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Archives for Sustainability

Social Europe can deal with the challenges posed by globalisation according to a new report written for a European Commission conference on 16 April. But the report fails to mention most of the social impacts of climate change, the looming energy crunch (including high energy and food prices and their social consequences) or growing water… » read more

Politicians should stop pretending that decarbonising our economies can be done on the cheap. This is the conclusion of a damning analysis of EU climate/energy policies published by Oxford energy professor Dieter Helm in the Wall Street Journal today. Helm starts his evaluation with a critical look at the EU’s achievements in terms of emission… » read more

I sometimes complain that our political elites have lost all long-term vision focused as they are on feeding the quick-news-hungry media with sexy soundbites which have little value for the societal challenges these policy makers are supposed to tackle. It is therefore very encouraging that, occasionally , there is a political figure who manages to… » read more

Inconvenient questions

I am not Al Gore and therefore cannot provide you with the “inconvenient truth” but there are a few inconvenient questions that have started to vex me recently as I am thinking and reading more about our global sustainability problematique. Let’s start with a few of my beliefs in order to put my inconvenient questions… » read more

In a recent interview with EurActiv, Jeremy Rifkin expressed his belief that “Europe can lead the third industrial revolution”. In the closing debate of this year’s European Business Summit, the American author repeated his admiration for the EU’s policies but added cautiously that “the EU might well tell the right narrative, but the US could… » read more

What’s the difference? In these times of climate change concern, individuals and organizations alike are eager for measurable criteria to compare the impact of products and services on global warming. The notions of ‘Life Cycle Assessment’, ‘Carbon Footprint’, and ‘Ecological Footprint’ often appear in the media, but their exact meaning and the differences between them… » read more

Business leaders attending this week’s European Business Summit 2008 would do well to listen to their colleague Richard Branson of Virgin Group in order to understand the urgency of finding solutions for our climate/energy crisis. During a press conference last week, Branson called for the creation of a global “war room” to coordinate actions to… » read more

Commission President Barroso today (25 Jan) expressed his support for a Davos declaration on the Millennium Development Goals and promised to “discuss with Member States the importance of scaling up aid budgets”. By putting this issue in the context of “financial aid”, developed countries can feel good about themselves. They are helping (or at least… » read more

One of the lessons I took back home after my week’s stay in California is that there is a lot happening in the USA on “sustainability entrepreneurship”. During an inspiring dinner meeting with some friends of the Global Footprint Network, we discussed about several exciting start-ups which have introduced “ecological constraints thinking” into their business… » read more

Here, that is, in our own “developed” world and not only in those countries which are traditionally being identified as “developing” countries (the now politically incorrect “third world” in the past). As the economic growth successes and the consumption abundance of our developed countries have been bought on the back of rapid over-exploitation of the… » read more

There are a lot of moral problems linked to the issue of climate change. One of them shows itself clearly in a recent report published by international development agency Christian Aid. Its 19-pages ”Truly Inconvenient” report looks at ways to “tackle poverty and climate change at once” and concludes that developed countries like the US and the EU… » read more

The third ‘P’ at last

Sustainability reports usually have long chapters on the environmental and economic aspects, but struggle to address the social dimension. Therefore, I was encouraged to read yesterday’s press release that the ‘Commission promotes the social dimension of the Energy Community’. Stop here for the moment, and consider what defines the social dimension.

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