Thursday, December 20, 2007

Urban sustainability

Talking about urban sustainability, in the capacity of a World Future Council member. This is the link to the video interview:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Now, it is time to focus on Copenhagen, where the new climate protocol should be finalized and agreed upon in 2009. This is a huge challenge not only for the City of Copenhagen and Denmark hosting the meeting, but to Sweden’s EU Presidency and to the European Union as a whole.

The EU needs it own “roadmap” towards Copenhagen, making sure that the EU not only upholds but strengthens its position as the world leader in progressive and innovative climate policies. This means including all aspects of sustainable use of energy, such as energy for development, fair mechanisms of technology transfer, and decent work. This requires that the European Union is unanimous and strong in its positions.

The EU should use its diplomacy, political cooperation and bilateral mechanisms to make certain that developing countries, China and India in particular, will play a fair but focal role in Copenhagen.

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and similar tools have to be further developed so that by 2009 they can be more broadly applied than today. This is particularly important in the buildings and construction sector, which uses 30-40% of all energy and has huge emissions savings potential, which can be implemented with existing technologies.

Indeed, if there is to be a title for the Copenhagen 2009 conference, it should be A Better Built Environment for All, which would encompass the aspects of mobility, buildings, construction, infrastructure, public services and information and communication. The implementation of this target would bring together the private and the public sector, both federal, national and local governments, and civil society organizations.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Side Event Friday 7 December at 13-15, Grand Hyatt Bali, Room BIOFUEL

Buildings and construction are responsible for on average 40% of the total energy consumption. During the whole life span of buildings, the energy is mainly used for heating, cooling, lighting, hot water production and powering of appliances. Part is also used for building materials production, construction and demolition. The energy required for logistics and mobility in the built environment is not included in these figures.

The potential of the buildings and construction sector to drastically reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases is technically proven but poorly known, and frequently not supported by existing policies and market signals.

This is the urgent concern that is shared both by governments all over the world, and by construction industry and real estate business. In Bali the particular questions are:

Ø How can CDM and other “Kyoto mechanisms” best promote sustainability of the built environment?

Ø What are the steps needed to substantially reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and construction?

In joint effort, representatives of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Buildings and Construction, led by Finland, will highlight critical issues from the points of view of the public as well as the private sectors. The Director of UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), Ms. Sylvie Lemmet will set the scene and experts of the organizing partners will report on recent findings. There is time for discussion after the comment of Ms. Outi Berghäll, Vice Chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments.

For more information, please get in touch with

- Kaarin Taipale, Chair of the Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Buildings and Construction,

- Niclas Svenningsen, Coordinator, UNEP Sustainable Buildings and Construction Initiative,

- Christian Kornevall, Project Director, Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB), World Business Council for Sustainable Development;