Professional network initiatives I am involved in, related to Global Systems Science focal themes, may provide a perspective and possible options to “connect to society” (“in a sea of options to do so”).
I look forward to reactions and I will be happy to provide more detailed information:
1. “A transition to a low-carbon economy in the European Union” as an initiative of “GLOBE EU”, European Parliamentarians members of the global parliamentarian association GLOBE (planned for the first half of 2013).
The purpose is to engage with a number of ministers of Finance of EU-member states on the transition. “Mobilising long term private capital and integrating ESG in financial regulation” are among the agenda issues.
A “group of experts” of which I am a member, is engaged by GLOBE EU to advice on the planned meeting.
2. “2Degrees-Investing Initiative”, launched in December 2012 as a “think/action tank”: www.2degrees-investing.org provides the launch document. The documents ends with a number of messages of support, including a message from the president of GLOBE EU, and a one by me. 2Degrees-Investing Initiative is also participating in the GLOBE EU “group of experts”.
3. “Rating Agencies and the Ecological Transition”: a seminar to be held at the French National Assembly, hosted by the Parliamentary Sustainable Development Commission (Paris, February 2013). France is currently preparing a “Transition Ecologique”- action plan. The purpose of the seminar, organised by “European Partners for the Environment” I advice, is:
“The objective of the European workshop is to redefine the performance and value concepts at the level of States, local authorities and businesses in order to lead to new assessment methods, generate innovation and creativity. We will focus on Social and Environmental Rating Agencies as well as Financial Rating agencies, and their respective role in the ecological transition of rated enterprises and authorities (Regions and Cities)”.
Brussels, December 20, 2012
2 thoughts on “Some “professional network initiatives” examples to share”
Great post, it helps me to keep my tendency to despair about the EU under control!
Understanding the role of investment in the transition to a more sustainable economy is quite essential. Unfortunately, it seems that such understanding is in short supply in Brussels as in most European capitals. One aspect that deserves greater attention is the role of regional disparities. As Indermit Gill and Martin Raiser have shown in their study of Europe’s growth model, one of the biggest achievements of the EU in the past has been the reduction of such disparities to a degree that is quite unique worldwide (see http://www.voxeu.org/article/europe-s-growth-model). The response to the financial crisis, however, is restoring regional disparities in quite a dramatic fashion.
As George Soros wrote, there is a clear and present danger that the EU will move into a pattern “in which the divergence between the creditor and debtor countries would continue to widen and the periphery would turn into permanently depressed areas in need of constant transfer of payments” (http://www.georgesoros.com/interviews-speeches/entry/remarks_at_the_festival_of_economics_trento_italy). I would like to dismiss Nigel Lawson’s caricature (in the Financial Times of February 12) of “an EU that has triumphantly achieved its historic purpose – the elimination of the risk of a third great European war – and is now arguably past its sell-by date”, but if we don’t change course future historians may share his view. In fact, eminent historians have already voiced alarm (see e.g. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/dc03678a-57af-11df-855b-00144feab49a.html#axzz2Ko3JSqzj).
Still, the challenge of regional disparities may offer one of the few handles to actually change things. It may be easier to implement innovative policies aiming at sustainable investment at the scale of regions than of nation states. Perhaps associations like GLOBE can help to bring such experiences about and foster joint learning among regions engaged in them.
This is not so much a reply as an expression of interest to discuss these topics further, F2F, at an opportune time so that I can learn more about them!