Please activate JavaScript!
Please install Adobe Flash Player, click here for download

2015-01_dc

38 D+C Vol.42.2015:1 The figures show that 33 megacities will emit around 10 % of additional greenhouse gases in the next 20 years. The good news, according to the Calde- rón-Stern Commission, is that some of those cities have already begun to de- couple economic growth from emissions growth. Evidence that this is possible is furnished by mid-sized cities in OECD countries such as Munich, Stockholm and Hiroshima. The downside is that per-capita emissions are currently quite high in these centres of prosperity (an average of 12 tonnes per person per year). However, in view of strong institu- tions and great economic capacities, low-carbon strategies are likely to prove particularly effective in these places. Relevant angles Three fundamental points the Calderón- Stern report makes are important: Its central chapter deals with the “eco- nomics of change”. In a more detailed, incisive and systematic fashion than ear- lier reports, it explains why the climate impacts of every business decision and political deliberation need to be scruti- nised. Climate and resource protection is not a supplemental task for policy­- making concerning economic affairs; like employment and competitiveness, it is a core issue. The transformation to a green economy cannot succeed unless this truth is appreciated – especially by emerging markets and developing coun- tries, where the infrastructures that are being built today will define economic life for decades. The report discusses vari­ous promising options. At the same time, the authors are certainly not critics of growth. Indeed, they call for a “frame- work for growth”. The international debate on the transfor- mation to a sustainable global economy has been driven by a number of compre- hensive reports in recent years. The five most important ones are briefly outlined below. In 2011, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published the report “Towards green growth”. The authors focus on innovation for green growth and are decidedly tech- no-optimistic. This report elaborates com- prehensive toolboxes for political inter- ventions, but it devotes only little attention to foreseeable implementation problems. The same year saw the publication of the UN Environment Programme’s “Towards a green economy”. This report discusses the links between green-growth strategies and poverty reduction. It pays consider- able attention to developing and emerg- ing countries. The document primarily assesses win-win options for growth, em- ployment and poverty reduction. It high- lights interesting options such as renew­ able-energy supply for rural Africa but, once again, pays too little attention to political obstacles to transformation. The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) took a stand in “World in transition” in 2011. The authors call for a social contract for a “great transforma- tion to sustainability”. To support that demand, their report offers social, eco- nomic, cultural and historical analyses: The publication points out what sectors need change (energy, urban agglomera- tions, land use) and outlines technology options. It is optimistic in regard to technology, but draws attention to political, societal and psychological hurdles. “Transformative policy packages” are considered for different kinds of coun- tries. The WBGU argues that the individual tools needed for transformation already exist. The challenge is to combine them in a way that the world economy becomes sustain- able within the tight time-frame, which requires vital decisions by the middle of this century. The most difficult thing will be transforming social, economic and political institutions. In terms of impact, the “Great Transformation” will be similar to the Neolithic and Industrial Revolutions. The “Global Energy Assessment” (GEA) was published in 2012 and is based on the work of the GEA Council, a group of promi­nent experts, who are coordinated by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxemburg, Austria. The study highlights technically and eco- nomically feasible options for reducing climate-relevant emissions radically. Key conclusions are: There is a wide range of ways to combine environment-friendly energy technolo- gies at national and supranational levels. Without carbon capture and storage – a controversial technology that is not fully developed yet – the rise in global average temperature can no longer be limited to 2° C. The use of biofuels is indispensable too. Completing the global transformation of the energy sector in time will require a substantial up-front investment equal to 1.5 % to 2.5 % of global economic output. Investment in energy efficiency is more important that investment in new infra- structures (see Stephan Opitz in D+C/ E+Z 2014/12 p. 477 ff.). The GEA report takes a detailed look at costs and finance but does not consider political, institutional and social dimen- sions. The World Bank’s report “Inclusive Green Growth” was also published in 2012. Like the UNEP report, it focuses on the inter- relatedness of climate protection and poverty reduction. It indicates win-win options but also discusses anticipated obstacles and resistance in a similar way as the WGBU document does. Remark- ably, the World Bank even considers envi- ronmentally harmful lifestyles and takes into account the behaviour of individ­ uals, groups and societies. (dm) Links: Global Energy Assessment: http://www.globalenergyassessment.org/ OECD: Towards green growth. http://www.oecd.org/greengrowth/towardsgreen- growth.htm UNEP: Towards a green economy. http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy/GreenEconomyRe- port WGBU: World in transition. http://www.wbgu.de/en/flagship-reports/fr-2011-a- social-contract/ World Bank: Inclusive green growth. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTSDNET/ Resources/Inclusive_Green_Growth_May_2012.pdf Ground-breaking reports

Seitenübersicht