Current trends depict an irreversible momentum for a global energy transformation. Renewables have moved to the centre of the global energy landscape. Technological advances and falling costs have made renewables grow faster than any other energy source. Many renewable technologies are now cost-competitive with fossil fuels in the power sector, even before taking into account their contributions to the battles against air pollution and climate change. These trends are creating an irreversible momentum for a global energy transformation leading to shifts that will affect almost all countries and will have wide-ranging geopolitical consequences.
This report published by IRENA's Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Energy & Industry, and the German Federal Foreign Office looks into these developments from a foreign policy perspective.
This new report by the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency in collaboration with the Clingendael Institute and other Dutch research institutes points to pressure on security and migration arising from too little, too much or polluted water. Many integrated solutions are possible to divert this trend towards a sustainable and climate-resilient world.
Working with over 30 partners, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has recently launched the Resource Watch. The platform provides a wide array of data sets on various sustainability topics, ranging from food security to urban climate challenges.
"From Riches to Rags?" looks into the subject of stranded assets in the fossil fuel sector. Stranded assets are assets that lose value, or generate new liabilities, before they reach the end of their (planned) economic life. In this paper, assets primarily refer to fossil fuel resources (oil, gas and coal) that need to stay in the ground because otherwise the 2-degree target specified in the Paris Agreement would be jeopardised.
While research on climate change and urban violence are independently strong, few efforts have been made to understand the linkages between them. To date, there is little research or analysis on whether, where and how climate change adaptation and urban violence intersect and interact.
World-wide, cities are on the advance. Today, they host more than half of the world's population and every minute, their population grows by 140 people: 200,000 a day, 1.5 million a week. Cities have become so powerful that some even sign international agreement with nation states, conducting their own foreign policy. However, the scale and pace of current urbanization trends poses a threat to even the best managed cities.
This working paper by adelphi explores the new research field of city fragility and its links to climate change and migration.
At the Paris Climate Conference held in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the Paris Agreement – the first universal, legally binding global climate deal. The signatory parties committed themselves to a global action plan that aims to keep global warming to well below 2°C and to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C.
Forecasts of future climate conditions are fairly good, but forecasts of future socioeconomic conditions are another story. To get a sense of how climate change will impact society, many resort to simply layering future climate conditions on top of current socioeconomic conditions. That’s a mistake, write Wolfgang Lutz and Raya Muttarak in Nature Climate Change.
Cities are on the sharp end of a range of risks from criminal violence, terrorism and war to demographic pressures, to climate and environmental change. Coastal megacities are especially at risk given the specific impacts of climate change they face, including accelerated global sea-level rise, increased storm frequency and severity, and destruction to critical infrastructure such as port facilities, rail and road linkages, and energy installations, all of which are amplified as urban populations become ever larger.
A low-emission transition will require profound changes in terms of infrastructure, business models as well as individual habits. In order to support this process adelphi, WiseEuropa and the Institute for Sustainable Development launched a Polish-German discussion on the benefits of a low-emission economy for local development. The discussion paper draws on this exchange, and offers a basis for further reflection about selected benefits based on evidence from Germany and Poland.
At the Habitat III conference in Quito, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) launched, ‘Addressing Climate Change in National Urban Policy,’ a guide developed to assist all national urban policy stakeholders to better understand the intersection between national urban policy and climate change. While urbanization has brought great benefits and opportunities, cities are a major contributor to climate change.
The growing number and impact of extreme weather events has led to increasing awareness in the extractives industries of the potential negative impacts of climate change. The industry has started thinking about its own vulnerabilities and the risks climate change could pose. However, there has been little research and debate that takes a more comprehensive look at the links between climate change and mining. With the report Climate Change and Mining.
This volume is the second publication under the ASEAN-Canada Research Partnership project and builds on the project's first phase on economic inequality amid growth.
This report explores natural World Heritage sites, which, as large areas of habitat, play an important role in increasing resilience and providing vital protection against climate change impacts. Alarmingly, the report finds that almost half of these sites are currently threatened by operations such as mining, large-scale infrastructure or oil and gas exploration since too often short-term financial gain is favoured over long-term sustainable development.
This report focuses on energy-water conflicts which are linked to the coal industry's impact on current and future water demand. Published by Greenpeace International, the study features five case studies of water conflicts due to coal expansion and identifies regions in which already existing and planned coal plants will further aggravate water scarcity.