The Great Debate UK
- Luuk van der Wielen is at BE-Basic and Delft University of Technology; Roger Wyse is Managing Director, Burrill & Company, San Francisco. The opinions expressed are their own.-
Today the global megatrends of food security, energy security, global climate change and sustainability command the attention of nations worldwide. Confronting these challenges will test political systems, drive policy and stress international relations.
To address them successfully, nations and companies are making massive investments in R&D, seeking solutions that will drive global innovation for decades. The application of modern discoveries in biology and biocleantechnology will be a major enabling force to address these issues.
Indeed, the application of bio-clean technology can potentially mitigate many of Europe’s ecological and economic challenges. The markets for bio-based (or green) products and technologies made from agricultural waste — instead of oil — are currently large and open.
Pope Benedict on Tuesday linked the Roman Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage to concern about the environment, suggesting that laws undermining the differences between the sexes were threats to creation.
Creatures differ from one another and can be protected, or endangered, in different ways, as we know from daily experience. One such attack comes from laws or proposals which, in the name of fighting discrimination, strike at the biological basis of the difference between the sexes," he said at his annual meeting at the Vatican with ambassadors to the Holy See.
- John Reid MP, formerly UK Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Defence, is the Chairman of the Institute for Security and Resilience Studies at University College, London. The opinions expressed are his own. -
Barack Obama’s announcement that there will be no all-encompassing protocol agreed at Copenhagen underlines that climate change is perhaps the most complex issue facing the world today. In part, this is because it involves long-term thinking and modeling which our existing political, financial and economic institutions and governance frameworks are ill-designed and configured to grapple with and resolve.
from Environment Forum:
As hopes for reaching a binding agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the Copenhagen summit die, climate negotiators could learn useful lessons on how to structure the negotiations from the multiple rounds of trade talks within the GATT/WTO framework.
Climate negotiations are about limiting carbon dioxide emissions, but the negotiators are also hammering out a complex economic instrument that will define the distribution of production, energy use and income in the next few decades. It is the agreement's profound economic effects that are making it so hard to reach a final deal.
– Roger Martin is a former diplomat and leading environmentalist. He is now Chairman of the Optimum Population Trust. Any views expressed are his own -
I’ve been an environmental campaigner for 20 years, and can confidently summarise all our problems as ‘too many people consuming too much stuff.’ But in all those worthy meetings about all those worthy green projects, I’ve noticed that everyone talks about the stuff, like consuming less energy rather than providing more; and no-one talks about the people, the number of consumers.
- Hannah Chalmers is a postgraduate researcher at the Centre for Environmental Strategy at the University of Surrey. All views expressed are her own -
This week the International Energy Agency launched a series of detailed technology roadmaps covering 19 technologies that are expected to be important in mitigating the risk of dangerous of climate change. One of these was for carbon capture and storage (CCS).
- Bjorn Lomborg is adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School. He is the organizer of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which brings together some of the world’s top economists, including 5 Nobel laureates, to set priorities for the world. The opinions expressed are his own. -
In this blog, I would like to share with you some of the best – and worst – ways to fix climate change. This is important because the Earth is warming up, increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide are contributing to this warming, and humankind is dumping ever-increasing amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.
from The Great Debate:
Davos leaders have traditionally looked to the long term and have largely been keen on helping all nations of the world to benefit from economic development. But with politicians and businesses tied up with short term concerns about the economic crisis there's a risk at least that efforts to spread development and to ward against the threat of climate change may go on hold, at least for a time. Reuters News asked delegates at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting to share their thoughts on whether we should be concerned about development and sustainability slipping down the global agenda.
from UK News:
The government has approved the third Heathrow runway, in the interests of jobs and British competitiveness.
The third runway -- something airport operator BAA pledged it would not seek if it was granted permission to build Terminal 5 -- will open up a sharp political divide, with several Labour MPs, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats opposed to the idea.
Pope Benedict took an unconventional approach today to stand up to what he sees as gender-bending, saying protecting heterosexuality was as important as saving the rainforest. (Photo: Pope Benedict addresses the Curia, 22 Dec 2008/Max Rossi)
"(The Church) should also protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed," the pontiff said in a holiday address to the Curia, the Vatican's central administration."The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less."