Rioplus2005 June

What can we expect from Rio+20

Sergio Abranches

Rio+20 can still arrive at a relevant outcome in spite of the dismal results of three rounds of negotiation at the United Nations headquarters in New York. But this outcome will certainly fall short of expectations and scientific requirements. The most a meeting with the characteristics of Rio+20 could achieve is to decide on a set of minimum ground rules  for countries to build the architecture for a future green, low-carbon, low ecological footprint economy. More »

Article02 March

G20 looks at green economy and disaster risk reduction

Sergio Abranches

G20′s Finance ministers and Central Bank governors met last week, February 25-26 in Mexico City to discuss global economic troubles. In their communiqué they have conceded a few words to the green economy, and to disaster risk management. Should we see it as a sign that there is hope they’ll someday get smarter?

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Article23 August

Climate losses in the U.S. at $35 billion

Sérgio Abranches

Economic damage costs related to extreme climate events to date in the US exceed $35 Billion, says the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration – NOAA. These costs are likely to affect both the domestic and the global economies already facing a serious crisis. More »

Analysis, Article15 July

The Future Is Low Carbon

Sergio Abranches

Moving from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy entails replacing the global energy and industrial high-carbon infrastructure over the next decades. UN’s recent Economic and Social Survey 2011 – The Great Green Technological Transformation estimates replacement costs at $15-$20 trillion, or between one quarter and one third of global income. More »

Article11 May

Can local sustainable development save the Amazon?

Sergio Abranches

Local sustainable development 2.0, that’s how we should call what is happening in 80 municipalities of the Brazilian giant state of Pará, in the Amazon region. Pará is 1.8 times the size of Texas. These 80 towns are basically dominated by cattle-ranching and some timber production. Beef, timber, and soybean have been the main culprits for a long history of illegal logging, that has claimed about 20% of the Amazon rainforest, and 27% of Pará’s forest cover. More »

Article27 April

Climate change as a permanent driver of economy and society

Sergio Abranches

Looking at the sequence of extreme weather events from 2005 to the beginning of 2011 it seems clear that any trend analysis or future scenario has to look at climate change as a central driver. More »