Showing posts from January, 2014

Secretary-General Appoints Michael Bloomberg of United States

Secretary-General Appoints Michael Bloomberg of United States   Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Michael Bloomberg of the United States as his Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change. Mr. Bloomberg will assist the Secretary-General in his consultations with mayors and related key stakeholders in order to raise political will and mobilize action among cities as part of his long-term strategy to advance efforts on climate change, including bringing concrete solutions to the 2014 Climate Summit that the Secretary-General will host in New York on 23 September. The Secretary-General has invited leaders from Governments, businesses, finance and civil society organizations to bring bold announcements and actions to the 2014 Climate Summit to raise the level of ambition through new and more robust action on climate change.  Cities play an essential role in developing and implementing ac

NEXUS: Water-Food-Energy-Climate Speakers and Chairs Confirmed - Registration open

Conference Objectives To input the Nexus approach to the Sustainable Development Goals being developed for 2015 to replace the Millennium Development Goals Launch an Academic and Practitioners Network Conference Partners The World Bank UNDESA UNDP UNCCD UN HABITAT UNITAR IRENA UN Global Compact Stockholm Environment Institute World Business Council for Sustainable Development WWF International Millennium Institute Biovision WSPA Conference Speakers Confirmed speakers include: Albert Butare:  Co-chair of Bonn Nexus Conference and former Rwanda Energy Minister Paula Cabellero Gomez  Director of the Directorate for Economic, Social and Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia  Adnan Z. Amin:  Director General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Elizabeth Thompson:  former UN Assistant Secretary General and Coordinator, Rio+20 Ambassador Kitty van der Heijden , member of the SDG OWG, Netherlands Greg Koch, Director, Glob

New Book just out: From Rio+20 to a New Development Agenda: BuildingPress Note: New Book published 22nd of January 2014 a Bridge to a Sustainable Future by Felix Dodds, Jorge Laguna Celis, Liz Thompson

  Twenty years after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, "The Earth Summit", the Rio+20 conference in 2012 brought life back to sustainable development. It did that by putting it at the centre of a new global development partnership, one in which sustainable development is the basis for eradicating poverty, upholding human development and transforming economies. This book is written by participants involved in the Rio+20 negotiations, it presents a unique insider analysis of not only what happened and why. It also identifies where the outcomes might impact in the future, particularly in the UN development agenda beyond 2015. The book throws light on the changing nature of multilateralism and questions frequent assumptions on how policy is defined within the UN. It shows that Rio+20 was more than an international meeting; it represented a culminating point of decades of successes and failures and a watershed moment for seminal concepts,

IRENA and the challenge for Renewable Energy

I have just returned from the 4 th General Assembly of the International Renewable Energies Agency (IRENA) based in Abu Dhabi. It is the youngest intergovernmental body with now 124 countries as full members and 43 states in accession. At this Assembly China joined IRENA and attended with a large delegation. China brings substantive weight to IRENA due to being the largest producer of solar energy, the largest installed wind power capacity in the world, they also have something like 20% ethanol in the total automotive fuel consumption not to mention that hydropower also is providing over 210 GW. China is also the largest producer of CO2 now more than the next two countries combined (USA and India). It is hoping to reduce its production from 70% to closer to 30-50% by 2015. This will require even more investment in renewables and therefore being a strong member of IRENA they hope will help in identifying the best ideas around in the area of renewables. IRENA had a good

Launch of new book Centerpoint Now

Speaking at the launch of the book Centerpoint Now - this one on sustainability produced by the World Council of People for the United Nations and hosted at the Japan Society in New York. Editor of the book Shamina de Gonzaga Director of WCPUN. Other speakers the artist Mariko Mori , Jeffrey Huffines the 2014 UN DPI Chair, Renee Nino de River and Oliya Clarkson award winning figure skater. Mariko Mori ,

Date Change Advisory: The Nexus Conference has been moved to March 5th - 8th, 2014.

Date Change Advisory: The Nexus Conference  has been moved to March 5th - 8th, 2014. The Nexus 2014: Water, Food, Climate and Energy Conference has been moved to Wednesday, March 5 th through Saturday, March 8 th due to the scheduling of a just-announced meeting of the UN Sustainable Development Goals Open Working Group.  This date change allows for participants to engage in immediate discussions of the most recent UN deliberations at the Conference and it presents an opportunity to extend the early bird registration deadline to January 31 st .  The Conference comprises a variety of panel discussions, interactive and networking sessions, and research presentations aimed at increasing the dialog around Nexus issues.  To view the agenda click here .  To register for the Conference visit http://nexus

A Year in View - 2014

Some people New Years can be positive others less so. I am one of those positive guys' lots to look forward to in 2014 and lots to be thankful for 2013. So what is the year looking like as I contemplate going to New York tomorrow. January Next week will be the next meeting of the Sustainable Development Goals Open Working Group (SDG-OWG) . In particular it will look at an area I have been working with the Communitas Coalition that of Urban and Human Settlements. Should there be a stand-alone goal on Urban and Human Settlements? You might guess I would say yes – with projections of over 70% of us living in urban areas by 2050 then the urban areas and the inputs or footprints of our urban areas will play the critical role in determining how we become more sustainable in the way we live on this planet. January also sees me to my first International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) General Assembly in Abu Dhabi. IRENA is headed by one of the best international civil servants Adnan

A Reflection

I am sitting at my local coffee house in Apex called Wake Zone listening to some relaxing music and enjoying my first coffee of the day. I wanted to reflect a little on 2013 as 2014 starts. This was my first full year as a consultant and not running an organization and I have to say I have enjoyed it very much. One of the highlights for me this last year has been doing a new book. New Book I had the absolute pleasure working with Liz Thompson and Jorge Laguna Celis on a new book ' From Rio+20 to a New Development Agenda: Building a Bridge to a Sustainable Future ' (out January 31st 2014) . The book looks at the preparations for Rio+20 through a government official (Jorge – Mexico), a leading UN civil servant (Liz – Assistant UN Secretary General and an Executive Coordinator for Rio+20) and myself the Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum. For me it was a new way of writing where we each took a third of the book and then spent a weekend at the Mexican Mission weaving in