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Newsletter - 06/2009
Dear Friends! July 1st, 2009
In the last two days, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)’s Preparatory Commission held its second session. It determined Abu Dhabi as interim headquarters, Bonn as center for technology and innovation and Vienna as home to the Agency's liaison office for cooperation with other organisations active in the field of renewable energy. Ms. Hélène Pelosse had been elected as interim Director General of the organisation. IRENA can already be considered a success story: So far, 136 states have signed its statutes. The agency aims to promote a rapid transition towards the widespread and sustainable use of renewable energy on a global scale. The World Future Council has actively supported the establishment of IRENA as a counterpart to the International Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency. IRENA originates in an initiative by WFC Councillor Hermann Scheer, who was present in Egypt as well as WFC Chair Bianca Jagger, Research Manager Miguel Mendonça and Climate and Energy Director Stefan Schurig. Let’s hope that IRENA can contribute significantly to the energy “switch” to a renewable world that is urgently needed – one of the World Future Council’s primary goals.

I am pleased to say that the work on the new, full colour illustrated book, 'A Renewable World – Energy, Ecology, Equality', which Miguel Mendonça and I have written with much input by Council members and staff is now nearly complete. The book will be published in September, well before the October Council meeting.

A donation of 1 million Euro made by Hamburg entrepreneurs Bertram and Erck Rickmers received on June 12th helps to continue and consolidate the WFC’s work, not only in the field of renewable energies. We are grateful for this generous support!

With best regards,

Herbert Girardet
Director of Programmes

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


WFC Councillor
Prof. C.S. Kiang

Read about a new initiative for low carbon cities in China and the USA here.

Commission Briefs
Future Justice
Future Justice presence at International Legal Symposium in Montréal, Canada

On May 28th to 29th about 100 international environment, development, human rights and law experts came together at a law symposium organised by the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL).

The WFC was an official partner in the event and represented by Councillors Judge Weeramantry, the keynote speaker of honour, and Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, lead organiser. Jointly with Maja Göpel, the Chairs of the Future Justice Commission hosted a workshop on the legal tools developed over the last year, generating additional support by various international experts. As the host of the evening reception, the WFC and CISDL celebrated the launch of the Future Justice website as well as the acceptance of a joint book proposal on Securing the Rights of Future Generations by Cambridge University Press, to be published end of 2009.

Read an article on crimes against future generations in the New York Times online edition here - it has sparked a lively debate among readers.
Notes from the Council
Jared Duval, WFC Councillor:
From Waxman Markey to 350

The climate and energy community in the United States has recently been consumed by the “American Clean Energy and Security Act.” This bill, better known by the names of its cosponsors Representatives Waxman and Markey, represents our country’s first decent chance at putting a price on carbon emissions and probably our only chance of showing up at the Copenhagen climate negotiations later this year with something tangible to show the international community. For those reasons alone, it is of utmost importance to the US and the world. Yet, for all its pioneering spirit, this policy once again falls far short of what climate scientists tell us we must actually do.

Read more here.
To learn about all current councillor activities, click here.
Top upcoming WFC Events
2nd July, 2009:
Future generation meets future scientist at WFC

On July 2nd, a group of students will visit the World Future Council’s head office in Hamburg. The geography class will present their analysis of young people’s messages collected by the WFC KidsCall campaign. WFC Councillor Prof. Rolf Kreibich, Director of the Berlin based Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment, will give a lecture about how to make the 21st century “future-proof” – providing input for a discussion with the students.
To read about all upcoming WFC-events, click here. To learn more about the WFC and WFC projects, visit our website at
Top WFC Events in June
Green Week in Brussels
This year’s Green week, organised by the EU Commission and the biggest and most relevant annual event on European environment policy, attracted a record 4,500 participants between the 22nd and the 26th of June in Brussels. Interest was undoubtedly boosted by the theme, “Climate Change: Act and Adapt”, and its’ focus on the lead up to the crucial Copenhagen conference in December.
Over three days of discussion and debate – the outcomes of which will feed directly into the EU policy making process – participants exchanged best practices and novel solutions to de-carbonise the economy, reduce consumption and power renewable energy development. Represented by Dr. Ashok Khosla, Jakob von Uexkull and Prof. Herbert Girardet, the WFC provided key speakers at four leading debates. With a booth at the exhibition part, the WFC informed Green Week participants about its work. Read more here.
Staff members Tom Bowers and Brook Riley at the WFC booth
WFC Chair Bianca Jagger
© Tom Raftery
WFC at European Future Energy Forum
At the European Future Energy Forum in Bilbao from June 9th to 11th, WFC Chair Bianca Jagger gave the opening keynote speech. She hailed the formation of IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, as a vital component of the renewable energy revolution. Bianca Jagger also emphasised that nuclear energy is neither renewable, nor sustainable: “Let me be clear: nuclear technology is not a renewable energy, it is not low-emission and it cannot address the issues of climate change; is not a substitute for sustainable energy.” Together with WFC Councillor Dr. Hermann Scheer, Bianca Jagger participated in a panel discussion about Future Energy Policy and Strategy.
WFC Director of Programmes Prof. Herbert Girardet spoke on a panel about International Energy Policy and WFC Director Climate and Energy Stefan Schurig chaired a roundtable session on “How Feed-in tariffs are boosting renewable energies”. The European Future Energy Forum was attended by almost 4,000 people. More information can be found here. You can read Bianca Jagger’s speech here.
Klimahaus Bremerhaven: Travel the 8th line of longitude
Since June 27th, visitors can experience a fascinating journey along the 8th line of longitude through different climate zones – in the German city of Bremerhaven. The unique interactive science exhibition makes people experience the consequences of climate change – and shows them how to protect the climate in their everyday lives: a special part of the museum is dedicated to “chances” of stopping global warming. The World Future Council is one of the organisations and initiatives presenting themselves and calling on people to get active.
The WFC youth exhibition ‘Corridor of Hope’, presenting messages by young people from all over the world to politicians, will be displayed in the Klimahaus for one month. WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull was on a panel at the press conference precluding the official opening ceremony. “The shift of awareness concerning climate protection has accelerated” he said, “people are ready for change.”
Order of Merit for Jakob von Uexkull
WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany on the 4th June.The Order of Merit is the highest honour the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals. Jakob von Uexkull received the Order for founding two organisations that are successfully looking for new ways to solve global problems – the World Future Council and the Right Livelihood Award. The award was presented to Jakob von Uexkull by German Ambassador Georg Boomgarden in London. You can read the Ambassador's speech here.
To read about all recent WFC-events, click here. To learn more about the WFC and WFC projects, visit our website at
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’s Director of Donor Relations, Lars Knöpke. 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:

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.