SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT053Right: Connie Hedegaard,Commissioner for ClimateAction, EuropeanCommisssionimporting oil and gas can be invested in our domesticmanufacturing industries and services instead.All over the world countries and companies are seizingthese opportunities. Emerging countries like China, forinstance, have made low-carbon and energy-efficienttechnologies a main focus of their growth strategies.Now, at least 89 counties have pledged domesticemission reductions, including quite a number ofEurope's key partners from around the world, such as China, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, India, Japanand Korea. What countries have committed to internationally isdriven to a significant extent by domestic agendas toincrease energy security and competitiveness in keygrowth sectors and accelerate innovation. And it is veryencouraging to see how increasingly more countriesare considering emissions trading systems as the mostcost effective tool to achieve these goals. The current emission reduction pledges by developedand developing countries, however, are not sufficientfor meeting the global goal of keeping global warmingbelow 2°C. Analysis by UNEP shows that currentpledges only bring us 60 per cent towards the target.So it is important that the EU's ambitious long-termemissions reduction plan is met by similar low-carbondevelopment plans by other parts of the world. The EUcannot stop climate change alone, as it is onlyresponsible for about 12 per cent of global greenhousegas emissions. Therefore it is important that we keep fighting for anambitious, comprehensive legally-binding global dealon climate action. Regrettably we have still a long andchallenging way ahead of us to reach that objective. Sothe road to the Durban conference in South Africa atthe end of this year is not going to be an easy one. Lastyear, in Cancun, the international community hasproven yet that it is possible to move on - step by step.The emission reduction pledges and the 2°C targetagreed in Copenhagen are now enshrined in an officialUN document; we set up frameworks for co-operationon adaptation and technology; developed countriesproved that they are delivering on short term climatefinancing and for the longer term, a Green ClimateFund was set up. Last but not least, we took importantsteps forward towards achieving real transparencyabout the different countries' mitigation actions.Now, in the run-up to Durban, we have to make allthese Cancun agreements operational. Yet we alsoneed to take new steps forward. For the EU it is clearthat ambitious global climate action cannot beachieved if we only use public funding; we also need toraise private funding through carbon markets andclimate-related business activities, which are takingoff all over the world. To raise climate funding the EU would like to work withdeveloping countries to develop some new, sectoralcarbon markets. We want to include the aviation andmaritime sector; it is simply not logical that these trulyglobal means of transport are excluded from theinternational regulations. Clever climate policies are not about climate alone; they also improve energy security, stimulateinnovation, raise competitiveness, and createeconomic growth and jobs. While governments have toset the right conditions and take further efforts tophase out fossil fuel subsidies -which would createincentives to use energy more efficiently - the privatesector has a key role to play in delivering solutions,undertaking the investment and technologicalinnovation needed, providing finance for mitigationand adaptation, adopting lower-carbon productionprocesses, and encouraging more climate-consciouspurchasing decisions by consumers. Together we canrealise this vision of a more sustainable global growth.But we have to start now. nABOUT THE AUTHORConnie Hedegaard joined the European Commissionas Commissioner for Climate Action, a new portfolio,in 2010. Her ambition is to see Europe become themost climate-friendly region in the world by the endof her five-year mandate.Prior to moving to the Commission, ConnieHedegaard was Denmark's Minister for Climate and Energy, and before that for Environment. She was elected member of the Danish parliament in1984 at the age of 23, and from 1990 to 2004 sheworked as a journalist and columnist for various TVand print media.
011 is a vital year for sustainability. The G8summit has a pivotal role to play if we aregoing to reach a binding agreement at the UNFCCC's COP17 summit in Durban,South Africa. Key stakeholders must work together tocreate the right framework for businesses to succeed inthe new low carbon economy. Together we can all make adifference and the International Green Awards has animportant part to play in this exciting and challengingjourney. Launched in 2006 to critical acclaim, theInternational Green Awards recognises strategies that usecreativity in an engaging and effective manner, leading tomore sustainable outcomes. It is now an establishedevent on the global sustainable business-calendar."Our biggest problem is the need to think differently: howto escape from the constraints of the consumer society(which should perhaps be re-labelled the consumptivesociety), and see ourselves as a multiplying animalspecies changing the surface of the Earth to our short-term advantage and its long term detriment. In the currentgeological epoch of the Anthropocene, we shouldremember how small and vulnerable we are, and reckonwith the consequences of our failures of understanding." Sir Crispin Tickell, Director of the Policy ForesightProgramme, Oxford University and International GreenAwards 2011 JudgeBy showcasing "best in class" examples of effectiveand creative approaches to sustainability, theInternational Green Awards aims to be an agent ofchange. To this end, the Awards team searches theglobe every year to find true influencers, leaders,entrepreneurs and innovators, identifying worldwidesustainability success stories that inspire and motivateothers. It is no exercise in fluffy back-patting. The Awards are part of the Royal Society of ArtsEnvironment Award Accreditation scheme and allsubmitted entries require evidence of efficacy andtransparency. Previous winners have included Nokia,Marks & Spencer, Toyota and the China EnvironmentalProtection Foundation."Earth's natural capital is ultimately our only security forthe future. Rapid environmental, social and technologicalchanges are presenting human society withunprecedented challenges. Fortunately, people,businesses and governments around the world arewaking up, not just to the threats we face, but to the manyopportunities there are for addressing them." Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, UnitedNations Environment Programme (UNEP)"In a finite world, the only way that humanity can sustaineconomic and social development is through innovation- finding ways to meet our needs at lower cost to theenvironment. The International Green Awards 2011 are awelcome recognition of the diverse forms of innovationrequired to create genuinely green economics." Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director, EuropeanEnvironment AgencyThe Awards have built up a considerable followingamong sustainability professionals, CEOs, MarketingDirectors, Business Editors and CSR Directorsspanning nations as diverse as China, Japan, NewZealand, Brazil, USA, the UAE, South Korea, Romaniaand Greece. In fact, anyone anywhere who wants toengage with green issues, share knowledge andpromote best practice in sustainability on a global levelnow looks to the International Green Awards. Consequently, the Awards have grown and evolvedsince their inception. Last year, over 500 organisationsparticipated. This year, the International Green Awardsis celebrating as its chosen theme the UNGREAT IDEAS ONCE CREATEDTHE WORLD. NOW GREATIDEAS CAN SAVE IT054SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT2IAIN PATTON, CEO, INTERNATIONAL GREEN AWARDS