21 countries decouple economic growth from emissions

21 countries from Austria to the United States have cut their greenhouse gases emissions while growing their economies in the past 15 years. This proves that decoupling economic growth and greenhouse gases emissions is feasible. 

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Our civilization is 98 percent energy inefficient

You know it if you have been reading this blog for some time : I am an energy efficiency nut. While less sexy than renewables, consuming energy more efficiently is just the most important part of our transition towards sustainability.

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Income inequalities : Oxfam has solutions

yacht-landscape-billion-oxfamLast week I wrote on how to both the United Nations and Oxfam, income inequalities are at an all time high and growing. If the UN shows that some trends are going in the right direction, this could end soon.

Too little people have too much money and vice versa. In the United States, the richest one percent owns 43 percent of the wealth of the country ( ! ). And this isn’t going to change unless we act.

Indeed, to the Seattle Times, ” The top 1 percent took more than one-fifth of the income earned by Americans, one of the highest levels since 1913, when the government instituted an income tax. “

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Is China growing too big to breathe ?

I really appreciate reading Thomas L Friedman’s articles in the New York Times. His latest piece – Too Big to Breathe? – just nails it on how putting economic growth before anything else is endangering us all. There the acclaimed author of Hot, Flat and Crowded writes about how Harbin – a 10-million inhabitants city in China … Read more

Turning trash to gold : global waste market to double

A landfill signAccording to a leading American bank, the global waste industry could double to $2 trillion by 2020. This is due to as Business Green notes to ” the combination of urbanisation, looming resource shortages and environmental regulation “

This takes into account municipal and industrial waste management, recycling, waste-to-energy and sustainable packaging. Europe is seen as facing the “toughest strategic challenges ” while Asia and Latin America see the fastest growth.

Opportunities are due to abound in waste management, waste to energy (WtE), wastewater and sewage and recycling among others.

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Chinese emissions are 20% higher than expected

Two different news regarding China hit the twitterverse on the same day last week. First, the bad one : The People’s Republic’s greenhouse gases emissions may have been underestimated by as much as 20 percent.

This huge difference – as much as the annual emissions of Japan, or 1.4 Gt of CO2 –  can be explained by the fact that there are ” inconsistencies of coal consumption between national and provincial statistics “

All this has a lot of repercussions for everyone as it makes climate change mitigation even harder than it was for both scientists and internatinonal negotiation. 

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Global collapse could occur by 2030

It seems the great Albert Einstein was right all along when he stated that “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” Indeed, according to Care2 :

In 1972, MIT researchers published “Limits to Growth.” In it, they used models to analyze economic data, and predicted that if civilization continued on its path toward increasing consumption, the global economy would collapse by 2030.

Forty years later, instead of seeming unlikely, the prophesies of this controversial study appear to be coming true, right on schedule.

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2050 and the consequences of inaction

” Humanity has witnessed unprecedented growth and prosperity in the past decades, with the size of the world economy more than tripling and population increasing by over 3 billion people since 1970. “ ” This growth, however, has been accompanied by environmental pollution and natural resource depletion. The current growth model and the mismanagement of … Read more

European cleantech sector kept growing in 2010

Here are two good news for the European Union and the cleantech sector.  First and foremost, wind and solar energies accounted for 68 percent of the increase in electricity capacity in 2010 in the European Union.

Second, according to the latest EurObserv’ER report, the local renewable energy sector has passed the one million job mark as 1.11 million people are employed in this sector within the 27 countries.

Still to the report, the share of renewables in the gross final energy consumption has increased by 0.9 point. Continuing such a trend would allow the Union to reach its 2020 goals.

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Sustainability is the only way out

I was really thinking about if I should share the latest World Bank prospects with you. To this most venerable agency, economic growth is due to be nearly flat lining globally this year. With less money for the traditional economy, isn’t it time to embrace sustainable alternatives ? Energy efficiency and renewables are growing faster … Read more

Prosperity without growth

Prosperity without growthFurther to the discussion I had with Kiashu in the previous post, I thought a recent post from the Oil Drum would be appropriate to continue our discussion on why it seems we have to consume always more and if there are alternatives.

A British organization wonders in it’s latest report if we can achieve prosperity without growth. This is an important question as economic growth is seen as the ultimate goal of our modern societies.

This paper is worth reading as it clearly shows the limits of our current thinking based on infinite growth in a finite world. My guess is that we will have to stop linear thinking and start circular.

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