Germany’s Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World

Scientificamerican.org  
Germany's Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World
Credit: Krisztian Bocsi Getty Images

From Ensia (find the original story here), from an article commissioned by Courier; reprinted with permission.

August 1, 2017—Seventy-seven-year-old Heinz Spahn—whose blue eyes are both twinkling and stern—vividly recalls his younger days. The Zollverein coal mine, where he worked in the area of Essen, Germany, was so clogged with coal dust, he remembers, that people would stir up a black cloud whenever they moved. “It was no pony farm,” he says—using the sardonic German phrase to describe the harsh conditions: The roar of machines was at a constant 110 decibels, and the men were nicknamed waschbar, or “raccoons,” for the black smudges that permanently adorned their faces. Continue reading “Germany’s Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World”

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Cuộc thi “Ý tưởng Sáng tạo Xanh trong môi trường Học tập và Làm việc”

Trung tâm Nghiên cứu Năng lượng Sạch và Phát triển Bền vững – CleanED thuộc khoa Năng Lượng, Đại học Việt – Pháp (USTH) phối hợp cùng WWF – Vietnam tổ chức cuộc thi “Ý tưởng Sáng tạo Xanh trong môi trường Học tập và Làm việc” với tổng giá trị giải thưởng lên tới 3400 USD.

Chúng tôi thân mời các cá nhân hoặc tập thể nhóm tới từ các trường trung học, đại học, các tổ chức phi chính phủ và các doanh nghiệp xã hội gửi tới chúng tôi những ý tưởng thú vị và sáng tạo nhất của mình về cách biến môi trường làm việc hoặc học tập xung quanh mình thêm thân thiện với môi trường. Chúng tôi hoan nghênh các ý tưởng ở tất cả các quy mô và phạm vi ứng dụng. Continue reading “Cuộc thi “Ý tưởng Sáng tạo Xanh trong môi trường Học tập và Làm việc””

The Climate – Justice – Cooperation Nexus: 10 Cornerstones of the Great Transformation towards Sustainability

IIASA

The challenge of our generation: Avert dangerous global warming – invest in social cohesion and wellbeing of people – build local, national, and transnational alliances for transformative change towards sustainability

1. We can reach the goals of the Paris Agreement – but ambitious action is needed now! Climate change is a threat to humanity. Irreversible Earth systems changes need to be avoided. This is a civilisational challenge which requires unprecedented joint action around the globe. We are under huge time pressure. Global CO2 emissions must decline to zero by mid-century in order to achieve the ambitious Paris goal, aimed at stabilising the global mean temperature well below 2 degrees C, and if possible at 1.5 degrees C. This translates into a stylised “carbon law”, whereby emissions must be halved every decade in analogy to the Moore’s law of semiconductors. We have the resources and the technology to achieve this, but do we have the political will and the resolve? Recent developments, such as the declaration by the US President to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, can be interpreted as a major setback. At the same time, they may inspire counter-movements, strengthening the determination to vigorously combat climate change. In particular, OECD countries and emerging economies should make commitments within the G 20 and within their national policies to ensure the achievement of global decarbonisation by the middle of the century. Continue reading “The Climate – Justice – Cooperation Nexus: 10 Cornerstones of the Great Transformation towards Sustainability”

The architecture of resilience

Published on Monday, 04 December 2017

View of Chandigarh High Court from Secretariat. Photo by Eduardo Guiot.
View of Chandigarh High Court from Secretariat. Photo by Eduardo Guiot.

ADB.org_Southern Meghalaya in far northeastern India is one of the wettest places on Earth, crisscrossed by fast-flowing rivers and mountain streams. Here bridges aren’t built – they’re grown, ensuring connectivity in a remote area.

Local tribes identified a species of Indian rubber tree with an incredibly strong root system that flourishes in this region. The roots of the ficus elastic grow on huge boulders along the riverbanks, or even in the middle of the rivers.

To make the roots grow in the right direction, local tribes use different techniques from simply pulling the roots to tying or twisting them, until over time the roots formed the desired architectural structure.

Root bridges, also used in Indonesia, are a great example of how green infrastructure can provide alternative solutions to deliver sustainable connectivity. The normal course in Meghalaya would have been a bridge, but that would have been difficult and expensive in such areas.

  Green infrastructure not yet core part of urban infrastructure planning

Unfortunately, this approach is the exception rather than the rule. Green infrastructure today falls short of being a part of urban infrastructure core planning and asset inventory. It lacks provisions for long-term maintenance and management, as is done for other essential services.

When I studied architecture and urban planning in Chandigarh, an Indian city designed in 1966 by the famous Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, I realized that cities are like people. They have interlinked systems with dependencies on nature – land, air, and water. Continue reading “The architecture of resilience”

World Bank – New research on development issues in Vietnam – Volume 9, number 23 (2017 December 6)

Download Full File here

Table of Content

Agriculture and Rural development

• Chapter 10 – How Agricultural Research for Development Can Make a Change: Assessing Livelihood Impacts in the Northwest Highlands of Vietnam. Continue reading “World Bank – New research on development issues in Vietnam – Volume 9, number 23 (2017 December 6)”

Conserving Forests Could Cut Carbon Emissions As Much As Getting Rid of Every Car on Earth

Globalforestwatch.org

By Susan MinnemeyerNancy Harris and Octavia Payne

Cantonal Hojancha was once a major cattle ranching region. Most of this area was cleared for pasture only 30 years ago. Now, many of the residents have moved into the service industry, and the pasture land has slowly converted back to forest. Photo by Aaron Minnick (World Resources Institute)

New analysis from The Nature Conservancy, WRI and others estimates that stopping deforestation, restoring forests and improving forestry practices could cost-effectively remove 7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, or as much as eliminating 1.5 billion cars—more than all of the cars in the world today!

In fact, forests are key to at least six of the study’s 20 “natural climate solutions,” which could collectively reduce 11.3 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. That’s as much as halting global oil consumption, and would get us one-third of the way toward limiting global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels — the threshold for avoiding catastrophic effects of climate change — by 2030.

Stopping Deforestation Offers the Biggest Benefit

Continue reading “Conserving Forests Could Cut Carbon Emissions As Much As Getting Rid of Every Car on Earth”

Global Tree Cover Loss Remains High. Emerging Patterns Reveal Shifting Contributors.

Global Forest Watch released new satellite-based data showing how forests around the world changed in the year 2015. The data, produced through the analysis of roughly a million satellite images by the University of Maryland and Google, measures the death or removal of trees at least 5 meters tall within 30×30 meter areas. This can capture any number of sustainable or unsustainable activities, from the clearing of natural forests to the harvest of tree plantations, but when analyzed appropriately with other contextual data and information can serve as a proxy for deforestation (typically defined as the permanent conversion of forest land for another use). Continue reading “Global Tree Cover Loss Remains High. Emerging Patterns Reveal Shifting Contributors.”

Give women greater role in industry to cut poverty, urges UN executive

Only about half of the world’s women are in the labour force compared to about 75 percent of men

By Belinda Goldsmith

Women need to be given a greater role in industries in poorer nations to meet the global goal of cutting poverty by 2030, the head of the United Nations industrial development agency said on Monday after being voted in for a second term.

Continue reading “Give women greater role in industry to cut poverty, urges UN executive”

Báo chí với mục tiêu phát triển bền vững

Chỉ trong 1 thập niên từ 2006-2016, trên toàn thế giới đã có gần 930 nhà báo bị giết trong khi đang tác nghiệp. Nhận thức được tầm quan trọng của vấn đề, Bộ Thông tin và Truyền thông Việt Nam đã hợp tác cùng UNESCO- tổ chức tiên phong thực hiện kế hoạch hành động của Liên hiệp quốc (LHQ) về An toàn nhà báo, từ việc xây dựng cơ chế và chính sách ở cấp quốc gia.

Hội nghị Báo chí với phát triển bền vững

Continue reading “Báo chí với mục tiêu phát triển bền vững”

Vietnam Sustainability Forum (VSF 2018), 18-19 January 2018, Hanoi, Vietnam

The Vietnam Sustainability Forum (VSF 2018) aims at providing an international exchange platform for various stakeholders including policymakers, academics, entrepreneurs, practitioners, and the NGOs to present, discuss and debate the worldwide visionary initiatives, practices, and trends for a harmonious society. Some sessions devote a particular focus on Vietnam with her uniqueness. Keynote speeches will be delivered during the plenary sessions by members of the Vietnamese Government to discuss on current Vietnam’s policies for a prosperous growth and internationally well-known economists to present a view on Sustainable Development. In addition, several workshops will be held on various topics. Dedicated time will be reserved for breaks and social events to facilitate discussions and networking between and among delegates.

The VSF 2018 is jointly organized by the Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts (AVSE Global) and the  Academy of Policy and Development (APD) under the patronage of the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam.

20 Award tickets for Excellent Local Vietnamese Students and Young Academics.
Please send your CV & motivation letter to vsf@a-vse.org

More information at http://www.vsf.a-vse.org/about-us/

Universities and students are revolutionalizing Sustainability

worldwatch_As leaders of knowledge and innovation, universities are places where sustainable futures are imagined. They are institutions where experts research emerging issues and generate new ideas. They contain multitudes of idealistic and adaptive young students who can be mobilized to protect their futures. It is only natural that some of the most progressive sustainability ideas are emerging from universities.

Universities around the world are striving to curb their wasteful tendencies as well as to foster an atmosphere that encourages environmental consciousness. Here are three areas of campus life that universities have sought to make greener:

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  1. Fostering sustainable lifestyles through transportation initiatives

One of the most pressing issues pertaining to environmental sustainability at universities is transportation. A 2011 study by Complete College America reports that 75 percent of all college students in the United States commute to campus, often traveling by car, bus, and other carbon-emitting vehicles. Overall, the transportation sector is one of the country’s highest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
Continue reading “Universities and students are revolutionalizing Sustainability”

World Bank – New research on development issues in Vietnam – Volume 9, number 22 (2017 November 17)

Download full file

Table of content

Agriculture and Rural development

• Farmers’ Perceptions of and Adaptations to Climate Change in Southeast Asia: The Case Study from Thailand and Vietnam.
• Flex crops or flex livelihoods? The story of a volatile commodity chain in upland northern Vietnam.
• The Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture: Findings from Households in Vietnam.
• Determinants of farmers’ adaptation to climate change in agricultural production in the central region of Vietnam. Continue reading “World Bank – New research on development issues in Vietnam – Volume 9, number 22 (2017 November 17)”

Vietnamese girl inspires Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg with bike tour startup

The 23-year-old entrepreneur puts women at the center of her travel startup

By Tuoi Tre News

November 11, 2017, 17:30 GMT+7

Vietnamese girl inspires Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg with bike tour startup 
Nguyen Thi Huong Lien (R) takes a photo with Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg in Da Nang, Vietnam, November 9, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A Vietnamese entrepreneur has inspired Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, by her vision to empower women with a startup company that offers city tours led by female bikers.

Nguyen Thi Huong Lien’s name was brought up by Sandberg as the executive addressed a crowd of thousands of world business leaders and diplomats at the APEC CEO Summit in Da Nang on Friday.

Lien was the founder of the ‘I Love Hue’ tour, which operates motorbike tours that introduce visitors to the Vietnamese lifestyle in and around Hue City in the central region. Continue reading “Vietnamese girl inspires Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg with bike tour startup”

Vietnam action agenda must focus on inclusion: APEC Secretariat

‘Growth should be more inclusive’

By Son Luong / Tuoi Tre News

November 8, 2017, 19:54 GMT+7

Vietnam action agenda must focus on inclusion: APEC Secretariat
Denis Hew, Director at APEC Secretariat Policy Support Unit (L) and Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, address a news conference in Da Nang, central Vietnam, November 7, 2017. Photo: Son Luong/Tuoi Tre News

Editor’s note: Denis Hew, Director of the APEC Secretariat Policy Support Unit, spoke to Tuoi Tre News on the challenges to be addressed at the ongoing 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Week in the central city of Da Nang. 

What are the topline points of the APEC summit most relevant to Vietnam? Continue reading “Vietnam action agenda must focus on inclusion: APEC Secretariat”

Vietnam premier highlights solutions for development at APEC business summit

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has underlined three key solutions for boosting Vietnam’s development

By Tuoi Tre News

November 8, 2017, 14:56 GMT+7

​Vietnam premier highlights solutions for development at APEC business summit
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc greets the attendees at the Vietnam Business Summit in the central city of Da Nang on November 7, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has underlined three key solutions for boosting Vietnam’s development during a business summit held in parallel with the ongoing 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) week.

The first Vietnam Business Summit (VBS) was organized in the central city of Da Nang on Tuesday with the attendance of Vietnamese government leaders and officials, representatives from prestigious international organizations, scholars and hundreds of business influencers from across the Asia-Pacific region. Continue reading “Vietnam premier highlights solutions for development at APEC business summit”