Volume 1 (2013) | Issue 2

Papers published:

doi: 10.12924/cis2013.01020053 | Volume 1 (2013) | Issue 2
Carrie M. Lee 1, * , Chelsea Chandler 1 , Michael Lazarus 1 and Francis X. Johnson 2
1 Stockholm Environment Institute, USA
2 Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden
* Corresponding author
Views 1788
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Publication Date: 17 September 2013
Abstract: An estimated 2.6 billion people rely on traditional biomass for home cooking and heating, so improving the efficiency of household cookstoves could provide significant environmental, social and economic benefits. Some researchers have estimated that potential greenhouse gas emission reductions could exceed 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year. Carbon finance offers a policy mechanism for realizing some of this potential and could also bring improved monitoring to cookstove projects. However, there are formidable methodological challenges in estimating emission reductions. This paper evaluates the quantification approaches to three key variables in calculating emission impacts: biomass fuel consumption, fraction of non-renewable biomass, and emission factors for fuel consumption. It draws on a literature review as well as on interviews with technical experts and market actors, and identifies lessons learned and knowledge gaps. Key research needs identified include incorporating accounting for uncertainty; development of additional default factors for biomass consumption for baseline stoves; refinement of monitoring approaches for cookstove use; broadened scope of emission factors used for cookstoves; accounting for non-CO2 gases and black carbon; and refinement of estimates and approaches to considering emissions from bioenergy use across methodologies.

doi: 10.12924/cis2013.01020072 | Volume 1 (2013) | Issue 2
Susan L. Cutter
Department of Geography, University of South Carolina, USA
Views 2943
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Publication Date: 29 January 2014
Abstract: Disaster losses continue to escalate globally and in many regions human losses (death, injury, permanent displacement) often exceed the economic toll. Current disaster policies are reactive with a short-term focus―respond and rebuild as quickly as possible and in the same way after the event. Such policies ignore the longer-term approach of building disaster-resilient communities, in which investments made now show financial and social returns later by reducing the impact of disasters. This article provides a vision for resilient nations in 2030 based on three recent policy reports. It highlights the necessary steps towards achieving sustainability using the lens of disaster resilience as the pathway towards strengthening communities' ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, respond to, and recover from present and future disasters.

doi: 10.12924/cis2013.01020080 | Volume 1 (2013) | Issue 2
Barry Ness 1, * and Ann Akerman 1
1 Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), P.O. Box 170, SE–221 00, Lund, Sweden
* Corresponding author
Views 2301
PDF 1798
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Publication Date: 27 February 2014
Abstract:

We have witnessed a large increase in the number of publications on sustainability challenges over the past decade. One important characteristic of the research is with the wide variety of actors that can make use of the results. Sustainability knowledge is often not only relevant for those in academia or policy-making circles, but it can also be useful for decision-makers in a diversity of societal facets and sectors. It is therefore essential that the sustainability research community have access to a diversity of knowledge dissemination outlets, including those that extend beyond the traditional, and often inaccessible, academic publishing realms. One positive development over the past decade in sustainability research reaching broader audiences has been the proliferation of open access publication outlets. The alternative has provided greater access to scientific articles to almost anyone with an Internet connection. But, is this medium of knowledge dissemination sufficient? Are there additional channels that sustainability researchers can use to broadcast knowledge to even broader user groups?

 


doi: 10.12924/cis2013.01020082 | Volume 1 (2013) | Issue 2
Lorrae van Kerkhoff
Fenner School of Environment and Society, ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Views 2517
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Publication Date: 12 March 2014
Abstract: Sustainable development is a knowledge intensive process, but plagued by persistent concerns over our apparent inability to connect what we know with more sustainable practices and outcomes. While considerable attention has been given to ways we may better understand and enhance the knowledge-based processes that support the governance of social-­ecological systems, relatively few have examined the governance of knowledge itself. The institutions—rules and norms—that govern knowledge may shed light on the persistence of 'gaps' between knowledge and action. In this review I seek to answer the question: can interdisciplinary knowledge governance literature contribute to understanding and analysing the institutional knowledge-based dimensions of sustainable development? I present and analyse the concept of knowledge governance as it is emerging in a range of disciplines and practice areas, including private sector management literature and public regulation theory and practice. I then integrate the findings from this review into a model of sustainable development proposed by Nilsson et al. [1]. I show that knowledge governance (as a scale above knowledge management) can inform Nilsson et al.'s three "nested" dimensions of sustainability: human wellbeing (through access to knowledge and freedom to exercise informed choice); resource-base management (though enhancing regulation and innovation and transitions from exclusive to inclusive knowledge systems); and global public goods (by balancing public and private interests and fostering global innovation systems). This review concludes by presenting a framework that places sustainable development in the context of broader socio-political struggles towards more open, inclusive knowledge systems.

doi: 10.12924/cis2013.01020094 | Volume 1 (2013) | Issue 2
Henrique Pacini 1, 2, * and Semida Silveira 1
1 Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden
2 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Switzerland
* Corresponding author
Views 1981
PDF 2136
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Publication Date: 26 March 2014
Abstract: While some countries have achieved considerable development, many others still lack accessto the goods and services considered standard in the modern society. As CO2 emissions and development are often correlated, this paper employs the theoretical background of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) and the learning curves toolkit to analyze how carbon intensities have changed as countries move towards higher development (and cumulative wealth) levels. The EKC concept is then tested with the methodology of learning curves for the period between 1971 and 2010, so as to capture a dynamic picture of emissions trends and development. Results of both analyses reveal that empirical data fails to provide direct evidence of an EKC for emissions and development. The data does show, however, an interesting pattern in the dispersion of emissions levels for countries within the same HDI categories. While data does not show that countries grow more polluting during intermediary development stages, it does provide evidence that countries become more heterogeneous in their emission intensities as they develop, later re-converging to lower emission intensities at higher HDI levels. Learning rates also indicate heterogeneity among developing countries and relative convergence among developed countries. Given the heterogeneity of development paths among countries, the experiences of those which are managing to develop at low carbon intensities can prove valuable examples for ongoing efforts in climate change mitigation, especially in the developing world.

ISSN: 2297-6477
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