Commissioner Krähenbühl discussed the situation of Palestinian refugees and the contribution UNWRA has made to promoting stability in the region. The Commissioner stressed that in a world affected by many other armed conflict and crises, it is vital that the international community not forget the situation of Palestine refugees.
In his keynote address, Mr. Viegas discussed the main mobility-related problems affecting quality of urban life and proposed a new approach to address these challenges, taking advantage of the possibilities opened by digital connectivity. He showed how ride sharing can play a key role in addressing congestion, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, parking, car use and car ownership. He focused in particular on lessons learned on the International Transport Forum simulations that have been run in Lisbon in which buses and cars were replaced by different types of shared vehicles. Finally, he discussed the potential application of ride sharing in Dublin.
The recognition of the transformative power of urbanisation as an engine for sustainable development is a historical paradigm shift initiated by Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Dr Clos argued that cities provide a unique opportunity to effectively address many of our problems today: social inequality, economic development, climate change and resilience to natural and man-made disasters. At this critical junction in our global history, innovative solutions are required to meet the most pressing challenges faced by our cities. The New Urban Agenda is an action-oriented plan which sets global standards for sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities, contributing to prosperity, employments and development.
Brexit will have a profound impact on energy and climate change policy in both the United Kingdom and the EU27. For the United Kingdom, the post-Brexit absence of EU environmental legislation and EU-level long-term climate and energy targets will pose environmental sustainability and energy security challenges. At the same time, the EU is set to lose some of its most skilled and experienced climate diplomats in a time where EU leadership on global climate change issues is crucial. In his address, Nick Mabey discussed how leaders on both sides of Brexit negotiations can generate a constructive dialogue around these critical policy areas.
In this presentation, Dr Fergal McNamara gave the reaction of the electricity industry to the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, with special emphasis on Distribution System Operator (DSO) viewpoints. EURELECTRIC is the sector association which represents over 2,700 DSOs, retailers and generators across Europe in public affairs matters in Brussels.
Despite a robust multi-decadal long-term trend of global warming, much scientific attention and publicity has surrounded an alleged global warming hiatus, or slowdown. Record-breaking global temperatures in 2014, 2015 and 2016 have reaffirmed the warming trend, and effectively ended discussion of a hiatus. In his talk, Prof. Peter Thorne provided an insider’s perspective on the hiatus’s rise to prominence, and assessed the scientific and societal implications.