Kaj Embren

Archives for Leadership

Twenty city mayors from five Nordic countries have joined forces in urging world governments to reach meaningful agreements at the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. In an op-ed published in the magazine Cities Today, the influential group warns that any repeat of disputes which hampered previous summits would prove “very dangerous, since the… » read more

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In the last days of June, 20 Nordic mayors, nine representatives from Nordic cities, and 45 experts in urban development and climate change (from as far afield as the US, Africa and India) converged in Gotland, Sweden. They joined together for a special event at Almedalen Week – a series of talks and seminars geared… » read more

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Issues of energy efficiency and sustainable energy production may have featured less prominently in the recent unrest, but they may present the greatest long-term opportunity for Kiev to seize control of its own fortunes. European investment can also play a crucial role in encouraging energy (and thus political) independence, for the country. In Ukraine´s third… » read more

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IPCC. Drought. Storms. CO2 levels of 400 ppm. In 2014, climate change and sustainability moved from being distinct environmental concerns to becoming systematic welfare issues. Agricultural production was effected by both droughts and floods in many areas around the world. We have also seen war and conflictemerge in the wake of climate change and the… » read more

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The move from linear business models to circular ones is an exciting development. More and more companies are rejecting the “business as usual” model by maximizing the value extracted from resources and reusing them to generate new products as well as by improving efficiency which enable cost savings in raw materials, labour, energy, water, waste… » read more

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Prevent, recycle and reuse

As urban consumers our use of resources leaves a huge footprint on the planet. In Europe alone, 8 billion plastic bags find their way through to waste disposal systems, creating unnecessary environmental problems. The OECD expects that its member countries will generate 45 percent more waste than it did in 1995. A new EU directive… » read more

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The planet’s atmosphere is constantly being flooded with more greenhouse gases. The more that we unleash, the more we warm the planet. Put simply: now is the time to let our fossil fuel reserves rest in peace. If we are to create a sustainable future, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says that at least two-thirds… » read more

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Over the coming days and weeks I hope to see a more proactive agenda emerge from stakeholders across the public, private and voluntary sectors. With the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launched its 36-page policy report in Stockholm the 27th of September, there will be many new messages and lessons to absorb. But… » read more

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I often find myself thinking about our ability to make decisions. Perhaps this is because the fundamental ethics that lie behind our choices can apply to both the large and small issues that we deal with each day – at work, with our families or when we go shopping. Psychologists and philosophers like Kant and… » read more

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A Question of Leadership

As regular readers of my blog will know, the reasons to embrace sustainability range from the moral (think: averting climate chaos) through to the hardheaded (think: job creation). Regrettably, one vital incentive is missing: government backing. Despite what the Freemarketeers like to tell you, government support has been critical to many of the great technological… » read more

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