Seal A.,University College London |
Bailey R.,Royal Institute of International Affairs
Conflict and Health | Year: 2013
Background: Famine early warning systems clearly identified the risk of famine in South Central Somalia in 2010-2011 but timely action to prevent the onset of famine was not taken. The result was large scale mortality, morbidity, and population displacement. Discussion. The main factor that turned a drought-related food crisis into a famine was the war that afflicted southern Somalia and the tactics adopted by the various belligerents. These included non-state actors, regional, and international governments. In disasters and complex emergencies, such as this, we posit that five conditions need to be in place to enable humanitarian agencies to provide a timely response to early warnings of famine. These are: presence; access; adequate funding; operational capacity; and legal protection for humanitarian action. In the run up to the Somalia famine each of these presented severe challenges to humanitarian action. The design of the current coordination and funding system contributed to the problems of achieving a neutral, independent, and effective humanitarian response. Summary. The 2011 famine in Somalia was predicted and could have been mitigated or prevented if the humanitarian response had been timely and more effective. To improve responsiveness to early warnings, action is required to better insulate the humanitarian system from political agendas. While overcoming constraints, such as lack of access, may sometimes be beyond the scope of humanitarian actors, more could be done to enhance the perceived neutrality of parts of the humanitarian system. This should include a reappraisal of the cluster coordination system and reforms to donor funding mechanisms. © 2013 Seal and Bailey; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
De Silva P.N.K.,University College London |
Simons S.J.R.,University College London |
Stevens P.,Royal Institute of International Affairs
Energy Policy | Year: 2016
In the US, the shale gas revolution ensured that the development costs of unconventional natural gas plummeted to thelevels of $ 2-3/Mcf. This success has motivated the development of shale gas in other regions, including Australia and Europe. This study, focussing primarily on aspects of economic impact analysis, estimates the development costs of shale gas extraction in both Australia and Europe, based on both direct and fiscal costs, and also suggests policy initiatives. The increasing liquefied natural gas (LNG) developments in Australia are already straining domestic gas supplies. Hence,the development of more natural gas resources has been given a high priority. However, a majority of the Australian shale resources is non-marine in origin and significantly different to the marine-type shales in the US. In addition, the challenges of high development costs and the lack of infrastructure, service capacity and effective government policy are inhibiting shale gas development. Increasing the attractiveness of low risk investment by new, local, developers is critical forAustralian shale gas success, which will simultaneously increase domestic gas security. In the European context, unconventional gas development will be challenged by direct, rather than fiscal costs. High direct costs will translate into averagoverall gas development costs over $ 13/Mcf, which is well over the existing market price. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Grimston M.,Royal Institute of International Affairs
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy | Year: 2012
At least before the Fukushima accident of March 2011, global interest in building nuclear power stations stood at a 25-year high. However, the wave of nuclear construction in the 1970s and 1980s proved not to be sustainable. This article seeks to address whether a new wave of nuclear construction now would prove to be any more sustainable than the first wave by analysing security of supply, economic, and environmental and social/political factors. There are striking similarities between the situation in, say 1982 or 1992 and the situation in 2012, including rising construction costs and questions about safety after major nuclear accidents. There are also major differences, such as greatly raised fears over climate change, a need for significant new power generating capacity of some description in developed and developing countries and high fossil fuel prices. Analysing and quantifying the effects of these similarities and differences should allow policymakers some insight into likely futures, but energy policymaking will never be an exact science, requiring considerable degrees of value judgement and interpretation of uncertain data. © IMechE 2012.
Durodie B.,Royal Institute of International Affairs |
Durodie B.,Nanyang Technological University
Journal of Risk Research | Year: 2012
Whereas past episodes of rioting in UK cities confronted the state authorities with a conscious and collective political problem - either through opposition to job losses or to institutional racism - in the post-political climate today we witness a shift towards individual action driven more by identity than by ideology. The one element that united the otherwise disaggregated rioters across the UK recently was more their taste in expensive sportswear (branded trainers) and electrical goods (plasma television screens) than anything else. Far from being a backlash against the police shooting of a petty, local black criminal in north London, or to the austerity measures introduced by the Liberal-Conservative government to combat the UK state deficit, some commentators suggest that what we now see is the product of a generation brought up on welfare for whom the old allegiances of work, family and community have lost their meaning and who, accordingly, are only able to assert their identity through the expression of their consumer tastes. This article examines what really drove the recent UK riots and explores the twin crises - of authority and of identity that they have exposed. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Moss R.L.,European Commission |
Tzimas E.,European Commission |
Kara H.,Oakdene Hollins Ltd. |
Willis P.,Oakdene Hollins Ltd. |
And 2 more authors.
Energy Policy | Year: 2013
This paper examines the use of materials, in particular metals, in six low-carbon energy technologies of the European Union's Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), namely nuclear, solar, wind, bioenergy, carbon capture and storage and electricity grids. The projected average annual demand for metals in the SET-Plan technologies for the decades up to 2020 and 2030 is compared to the known global production volume in 2010. From an initial inventory of over 50 metals, 14 metals were identified that will require 1% or more of the 2010 world supply per annum between 2020 and 2030. These 14 metals are cadmium, dysprosium, gallium, hafnium, indium, molybdenum, neodymium, nickel, niobium, selenium, silver, tellurium, tin and vanadium. These metals were examined further by analysing the effect of market and geo-political factors of supply and demand, which highlighted five metals to represent a high risk to large-scale technology deployment, namely: neodymium, dysprosium, indium, tellurium and gallium. The five metals were further analysed with respect to the wind and solar sectors, showing that the demand of these metals could increase significantly depending on future sub-technology choices. Mitigation strategies to alleviate potential shortages are also discussed, e.g. extending primary output; re-use, re-cycling and waste reduction; and substitution. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Larson H.J.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine |
Larson H.J.,Royal Institute of International Affairs |
Smith D.M.D.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine |
Paterson P.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine |
And 11 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013
Background: The intensity, spread, and effects of public opinion about vaccines are growing as new modes of communication speed up information sharing, contributing to vaccine hesitancy, refusals, and disease outbreaks. We aimed to develop a new application of existing surveillance systems to detect and characterise early signs of vaccine issues. We also aimed to develop a typology of concerns and a way to assess the priority of each concern. Methods: Following preliminary research by The Vaccine Confidence Project, media reports (eg, online articles, blogs, government reports) were obtained using the HealthMap automated data collection system, adapted to monitor online reports about vaccines, vaccination programmes, and vaccine-preventable diseases. Any reports that did not meet the inclusion criteria-any reference to a human vaccine or vaccination campaign or programme that was accessible online-were removed from analysis. Reports were manually analysed for content and categorised by concerns, vaccine, disease, location, and source of report, and overall positive or negative sentiment towards vaccines. They were then given a priority level depending on the seriousness of the reported event and time of event occurrence. We used descriptive statistics to analyse the data collected during a period of 1 year, after refinements to the search terms and processes had been made. Findings: We analysed data from 10380 reports (from 144 countries) obtained between May 1, 2011, and April 30, 2012. 7171 (69%) contained positive or neutral content and 3209 (31%) contained negative content. Of the negative reports, 1977 (24%) were associated with impacts on vaccine programmes and disease outbreaks; 1726 (21%) with beliefs, awareness, and perceptions; 1371 (16%) with vaccine safety; and 1336 (16%) with vaccine delivery programmes. We were able to disaggregate the data by country and vaccine type, and monitor evolution of events over time and location in specific regions where vaccine concerns were high. Interpretation: Real-time monitoring and analysis of vaccine concerns over time and location could help immunisation programmes to tailor more effective and timely strategies to address specific public concerns. Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Outterson K.,Boston University |
Outterson K.,Royal Institute of International Affairs |
Outterson K.,Preventions Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group |
Powers J.H.,George Washington University |
And 2 more authors.
Health Affairs | Year: 2015
Multidrug-resistant bacterial diseases pose serious and growing threats to human health. While innovation is important to all areas of health research, it is uniquely important in antibiotics. Resistance destroys the fruit of prior research, making it necessary to constantly innovate to avoid falling back into a pre-antibiotic era. But investment is declining in antibiotics, driven by competition from older antibiotics, the cost and uncertainty of the development process, and limited reimbursement incentives. Good public health practices curb inappropriate antibiotic use, making return on investment challenging in payment systems based on sales volume. We assess the impact of recent initiatives to improve antibiotic innovation, reflecting experience with all sixty-seven new molecular entity antibiotics approved by the Food and Drug Administration since 1980. Our analysis incorporates data and insights derived from several multistakeholder initiatives under way involving governments and the private sector on both sides of the Atlantic. We propose three specific reforms that could revitalize innovations that protect public health, while promoting long-term sustainability: increased incentives for antibiotic research and development, surveillance, and stewardship; greater targeting of incentives to high-priority public health needs, including reimbursement that is delinked from volume of drug use; and enhanced global collaboration, including a global treaty. © 2015 Project HOPE-The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.
News Article | January 20, 2016
Google’s head of ideas, Jared Cohen, said in London this week that the terror group ISIS must be pushed off of the open web if it is to be hindered from spreading its message online. Cohen, whose responsibility at Google is to build tools to fight oppression, made the comments on Monday during a talk with the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, reports The Guardian. Cohen said it won’t be possible to push ISIS from the dark web, commonly accessed by a small number of more advanced Internet users using the Tor network, so focus must be spent on removing and combating the terrorist organization's propaganda on the tradition Internet that can be indexed by search engines. ISIS has been exploiting the open Internet to radicalize young people and attract new supporters. The terrorist group is active on social media, including on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. In addition to using bots to spread propaganda on these channels, the group produces professional-quality videos designed for social media. "What ISIS is doing is reflective of the times, as opposed to some sort of new sophistication that magically appeared," Cohen said. "What is new is that they’re operating without being pushed back in the same Internet we all enjoy. So success looks like ISIS being contained to the dark web." Because of its reach online, Cohen says ISIS has been able to perform a sleight of hand by creating more social media accounts than it has members. This "has managed to create an exaggerated sense of their size online," says Cohen. Cohen says to combat ISIS’s open web reach, its social media accounts must be taken offline as soon as they appear. This will prevent ISIS for spreading its propaganda and recruiting new members to its cause. Cohen's comments were bolstered by a recent report from George Washington University’s program on extremism, which found that "social media activity played a crucial role in radicalisation and mobilisation to Iraq and Syria," according to The Guardian. In the end, Cohen says, ISIS is "not a tech savvy organisation." It uses the same tactics Internet fraudsters and spammers do. However, Cohen notes these tactics should not be underestimated. The Guardian notes that, besides blocking ISIS’s social media accounts as soon as they appear, other proposals for fighting ISIS online include serving targeted ads denouncing the group to people who search for the organization online.
News Article | December 1, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC, December 01, 2016-- William A. Nitze has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and preeminence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.Recognized for more than four and one-half decades of invaluable contributions to the energy and environment field, Mr. Nitze has parlayed his knowledge and experience from a series of positions in the private, government and non-profit sectors into his current leadership roles in Oceana Energy Company and several other early stage companies including Senseye, Inc. He started his career as an associate lawyer at the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell in 1970 after receiving his JD from Harvard Law School in 1969 and BA degrees from Wadham College, Oxford, and Harvard College in 1966 and 1964, respectively.In 1972, Mr. Nitze left Sullivan & Cromwell to devote himself to the reorganization of London Arts, Inc. as its Vice-President. After successful completion of this task, he joined Mobil Oil Corporation in 1974 as counsel in Mobil South, Inc., where he handled legal matters with respect to the reorganization of Mobil's marketing activities in a number of Southern Hemisphere countries, briefly acting as General Manager of Mobil Oil Zaire during the summer of 1975. In 1976, Mr. Nitze was appointed General Counsel and a Director of Mobil Oil Japan in Tokyo, where he managed the company's legal portfolio and represented it in critical profit-sharing negotiations.In 1980, he returned to New York City as an Associate General Counsel of Mobil's Exploration and Producing Division, where he spent the next seven years working on legal matters related to Mobil's exploration and producing activities in East Africa, the North Sea and North America. During this period Mr. Nitze became increasingly involved in New York Republican politics building on his prior position as Chairman of Republicans Abroad - Japan, an involvement that finally led to his receiving a political position in the Reagan Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment, Health and Natural Resources in 1987.After acting as the State Department's working level negotiator on a broad range of international environmental issues including ozone depletion, acid rain, chemical safety, wildlife conservation and climate change, Mr. Nitze left government in early 1990 to become a visiting scholar at the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). At ELI he wrote a paper jointly published by ELI and the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London on formulating a climate convention many of whose proposed elements were reflected in the International Framework Convention on Climate Change signed at Rio de Janeiro in 1992.Later in 1990, Mr. Nitze became President of the Alliance to Save Energy, a broad coalition of elected officials, industry and union leaders, environmental NGOs and regulators dedicated to promoting programs, investments, standards and other policies to improve energy efficiency in the U.S. and abroad. During this period, he also became a professional lecturer at the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies, co-teaching a course on the formulation of international environmental regimes with a focus on climate change. Mr. Nitze subsequently taught or co-taught this course several more times and in 2016 resumed his teaching career as an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University co-teaching a course on ethics and artificial intelligence.He was nominated and confirmed as Assistant Administrator for International Activities at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1994. During his six and one-half years in that position, Mr. Nitze represented the Administrator in managing bi-lateral and tri-lateral efforts to address transboundary pollution issues and build environmental infrastructure in North America and led efforts to strengthen environmental cooperation with key countries around the world. He also partnered with his counterpart at the Department of Defense in a new environmental security initiative to help the Russian Federation better manage its low and high-level nuclear waste.After leaving government at the end of the Clinton Administration in 2001, Mr. Nitze pursued a number of entrepreneurial activities in the energy and environment field, including consulting as President of the Gemstar Group and becoming the founding Chairman of GridPoint, Inc., an energy management company, in 2003. He also played a leadership role in several environmental non-profits, serving as Chairman of the Climate Institute (2002-9) and the Galapagos Conservancy (2003-9). He has been Chairman of Oceana since 2006 and Vice-Chairman of Senseye since 2015. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mr. Nitze serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Studies at George Mason.A shining example of skill in the field, Mr. Nitze has achieved much throughout his long-standing career. He was recognized by numerous honors publications, such as Who's Who in America, where he was featured 21 times, Who's Who in American Law, 13 times, and Who's Who in American Politics, four times. Looking ahead, he intends to experience the continued growth and success of his career.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis now publishes many Who's Who titles, including Who's Who in America , Who's Who in the World , Who's Who in American Law , Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare , Who's Who in Science and Engineering , and Who's Who in Asia . Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com
News Article | February 2, 2016
Alexandra Clark is a sustainable-food campaigner at Humane Society International. She recently presented HSI's meat reduction work at the COP21 in Paris. Prior to joining HSI, Clark worked for the vice president of the European Parliament and was responsible for a number of high-profile parliamentary initiatives on sustainable food systems. She contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. Global leaders in Paris accomplished much with the climate change agreement they reached late last year, but it had its shortcomings — including a failure to specifically mitigate the emissions of climate-changing gases from animal agriculture. However, outside of the Paris talks, policymakers in the European Union (EU) are beginning to advance that discussion, pushing for a shift away from diets heavy in meat, egg and dairy products, in an effort to clear the air. There is extensive research showing the outsize impacts of animal agriculture on the environment. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has concluded that "the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." It's not hard to see why. The process of converting energy and protein in animal feed into meat calories and protein for humans is highly inefficient: For example, a 2014 study led by Henk Westhoek for the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, and appearing in Global Environmental Change, found a 50 percent reduction in all EU consumption of meat, dairy and eggs would cut agricultural greenhouse gas emissions by 19 to 42 percent. Similar research that year in the journal Climatic Change found that, in the U.K., vegetarian and vegan diets had 32 percent and 49 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions , respectively, than medium-meat diets. Compared to high-meat diets, the difference was even starker, with vegan diets emitting 60 percent less greenhouse gasses. Yet, reductions aren't the projected future we face. One 2010 study by Nathan Pelletier and Peter Tyedmers at Dalhousie University, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, projected a 39 percent rise in emissions from animal agriculture by 2050 over year-2000 levels, accounting for more than two-thirds of the amount of greenhouse gases considered safe by 2050. Given the threats that climate change and other environmental impacts from farm animal production pose to long-term food security, there is a need for a global shift away from meat-heavy diets. Less meat for the wealthy, food security for the poor Eggs, meat and milk can continue to serve as sources of nutrition — particularly in rural areas of developing countries, which sometimes exhibit higher rates of undernutrition. Farm animals can provide a variety of supports to pastoralists, mixed farmers and landless peoples in rural areas. In rural communities around the world, people use farm animals as a means of acquiring cash income, a way to save and accumulate assets, as a food source, and as insurance against health or other financial crises. Integrated into a broader rural landscape of small farms, animals provide inputs and services for crop production. However, most farm animal production (and growth in production) is taking place in polluting and inhumane industrial farm animal production systems. These industrial systems are feeding middle- and higher-income consumers who could benefit from more plant-based diets. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 40 percent of adults across the globe are overweight, and noncommunicable diseases linked to the overconsumption of fats and energy-dense foods (such as meat, eggs and milk) are now a leading cause of illness and death worldwide. The WHO has called for an increase in the consumption of plant-based foods — specifically fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts — as part of the solution. Developed countries like the United States still have the highest per-capita meat consumption. However, according to the FAO, developing and emerging economies already account for the majority of meat production overall, and are projected to account for the majority of growth in animal consumption in the coming years. Developing countries where farm animal production is expanding may no longer require an overall increase in the consumption of animal source foods among all segments of their populations, as a significant proportion of their populations are already meeting or exceeding their energy requirements. Ironically, many developing countries with high levels of hunger and malnutrition now simultaneously bear the burden of an obesity-related public health crisis, with the number of overweight women already exceeding the number of underweight women in most developing countriesby 2005, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To allow for a more equitable distribution of agricultural resources and to ensure long-term food security and health for all communities around the world, society should place greater emphasis on small-scale, multipurpose, more animal-welfare-friendly and environmentally sustainable farm animal production led by small farmers. Middle- and higher-income populations should also reduce their consumption of animal products. A side event held within the U.N. climate conference — entitled "Meat: The Big Omission from the Talks on Emissions," hosted by leading international organizations such as the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and Humane Society International — brought together policymakers, scientists and civil society groups, and emphasized the need to reduce the number of animals raised for food. The event highlighted successful efforts around the world to achieve this goal by encouraging people to consume more plants and less meat. Jo Leinen, a German member of the European Parliament, spoke at the event, emphasizing nations' inability to mitigate climate change without shifting away from meat-centric diets. His comments came on the heels of a recently published report by Chatham House, "Changing Climate, Changing Diets: Pathways to Lower Meat Consumption," which specifically addresses potential government interventions to encourage meat and dairy reduction, ranging from public-awareness-raising campaigns to a carbon tax. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger agreed with the event premise — the former California governor, actor and bodybuilder made waves during the climate conference by calling on people to keep meat off their plates one or two days a week to address climate change, according to the BBC. And, a growing number of food service providers, educational institutions, environmental groups and other stakeholders are embracing meat-reduction initiatives such as Meatless Monday. In October, HSI launched Green Monday South Africa and a Meatless Monday campaign in Mexico with events attended by media, celebrities and other stakeholders. There are also thriving humane eating campaigns in India, China and other emerging economies where meat consumption is rapidly rising, along with problems relating obesity and chronic disease. The growing middle- and upper-class consumers in these countries are becoming increasingly sensitive to animal welfare, health and environmental issues, as exhibited by the increasing number of food companies in these regions adopting animal welfare policies, and the growth in the market for organic and other sustainable products. HSI advocates what it calls compassionate eating, or the three R's: "reducing" or "replacing" consumption of animal products, and "refining" diets by choosing products from sources that adhere to higher animal welfare standards. In the EU, those goals are gaining popularity, and there is growing public support for meeting the target of a 30 percent reduction in animal product consumption by 2030 through a variety of policy mechanisms. HSI launched this formal call in September 2015 at The Free Lunch, one of the largest food events ever held outside the European Parliament, where approximately 1,000 people, including politicians, attended in support of reducing the consumption of animal-based foods in the EU. The event featured cross-party members of the European Parliament, including the Parliament's vice president, civil society representatives and a representative of the EU Health and Food Safety Commission. Pathways to the 30 percent goal include incorporating sustainable food consumption into the EU and its member states' climate action plan; revising the European Commission's Green Public Procurement guidelines; and developing guidelines for healthy and sustainable diets. In early 2015, more than 60 cross-party members of the European Parliament wrote to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and others to demand the publication of the blocked Communication on Building a Sustainable System, as well as EU sustainable dietary guidelines including a reduction in consumption of animal-based foods. The communication has been held up by a "principle of political discontinuity," practically ensuring that this important document never sees the light of day. Yet science demands more work to move this issue forward. With its overall goal and its recognition of the importance of people's consumption choices, the Paris Agreement provides a signal at the global level. The preamble of the document states that "sustainable lifestyles and sustainable patterns of consumption and production, with developed country Parties taking the lead, play an important role in addressing climate change." The parties should elaborate this at the national and subnational level. Research increasingly shows the benefits of moving toward more plant-based diets — to improve the welfare of farm animals, promote environmental sustainability and protect human health. It is time to really get to the meat of the matter and stop avoiding the elephant — or chicken or pig — in the room. Follow all of the Expert Voices issues and debates — and become part of the discussion — on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This version of the article was originally published on Live Science. Why Does Less Meat Mean Less Heat? (Op-Ed) Copyright 2016 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.