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Newsletter - 3/2010
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Dear Friends, 08/04/2010
Raising public awareness for the need to think holistically is one of the WFC’s explicit goals and we now have a fantastic educative tool available to do just that! In March, the Future Justice Commission tackled questions on fundamental preconditions of future just societies and has come a significant step closer to providing an objective yet qualitative assessment tool to issue such judgments.

Starting from the WFC’s integrated assessment that human security, ecological integrity, social equity and a culture of peace are closely interrelated, core variables of preconditions of future just societies were defined and their relationships discussed: how does high military expenditure correlate with health in a society? How does trusted governance influence an intact environment? Under the guidance of two experts from the Malik Institute (Switzerland), the outcomes were integrated into a computer model developed by system thinker Frederic Vester that was generously provided by the Institute. As a result, we now have a matrix available that shows which variables bear critical roles for healthy relationships in complex societies and their resilience over time.
Based on the collective expertise of the Commission, we are now developing a public Future Justice Alert to gauge the impact of policy decisions and evaluate if they have a positive or negative impact on critical variables. We plan to issue the first Alerts in June/July.

With best regards from Brussels,
Dr. Maja Göpel,
WFC Director Future Justice

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100% Renewable Energy
Download the latest WFC/HCU paper to learn about the strategies for cities to become 100% powered by renewable energy.
Upcoming Events
BioVision Conference – 11. until 15.4.
Herbert Girardet, WFC Director of Programmes, will give two speeches in the context of panel discussions at the BioVision Conference in Alexandria, Egypt. He will point out the impacts of climate change on coastal cities and discuss why climate change is to be considered as a global heritage. The first day of the Conference, which deals with the themes Health, Food and Agriculture, and Environment, is marked by contributions of several Nobel laureates, among them Peter Agre (Chemistry, 2003) and Eric Maskin (Economics, 2007).
Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference - 3. until 28.5.
Several members of the WFC Disarmament Working Group will attend the five-yearly Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York. It offers nuclear weapon states a valuable opportunity to make tangible progress on abolishing their nuclear arsenals. The Working Group members’ goal is to further stimulate and capitalize on the current political will, as indicated by the recent nuclear arms reduction treaty between the US and Russia, so that 2010 will mark a turning point in the Nuclear Age. For this purpose, the WFC will release two compelling booklets written by members of the Disarmament Working Group on why world leaders should live up to their responsibility towards future generations and free the world of nuclear weapons. For more information please contact the Disarmament Working Group's coordinator Rob van Riet.
WFC Events in March
Commission Groups agree on working program
In 2006, world military expenditure was 40 times as much as would be needed to end hunger and famine in the world. The WFC Disarmament Working Group will call on politicians and draw attention to how this disproportion contradicts their responsibility to protect the rights of present and future generations to life in a just, equitable and sustainable world.

At their meeting in Hamburg the WFC Future Justice Commission discussed among other issues a systemic tool for politicians which points out possible consequences of political decisions. Such a tool could test scheduled legislative initiatives for impacts on sustainability and future justice, and could identify consequences of a faulty emphasis at an early stage.
International Workshop on Religions and the Human Future
The Bertelsmann Foundation and World Future Council invited religious scientists and adherents of five world religions to an expert hearing on 'Religions and the Common Future' in Berlin on March 8th, 2010. The objective of the workshop was to reflect on core messages of the world religions on economic development, environmental protection and the preservation of future generations. The Report to the WFC Tread Lightly on the Earth. Religions, the Environment and the Common Future' was presented by Councillor Judge C.G. Weeramantry, former Vice-Chair of the International Court of Justice. Participants agreed that representatives of the world religions should more actively engage in the public debates on sustainable development.
South Africa's Potential for Renewables
WFC Climate and Energy Director Stefan Schurig delivered a keynote speech on international renewable energy development and clean technologies at the opening session of the Power & Electricity World 2010 conference in Johannesburg. Participants discussed with regret that the implementation of Feed-in Tariffs, agreed by the South African Energy Supply Company (ESCOM) almost a year ago, is a dragging process as financing options and participation requirements still need to be clarified. However, they remained optimistic that the renewable energy uptake will be ignited in due course. The conference is considered as one of the most important events on energy in Africa.
Seven-Point-Plan at the World Urban Forum
The World Future Council and the HafenCity University Hamburg launched their brand-new report "100% renewable energy – and beyond – for cities" at the world’s largest cities conference, the UN World Urban Forum, in Rio de Janeiro. The core element of the report is a seven-point-plan which encourages cities to set their own goal at 100% renewable energy supply. The plan addresses the need for regulatory measures as well as incentives at urban and national levels. Measures that involve private businesses and facilitate planning and permission processes are also explored. Download the report
Florida’s Feed in Tariffs
Renewable energy industry, farmers, and finance enthusiasts along with municipal utility executives and elected officials met in Florida to discuss the Feed-in Tariff policy. WFC US Director, Randy Hayes, attended the two-day 2nd Annual FARE Conference (Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy) and met with the leadership of FARE and other FIT experts such as Paul Gipe. Florida is home to the first US renewable energy rate (FIT) policy in the town of Gainesville and the third largest user of energy in the US. The enthusiasm at the conference was high, with former CIA Director James Woolsey favouring decentralized renewable energy as key to increasing national energy grid security and farmers wanting to get to 25% renewable energy by 2025. There is no doubt about the benefits of advancing FITs state wide.
2nd International Conference on DeGrowth
The economic system as it works today is not sustainable. If it is to serve human wellbeing and respect the boundaries of our planet now and in the future, the system needs to be changed. 400 scientists and policy advocates met in Barcelona to devise an improved economic system. Key questions addressed were firstly where in our economies should we curb exponential growth and secondly which goods and services need more support. Aim of the WFC's participation at the DeGrowth conference was to participate in constant dialogue on how to create what we call "Living Economies" - see the vision paper here.
Click here for the DeGrowth conference website and here for a scientific compilation of papers from the first conference in Paris 2008. For further information please contact Maja Goepel
Member Activities
Alexandra Wandel appointed as member of the Academic Board for 'Green Capital 2011'
WFC Development Director Alexandra Wandel was appointed as member of the Academic Board for "European Green Capital 2011" by Hamburg’s senator for environment Anja Hajduk. The city of Hamburg is eager to live up to the title of European Green Capital and thus is planning various projects for the coming year. Among other activities, a "train of ideas" shall drive through European cities to promote good solutions. The Academic Board will support the project planning by giving creative and critical advice.
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
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Contact: World Future Council, Bei den Mühren 70, 20457 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.