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Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen S.I.,Wageningen University | Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen S.I.,Finnish Futures Research Center
Natural Resources Forum | Year: 2012

Twenty years of international deliberations on sustainable development reaches another peak in 2012 during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. However, with every review of the implementation of the ambitious Agenda 21, it becomes more difficult to reignite the "spirit of Rio" and in this paper I argue that one contributing factor is the inability to find a way to vertically integrate institutions and other actors across governance levels. The paper analyzes this long deliberation process and its normative outcome with respect to its multi-levelness and approach to vertical integration. It concludes that both the first Earth Summit in Rio 1992 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development expressed high ambitions for dynamic interaction between governance at different levels, both in the deliberation and implementation stages. Yet, the actual number of practical links between levels could have been much higher and the references to vertical linkages in the conference process decreased over time. The preparations for Rio+20 continue this downward trend despite a widespread recognition that the need for coherence and integration were major motivational factors for Rio+20. The prospects for the process to stimulate the forming of coalitions of the willing that could bring closer vertical integration and implement multi-level governance are thereby limited. © 2012 The Author. Natural Resources Forum © 2012 United Nations. Source

Lyytimaki J.,Finnish Environment Institute | Tapio P.,Finnish Futures Research Center | Assmuth T.,Finnish Environment Institute
Land Use Policy | Year: 2012

New information is often emphasized as a basis of effective and scientifically sound environmental policy and management. However, outdated or incorrect information is not automatically nor instantly replaced by new insights. This article focuses on the various ways environmental information can be unintentionally left with insufficient attention or purposefully neglected. Energy-related emissions caused by road traffic in Finland are used as an illustrative example and light pollution caused by artificial lighting is identified as an emerging issue that has gained especially low recognition in the environmental agenda. Four different reasons for this lack of recognition are discussed: recognized unawareness, false awareness, deliberate unawareness and concealed awareness. Paying attention to light pollution is important because of various ecological, socio-cultural and economic effects but also because implementing measures aimed for reducing light pollution create possibilities for alleviating other social and environmental problems in transport and land use policies. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Vinnari M.,University of Eastern Finland | Tapio P.,Finnish Futures Research Center
Ecological Economics | Year: 2012

The production of food for consumption produces environmental stress and raises ethical issues. As humans are able to choose different foodstuffs in their diets, food consumption guidance may have large benefits for the environment. Meat consumption is often identified as the most environmentally harmful foodstuff to produce and animal welfare and rights issues are receiving ever more attention. By combining both issues, this article proposes a conceptual framework for combining alternative dietary habits and agricultural production styles in general environmental policy strategies. Two means to lower meat consumption are proposed: 1) Redeveloping the Pigouvian food taxation system introduced by Goodland (1997), in which foodstuffs are taxed according to their environmental burden. An elaborated version could also include an ethical tax that incorporates consumers' attitudes on animal welfare and a coefficient that takes into account the inherent value of animals; 2) Taking the composition of a national stockpile as a starting point and designing the agricultural production system from a combined environmental and ethical perspective. In this system, the environmentally and ethically preferable foodstuffs would be purchased by the government and sold to the global markets. The premiums between these two prices would constitute the subsidies for the national production. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Haapanen L.,University of Helsinki | Tapio P.,Finnish Futures Research Center
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2016

The concept of degrowth has refuelled the criticism of unchecked economic growth. The purpose of this paper is to identify the central themes of the 21st century growth critique. Qualitative content analysis is conducted for three contemporary classics of the expanding degrowth literature: Peter Victor's Managing without growth: Slower by design, not disaster, Serge Latouche's Farewell to Growth and Tim Jackson's Prosperity without growth: Economics for a finite planet. The analysis reveals three central themes, which provide different perspectives on growth: 1) Growth as a phenomenon, focusing on the forms and impacts of growth and degrowth; 2) Growth as an institution, investigating institutions that either support or depend on growth; 3) Growth as an ideology, perceiving economic growth as an overwhelming and hegemonic political goal above other goals and the need for emancipation. The themes complement each other. Together they provide a new framework for understanding the diverse aspects of growth and degrowth. The analysis shows that the growth critique is essentially a critique of growth societies, not only a critique of GDP growth and that the growth critics are more elaborate in describing what they oppose than what they support. An inner tension within growth critique regarding attitudes to agrowth and degrowth is also revealed. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

In developing countries, providing all citizens an access to modern forms of energy is among the central energy policy objectives, as the linkages between modern energy services and human development are widely recognized. This paper presents in a scenario analysis of rural energy consumption, how energy services in different sectors of a village economy contribute to the achievement of the UNDP Millennium Development Goals. In a rural village in Lao People's Democratic Republic, household energy demand and energy uses were surveyed immediately prior to the electrification of the village. Based on the situation preceding electrification of the village, the development of village electrification was studied by simulating the village energy system, accounting for all village energy uses but transportation. To study the potential development of electricity demand in the village, three scenarios were constructed using the LEAP model: "residential demand", "income generation" and "public services". Energy demand in each scenario was analyzed with reference to the Millennium Development Goals. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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