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Newsletter - 10/2009
Dear Friends! 01/12/2009
As we are approaching the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, leading politicians seem to have already lost confidence in their ability to pass an urgently required legally binding agreement. In the meantime, even the International Energy Agency (IEA), widely seen as biased in favour of fossil fuels, warns that a failure in Copenhagen will cause huge costs. While the IEA focuses on the consequences of climate change for industrialised countries, action is even more urgent for the countries of the global South already suffering from droughts, floods, and rising sea levels.

The biggest obstacle to an agreement is the conflict between rich and poor countries about financing emission curbs and adaptation measures. Development in Southern countries can no longer be built on fossil fuels – but this demands compensation by the countries that have so far contributed most to climate change. We need a holistic approach, for issues like poverty alleviation, education and the right to food and water are closely linked to the growing climate chaos. This is why at Copenhagen the World Future Council will propose a new way of financing a renewable energy transition to a world of climate justice and climate security. This newsletter tells you more about the World Future Council’s solutions for Copenhagen and about our project PowerKick for Africa, for which we need your support.

With best regards,
Jakob von Uexküll
WFC Founder

Content
Councillor Activities >
Copenhagen >
PowerKick for Africa
Recent Events>
Donor Information >

Learn here about current Councillor activities:
New books by Vandana Shiva and Hans-Peter Dürr, Maude Barlow's project on Canadian tar sands, and a workshop for young people organised by Judge Weeramantry.
WFC launches solutions for Copenhagen
From December 7th to 18th, negotiators, ministers and world leaders will assemble in Copenhagen for the United Nations climate change conference (COP 15). One critical aspect of the negotiations is the funding dilemma: How can measures to counter climate change be financed in an equitable way? And how can funds be allocated effectively on a global scale?
The WFC is calling for the establishment of a dedicated Renewable Energy Policy Fund (REP) to facilitate significant financial flows to the South, to foster technology and knowledge transfer for renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions. An innovative possibility of financing the REP is to create the necessary liquidity from Special Drawing Rights issued by the International Monetary Fund. These funding proposals will be discussed at an evening reception on December 13th. The event is organised by the World Future Council in cooperation with Triodos Bank, Merkur Bank, and the green think tank CONCITO.
Cities consume up to 80% of global energy resources and emit the largest share of greenhouse gases. To research and advocate sustainable urban development, the World Future Council and Hamburg’s HafenCity University have established a commission on Cities and Climate change. In Copenhagen, ways of powering cities using 100% renewable energies will be presented by commission members and experts from partner institutions Arup, UN HABITAT, ETH Zurich, and Fraunhofer Institute.

When it comes to reducing emissions and storing carbon, agriculture is another major issue. Under the new agreement negotiated in Copenhagen, organic farming should be actively supported to extend its huge potential to absorb carbon emissions. The World Future Council and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) will present organic solutions for climate change and food security in Copenhagen – measures like bio-sequestration are contrasted with high tech, untested geo-sequestration (CCS).
Read more about the World Future Council’s activities in Copenhagen.
Support PowerKick for Africa: Education powered by renewable energy
In 2010, the WFC aims to assist the provision of modern solar electricity for various off-grid communities in Africa. This will enable football enthusiasts to watch the FIFA World Cup 2010 – and will be used as an emotional entry point for further deployment of renewable energy technologies in rural villages, primarily to power education.
Solar panels donated by partner companies will be installed in village schools, where they will provide energy for lights, projectors and satellite receivers. Village inhabitants will be trained in the maintenance of the renewable energy equipment and educated on issues of environment protection, energy and climate change. Information on these topics as well as alphabetization courses for adults can be supported by computer and internet use powered by the sun.
Football is a unifying sport in many countries – and will be for the whole world during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. As Ghana’s first independent President, Kwame Nkrumah, said, “Sport can contribute to the development of nations and the achievement of an African unity – as sport doesn’t know borders.”
To encourage the deployment of renewable energy for educational purposes in Africa, the WFC aims to use this sporting event to counter prejudices against renewable energy and to increase local knowledge about the technologies.

PowerKick for Africa involves pre-event planning, organisation and coordination with politicians and journalists during the event, and ongoing support after the World Cup when the technology will be used for demonstration and educational purposes. To make this project possible, which will take approximately 85,000 Euro, we need your help:

Donate online here for PowerKick for Africa! (For holders of a German bank account only - a credit card option will be introduced shortly. See the WFC website for further details.)

For further information please contact Ansgar Kiene.
Top WFC Events in November
Don't wait for others! Do it yourself!
WFC Councillor Nick Dunlop in Vanuatu
25 Members of Parliament from Caribbean and South Pacific Islands debated the role of small island states with regard to the Copenhagen negotiations at a WFC parliamentary hearing in Vanuatu from 6th to 8th November. They discussed strategies for switching to renewable energy and how small island states can raise their voice further in the international arena.
The participants agreed to form an alliance of members of parliament from island states with the aim of developing national 100% renewable energy plans and to help highlight the serious threat of climate change. The meeting was part of a series of parliamentary hearings co-organised by eParliament and the World Future Council. WFC Director of Climate and Energy Stefan Schurig presented different financing options for promoting renewable energy, such as the Feed-in Tariff mechanism. He also outlined how small island states can access international sources of funding.
Cities and Climate Change: Pathways to sustainable urban development
The role of cities in mitigating climate change is undisputed. This was the focus of the WFC Cities and Climate Change Commission’s third meeting held from 19th - 20th November in Hamburg. The eleven commission members that attended the meeting are consultants for urban planning, architects, and members of international organisations. One of the main themes was the vision of 100% renewable energy in cities. This can be realised only with the support of national governments who need to provide city authorities with appropriate legislative frameworks, capacities and funding.
Commission member Nicholas You (UN HABITAT)
Peter Dröge & Herbert Girardet
The World Future Council will therefore focus on advising decision makers on “best policies” for sustainable urban development, starting with an event in Copenhagen organised jointly with UN HABITAT and other partners. Early next year parliamentary hearings in India and Taipei will follow. The commission meeting results were presented at a public event in Hamburg on November 20th, where commission members discussed the key results with Dr. Michael Beckereit (Executive Director of the public utility Hamburg Energie), and Peter Lindlahr (Head of Hamburg’s Coordination Center for Climate Issues).
Future Finance: How to unite social, ecological and economic goals
The global challenges of climate collapse, resource destruction and worldwide poverty are caused by current finance and economics. Finance is steadily increasing the growth pressure on the real economy.
The resulting unsustainable growth goes hand in hand with increasing risks for future generations while export driven global competition drives a social and ecological race to the bottom. But these apparent contradictions between social, ecological and economic goals can be solved.

The WFC policy proposals in this area achieved highly positive reactions among participants from politics, business and the unions when presented recently at the Transatlantic Marketplace in Frankfurt and in a speech at the 60th anniversary of the Federation of German Trade Unions (DGB) in Cologne. These reactions prove that change is possible. Proposals to increase the liability of businesses for their long term damages and to eliminate competitive disadvantages for sustainable enterprises are on their way to become mainstream politics now!
Read more about current WFC events.
How to support us
To successfully continue its work, the World Future Council depends on partners and people willing to support its projects. If you are interested, please contact the World Future Council. You can read more about ways to support us here.

We are grateful for donations to:
World Future Council, GLS Bank, Acc. No.: 200 900 4000, Sort Code: 430 609 67
IBAN: DE70 4306 0967 2009 0040 00; BIC (SWIFT-Code): GENODEM1GLS
The World Future Council Newsletter appears monthly.
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Verena Seitz

For more information about the World Future Council, its goals and activities please see our website:
www.worldfuturecouncil.org

Contact: World Future Council, P.O. Box 11 01 53, D-20401 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49 (0)40-30 70 914-0

The WFC gratefully acknowledges funding from the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Dr. Michael Otto/Otto GmbH & Co KG, and our other generous donors.