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On the afternoon of November 16, 2010, Andrew Steer, special envoy on climate change for the World Bank, spoke at Harvard about "Why Developing Countries Urgently Need a Global Climate Deal ... and Why They Shouldn't Wait for One.”

There was a small reception afterwards with wine and cheese.  At six, Dr Steer was escorted to dinner.  That happened on Oxford Street, northwest of Harvard Square.

At 7, on the other side of Harvard Yard, at John Harvard's Brew Pub on Dunster Street, an Intercollegiate Energy Social for the local Energy Clubs began.  Invited clubs included the Babson Energy and Environment Club, Boston University Energy Club, Fletcher Energy Consortium, Harvard Business School Energy and Environment Club, Harvard Energy Journal Club, Harvard Kennedy School Energy and Environment Professional Interest Council, MIT Energy Club, MIT Sloan Energy & Environment Club, and Tufts Energy Forum.  The social was organized by the Collegiate Energy Association http://collegeenergy.org

What would have happened if Dr Steer had attended the Energy Social?  Should the World Bank have gone to the brew pub?

Steer became special envoy for climate change at the World Bank in July 2010. He is responsible for guiding the bank group's work on climate change and further advancing its internal capabilities in this area where he oversees the multibillion dollar Climate Investment Funds and helps mobilize climate financing.

Prior to his appointment, Steer served for three years as director general, policy and research at the UK Department of International Development in London. Steer has three decades of experience working on development issues at the country level in Africa and Asia, and on global development issues. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, has written widely on development issues, and has taught economics at several universities.

He said that 90% of all the countries that came to the World Bank last year asked for help on climate change.  131 out of the 160 countries the World Bank works with have climate change projects.  (160 countries are using World Bank financing and aid out of 192 to 194 countries in all.)

A world held to only a 2 degree Centigrade rise in atmospheric temperature by 2050 would be limited to about 2 tons of CO2 (CO2 alone or equivalent?) per person.  (That 2º temperature rise is the measure that came out of Copenhagen.  It's a little too abstract for my taste.  350 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere  as popularized by 350.org is clearer.  We are currently at 387.18 ppm and were 260 – 280 ppm before the Age of Steam, a level that had not varied much during the preceding 10,000 years.  Counting the other various greenhous gases like methane, nitrous oxide, etc we are around 430 parts per million of CO2-equivalent or 430 ppm CO2e.)

The stimulative effects of carbon pricing start kicking in at over $20 per ton and cap and trade is already happening regionally, even in the USA.  (The Northeast's RGGI cap and trade latest auction was at $1.86 per ton and the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS) is at $16.30 to $19.74 per ton.  Before the financial collapse of 2008, RGGI was over $3 per ton and EU ETS over $30 per ton.)

Cap and trade is already happening in many markets around the world.  Even China is beginning to do cap and trade carbon pricing, starting with the area around Shanghai with plans for Beijing.  (China is also ramping up carbon capture and sequestration with a series of larger and larger scale installations.)

Steer's main point is the title of his talk, developing (and all other) countries need a global plan on climate change but shouldn't wait and aren't waiting for the rest of the globe to act.

Dr Steer's talk was this year's first Green Conversation.  

Green Conversations are sponsored by the Harvard University Center for the Environment with generous support from Bank of America. This lecture is co-sponsored with the Harvard University Center for International Development Sustainability Science Program. Free and open to the public.

http://www.environment.harvard.edu/...

There were at least two other events of related interest that afternoon and evening:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Growing Green Technology Out of the Lab and into the Marketplace
Speaker: Dr. Riccardo Signorelli - President and CEO of FastCAP Systems
Time: 5:30p–6:30p
Location: 66-110
MIT Energy Club Lecture Series

The ultracapacitor technology that is currently being developed at FastCap Systems began as an idea seven years ago in the LEES lab at MIT. Now, fueled by private investment and government funding, FastCAP is pushing forward to develop and take to market its novel energy storage technology, with the goal of revolutionizing the electric vehicle and grid storage markets. But the jump from promising laboratory results to the marketplace isn't an obvious one, and Dr. Signorelli will share his experiences in launching a venture aimed at commercializing material innovation in the energy space.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Club

For more information, contact:
Jared Silvia
jssilvia@mit.edu

The MIT Energy Club has over a thousand members.  The MIT Sustainability Club has over a thousand members too.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Pahoehoe: 8 people, 8 projects
Speaker: 8 students with innovative service projects
Time: 7:00p–9:00p
Location: 32, Stata Center, R&D Commons 4th Floor
Pahoehoe: 8 People x 8 Projects
Where Invention & Entrepreneurship Meet Public Service

The IDEAS Competition and MIT Global Challenge with the MIT Public Service Center and D-Lab will launch the first Pahoehoe (Pa-hoy-hoy). Join us to hear from eight people working on innovative service projects around the world. You?ll hear from people working on innovations in banking, employment, health, and much, much more. Come hear the possibilities. Get inspired Find team members for your IDEAS project. And find opportunities for collaboration.

8 people present 8 service projects in 10 slides x 30 seconds/slide. No bullet points. All photos.
More information: http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/...

Web site: http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/...
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): MIT IDEAS Competition
For more information, contact:
Kate Mytty
617-255-5474
mytty@mit.edu

D-Lab is the Design Lab which designs for people who live on a dollar a day.  The IDEAS Competition and MIT Global Challenge are directed at public service innovation.

Maybe the Energy Social should have happened with the Pahoehoe and Dr Steer could have attended that.

A weekly listing of Energy (and Other) Events in the greater Boston area as well as links to over 60 local college and university events is available at http://hubevents.blogspot.com

Originally posted to gmoke on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:29 PM PST.

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Should the World Bank go to the brew pub?

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| 16 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:29:03 PM PST

  •  yes, the world bank needs to listen (10+ / 0-)

    to the young creative people who will solve the climate crisis if they are given the opportunity.

    look for my DK Greenroots diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:39:13 PM PST

    •  Possibly (7+ / 0-)

      Steer was surrounded by people who wanted to talk to him at the reception and objected a little to being dragged off to dinner.  I was probably the only person in the room who knew that the Energy Clubs were meeting that evening at the pub.  It was only later that I realized I could have said something.  A missed opportunity.

      Now I have to think about how to make the most of such future opportunities as they come hot and heavy around Harvard and MIT.

      Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

      by gmoke on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:45:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Änd creative people need to listen (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gmoke, Larsstephens, patrickz

      to the World Bank.

      I think the former is actually the case, they have a pretty good environmental section, I'm not sure how much inventors think about working with the World Bank, inventors tend to be a pretty independant and informal group of people, but also tend to need institutions to realize thier work.

      The World Bank, like the UN, has often gotten a bad rap, partly by their own making, but they also do a lot of good work and have a global organization with deep local roots and that is a valuable resource.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 07:21:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If the pub serves beer, definitely. burp n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmoke, Nulwee, Larsstephens

    "They pour syrup on shit and tell us it's hotcakes." Meteor Blades

    by JugOPunch on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:53:18 PM PST

  •  Both are necessary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmoke, Larsstephens

    And more.

    The World Bank does not invent green technology, but it does a lot of productive work to promote it by funding programs in undeveloped and developing nations and has a well-managed organization that also does good work to collect and alalyze date and information to help shape policy, and to provide assistance to governments to formuate poliy and organize programs.

    Inventors are not terribly effective at doing the above, what they do best is invent.

    Let me remind everyone that later this month, COP-16 in Cancun, Mexico will convene. Since the US did not pass climate legislation the agenda of the meeting has already been adjusted to reflet the fact no climate deal will be done and to focus on resolving issues and setting an agenda for 2012 COP-17 in South Africa.

    However, it is now pretty obvious that it's highly unlikely the US will pass legislation in 2011, so I'm expecting that fact to influance negotiation in ancun and that at least a faction will advocate framing an agreement that excludes consideration of the US as a responsible player and puts pressure on it with the possibility of sanctions.

    Combatting climate change requures both local and international action, and existing international institutions are actually doing quite a lot to facillitate progress anthough it's often a two steps forward, one step back proposition.

    On think is for certian, getting wealthy nations to make commitments for underdeveloped nations that are the victims of climate change is going to be harder, and funds for developing nations are not pretty much off the table thanks to the US and UK that have stonewalled this in the UN, so this suggests the responsibility will fall to the World Bank.

    I also want to not that commitment to and focus on the UN process has pretty much dropped off the map in the US environmental community given the lousy prospects for legislation in the near term, so if I was in the Brew Pub I'd ask "What are we going to do about the poor, folks?

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 07:16:23 PM PST

    •  Pahoehoe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, Larsstephens

      Tuesday, November 16, 2010
      Pahoehoe: 8 people, 8 projects
      Speaker: 8 students with innovative service projects
      Time: 7:00p–9:00p
      Location: 32, Stata Center, R&D Commons 4th Floor
      Pahoehoe: 8 People x 8 Projects
      Where Invention & Entrepreneurship Meet Public Service

      The IDEAS Competition and MIT Global Challenge with the MIT Public Service Center and D-Lab will launch the first Pahoehoe (Pa-hoy-hoy). Join us to hear from eight people working on innovative service projects around the world. You?ll hear from people working on innovations in banking, employment, health, and much, much more. Come hear the possibilities. Get inspired Find team members for your IDEAS project. And find opportunities for collaboration.

      8 people present 8 service projects in 10 slides x 30 seconds/slide. No bullet points. All photos.
      More information: http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/...

      Web site: http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/...
      Open to: the general public
      Sponsor(s): MIT IDEAS Competition
      For more information, contact:
      Kate Mytty
      617-255-5474
      mytty@mit.edu

      Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

      by gmoke on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 08:24:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gmoke

        Looks good to me. I used to be a Chinese exchange student at UC Berkely which was a great experience and today I still contribute to a lecture series "Technologists as agents of change" in a local university, which seems to be well aligned to what Prof. Mytty is doing.

        My department (Materials Science R+D) takes 8-10 interns per year, and we work with several universities in China, Hong Kong, Japan and USA including Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Maryland.

        Scientists and engineers have no problem cooperating; governments do.

        One good opportunity for young people today is working in NGOs where they can often get right to work faster than in a private company. The pay isn't Wall Street, but the experience is Gold.

        Actually, I have a pretty strong opinion about old people that stand in the way of young people - push them aside. Guide, but don't block; young brains and hands work faster, it's rediculous to waste them.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:47:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think that you have a point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmoke

    but as someone who worked at the Bank I can tell you that listening is not a skill possessed by many of the economists who work there.

    "I have a vision of our rights as indigenous people. We didn't migrate to Israel; it is Israel that migrated to us." Haneen Zoabi, interview in the New Stateman

    by Fire bad tree pretty on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 01:45:17 AM PST

    •  Herman Daly, Joseph Stiglitz (0+ / 0-)

      World Bank seems to select to eject those who have a wider view or a listening ear.

      Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

      by gmoke on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 05:59:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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