67 policies from 36 countries contest for Future Policy Award received
On the occasion of the International Youth Day, the World Future Council has announced that 67 nominations from around the world run for the global contest to win a Future Policy Award 2019 on Youth Empowerment. This year, the World Future Council partners with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and Youth Policy Labs to highlight policy solutions that empower youth.
Costa Rica devised an ambitious plan to eliminate the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and promote the modernization of the country through green growth.
We proudly joined the PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet initiative by UNEP, UNDP, GIZ, IFOAM – Organics International, IUCN and Rare, as new collaborator.
My name is Oona. I am 23, I am French and I study politics. I joined the World Future Council in May 2019 as an intern for the Future Policy Award 2019: Empowering Youth. A few days ago, I participated in the “Fridays For Future” march in Hamburg.
On the eve of the biggest global “Fridays for Future” youth strike for climate, the World Future Council offers its strong support to the dedicated young people holding leaders accountable for their climate commitments. If we are to meet the 1.5°C target of the Paris agreement bold action needs to happen now.
As a result of widespread protests, the British Parliament has decided to reduce carbon emissions to zero.
Hamburg/London, 3 May 2019. While today the young activists of Fridays for Future will be protesting again in over 72 countries in 725 cities, the World Future Council welcomes the historic decision of the British House of Parliament to declare a formal environment and climate change emergency.
This decision, taken earlier this week, was a direct response to the vigorous and widely reported campaign by the school climate strikers of Fridays for Future and groups such as Extinction Rebellion. Following the vote in London, a similar one in the Welsh Parliament in Cardiff and a declaration from the First Minister of Scotland. Hundreds of Councils across the UK have joined the announcement. Other cities like Vancouver, Oakland, Los Angeles, Basel, and Constance have also declared the climate emergency.
“The UK, the pioneer of the coal-based industrial revolution, is now the first country to formally concede the reality of a climate (and earth) emergency,” says Prof. Herbert Girardet, Co-Founder of the World Future Council. “The current envisioning of a legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 it is to be greatly welcomed. While it may cost up to 2% of Britain’s GDP to reach this target, it is now clearly understood that not acting would be far more expensive. Britain may now take the lead in initiating a green industrial revolution, delivering a cleaner and healthier society while bolstering the UK economy and creating jobs.”
The World Future Council welcomes these developments. As the “voice of future generations”, the foundation has worked with legislators and political decision makers for over a decade to improve policy frameworks across the world. It is therefore committed to supporting legislators in turning these words into action and will strongly encourage other countries and cities to follow Britain’s lead.
Vandana Shiva, Councilor of the World Future Council and Founder of Navdanya, India: “The declaration of an environment and climate change emergency means that we must address root causes and start the transition. Half of all greenhouse gases emissions come from fossil fuel-based industrial agriculture. Biodiversity and agroecology have the potential to entirely stop man-made mass extinction and reducing excess carbon and nitrogen from the atmosphere.”
The World Future Council has identified key policy solutions that already proved successful and can support other legislators in responding to the climate emergency.
More information can be found on www.worldfuturecouncil.org
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About 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. Jakob von Uexkull, the Founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, launched the World Future Council in 2007. We are an independent, non-profit organization under German law and finance our activities from donations. For information visit www.worldfuturecouncil.org
Reversing the financial interests in fossil fuels and the nuclear arms race
Basel, April 11, 2019 – The recent Fridays for Future protests demonstrate a global dissatisfaction with the continuing failure of governments and industry to protect the climate. And the setting of the Doomsday Clock hands to 2 minutes to midnight in January this year indicates a continuing high risk of a nuclear conflict. However, ‘devastating climate change and the risk of a nuclear war will not be prevented unless the international community tackles the economic and political influence of the fossil fuel and nuclear weapons industries’, according to participants of Move the Nuclear Weapons Money, an international conference being held in Basel, Switzerland on April 12-13, 2019.
‘Companies manufacturing nuclear weapons and producing fossil fuels are making billions – if not trillions – of dollars fostering a nuclear arms race and destroying the climate,’ says Dr Keith Suter (Australia), Economics Futurist and member of the Club of Rome. ‘They have vested financial interests in producing more and more nuclear weapons and in preventing a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and they exert intense political power on decision makers to protect these interests. We must shift the economic incentives from destroying the planet to instead support peace and the environment.’
The conference – which will include legislators (mayors, city councillors and parliamentarians), financial managers, civil society representatives and experts in disarmament and climate change – will focus on socially responsible investment (SRI) as a powerful tool to shift this economic and political power. SRI includes ending investments in nuclear weapons and fossil fuels (divestment) and re-investing in sustainability (impact investment).
‘Most of us are currently supporting fossil fuels and nuclear weapons through investments made in these industries on our behalf by our governments, cities, universities, religious organisations, banks or pension funds,’ says Professor (em) Andreas Nidecker MD, President of the Basel Peace Office which is organising the conference. ‘We can each make a difference by calling on them to end these investments.’
‘Through divestment, we can put pressure on the industries to change,’ says Dr Ute Finckh-Krämer, Council Member of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament and former Deputy-Chair of the German Parliament Subcommittee on Disarmament and Arms Control. ‘Such action highlights the immorality (and stupidity) of making vast profits on the destruction of the planet. It also gives support to legislators who are trying to adopt and implement policies for nuclear disarmament and climate protection.’
‘Impact investment is the other side of the Socially Responsible Investment coin,’ says Professor Laurent Goetschel, Executive Director of swisspeace. ‘By focusing investments on economic enterprises which support sustainable development, investors can benefit from stable returns as well as the satisfaction that their investment funds are being used for the improvement of human lives and the environment. It’s a win-win for all and should be a guiding principle, at least for all public investment funds.’
The conference is part of the move the nuclear weapons money campaign which is gaining traction around the world. ‘Already a number of sovereign wealth (national government) funds, pension funds, city and state funds, banks, universities and religious organisations have decided to end their investments in the nuclear weapons and/or fossil fuel industries,’ says Mr Thies Kätow, researcher for the World Future Council, one of the co-sponsors of the conference. ‘As a portion of the trillions of dollars of global investment money, the amount divested to date is only moderate,’ says Mr Kätow. ‘However, as the nuclear weapons and fossil fuel divestment campaigns grow, their political impact could be as powerful as the divestment campaign against South Africa in the late 20th Century, which was a critical factor in moving the South African government to end apartheid in 1994.”