.

 

Missed it?

Watch the recording of the webinar here:

 

Contact

Anna Skowron

Project Manager Climate & Energy