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Sustainable development

Claude Haegi at the international Rodes Forum: « Energy, vital issue »

A paper by Claude Haegi, President, Foundation for the Economy and sustainable Development of the Regions of Europe (FEDRE), delivered at the 10th Rhodes Forum, October 5, 2012

This is with the same preoccupation, nourished by my long experience of local and regional representative, to remain both concrete and realistic, that I will touch directly the subject of this session, by dealing namely with the vital issue of energy. In fact, it is hard to imagine a liveable and prosperous world tomorrow, without energetic needs properly covered.

All the indicators say that these needs, far from declining, will on the contrary augment during the next decades, because of the growing share of big countries like China, Russia, India and Brazil, followed by entire continents like Africa which aspire to join them. In the western world, it is a reality that is too often underestimated.

Claude Haegi at the international Rodes Forum: « Dialogue of Cultures and Migrations »

A paper by Claude Haegi, President, Foundation for the Economy and sustainable Development of the Regions of Europe (FEDRE), delivered at the 10th Rhodes Forum, October 5, 2012

Coming from Geneva, I would like first to evoke the famous writer and Geneva citizen Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in this year of celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth. In his famous book The Social Contact, he wrote that “social order is a sacred right, the basis of all the other rights”.

In this period of big transformations corresponding to the globalization process affecting our societies, Rousseau helps us to keep in mind elementary considerations like this one: “Before destroying established ways and customs, it advisable to consider by what they will be replaced” (Letter to d’Alembert, 1758).

FEDRE at the international Rhodes Forum « Dialogue of Civilizations »

Claude Haegi, Chairman of the European Foundation FEDRE, former President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, former member of the Geneva cantonal Government, has been invited to take the floor at the last Rhodes Forum, attended by more than 500 people from 65 countries of all continents, especially from the so-called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and other emerging countries.

Reacting to the opening speech by Vladimir Yakunin, Chairman of the Forum, about the Dialogue of Civilizations, Claude Haegi made a few comments inspired namely by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Denis de Rougemont. You can find them summarized below.
(click here)

During the plenary session on sustainable development, the Chairman of FEDRE made a speech under the title « Energy: let us have the Courage of Innovation! ». His message deals with realism, world interregional solidarity and focuses on the trust that we must have in the human capacity for innovation to secure the needs of the world population.
(click here)

Commission launches innovation partnership for Smart Cities and Communities

One of the greatest challenges facing the EU is how best to design and adapt cities into smart intelligent and sustainable environments. Almost three quarters of Europeans live in cities, consuming 70% of the EU's energy. Congestion costs Europe about 1% of its GDP every year; most of it is located in urban areas. Smart urban technologies can make a major contribution to tackling many urban challenges.

CONCERTO projects demonstrate the potential of solar energy

The Intersolar Europe, traditionally held in Munich in June, is the leading global trade fair for the photovoltaic and solar thermal energy sectors. This year, once again, trends have been evident here that will influence construction and renovation projects in the years to come.

Uncertainty hampers Rio+20 talks

UN talks on sustainable development are encountering disputes, delays and diplomatic wrangling, days before world leaders arrive to sign a new agreement.

The talks, in Rio de Janeiro, are aimed at putting the world economy on a more sustainable path, helping people out of poverty while protecting nature.

Global Investment in Renewable Energy Powers to Record $257 Billion

Solar generation surged past wind power to become the renewable energy technology of choice for global investors in 2011.

Solar attracted nearly twice as much investment as wind, driving the renewable energy sector to yet another record-breaking year, albeit one beset with challenges for the industry, according to two new reports on renewable energy trends issued June 11 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21).

Algae fuel potential greater than thought

For algae to power our cars and planes, production needs to be low carbon and cost effective, which means working with natural processes, not against them, say scientists.

Algae could become an important source of sustainable biofuel, as production doesn't compete with food crops for land. But we may need to change the way we grow algae from closed systems to open ponds if it is to be low-carbon and cost-effective.

Microsoft Moving Towards Carbon Neutrality

Microsoft has committed to become carbon neutral beginning on July 1, the start of the company's new fiscal year. The shift results from three years of internal discussions within the company to improve Microsoft's carbon footprint and environmental performance. The company will roll out the new changes, including a new accounting system, across its operations in over 100 countries.

US: Protect Our Winters mobilizing nation’s skiers, snowboarders against climate change

Backcountry pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones says he’s seen the effects of climate change up close after 18 years of heading to Alaska for deep winter powder.

“Our season ends a week earlier than it used to. The glacier we use to land on, we can’t anymore,” Jones said.

t’s a big part of why Jones formed Protect Our Winters in 2007 to unite snowboarders and skiers to save what they love.

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