The World Needs a Renewable Development Index

 blog  Comments Off on The World Needs a Renewable Development Index
May 102012




CREDIT: Magharebia (CC).

The Modern Energy Context

Energy is at the very foundation of modern economies. Since the Industrial Revolution more than 200 years ago, all countries have developed on the back of the production and burning of fossil fuels. There is no doubt that the comfortable lives many of us live today would not be possible without the fossil-fueled development of the past. But the merits of fossil fuels now seem less and less convincing.

First, take subsidies. Currently, we throw about 10–12 times more taxpayer money at fossil fuels than we put into renewables—and those are just direct subsidies. In addition, local air and water pollution and related health consequences cost trillions of dollars worldwide. The U.S. National Research Council estimates the “hidden” costs of fossil fuels in the United States (the real costs to society that are not reflected in the fuels’ market prices) at $120 billion annually. The Chinese government believes pollution and related healthcare costs amount to 10 percent of that country’s GDP.

Then there is the volatility of fossil fuel markets, which has arguably led to enormous economic instability in the recent past. Just to give an idea of what this volatility means to some nations: An increase in the world oil price of just $10 can mean a decrease in the GDP of some small nations of 2–3 percent.

Continue reading »

“Nachhaltigkeit ist möglich”

 online report  Comments Off on “Nachhaltigkeit ist möglich”
Sep 052011

Sustainable Future Campaign: Alexander Ochs, World Watch Institute, mit Sustainable Future Award ausgezeichnet. Ochs ist der zweite Preisträger nach Marc R. Pacheco, dem ehemaligen Klima-Berater von Al Gore.

Media Net, Monday, 05. September. 2011 | company&marketwatch

von li.: denkstatt-Geschäftsführer Christian Plas, Alexander Ochs, Nachhaltigkeits-experte Worldwatch Institute, Josef Mantl, Sprecher Sustainable Future Campaign.

von li.: denkstatt-Geschäftsführer Christian Plas, Alexander Ochs, Nachhaltigkeits-experte Worldwatch Institute, Josef Mantl, Sprecher Sustainable Future Campaign.

Wien. Alexander Ochs, Leiter des Bereichs Klima und Energie beim ältesten amerikanischen Umweltthinktank, dem World Watch Institute, wurde vergangene Woche der Sustainable Future Award überreicht. Die Auszeichnung würdigt seinen Forschungsbeitrag zu globalen Nachhaltigkeitsthemen und sein Commitment, weltweites Wissen zu Sozial-, Umwelt- und Wirtschaftstrends als Maßstab politischer Handlungen auf allen Ebenen einzubeziehen. „Wir müssen es schaffen, die Menschen davon zu überzeugen, dass eine nachhaltige Welt auch wirklich möglich ist, und wie“, sagt Ochs.

„Alexander Ochs bringt unermüdlich Menschen mit den unterschiedlichsten Hintergründen, Berufen und Nationalitäten zusammen“, beschreibt ihn Josef Mantl, Sprecher der Sustainable Future Campaign, auf deren Initiative die Auszeichnung vergeben wird. Seine Arbeit habe sich dem Ziel verschrieben, „das Verständnis für wirtschaftliche, umweltrelevante und politische Zusammenhänge zu verbessern, klarer zu sehen, was falsch läuft – und unsere Fähigkeit zu verbessern, Themen zu überdenken und im Interesse der Umwelt und Lebenswelt aller zu handeln“.

Continue reading »

CCAP – AICGS Joint Climate Policy Sessions

 online report  Comments Off on CCAP – AICGS Joint Climate Policy Sessions
Dec 172008

Here is a blurb from the CCAP Newsletter on the German -US climate  summit which I organized for AICGS and CCAP.

On Nov. 17, CCAP joined forces with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) as hosts of a German-U.S. climate policy dialogue. The event brought a distinguished delegation to Washington lead by Matthias Machnig, state secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Environment, and Reinhard Buetikofer, the chairman of the German Green Party.At a political roundtable in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, CCAP outlined its framework for international climate strategy including “sectoral approaches.” Mr. Machnig outlined his vision of international burden-sharing in the fight against global warming as a “cascade of responsibilities.” Mr. Buetikofer then urged both sides of the Atlantic and collaborate in a practical, forward-looking and outcome-oriented manner.The roundtable was followed by a luncheon that featured a discussion with former Undersecretary of State Frank Loy and 30 representatives from German and U.S. industry. In the afternoon, a workshop was held at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where participants presented their German-U.S. policy reports. Alexander Ochs, CCAP director of International Policy, summed up the dialogue by saying, “Today’s events have shown that we might approach a political tipping point in transatlantic climate relations. Germany, and the United States show a new level of mutual understanding and willingness to cooperate.”