Posts Tagged:Energy efficiency

The Great Transformation must be a socio-cultural one

Yesterday, German sociologist and social psychologist Harald Welzer, who is well known for his books and research on climate change and sustainability, visited Vienna’s new University of Economics and Business to give an interesting “WU Sustainability Controversies” talk on transformation processes. According to Welzer, we’re facing an extremely paradoxical task: An economic system based on…

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Do Smart Cities make Stupid Citizens?

I recently visited the Smart Cities Week in Vienna where various aspects of smart cities were discussed and many Austrian smart cities and smart regions shared their best practice examples, challenges and experiences. For Austria as a country of small cities (except Vienna) with very diverse structures it is important to break down the global…

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Sustainable cities need integrated urban planning & energy planning

Earlier this month, I visited the Zero Emissions Cities Conference in Vienna’s City Hall which tried to answer the question how tomorrow’s smart cities can significantly reduce their carbon emissions. It offered general insights as well as presentations of specific technologies like building-integrated photovoltaics, small-scale urban wind power, LED lighting systems or thermal energy storage.…

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The same old shale gas story

As expected, Daniel Yergin’s public talk on “Future Energy” yesterday at Vienna’s new University of Economics and Business Administration was centered around the US shale gas revolution. The Pulitzer-prize winning author, energy advisor to Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama and fossil fuel advocate didn’t surprise the audience with his controversial viewpoint: Renewables aren’t competitive without…

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World Energy Outlook 2013: The Good, the Bad and the Really Ugly

Yesterday, the International Energy Agency released its highly-anticipated World Energy Outlook 2013. As expected in my previous blogpost, the report heralds the medium-term end of the US shale gas boom but also serves as a warning that continuing with business-as-usual energy policies will put us on a path to devastating climate change. But first things…

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Austria’s huge energy, climate and environmental challenges

This year, Greenpeace Austria celebrates its 30th birthday (me too). To celebrate this anniversary, Greenpeace hosted a discussion on future challenges for Austria’s energy, climate and environmental policy in the Austrian Parliament where its CEO Alexander Egit once again put the main challenges for our new government into a nutshell. At the end of the…

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EARTHtalks: Dare to be great!

On Thursday May, 16th, the annual EARTHtalks brought together renowned speakers and many (especially young) people interested in climate change and the environment in Vienna’s imperial Hofburg. In her introductory remarks, Freda Meissner-Blau chose “We want a lively planet” as the theme for this inspirational event which is organized by NEONGREEN Network as an “Initiative…

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BC’s carbon tax is a success story for the economy and the climate

Last week, I also visited a Carbon Talks lecture on “BC’s Carbon Tax Shift: What’s Working? What’s Next?” where I got an insight into Sustainable Prosperity’s recent evaluation of BC’s carbon tax shift. BC’s carbon tax was introduced in July 2008 as North America’s first carbon tax. It started at a price of $10 per…

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