Green technology solutions


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Green technology solution framework for the 21st century

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  • Wik – Estreamining forest cover (km2), Annual Forest Loss (km2), Percent of 1970 cover remaining, total forest loss since 1970 (km2)
  • Green technology solutions

    1. 1. Green Movement for solving Climate Change in the 21st Century Robert Brooks
    2. 2. Why Needed? • Rapidly growing world population (est. 9 billion by end of century) • Exponential increase in greenhouse gas emissions (should not exceed 450 ppm), currently at 393 ppm • Natural disasters have increased fivefold since the 1970s • Many ecosystems have been degraded or exploited beyond limits • World has lost 50% of wetlands since 1900 • More land was converted to cropland in the 30 years after 1950 than in the period 1700-1850 • Forest area has shrunk by about 40% over the past 300 years
    3. 3. Cont’d • 25 countries have completely lost their forests and 29 countries have less than 10% forest cover • The current species extinction rate is about 1,000 times higher than the rates that prevailed over the planet’s history • The world has lost 50% of its mangrove forests since 1980 • Agriculture accounts for 70% of worldwide water use • Dams contain four times more water today than in 1960 • There is now from 3 to 6 times more water in reservoirs than in natural rivers
    4. 4. Amazon Deforestation 2010[4] 3,360,9 49 7,000 82.0% 739,051 2011[4] 3,354,7 11 6,238 81.8% 745,289
    5. 5. Energy Dilemma • 2005 – fossil fuels accounted for 85% of global energy mix, nuclear 6%, hydroelectricity 3%, biomass 4%; Modern renewables less than 1% • Global CO2 emissions have increased at an annual rate of more than 3% • Global emissions would need to be reduced by 50-80% by 2050 and turn negative in the second half of this century, in order to stabilize CO2 concentrations to 450 ppmv • 500 million richest people in the world (7% of population) responsible for half of all greenhouse emissions • Poorest 3.1 billion people are responsible for only 5-10% of the total
    6. 6. Food Security • Food prices climbing (corn, wheat, rice—doubling) • Tens of millions more into poverty • Reliance on biofuels (ethanol) • Rising demands • Shrinking in natural resources (land, water, biodiversity) • Land—over-cultivation, overgrazing, deforestation, and inadequate irrigation (climate change) • Overreliance on fertilizers, chemicals, and water which have had negative impacts environmentally • Emergence of large supermarket chains—displacing traditional wholesalers and small retail shops—due to strict quality standards
    7. 7. Human Harm from Natural Hazards • 1970s—69 natural disasters recorded worldwide every year; 2000s—average increased to 350 per year • Global warming major factor • Developing countries more vulnerable • Floods, storms, droughts, extreme temperatures • Function of the availability of water will the most immediate effect (developing countries) • Prevention of disasters through investing in sustainable development • Investment in adaptation (protection, retreat, and accommodation) must be urgent---global investment $32.6 to $163.1 bill in 2030
    8. 8. Sustainable (Green) Development • ‘Meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ • “[A]n attempt to stress environmental sustainability and protection while pursuing sustainable development” • “Enhancing economic growth, social progress and environmental stewardship can be seen as complementary strategic objectives”
    9. 9. Objectives • Reduction of resource and energy requirements • Substitution of renewable (sun, wind, rain) for non-renewable sources (coal, gas, oil) • Substitution of biodegradables (paper) for non- biodegradables (plastic) (urgent) • Reduction of waste (pollution) • Protection of biodiversity and ecosystems • All are interrelated
    10. 10. Green Development
    11. 11. Green Technology • Improved recycling and energy efficiency in buildings (thermal insulation and new materials), production processes (new uses of waste), agriculture (GM crops to mechanical irrigation and farming techniques), transport, urban design • Cleaner energy supply (wind, solar, geothermal, marine energy, biomass, hydropower), End-use (electric/hybrid cars), carbon capture and storage (CCS) • More climate-resistant products and processes (higher yield seeds), tools to understand and insure against climate risks with improved early-warning system processes (sea-walls, drainage capacity, forest and biodiversity management) • Wealth creation through more sustainable production of plants and livestock, more productive use of biodiversity (natural cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, ecotourism), and ecosystem protection
    12. 12. “Green Economy” • Approach to achieving sustainable development • Must break away from resource-intensive growth models • Reduce carbon emissions and pollution • Enhancing energy and resource efficiency • Preventing the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services • Develop efficient, clean and low environmental impact technologies • Maintenance and restoration of natural capital (land, soil, forests, freshwater, oceans, marine resources, flora, fauna) • Improving access to these resources also
    13. 13. Cont’d • Greening of infrastructure (buildings, energy and transport sectors) is urgent • Also greening of agriculture and industry (mining, extractive industries) is also crucial • Overall, desire is to improve human well-being and social equity • Fundamental shift in the way we think and act • Culture (sustainable tourism) • Project a vision of a greener as well as a fairer economy and society • 50%-80% GHG emissions of 2000 levels by 2050, negative by end of century
    14. 14. Helping the Poor • Maintains growth and reduces emissions • Generates revenue • Retains biodiversity and ecosystem services • Enhances energy and resource efficiency in the economy • Ensures resilience to environmental (and other) risks through developing adaptive capacities • Access the relevant knowledge, technologies and green markets • Improved off-grid, green energy sources • Creating green jobs (training)
    15. 15. Poor in Africa
    16. 16. What is needed? • According to the UN, 2-2.5% of currently world gross product (WGP) ($1.6 trillion) would need to be invested annually between now and 2050 in order to shift development onto a path of green growth • “Feasible to combine fast [economic] growth with environmental protection” • This assumes that green technologies (solar, wind, hydro) can be scaled up quickly and that their costs will not prove to be prohibitive • A major overhaul of existing production methods and consumption habits will be needed worldwide • Must be done very quickly (within the next four decades) due to the severity of the environmental crisis
    17. 17. Investing in Social Capital • Improving human well-being and equity are at the center of the green economy • Must build capacity in health, education, culture and employment • Should fulfill basic needs in food, housing and mobility • Protecting human rights (improve conditions of the poor, discrimination, transparency and accountability, civil and political rights, socioeconomic) • Healthy and green household energy in developing countries • Greening of health care facilities • Healthy housing • Health, agriculture, and the environment
    18. 18. Investing in Human Capital • Raise people out of poverty • Gender equality, poor, indigenous people, migrants, youth • Innovation in education is key—building knowledge, expertise, skills and values • Green employment opportunities (infrastructure, agriculture)
    19. 19. Regulation • Social norms, standards, and regulations • Regulatory frameworks for more sustainable production methods and goods • Regulations can help provide enabling conditions and incentives, establishing the required market signals and certainty for business to make investment decisions to deploy green technologies, accelerate green innovation and foster cleaner technology development and diffusion • International law including multilateral environmental agreements • Institutional strengthening and improved governance • International standards
    20. 20. Role of Government • They need to play a central role due to the fast pace needed to implement • Natural environment is a public good and consequently not ‘priced’ by the market • Need to promote extensive R&D and diffusion • Need to adjust, improve, or replace most of the existing infrastructure and other investments from brown, fossil-fuel based sources • Strong technology policies will be required, along with active industrial and educational policies for infrastructure and production • World’s poor also will need access to these resources as well
    21. 21. National Policies for Green Development • Active industrial policies are necessary for the adaptation and diffusion of green technologies • Policies should be designed to encourage interaction and knowledge-sharing among domestic and international firms, research institutes, universities, policymakers, and other actors • Others could encompass innovative sources of equity-linked financing and long-horizon green country funds • Competition with brown (fossil-fuel) based technologies • Uncertainty, externalities, public goods, lack of investment • Innovation process center of G-NIS (Green National Innovation System) • Education (Vocational Training)
    22. 22. International Cooperation • Foci of many of the green technologies are regarded as public goods • Green technology will affect atmosphere, oceans, open- capture fish stock, biodiversity and ecosystems • Through international trade and investment, incomes and consumption in one country are linked to the ecological footprints left by the countries of production • Cooperation must be stressed between developed and developing countries
    23. 23. Cont’d
    24. 24. Sustainable Trade and Green Markets • Trade—facilitates the opening of green markets for green goods and services • Will play a central role in the diffusion of green goods, services, technologies and production methods among countries • Can also stimulate economic growth and diversification to create jobs, raise income levels, improve living standards • Expands development of markets for green goods and services • Trading system needs to be open, rules-based and non- discriminatory
    25. 25. Cont‘d • Green economy must create green markets that can raise incomes and employment • Governments should provide fiscal incentives, price and investment support • Environmentally related taxation, green government procurement • Must reorient production, investment and infrastructure • More sustainable lifestyles and changes in consumption patterns
    26. 26. Cont’d
    27. 27. Innovation and Technology • Regulation and economic incentives are needed to complement innovation in the marketplace • Technological and social innovation are needed for a green economy transition • Technological innovation: product, process, organizational • Good governance • Level playing field, good business practices • Increased acceptance and market share need to be scaled up many-fold before green technology becomes the dominant regime
    28. 28. Cont’d
    29. 29. Indicators of Transformation • Integrated policy assessment framework (improved accounting systems) • Should organize thinking concerning different groups of indicators • Should draw on a range of existing frameworks and initiatives • Flexibility • Conceptual framework for a green economy: Green investments, jobs, and sectors; Decoupling Impacts and Resource Efficiency (environmental impacts of economic activity); Aggregate Indicators of progress and well-being • CO2 (Pollution) Levels • Overall, transformation must contribute to reducing poverty and enhancing social equality
    30. 30. Challenges • Financing—especially for developing countries • Can we implement green technology quick enough? • Are people willing to implement changes into their personal lives in order to change their personal lifestyles and habits? • Will government have the resources or the political will to make the changes necessary to stave off climate change? • Are private businesses willing to sacrifice profits to save the environment? • Are nations willing to join forces and put aside politics to fight global warming? • Is current or future technology good enough to ease the effects of global warming?
    31. 31. Conclusions • Green economy can be an innovative pathway to sustainable development • Must be people-centered and invest in both human and social capital • Requires the reorienting of public policies supported by improved IS for tracking and communicating progress • Major focus is the transformation of the prevailing energy and resource intensive economic structure • Shift of policy and investment towards greening infrastructure and emerging green economic sectors and also current brown economic sectors
    32. 32. Cont’d • Converge, align and integrate investments • Mainstreaming of sustainable development • Infrastructure is a good entry point toward a green economy transformation • Requires both a healthy, educated and informed workforce with green jobs skills and consumers with awareness of sustainable consumption • Much focus will be on innovation and entrepreneurship • Reorientation of public policy
    33. 33. Primary Source • World Economic and Social Survey 2011 (United Nations) • icy/wess/wess_current/2011wess.pdf