This piece was written by a European and an American both deeply engaged in efforts to moderate global warming, and each of whom has lived in both Europe and the United States. We give a perspective on the present situation regarding climate change in Europe; a parallel perspective on the situation in the U.S.; and then close with a series of recommendations and policy opportunities that should be on the agenda of the transatlantic partnership, but which reflect the reality that Europe is the leading geopolitical unit today in defining and mobilizing global progress toward a regime of carbon limits that holds out the possibility of avoiding the most catastrophic consequences of global warming.
Dinner Speech, May 11, 2006
Bren School Corporate Partners Summit
Tomorrow, we shall discuss the science, management and economics of catastrophes. After Katrina, this is one of the hot debates in this country and the world. I seem to observe some kind of a new mindset setting in and do hope that the Bren School and the [...]
Keynote address given at the China Development Forum 2005
Dear Professor Lu Mai, dear Professor Liu Shinjin, ladies and gentlemen,
It is an unusual honour for me to be invited to this keynote address, which I have put it under the title of Resource Productivity.
This title contrasts with the preoccupation with labour productivity during the last 200 years of technological progress. Labour productivity has been the melody of the first Industrial Revolution. It increased twentyfold or more during those 200 years. This has been the basis of prosperity and it is the main theme of China’s stunning economic progress.
Speech held at the RadTech Conference 2003 in Berlin, 3 November 2003
Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, MdB/MP
Chairman, Bundestag Environment Committee, Germany
Why Sustainable Development?
We live in a finite world. Ultimately, there is no way around production and consumption patterns that are sustainable. Ultimately, customers, engineers, managers and politicians will show a strict priority for the respect of [...]
Draft (linguistic editing will be necessary)
The answer to this question should be yes and no.
Yes, we are closer than ten years ago. During all of he 1990s, an irritatingly optimistic mindset was dominating the world. The very expression of ‘saving the planet’ would not have been politically correct in these days, because it sounds ‘pessimistic’.
We all agree that a lot more economic wealth is needed for six billion people let alone nine billion people that we expect to live on earth by the mid of the century. Doubling wealth is the least, I suggest, what we should aim at.
On the other hand, we are already now overexploiting the earth. [...]
The global environment is endangered. We are losing some fifty plant and animal species every day. The global climate is beginning to become hotter. Unpredictable changes may hit countries both in the temperate and tropical zones. Theoretically even the sea water table is unstable.
If major parts of the Greenland or Antarctic ice covers were breaking [...]
Speech at the 10th Japanese Business Leaders Conference on Environment and Development, Tokyo, 12. Nov. 2002
I feel greatly honoured being invited as your tenth speaker in the Business Leaders Conference on Environment and Development. Nihon Keizai Shimbun started the series in the year of the Earth Summit of Rio de Janeiro, the UN Conference on [...]
Speech by Ernst von Weizsäcker, M. P., Athens, 9 November 2002
Let me at the outset distinguish two different tasks of environmental policy.
One is pollution control which is predominantly a local and a national activity. The first twenty years of environmental policy in advanced industrial countries were almost exclusively devoted to pollution control and to set [...]