International Environment Forum - A Bahá'í inspired organization for environment and sustainability https://iefworld.org/index.php/ en Join the discussion: Carbon Footprint – Do Our Individual Actions Matter? https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1164 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Join the discussion: Carbon Footprint – Do Our Individual Actions Matter?</span> <div class="field field--name-field-dates field--type-string-long field--label-inline clearfix"> <div class="field__label">Dates</div> <div class="field__item">2021 July 24</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">15. July 2021 - 12:48</span> Thu, 15 Jul 2021 09:48:09 +0000 admin 1164 at https://iefworld.org Technology, the Global Environmental Challenge and Democracy https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1166 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Technology, the Global Environmental Challenge and Democracy</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">25. July 2021 - 14:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Technology, the Global Environmental Challenge and Democracy</h2> <p>11 August 2021</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>On 11 August, IEF member Maja Groff will be moderating a discussion on <b>Technology, the Global Environmental Challenge and Democracy</b> co-organised by the <a href="https://globalgovernanceforum.org/">Global Governance Forum</a>, the Council of Europe, and the <a href="https://www.coe.int/en/web/world-forum-democracy/">World Forum for Democracy</a> (under the High Patronage of Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic). More information is available <a href="https://www.coe.int/en/web/world-forum-democracy/forum-talk-11-august-2021">here</a></p> <p>Confirmed speakers include:<br /> <b>Gavin McCormick</b>, Founder and Executive Director of WattTime and co-founder/partner of Gore's ClimateTrace project<br /> Stanford Academic <b>Herb Lin</b> for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, on technology and information ecosystem integrity<br /> <b>Tomer Shalit</b>, Founder and CEO of ClimateView which tracks and makes transparent climate goals<br /> <b>Amy Eaglestone</b>, Democracy-Building Expert and Policy Advisor to the Chair of the Dutch Climate Council<br /> <b>Soushiant Zanganehpour</b>, Founder, CEO at Swae.io on current tech for enhancing democratic decision-making<br /> and significant youth involvement</p> <p>The event at 16:30 to 18:00 CET will be livestreamed on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/WFDemocracy">World Forum for Democracy Facebook</a> website and Council of Europe Facebook page.</p> <p><img alt=" " data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/gr/2021AUGUST11democracy.png" style="width: 1080px; height: 1080px;" /></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 25 July 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Sun, 25 Jul 2021 11:01:01 +0000 admin 1166 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1166#comments Interfaith Indicators to Respond to COP26 https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1165 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Interfaith Indicators to Respond to COP26</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">21. July 2021 - 23:07</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Interfaith Indicators to Respond to COP26</h2> <p>Blog by Arthur Lyon Dahl on the<br /> <a href="https://www.g20interfaith.org/">G20 Interfaith Forum website</a><br /> 16 July 2021</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p><em>By Arthur Lyon Dahl – International Environment Forum, IF20 Environment Working Group.</em></p> <p>– – –</p> <p>Climate change is widely recognized, including by faith traditions and interfaith groups, as an existential threat to human wellbeing at a planetary scale. At the 26<sup>th</sup> Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the Framework Convention on Climate Change in November 2021, States are expected to ratchet up their Voluntary National Commitments to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, with the goal of keeping global heating well below 2°C and preferably approaching 1.5°C, which scientists say may keep damage from climate change to a manageable level.</p> <p><img alt=" " data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/gr/iStock-1209532058-512x300.jpg" style="width: 512px; height: 300px;" /></p> <p>Damage already occurring from extreme weather events, droughts, floods and sea level rise mostly impacts the poor who have little resilience, while it is our dependence on fossil fuel energy, and the excessive consumption and extravagant lifestyles of the affluent, that are the primary causes. This raises issues of climate justice where faith traditions have much to say about respect for nature, solidarity, generosity, human dignity, and simplicity in material needs.</p> <p>Unfortunately general appeals to ethical behaviour and climate justice are not easily translated into behaviour change, especially for those in affluent countries and cities inundated by the marketing pressures of a materialistic consumer society.</p> <p><strong>A Need for Indicators</strong></p> <p>We use indicators like body temperature to signal our state of health, and calorie intake to judge if we have a reasonable diet. At the national level, an indicator like GDP is unfortunately the most common measure of an economy, even though it has no correlation with human wellbeing.</p> <p>Given the urgency of a rapid response to the climate emergency—requiring a fundamental transformation in our energy systems, transportation, industries, food production, human habitats and all other factors of modern civilization—we need indicators of climate justice that will signal to everyone, rich and poor, urban and rural, North and South, East and West, of all faiths and no faith, what they need to change to move towards climate neutrality. These indicators will also help them measure their progress so that everyone can join in the necessary effort to reduce present suffering and to preserve a habitable planet for future generations.</p> <p><strong>Linking Climate Justice to Spiritual Values</strong></p> <p>Since faith communities can probably reach out to the largest percentage of the world population, indicators that would link actions for climate justice to core spiritual values and ethical principles could have special impact. Interfaith groups could collaborate on developing a set of indicators such as engaging for climate justice, actions to ensure a better world for youth, living a simple life, building community solidarity and resilience, gardening or planting trees, adopting a plant-based diet, discussing climate change with friends and family, and showing solidarity with the poor at home or abroad.</p> <p>One can imagine educational campaigns around relevant indicators such as: “Mohammed dressed simply and ate low on the food chain. Use these indicators to follow His example,” “The Pope, in <em>Laudato Si’</em>, calls for ‘moderation and the capacity to be happy with little’. Here are some indicators to see if you are living a Christian lifestyle,” “Bahá’u’lláh said we should ‘be content with little, and freed from all inordinate desire’. These indicators measure if you are following a spiritual path.”</p> <p><strong>A Time for Implementation</strong></p> <p>The adoption by countries of more ambitious goals at COP26 is critical, but so is implementing them, which will require broad public support and cooperation.</p> <p>Faith communities and interfaith organizations can do their part by identifying relevant indicators that add a spiritual motivation to the educational efforts of others, and thus contribute to the fundamental transformation in the economy and society necessary to respond to the climate crisis now threatening us around the world.</p> <p>– – –</p> <p><em>Arthur Lyon Dahl is President of the <a href="https://iefworld.org/">International Environment Forum</a>, and a retired Deputy Assistant Executive Director of the <a href="https://www.unep.org/">United Nations Environment Programme</a> (UNEP), with 50 years’ international experience in environment and sustainability. His most recent focus has been on global governance and UN reform.</em></p> <hr /> <p><small>Source: <a href="https://blog.g20interfaith.org/2021/07/16/interfaith-indicators-to-respond-to-cop26/">https://blog.g20interfaith.org/2021/07/16/interfaith-indicators-to-resp…</a></small></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 21 July 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Blog tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/267" hreflang="en">Climate change</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/310" hreflang="en">Indicators</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 21 Jul 2021 20:07:04 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1165 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1165#comments Leaves - July IEF newsletter is available https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/255 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Leaves - July IEF newsletter is available</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">15. July 2021 - 12:11</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Read on line: <a href="/newslt145"><strong><em>Leaves</em></strong> 23(7) July 2021</a> light text version with fewer illustrations.<br /> Download as a <a href="/fl/IEF_Leaves210715.pdf">pdf version</a> [2.7 mb].</p> <table background="/gr/BLEAF1.JPG" style="background-color: rgb(0, 153, 0); width: 100%; height: 55px; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"> <tbody> <tr> <td>&nbsp;</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Thu, 15 Jul 2021 09:11:08 +0000 admin 255 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/255#comments Environmentally Sustainable Bahá'í Properties https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1162 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Environmentally Sustainable Bahá&#039;í Properties</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">8. July 2021 - 19:21</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Environmentally Sustainable Bahá'í Properties</h2> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>The International Environment Forum is now making available a practical guide on <a href="/node/1161"><b>Environmentally Sustainable Bahá'í Properties</b></a> by Christine Muller, which includes spiritual reflections, scientific information and practical ideas on how to manage Bahá'í properties responsibly, including landscaping and the outdoors, buildings, and daily living practice. Bahá'í communities and institutions should be setting an example for how we can all contribute to the fundamental transition towards a just, environmentally-responsible and sustainable society in harmony with nature. The land and buildings that we own and manage can be part of this, and this guide will help. Please send successful examples and suggestions for improvements to <a href="mailto:ief@iefworld.org">ief@iefworld.org</a>.</p> <p>Click on the the name above, or download the <a href="/fl/Environmentally_Sustainable_Bahai_Properties.pdf">pdf</a>. This is also permanently accessible through the <a href="/useful.htm">Useful Materials</a> page.</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 8 July 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Thu, 08 Jul 2021 16:21:59 +0000 admin 1162 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1162#comments Well-being in Vanuatu https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1160 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Well-being in Vanuatu</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">8. July 2021 - 14:03</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/230" hreflang="en">Well-being</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Well-being in Vanuatu</h2> <p>Vanuatu National Statistics Office<br /> issues new report</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>One of the most enlightened countries in the world, Vanuatu in the South Pacific, has just published a new report <b>Well-being In Vanuatu</b>, a significant government attempt to redefine well-being, particularly in a Melanesian context. The report is the work of several years of planning, fieldwork, data processing and analysis by the Vanuatu National Statistics Office (VNSO) following the 2016 Mini Census. It attempts to look at well-being more holistically, framing it around topics of <b>happiness, access, knowledge, health, and social resilience</b>.</p> <p>This important initiative of Vanuatu to establish and mainstream indicators of well-being that incorporate Melanesian values into the policy arena deserves to be known more widely. Some of the indicators developed in the <a href="https://vnso.gov.vu/index.php/en/special-reports/well-being-survey">pilot study from 2010-2012</a> have become key monitoring and evaluation indicators for the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP), securing their collection through 2030.</p> <p>The report was launched on 7 July 2021, creating opportunities for communicating information effectively back to the rightful owners - the people of Vanuatu, requiring creative outreach approaches in the near future. Additional information, technical documentation, analysis and resources from the 2019-2020 NSDP Baseline Survey can be found on the VNSO website at: <a href="https://vnso.gov.vu/index.php/en/nsdp-baseline-survey">https://vnso.gov.vu/index.php/en/nsdp-baseline-survey</a>.</p> <p>The VNSO is establishing methods and standards for well-being data collection in Vanuatu. It has now created a position of statistician responsible for the culture and justice sectors in its Social and Environment Statistics Unit. It is also supporting the good work of the Vanuatu Indigenous Land Defense Desk (VILDD) and its Well-being Officer, whose outreach keeps dialogue on emerging issues in Vanuatu communities focused and rooted in cultural values. The VNSO is working to support the data management needs of the culture sector in particular, towards a cultural information management system that meets the needs of those that are tasked with preserving and promoting cultural diversity and the arts, as well as those with functions that require reporting against national and even international goals.</p> <p>Many indicators that are now prominent in the Vanuatu development framework are relatable across the Pacific and may be relevant in other countries with strong traditions and indigenous cultures. If the work Vanuatu is doing can help influence other countries to be more concerned with the well-being of their people rather than focused on endless GDP growth, that is the future we want to see, with balanced and well-being centered governance and development.</p> <p>You can download the full report at: <a href="https://vnso.gov.vu/images/Pictures/NSDP_Baseline/Analysis/Wellbeing_Report_2019-2020.pdf">https://vnso.gov.vu/images/Pictures/NSDP_Baseline/Analysis/Wellbeing_Re…</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>Based on a message from Mr. Jamie Tanguay, author of the report and Project Coordinator for Melanesian Well-being Indicators, Vanuatu National Statistics Office. See also <a href="/node/1123">"Reweaving the Ecological Mat"</a>.</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 8 July 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Thu, 08 Jul 2021 11:03:50 +0000 admin 1160 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1160#comments Sustainable and Just Economies https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1159 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Sustainable and Just Economies</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">6. July 2021 - 23:00</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/135" hreflang="en">Economy</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Sustainable and Just Economies</h2> <p>Joachim Monkelbaan<br /> for UN Research Institute for Social Development<br /> 28 May 2021</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>The UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on 6-16 July 2021 is charged with reviewing progress on the 2030 Agenda and it Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition to the formal sessions, there are a large number of side events on related topics.</p> <p>One of the first side events on 6 July was on "From Science to Practice: Harnessing Research to Build Forward Better" organized by the UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and other partners.</p> <p>One of the first reports presented was by IEF member Dr. Joachim Monkelbaan on "<b>Sustainable and Just Economies</b>".</p> <p>Scientific research can make a critical contribution to addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As part of an effort to improve processes of research uptake in policy making, this report synthesizes research submitted by Geneva-based institutions and their global networks to the project <i>From Science to Practice: Research and Knowledge to Achieve the SDGs</i> on the theme of sustainable and just economies.</p> <p>The report considers how to build sustainable and just economies — economies that promote growth along with an equitable distribution of benefits to the whole population, and which preserve rather than profit off of the natural environment. It includes recent findings on how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting and, in many cases, exacerbating the challenge of building fairer economies. The report then presents some pathways towards achieving the SDGs that link to and reflect discussions within the research community. Four examples are proposed from International Geneva, of possible spaces for action to maximize synergies in addressing the SDGs: the role of trade and technology; systems thinking; the circular economy; and strengthening the science-practice interface. The report concludes by highlighting the need for a holistic approach towards addressing the topic of sustainable and just economies under the SDGs, one that recognizes the complexity and interdependence of the global challenges to which the Goals are responding.</p> <p>About the Author:<br /> Joachim Monkelbaan is Representative for Sustainable and Just Economic Systems at the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) in Geneva.</p> <p>The paper is available <a href="https://www.unrisd.org/80256B3C005BCCF9/(LookupAllDocumentsByUNID)/3BAB930AC8CCB0F2802586E3002BA068">HERE</a><br /> ISBN: 978 92 9085 122 6</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 6 July 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Tue, 06 Jul 2021 20:00:29 +0000 admin 1159 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1159#comments Letter to G20 Finance Ministers on Taxation https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1158 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Letter to G20 Finance Ministers on Taxation</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">5. July 2021 - 19:18</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Letter to G20 Finance Ministers on Taxation</h2> <p>from World Council of Churches and other Christian organizations<br /> 5 July 2021</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>The World Council of Churches, together with several other protestant church organizations representing half a billion Christians, have issued a letter on 5 July to the G20 Finance Ministers International Taxation Symposium on 9 July in Venice, Italy, calling for a more just global system of taxation. Excerpts from the letter follow. The full letter can be seen at <a href="https://www.oikoumene.org/resources/documents/wcc/wcrc/cwm/lwf/wmc-letter-to-g20-finance-ministers-july-2021">https://www.oikoumene.org/resources/documents/wcc/wcrc/cwm/lwf/wmc-lett…</a>.</p> <p>"More than a year since the World Health Organisation declared it a pandemic, COVID-19 is still raging, particularly in the developing world where hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost and tens of millions more forced into destitution. The current situation continues to require strong social protection measures in all countries to ensure that the poor and vulnerable are able to weather the crisis’ unprecedented health and economic consequences.</p> <p>"The pandemic has revealed once again the importance of people’s access to essential health care and basic income security throughout their lives. To date rich countries have spent 35.6 percent of their GDPs on responding to the health emergency and supporting employment and businesses. In contrast, low-income countries were only able to expend a meagre 6 percent of their GDPs on fighting the pandemic and are even now struggling to meet the demands of protecting their citizens. In particular, resources to initiate and accelerate life-saving vaccination programmes are sorely lacking.</p> <p>"As the most sustainable source of revenue, tax systems have a pivotal role to play in bolstering social sector initiatives and financing the recovery from the crisis. No doubt the impact of the crisis on many countries’ fiscal health will be significant and long-lasting but robust and transparent tax systems offer a pathway out of deficit and debt to a more equitable and sustainable future.</p> <p>"We acknowledge recent efforts by the international community at tax reform, not least the G7 proposal for a 15% global corporate minimum tax. Despite its characterisation of historical significance, the proposal is underwhelming. It is much lower than the 25% rate called for by the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT) and is unfair for poor countries that do not house headquarters of multinational corporations (MNCs). Much more must be done.</p> <p>"The endemic injustices of global poverty, racial inequity, health inequality and climate change are rooted in the legacies of colonial exploitation and resource extraction, and call for systemic change. Our organisations view the system-wide overhaul of the tax architecture as an indispensable element in resourcing reparation and restoration.</p> <p>"The pandemic shows us people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake, at a time when the life of the earth is also under threat. Not only is tax justice at the heart of any recovery plan, it is crucial for mitigating widening inequality and stepping up to the challenges posed by a rapidly warming climate.</p> <p>"We therefore reiterate the following calls as part of the ecumenical Zacchaeus Tax campaign:</p> <p>• Enactment of progressive wealth taxes at global and national levels to curb the growing concentration of wealth hand-in-hand with increased public spending to stamp out poverty.<br /> • A stop to tax evasion and avoidance by MNCs and affluent individuals. Developing unitary methods of corporate taxation to ensure that MNCs pay taxes where economic activities occur, closing tax havens, publishing country-by-country reports of profits and establishing a United Nations commission for tax cooperation can build a fairer and more transparent system of corporate taxation.<br /> • Progressive carbon and pollution taxes at different levels to restrain harmful emissions and raise revenues for investment in renewable energy as well as for meeting the costs of climate change mitigation and adaptation and reparations for climate-related loss and damage in income-poor and vulnerable countries.<br /> • Implementation of a financial transaction tax on trade in equities, bonds, currencies and derivatives to curb harmful speculative activities. Proceeds would be allocated towards global public goods and the protection of our ecosystems, as well as towards reparations for slavery and other historical injustices.</p> <p>"Moreover, we call for a COVID-19 windfall tax or excess profit tax on the super-wealthy, equity and hedge funds, and multinational, e-commerce, and digital corporations that are realising even greater returns during pandemic times. Those that are benefitting from the crisis ought to shoulder the bulk of the financial burden to pay for the recovery."</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 5 July 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Mon, 05 Jul 2021 16:18:22 +0000 admin 1158 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1158#comments Start Living Now to Embrace the Next Economy https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1148 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Start Living Now to Embrace the Next Economy</span> <div class="field field--name-field-dates field--type-string-long field--label-inline clearfix"> <div class="field__label">Dates</div> <div class="field__item">2021 June 27</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">15. June 2021 - 16:18</span> Tue, 15 Jun 2021 13:18:44 +0000 admin 1148 at https://iefworld.org Our Planet, Our Future https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1154 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Our Planet, Our Future</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">8. June 2021 - 19:41</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Our Planet, Our Future</h2> <p>Nobel Laureates Urgent Call for Action<br /> 29 April 2021</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>This statement was inspired by the discussions at the 2021 Nobel Prize Summit, issued by the Steering Committee and co-signed by Nobel Laureates and experts.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Preamble</h3> <p>The Nobel Prizes were created to honor advances of “the greatest benefit to humankind.” They celebrate successes that have helped build a safe, prosperous, and peaceful world, the foundation of which is scientific reason.</p> <p><i>“Science is at the base of all the progress that lightens the burden of life and lessens its suffering.”</i> Marie Curie (Nobel Laureate 1903 and 1911)</p> <p>Science is a global common good on a quest for truth, knowledge, and innovation toward a better life. Now, humankind faces new challenges at unprecedented scale. The first Nobel Prize Summit comes amid a global pandemic, amid a crisis of inequality, amid an ecological crisis, amid a climate crisis, and amid an information crisis. These supranational crises are interlinked and threaten the enormous gains we have made in human progress. It is particularly concerning that the parts of the world projected to experience many of the compounding negative effects from global changes are also home to many of the world’s poorest communities, and to indigenous peoples. The summit also comes amid unprecedented urbanization rates and on the cusp of technological disruption from digitalization, artificial intelligence, ubiquitous sensing and biotechnology and nanotechnology that may transform all aspects of our lives in coming decades.</p> <p><i>“We have never had to deal with problems of the scale facing today’s globally interconnected society. No one knows for sure what will work, so it is important to build a system that can evolve and adapt rapidly.”</i> Elinor Ostrom (Nobel Laureate 2009)</p> <p>The summit has been convened to promote a transformation to global sustainability for human prosperity and equity. Time is the natural resource in shortest supply. The next decade is crucial: Global greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut by half and destruction of nature halted and reversed. An essential foundation for this transformation is to address destabilizing inequalities in the world. Without transformational action this decade, humanity is taking colossal risks with our common future. Societies risk large-scale, irreversible changes to Earth’s biosphere and our lives as part of it.</p> <p><i>“A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.”</i> Albert Einstein (Nobel Laureate 1921)</p> <p>We need to reinvent our relationship with planet Earth. The future of all life on this planet, humans and our societies included, requires us to become effective stewards of the global commons — the climate, ice, land, ocean, freshwater, forests, soils, and rich diversity of life that regulate the state of the planet, and combine to create a unique and harmonious life-support system. There is now an existential need to build economies and societies that support Earth system harmony rather than disrupt it.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Our Planet</h3> <p><i>“It seems appropriate to assign the term ‘Anthropocene’ to the present.”</i> Paul Crutzen (Nobel Laureate 1995)</p> <p>Geologists call the last 12,000 years the Holocene epoch. A remarkable feature of this period has been relative Earth-system stability. But the stability of the Holocene is behind us now. Human societies are now the prime driver of change in Earth’s living sphere — the biosphere. The fate of the biosphere and human societies embedded within it is now deeply intertwined and evolving together. Earth has entered a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. Evidence points to the 1950s as the onset of the Anthropocene — a single human lifetime ago. The Anthropocene epoch is more likely to be characterized by speed, scale, and shock at global levels.</p> <h4 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Planetary health</h4> <p>The health of nature, our planet, and people is tightly connected. Pandemic risk is one of many global health risks in the Anthropocene. The risks of pandemics are now greater due to destruction of natural habitats, highly networked societies, and misinformation.</p> <p>The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest global shock since the Second World War. It has caused immense suffering and hardship. The scientific response in the face of catastrophe, from detection to vaccine development, has been robust and effective. There is much to applaud. However, there have been clear failings. The poorest and most marginalized in societies remain the most vulnerable. The scale of this catastrophe could have been greatly reduced through preventive measures, greater openness, early detection systems, and faster emergency responses.</p> <p>Reducing risk of zoonotic disease like COVID-19 requires a multi-pronged approach recognizing “one health” — the intimate connections between human health and the health of other animals and the environment. Rapid urbanization, agricultural intensification, overexploitation, and habitat loss of large wildlife all promote the abundance of small mammals, such as rodents. Additionally, these land-use changes lead animals to shift their activities from natural ecosystems to farmlands, urban parks, and other human-dominated areas, greatly increasing contact with people and the risk of disease transmission.</p> <h4 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">The global commons</h4> <p>Global heating and habitat loss amount to nothing less than a vast and uncontrolled experiment on Earth’s life-support system. Multiple lines of evidence now show that, for the first time in our existence, our actions are destabilizing critical parts of the Earth system that determine the state of the planet.</p> <p>For 3 million years, global mean temperature increases have not exceeded 2°C of global warming, yet that is what is in prospect within this century. We are on a path that has taken us to 1.2°C warming so far — the warmest temperature on Earth since we left the last ice age some 20,000 years ago, and which will take us to &gt;3°C warming in 80 years.</p> <p>At the same time, we are losing Earth resilience, having transformed half of Earth’s land outside of the ice sheets, largely through farming expansion. Of an estimated 8 million species on Earth, about 1 million are under threat. Since the 1970s, there has been an estimated 68% decline in the populations of vertebrate species.</p> <h4 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Inequality</h4> <p><i>“The only sustainable prosperity is shared prosperity.”</i> Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Laureate 2001)</p> <p>While all in societies contribute to economic growth, the wealthy in most societies disproportionately take the largest share of this growing wealth. This trend has become more pronounced in recent decades. In highly unequal societies, with wide disparities in areas such as health care and education, the poorest are more likely to remain trapped in poverty across several generations.</p> <p>More equal societies tend to score highly on metrics of well-being and happiness. Reducing inequality raises social capital. There is a greater sense of community and more trust in government. These factors make it easier to make collective, long-term decisions. Humanity’s future depends on the ability to make long-term, collective decisions to navigate the Anthropocene.</p> <p>The COVID-19 pandemic, the largest economic calamity since the Great Depression, is expected to worsen inequality at a moment when inequality is having a clear destabilizing political impact in many countries. Climate change is expected to further exacerbate inequality. Already, the poorest, often living in vulnerable communities, are hit hardest by the impacts of climate, and live with the damaging health impacts of energy systems, for example air pollution. Furthermore, although urbanization has brought many societal benefits, it is also exacerbating existing, and creating new, inequities.</p> <p>It is an inescapable conclusion that inequality and global sustainability challenges are deeply linked. Reducing inequality will positively impact collective decision-making.</p> <h4 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Technology</h4> <p>The accelerating technological revolution — including information technology, artificial intelligence, and synthetic biology — will impact inequality, jobs, and entire economies, with disruptive consequences. On aggregate, technological advancements so far have accelerated us down the path toward destabilizing the planet. Without guidance, technological evolution is unlikely to lead to transformations toward sustainability. It will be critical to guide the technological revolution deliberately and strategically in the coming decades to support societal goals.</p> <h4 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Acknowledging urgency and embracing complexity</h4> <p>The future habitability of Earth for human societies depends on the collective actions humanity takes now. There is rising evidence that this is a decisive decade (2020-2030). Loss of nature must be stopped and deep inequality counteracted. Global emissions of greenhouse gases need to be cut by half in the decade of 2021-2030. This alone requires collective governance of the global commons — all the living and non-living systems on Earth that societies use but that also regulate the state of the planet — for the sake of all people in the future.</p> <p>On top of the urgency, we must embrace complexity. Humanity faces rising network risks and cascading risks as human and technological networks grow. The 2020/2021 pandemic was a health shock that quickly cascaded into economic shocks. We must recognize that surprise is the new normal and manage for complexity and emergent behavior.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Our Future</h3> <h4 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">A decade of action</h4> <p>Time is running out to prevent irreversible changes. Ice sheets are approaching tipping points — parts of the Antarctic ice sheet may have already crossed irreversible tipping points. The circulation of heat in the North Atlantic is unequivocally slowing down due to accelerated ice melt. This may further affect monsoons and the stability of major parts of Antarctica. Rainforests, permafrost, and coral reefs are also approaching tipping points. The remaining carbon budget for a 67% probability of not exceeding 1.5°C global warming will be exhausted before 2030. At the same time, every week until 2050, the urban population will increase by about 1.3 million, requiring new buildings and roads, water and sanitation facilities, and energy and transport systems. The construction and operation of these infrastructure projects will be energy and emissions intensive unless major changes are made in how they are designed and implemented.</p> <p>In 2021, major summits will generate political and societal momentum for action on climate, biodiversity, food systems, desertification, and the ocean. In 2022, the Stockholm+50 event marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Summit. This is an important opportunity to reflect on progress to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), due to be completed by 2030. Yet a disconnect exists between the urgency indicated by the empirical evidence and the response from electoral politics: The world is turning too slowly.</p> <h4 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Planetary stewardship</h4> <p><i>“We must break down the walls that have previously kept science and the public apart and that have encouraged distrust and ignorance to spread unchecked. If anything prevents human beings from rising to the current challenge, it will be these barriers.”</i> Jennifer Doudna (Nobel Laureate 2020)</p> <p>Effective planetary stewardship requires updating our Holocene mindset. We must act on the urgency, the scale, and the interconnectivity between us and our home, planet Earth. More than anything, planetary stewardship will be facilitated by enhancing social capital — building trust within societies and between societies.</p> <p>Is a new worldview possible? 193 nations have adopted the SDGs. The global pandemic has contributed to a broader recognition of global interconnectivity, fragility, and risk. Where they possess the economic power to do so, more people are increasingly making more sustainable choices regarding transportation, consumption, and energy. They are often ahead of their governments. And increasingly, the sustainable options, for example solar and wind power, are similar in price to fossil fuel alternatives or cheaper — and getting cheaper.</p> <p>The question at a global systems level today is not whether humanity will transition away from fossil fuels. The question is: Will we do it fast enough? Solutions, from electric mobility to zero-carbon energy carriers and sustainable food systems, are today often following exponential curves of advancement and adoption. How do we lock this in? The following seven proposals provide a foundation for effective planetary stewardship.</p> <p>• POLICY: Complement GDP as a metric of economic success with measures of true well-being of people and nature. Recognize that increasing disparities between rich and poor feed resentment and distrust, undermining the social contract necessary for difficult, long-term collective decision-making. Recognize that the deteriorating resilience of ecosystems undermines the future of humanity on Earth.<br /> • MISSION-DRIVEN INNOVATION: Economic dynamism is needed for rapid transformation. Governments have been at the forefront of funding transformational innovation in the last 100 years. The scale of today’s challenges will require large-scale collaboration between researchers, government, and business — with a focus on global sustainability.<br /> • EDUCATION: Education at all ages should include a strong emphasis on the nature of evidence, the scientific method, and scientific consensus to ensure future populations have the grounding necessary to drive political and economic change. Universities should embed concepts of planetary stewardship in all curricula as a matter of urgency. In a transformative, turbulent century, we should invest in life-long learning, and fact-based worldviews.<br /> • INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Special interest groups and highly partisan media can amplify misinformation and accelerate its spread through social media and other digital means of communication. In this way, these technologies can be deployed to frustrate a common purpose and erode public trust. Societies must urgently act to counter the industrialization of misinformation and find ways to enhance global communication systems in the service of sustainable futures.<br /> • FINANCE AND BUSINESS: Investors and companies must adopt principles of recirculation and regeneration of materials and apply science-based targets for all global commons and essential ecosystem services. Economic, environmental, and social externalities should be fairly priced.<br /> • SCIENTIFIC COLLABORATION: Greater investment is needed in international networks of scientific institutions to allow sustained collaboration on interdisciplinary science for global sustainability as well as transdisciplinary science that integrates diverse knowledge systems, including local, indigenous, and traditional knowledge.<br /> • KNOWLEDGE: The pandemic has demonstrated the value of basic research to policymakers and the public. Commitment to sustained investment in basic research is essential. In addition, we must develop new business models for the free sharing of all scientific knowledge.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Conclusion</h3> <p>Global sustainability offers the only viable path to human safety, equity, health, and progress. Humanity is waking up late to the challenges and opportunities of active planetary stewardship. But we are waking up. Long-term, scientifically based decision-making is always at a disadvantage in the contest with the needs of the present. Politicians and scientists must work together to bridge the divide between expert evidence, short-term politics, and the survival of all life on this planet in the Anthropocene epoch. The long-term potential of humanity depends upon our ability today to value our common future. Ultimately, this means valuing the resilience of societies and the resilience of Earth’s biosphere.</p> <hr /> <p><small>Source: <a href="https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2021/04/nobel-prize-laureates-and-other-experts-issue-urgent-call-for-action-after-our-planet-our-future-summit">https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2021/04/nobel-prize-laureates-an…</a></small></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 8 June 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Tue, 08 Jun 2021 16:41:36 +0000 admin 1154 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1154#comments