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News

PBL wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year

17-12-2014

Many people in the Netherlands are on the move, also around Christmas and the New Year. But around this time, their pattern of movement differs a little from that in the rest of the year, we go shopping relatively more often ('shopping'), increase our visits to friends and family ('other destinations'), take more strolls along the canals and through the forests, or go for a traditional New Year's Day swim ('recreation').

Global CO2 emissions increase to new all-time record, but growth is slowing down

16-12-2014

2013 saw global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and cement production reach a new all-time high. This was mainly due to the continuing steady increase in energy use in emerging economies over the past ten years.  However, emissions increased at a notably slower rate (2%) than on average in the last ten years. This slowdown signals a further decoupling of global emissions and economic growth.

Proposed climate policy pledges important step forward but fall short of 2°C

16-12-2014

Pledges to reduce emissions in China, Europe and the US provide an important step forward for climate change action, but a more comprehensive effort is needed to stabilize the climate below critical thresholds. Climate finance can cover investment gaps and alleviate distributional tensions. This study looks into several key negotiation issues on the road from the climate summit in Lima to the one in Paris 2015.

UN Calls for Global Carbon Neutrality by Mid to Late Century to Stay within 2°C

19-11-2014

To achieve global climate neutrality between 2055 and 2070, annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions should hit net zero on the global scale to avoid exceeding the budget. Net zero implies that some remaining CO2 emissions could be compensated by the same amount of carbon dioxide uptake, or negative emissions, so long as the net input to the atmosphere due to human activity is zero.

Biomass: wishes and limitations – a new interactive one-page website

14-11-2014

PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency launched  ‘Biomass. Wishes and limitations’ – an interactive one-page website on biomass, bioenergy and the biobased economy. Biomass is an indispensable resource for a low-carbon economy. But it is not without its problems: not all biomass use is sustainable. This tool is designed to inform a wide audience about the facts and uncertainties.

Highlights

Smart Cities - Visualising the Challenge for 21st Century Urbanism

The discourse on ‘Smart Cities’ is everywhere. It promises an era of innovative urban planning, driven by smart urban technologies that will make cities safer, cleaner and, above all, more efficient. Efficiency seems uncontroversial but does it make for great cities? In this book, Maarten Hajer, Director-general of PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Ton Dassen, urban sustainability researcher at PBL, plea for a ‘smart urbanism’ instead of uncritically adopting ‘smart cities’.

Green Gains: In search of opportunities for the Dutch economy

If the Netherlands is to remain a strong player in the global economy, it needs to intensify its efforts in greening its economy. The Netherlands lags behind competing neighbouring countries, who began their transition towards a green economy earlier, focus more on doing so, have ambitious long-term targets in place, and invest heavily in research. The business community by itself cannot bring about a green Dutch economy; the government also has an important role to play. What is needed is a stronger, greener innovation policy.