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Newsletter - 01/2009
Dear Friends! 02/02/2009
‘’Visions, Values, and Action” was the motto of the World Future Council’s first main event of 2009. Three distinguished WFC Councillors participated as experts in this international youth future forum in Bad Honnef near Bonn, Germany.
As a forerunner to the upcoming UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, the forum aimed at giving young adults from all over the world a chance to discuss the sustainable development challenges facing educational systems with leading scientists, authors and practitioners. The results were summarised in a video appeal to be presented at the March UNESCO conference in Bonn.

The WFC was glad to contribute because the motto “Vision, Values, and Action” also represents the core ideals of the Council. The motto is also reflected in this newsletter’s lead articles: Councillor HRH Prince El Hassan Bin Talal's call for a quantum leap on peace in the Israeli Palestinian conflict and Executive Committee Deputy Vice Chair David Krieger’s commentary on the Obama elections.

Vision, values and action will continue to be reflected in the diverse tasks before the WFC in 2009. We thank you for your interest and continued support.

With best regards from the Board of Directors and Secretariat,

Alexandra Wandel
WFC Development Director

Content
Commission Briefs >
Notes from the Council >
Upcoming Events >
Recent Events >
Donor Information >
Media >

Introducing...

Councillor HRH Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan

Gaza: A Desperate Need for Visions
The Israel-Palestine conflict is a tale of missed opportunities and broken promises...

To read the complete commentary, click here.

     
Commission Briefs
Climate and Energy
January 26, 2009: WFC welcomes Founding of International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA in Bonn
On January 26 the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was founded in Bonn. Chair of the WFC Executive Committee (EC) Bianca Jagger, EC member Hermann Scheer, and WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull attended the conference, together with some 400 other representatives from 125 countries. The WFC has actively supported IRENA’s creation to help accelerate the implementation of renewable energies worldwide. As Bianca Jagger says, "IRENA will constitute an independent driving force behind renewable energy and help to create a level playing field for the development of renewables in the Global South.” Hermann Scheer is the spiritus rector of IRENA and has been lobbying for the agency as president of the European Association for Renewable Energy (EUROSOLAR) since 1990 – successfully: 75 states have signed the founding treaty already. Read the press release here.
German Federal Minister for the Environment Sigmar Gabriel during the IRENA founding conference at the World Conference Center in Bonn
   
Notes from the Council
David Krieger, WFC Deputy-Chair, Executive Committee:

Barack Obama: Intelligence, Compassion and Hope



I am writing on the day of President Obama’s inauguration, what some are calling “Liberation Day.” I was particularly enthusiastic when the new President said in his inaugural address, “As to our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” At that moment, the television camera focused on George W. Bush, the forlorn former president who so many are relieved to see leave office. President Obama brings to his new responsibilities intelligence, compassion and hope, qualities that have been notably lacking in US leadership for the past eight years. While it is nearly impossible to predict where the world will be a year from now or what the new president will succeed in accomplishing, there is a strong sense that the Bush administration brought us to a low point and the future will be far brighter. On the issues of my greatest concern, peace and nuclear disarmament, the future holds promise. President Obama gives all indications of being a man of peace, one who will not misuse the military or engage in senseless and trumped up wars. He has also promised to “work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat.” With President Obama having assumed office and Bush and Cheney leaving the national scene, it feels to me and a vast majority of Americans that the promise of America has been returned to us.
To learn about all current councillor activities, click here.
 
Future Finance
Future Finance Commission takes off
In the face of the intensifying financial and economic crises, the WFC is focusing on establishing its planned Future Finance Commission as soon as possible. Preceding the G20 meeting in London in April, the Commission will issue its first policy proposals for a new sustainable and just economic and financial system. The current global system has evidently failed, destroying many millions of jobs, increasing poverty and undermining social and economic justice. But the crisis is also a window of opportunity for radical change. The Commission will meet in March in Egypt at the invitation of Councillor Ibrahim Abouleish. The goal is to identify core principles for the finance and banking systems that make money our servant, not our master and support rather than undermine the dignity and well-being of humankind.
Councillor Ibrahim
Abouleish, member of the
Economics Commission
Top upcoming WFC Events
February 3, 2009:
Effective Renewable Energy Policies: Stimulating Job Creation, Long Term Investments, and Improving Energy Security

On February 3, the WFC will co-sponsor a renewable energies conference in Tallahassee, Florida. The WFC will give a workshop on Feed-In Tariffs (Renewable Energy Payments).
Read more and register here.
March 11, 2009:
The World Future Council: From Hamburg around the Globe

On the eve of the WFC’s second anniversary in May, WFC Board of Directors member Alexandra Wandel will assess past achievements and introduce future projects at St. Petri church in Hamburg. She will also discuss the WFC’s mission and vision in light of global challenges ranging from the financial crisis to climate change.
The World Future Council
To read about all upcoming WFC-events, click here. To learn more about the WFC and WFC projects, visit our website at www.worldfuturecouncil.org
Top WFC Events in December and January
WFC Chair Bianca Jagger, WFC representative Helmy Abouleish and policy officer Bianca Barth
December 1- 12, 2008:
UN Climate Talks, Poznan, Poland

During the preparatory conference for the decisive post-Kyoto negotiations in Copenhagen in December, WFC Chair Bianca Jagger, WFC representative Helmy Abouleish, Climate and Energy Director Stefan Schurig and Policy Officer Bianca Barth hosted a side event on renewables and new green jobs and participated in a number of other events to spearhead the WFC position.
To read more about the results of the UN conference, and the WFC outlook regarding the Road to Copenhagen in View of the Global Financial Crisis, click here.
To view an interview with WFC Chair Bianca Jagger, click here.
January 14, 2009:
New WFC Future Finance Commission Coordinator outlines WFC Position during Koerber-Foundation Lunch Event

Addressing an audience of about 160 at the Koerber Foundation Hamburg HabourCity headquarters, finance expert Stefan Biskamp outlined possible WFC measures to tackle the detrimental impact of the current world financial system on security in the areas of climate, energy, and food. His proposals include banning hedge funds and transferring major banks and rating agencies into public ownership.
Stefan Biskamp is former deputy editor-in-chief of the leading German economics magazine “Wirtschaftswoche” and joined the WFC on January 1st.
Commission Coordinator Stefan Biskamp
WFC Director of Programmes Herbert Girardet
January 19-21, 2009:
WFC calls for 100% Renewables at World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi

At the world’s biggest energy conference with more than 16,000 participants from 79 countries, the WFC was represented by Executive Committee member Hermann Scheer, Director of Programmes Herbert Girardet, and Director of Climate & Energy Stefan Schurig. Both Hermann Scheer and Herbert Girardet gave keynote speeches in a central plenary session on World Future Energy Policy and Strategy. Girardet stressed the need for a complete switch to renewable energy and called on the international community to make this a top priority. “That is the only chance we have to win the race against time and avoid the worst consequences of climate chaos”, he said.
Read the press release here.
January 23-25, 2009:
Visions, Values and Action: WFC Co-hosts Youth Forum in Preparation of UNESCO World Conference

The WFC co-hosted a three-day conference bringing together 140 young adults from over 30 countries in Bad Honnef near Bonn, Germany. In the lead-up to the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, the participants developed their own positions on how environmental protection, peace and social justice should be promoted by education. They were advised by leading experts, among them WFC Councillors Prof. Hans-Peter Dürr, Dr. Rama Mani and Prof. Manfred Max-Neef, as well as WFC Campaign Manager Dr. Maja Göpel.
See a video of the conference here.
from left to right: Prof. Hans-Peter Duerr, Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, Prof. Manfred Max-Neef, Dr. Rama Mani, Dr. Ignacio Campino
WFC Councillor Nick Dunlop
December 13-14: Parliamentary Hearing in Poznan (Poland) – WFC and e-Parliament discuss ways to deploy renewable energy with Eastern and Central European legislators
The sixth joint parliamentary hearing of the WFC and e-Parliament in 2008 focused on ways to further explore the potential of renewable energy in Eastern and Central Europe. WFC Director of Climate and Energy Stefan Schurig presented the core features of Feed-In Tariffs (FIT) and highlighted how investment in renewable energy resources can create economic benefits. Whereas many Eastern European countries already have adopted a FIT law, Poland for example lacks effective incentives to promote renewables.
Read more about it here.
To read about all recent WFC-events, click here. To learn more about the WFC and WFC projects, visit our website at www.worldfuturecouncil.org

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