Scenario planning Scenario planning, also called scenario thinking or scenario analysis, is a strategic planning method that some organizations use to make flexible long-term plans. It is in large part an adaptation and generalization of classic methods used by military intelligence. The original method was that a group of analysts would generate simulation games for policy makers. In business applications, the emphasis on gaming the behavior of opponents was reduced (shifting more toward a game against nature). Scenario planning may involve aspects of systems thinking, specifically the recognition that many factors may combine in complex ways to create sometime surprising futures (due to non-linear feedback loops). Crafting scenarios These combinations and permutations of fact and related social changes are called "scenarios." Zero-sum game scenarios Strategic military intelligence organizations also construct scenarios. How military scenario planning or scenario thinking is done
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty negotiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992. The objective of the treaty is to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system". The treaty itself set no binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and contains no enforcement mechanisms. In that sense, the treaty is considered legally non-binding. The UNFCCC was opened for signature on 9 May 1992, after an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee produced the text of the Framework Convention as a report following its meeting in New York from 30 April to 9 May 1992. Treaty Later negotiations Kyoto Protocol Bali Action Plan Copenhagen and Cancún Parties
Transition Towns A transition town is a grassroot community project that seeks to build resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability. Local projects are usually based on the model's initial '12 ingredients' and later 'revised ingredients'. The first initiative to use the name was Transition Town Totnes, founded in 2006. The movement is an example of socioeconomic localisation. The term, "transition town", was coined by Louise Rooney and Catherine Dunne. The transition model can be applied to any place where people live. Between late 2006 and early 2007 the Transition Network was founded as a UK charity. The Transition Network website contains a listing of the initiatives that have registered there. While the focus and aims remain the same, the methods used to achieve these vary. An essential aspect of transition in many places, is that the outer work of transition needs to be matched by inner transition.
Kyoto Protocol Kyoto Parties with first period (2008–12) greenhouse gas emissions limitations targets, and the percentage change in their carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion between 1990 and 2009. For more detailed country/region information, see Kyoto Protocol and government action. Overview map of states committed to greenhouse gas (GHG) limitations in the first Kyoto Protocol period (2008–12): Dark grey = Annex I Parties who have agreed to reduce their GHG emissions below their individual base year levels (see definition in this article) Grey = Annex I Parties who have agreed to cap their GHG emissions at their base year levels Pale grey = Non-Annex I Parties who are not obligated by caps or Annex I Parties with an emissions cap that allows their emissions to expand above their base year levels or countries that have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol The European Union as a whole has in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol committed itself to an 8% reduction. Background Asia
Transition Management (Governance) Transition management is an alternative model of environmental governance which seeks to guide the gradual, continuous process of transformation of socio-political landscapes, socio-technical practices and “the structural character of society” from one equilibrium to another. In its application, transition management seeks to steer the outcome of change to lessen inherent uncertainty, produce desirable social outcomes and enhance resilience during the transformation of socio-technical systsms (ibid).This is primarily achieved by engaging a wide range of stakeholders over the multiple levels to create shared visions and goals which are then tested for practicality through the use of experimentation, learning and adaptation at the niche level. The model is often discussed in reference to sustainable development and the possible use of the model as a method for change. Key principles to transition management as a form of governance:
Airborne fraction The airborne fraction is a scaling factor defined as the ratio of the annual increase in atmospheric CO 2 to the CO 2 emissions from anthropogenic sources. It represents the proportion of human emitted CO2 that remains in the atmosphere. The fraction averages about 45%, meaning that approximately half the human-emitted CO 2 is absorbed by ocean and land surfaces. There is some evidence for a recent increase in airborne fraction, which would imply a faster increase in atmospheric CO 2 for a given rate of human fossil-fuel burning. However, other sources suggest that the "fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades". Changes in carbon sinks can affect the airborne fraction. Jump up ^ Forster, P, V Ramaswamy, P Artaxo, et al. (2007) Changes in Atmospheric Constituents and in Radiative Forcing.
Environmental governance Environmental governance is a concept in political ecology and environmental policy that advocates sustainability (sustainable development) as the supreme consideration for managing all human activities—political, social and economic. Governance includes government, business and civil society, and emphasizes whole system management. To capture this diverse range of elements, environmental governance often employs alternative systems of governance, for example watershed-based management. It views natural resources and the environment as global public goods, belonging to the category of goods that are not diminished when they are shared. This means that everyone benefits from for example, a breathable atmosphere, stable climate and stable biodiversity. Public goods are non-rivalrous—a natural resource enjoyed by one person can still be enjoyed by others—and non-excludable—it is impossible to prevent someone consuming the good (breathing). Definitions Challenges
Waste heat Instead of being “wasted” by release into the ambient environment, sometimes waste heat (or cold) can be utilized by another process, or a portion of heat that would otherwise be wasted can be reused in the same process if make-up heat is added to the system (as with heat recovery ventilation in a building). Thermal energy storage, which includes technologies both for short- and long-term retention of heat or cold, can create or improve the utility of waste heat (or cold). One example is waste heat from air conditioning machinery stored in a buffer tank to aid in night time heating. Another is seasonal thermal energy storage (STES) at a foundry in Sweden. On a biological scale, all organisms reject waste heat as part of their metabolic processes, and will die if the ambient temperature is too high to allow this. Anthropogenic waste heat is thought by some to contribute to the urban heat island effect. Conversion of energy Sources Power generation Industrial processes
Stockholm Environment Institute The Stockholm Environment Institute, or SEI, is a non-profit, independent research and policy institute specialising in sustainable development and environmental issues. Mission SEI's mission is to "support decision-making and induce change towards sustainable development around the world by providing integrative knowledge that bridges science and policy in the field of environment and development." History SEI was established in 1989 as an initiative of the Government of Sweden. Activities SEI is commissioned to write reports by third parties which are frequently quoted in the press. Executive Directors Organizational structure SEI has a total staff of about 180 and operates through seven main offices: Stockholm, Sweden (headquarters)York, UKOxford, UKTallinn, Estonia US: Boston, MA; Davis, CA; Seattle, WABangkok, ThailandDar es Salaam, Tanzania The institute itself is organized into four broad research themes: External links
Emission standard Emission standards are requirements that set specific limits to the amount of pollutants that can be released into the environment. Many emissions standards focus on regulating pollutants released by automobiles (motor cars) and other powered vehicles but they can also regulate emissions from industry, power plants, small equipment such as lawn mowers and diesel generators. Frequent policy alternatives to emissions standards are technology standards. Vehicle emission performance standard An emission performance standard is a limit that sets thresholds above which a different type of emission control technology might be needed. Americas USA In the United States, emissions standards are managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). California's emissions standards are set by the California Air Resources Board, known locally by its acronym "CARB". The EPA has separate regulations for small engines, such as groundskeeping equipment. Europe European Union
Planetary phase of civilization The planetary phase of civilization is a concept defined by the Global Scenario Group (GSG), an environmental organization that specializes in scenario analysis and forecasting. Proponents of the planetary phase of Civilization State that it refers to a current historical transition from a world of capitalist states and consumerist societies to a world of increased global connectivity with new global institutions (like the United Nations and the World Trade Organization), new information technologies, environmental change in the biosphere, economic globalization, and shifts in culture and consciousness. Although the concept is hotly debated in some circles, most reputable scientists give little credence to the theory and assert that current global economic interconnectedness is a function of advanced technology rather than the emergence of anything new in cultural or sociological terms. Background Historical transitions Applications See also References
Adaptation to global warming Adaptation to global warming is a response to climate change that seeks to reduce the vulnerability of biological systems to climate change effects. Even if emissions are stabilized relatively soon, climate change and its effects will last many years, and adaptation will be necessary. Climate change adaptation is especially important in developing countries since those countries are predicted to bear the brunt of the effects of climate change. That is, the capacity and potential for humans to adapt (called adaptive capacity) is unevenly distributed across different regions and populations, and developing countries generally have less capacity to adapt (Schneider et al., 2007). Adaptive capacity is closely linked to social and economic development (IPCC, 2007). The economic costs of adaptation to climate change are likely to cost billions of dollars annually for the next several decades, though the amount of money needed is unknown. Effects of Climate Change