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Pistorius T.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Freiberg H.,German Federal Ministry for the Environment
Forests | Year: 2014

Continuing depletion of forest resources, particularly in tropical developing countries, has turned vast areas of intact ecosystems into urbanized and agricultural lands. The degree of degradation varies, but in most cases, the ecosystem functions and the ability to provide a variety of ecosystem services are severely impaired. In addition to many other challenges, successful forest restoration of these lands requires considerable resources and funding, but the ecological, economic and social benefits have the potential to outweigh the investment. As a consequence, at the international policy level, restoration is seen as a field of land use activities that provides significant contributions to simultaneously achieving different environmental and social policy objectives. Accordingly, different policy processes at the international policy level have made ecological landscape restoration a global priority, in particular the Convention on Biological Diversity with the Aichi Target 15 agreed upon in 2010, which aims at restoring 15% of all degraded land areas by 2020. While such ambitious policy targets are important for recognizing and agreeing upon solutions for environmental problems, they are unlikely to be further substantiated or governed. The objective of this paper is thus to develop a complementary governance approach to the top-down implementation of the Aichi target. Drawing on collaborative and network governance theories, we discuss the potential of a collaborative networked governance approach and perspectives for overcoming the inherent challenges facing a rapid large-scale restoration of degraded lands. © 2014 by the authors.

Despite comprising over 300 million inhabitants and representing 4.9% of the world’s GDP 17 UNECE countries in South and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia represented only 0.5% or USD 0.9 billion of global renewable energy investment in 2014. Attracting investment represents a major challenge in these countries, despite numerous support schemes and policies for renewable energy.   These are some of the main findings of the REN21 UNECE Renewable Energy Status Report, produced for the first time by UNECE and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st century (REN21), in collaboration with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and strong support of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) The report provides a comprehensive overview of the status of renewable energy and energy efficiency markets, industry, policy and regulatory frameworks, and investment activities. The report draws on information from national and regional sources to present the most up-to-date summary of sustainable energy in: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Montenegro, Russian Federation, Serbia, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.   There is huge untapped renewable energy potential in many of these countries, while the share of renewable energy in total final energy consumption differs widely.   Countries with high shares of renewable energy in total final energy consumption are amongst those with limited or no fossil fuel reserves. These include Tajikistan (58%, hydropower), Montenegro (46%, traditional biomass and hydropower), Albania (38%, mostly hydropower with traditional biomass use), Georgia (28%, mostly hydropower with some traditional biomass uses) and Kyrgyzstan (22%, hydropower).   There is significant deployment of modern renewables only in Ukraine (mostly solar photovoltaics – or PV – and onshore wind), which is currently however effected by the difficult geopolitical situation. Smaller developments (mostly onshore wind, solar PV and biogas/biomass installations) exist in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.   The report highlights, that although rural electrification is not a central issue for the countries, distributed renewable energy solutions such as solar PV, small-scale wind, biomass and micro-hydro can be a practical way forward to provide  electricity people leaving in remote areas or in areas suffering frequent power outages or unstable power.    The penetration of modern renewable energy technologies for heating and cooling in the 17 countries remains modest, despite considerable potential and supportive energy efficiency measures. Countries of South East and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia continue to face challenges in improving the efficiency of their electricity supply, despite ongoing modernization of their aging electricity infrastructure.   “Over the past two decades, South East and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Russian Federation made strides into the realm of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Governments advanced in developing targets and policies to promote the diverse renewable energy sources that are abundant across the region. Viewed from a global perspective, however, these developments remain marginal and greater project deployment and investment flows are needed to catch up with global renewable energy market development” says Christine Lins, Executive Secretary of REN21.   “This report shows that these 17 countries are highly promising for the deployment of the various renewable energy technologies but still lack behind the considerable advances made in other regions of the world. It also shows that renewable energy will be key to achieve Global Goal 7: Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. This will require significant efforts and thinking out of the box” outlines Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary of UNECE.   The full report has been launched on 7 December 2015 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21). The full report can be downloaded here: www.ren21.net/regional http://www.unece.org

Marr S.,German Federal Ministry for the Environment
Journal for European Environmental and Planning Law | Year: 2014

For decades the EU claimed for itself political leadership in fighting climate change. Less than two years from now to the global climate conference in Paris (in 2015), however, the eu's climate policy stands at a cross roads: The EU can leave its impact weak or it decides to strengthen it showing global leadership in international climate policy making again. The situation is similar in Germany. Europe's self-styled climate policy leader and architect of an economy-wide energy transformation ("Energiewende") that followed the Fukushima events in 2011, the country now finds itself embattled by industry, political interest groups and consumers, and it risks losing track. If political leaders wish to save the "Energiewende" certainly one of the boldest political reforms in decades they need to get serious about putting it into practice. © 2014 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Morgenstern L.,German Federal Ministry for the Environment | Wellershoff J.-K.,German Federal Ministry for the Environment
Journal for European Environmental and Planning Law | Year: 2014

The international climate negotiations are in a crucial phase. One and a half years before the UN climate conference in Paris where the new climate protection agreement is supposed to be agreed many questions remain open. The international climate conference in Warsaw in fall 2013 brought some clarity with regard to the process towards Paris. In particular, it was agreed that Parties should submit their intended nationally determined (greenhouse gas mitigation) contributions well before Paris. However, with regard to the substance of the new agreement only little progress was made. One of the most important achievements of the Warsaw conference was the Warsaw Mechanism on loss and damage. © 2014 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.

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