1. The Climate-KIC team
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. Tuesday, 19 April 2016
The Climate-KIC community is currently working on the four topics Sustainable Land Use, Sustainable Production Systems, Urban Transitions and Climate Metrics and Finance.

Would you add another problem, or 'hot topic' to any of these four themes?
Which one of the aforementioned topics resonates most with you - and why?

(Please find the overview of Themes and 'hot topics' attached)

This discussion is part of the learning nugget Intention settings in Ideating Climate Business.
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What climate problems resonate with you?

Waste management sector is something very crucial in terms of urban cities resilience. Circular economy has the potential of integrating the waste sector stream to the regular economy. Recycling/Reusing are absolutely necessary in order to make this operational. Identifying & establishing ‘industry linkages’ effectively is absolutely vital so that we could achieve (near) net zero waste. This ‘linkage’ has benefits not only in environmental sense but also in job sense. Urban cities resilience is extremely necessary in order to counter climate change impacts. Breakthroughs in waste sector can really aid cities in combating climate change problems.

Consumer behavior is however crucial in the other hand. 'Avoiding' waste is of course better rather than spending much of energy/time/money to address the already created waste. Re-use helps for this particular issue. Products that serves multi purposes needs to be innovated in larger scale. If consumers know better the re-usage of products, it really helps in reducing footprint.
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Would you add another problem, or 'hot topic' to any of these four themes?

As many already pointed out, consumer behaviour and, referring to what Jana said, the exchange of knowledge are both crucial in my opinion in order to realize a viable and fast transformation process. I would also like to add energy efficiency as a hot topic to the SP and UT themes. By decreasing the demand of energy for industry, mobility and residential purposes (e.g. by utilizing waste heat), the rate of depletion of energy resources can be decelerated making the vast implementation of renewable energy technologies for meeting this (reduced) demand more likely to be achievable in the near future.

Which one of the aforementioned topics resonates most with you?

I am most interested in the field of Sustainable Land Use and particularly in the smart agriculture and forestry topic. Feeding 9 billion people in the future requires more effective and at the same time climate friendly solutions for food production, while forests as natural carbon absorbers are of significant importance in terms of extenuating the effects of inceasing GHG emissions. Therefore, a new and more natural-oriented management of forests is necessary - a topic, I am keen to learn more about. The Decision Metrics and Finance themes also caught my interest and especially the issue of developing universal and feasible impact standards and assessment methodologies is of major importance to me, since only by evaluating the environmental performance of a product or a service following a cradle to cradle approach, definite statements can be made and realistic standards set.
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Would you add another problem, or 'hot topic' to any of these four themes?
Short food supply chains
Change in consumer behavior:
--> plastic free or zero waste lifestyle: redefine- refuse - reduce - reuse - recycle - rot
-- > waste reduction on household level
Local economy vs global economy
--> food waste

Which one of the aforementioned topics resonates most with you - and why?

Sustainable land use
Well, how we treat land manifests on our plates.
Next to breathing, eating is our most vital bodily function. It is not just what we eat but also how we eat.
Another thing that resonates with me is how to reduce amounts of plastic waste (mostly from food packaging) in our homes.

Our food choices impact the environment and by changing our consuming habits - cutting down meat production and consumption, reducing highly processed food which has low nutritional value, supporting local and sustainable food production and consumption, empowering people to grow their own food whenever possible, ... I think people would commit to such a change when given alternatives - for example; packaging free shops are on the rise in Europe. People are willing to bring their own packaging (bags, containers, bottles, etc.) to the grocery shop and re-fill them. In case they don.t bring own packaging they get brown paper bags at the shop. Packaging-free shops usually collaborate with local or regional food producers.

Overall: Empowering people to make healthy food choices (short food supply chains - local, sustainable grown food, rich in nutrients and taste, cooking with ingredients and less processed food, thoughtful food buying means less food waste, etc.) with a thought on how to make a minimal environmental impact (SFSC mean less food miles, less GHE, etc.)
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Would you add another problem, or 'hot topic' to any of these four themes?

Like lots of others mentioned, I would also like to add topics conected with Social Sustainability, becouse I think, that Social Sustainability has had considerably less attention in public dialogue than economic and environmental sustainability.

The hot topics connected with social sustainability could be:
- consumer behaviour
- health
- social equity
- community development
- social capital
- human rights

Which one of the aforementioned topics resonates most with you - and why?
I am most interested in the field of Sustainable Land Use, becouse the unsustainable agriculture is a main Driver for Climate Changes. This topic also resonates with me becouse I just got a little field where I started to plant herbs and I am trying to apply permaculture principles to land use, water gathering systems, soil preservation and other nature friendly approaches. I would like to learn to observe nature cycles, to treat natural resources with respect, to examine and apply goodpractices and teach people about all mentioned methods as a sustainable way of farming.
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Would you add another problem, or 'hot topic' to any of these four themes?

As many other already mentioned I would also add consumer behavior as another hot topic. People in developed countries buy more than they need (food, clothes and other goods) and then they just throw it away. Therefore, it is important that our society moves towards a more circular economy, one industries waste product can become another companies raw product.

Which one of the aforementioned topics resonates most with you - and why?

Since more and more people live in urban areas I am very interested in urban transition (UT). I am especially interested in how urban areas can adapt to climate change and at the same time make the urban areas better places to live in (eg. green areas decrease urban heat effects and can help with storm water management).
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Would you add another problem, or 'hot topic' to any of these four themes?
- Another problem is the fast reduction of GHG concentrations. The four themes mostly focus on GHG emissions ignoring the fact that current levels of GHG concentrations are already significantly negatively affecting human and natural systems. Leave aside the fact that GHG emissions and consequently concentrations are expected to increased in the coming years. There is a need to explore sustainable solutions that quickly and cost-effectively reduce GHG concentrations as soon as possible - geo-engineering.
- Relatedly, the four themes also fall short in addressing climate adaptation. As climate change effects are already evident and resulting in significant losses, both in economic and natural terms, there is an urgent need to accelerate climate adaptation to climate-proof society.

Which one of the aforementioned topics resonates most with you - and why?
- I'm particularly interested in 'Urban transitions' because, among other reasons (population density, etc.), climate action at this level takes place faster and closer to the public and key stakeholders. Cities are places were everything is concentrate and that's offers opportunities for climate action.
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Would you add another problem, or 'hot topic' to any of these four themes?
Many before called it consumer behaviour, I would like to call it "the right mindset". It's not only about influencing and educating the policy makers, but also the 'normal' people. Everyone has to understand that growth can't go on forever and we can also have great lifes with a more minimalistic lifestyle. Many people are often either unaware or ignorant of areas like heavy consumerism or waste. This also is massively supported by big companies who live off this image fuelled by advertisements that we always need more, bigger, greater things to be content with life.
This has to change! We need to recognize again that we are able to life a good life with less stuff.


Which one of the aforementioned topics resonates most with you - and why?
Urban Transition is most crucial for me as the trend goes sharply towards more and more people in cities. The smart use of energy, space and mobility resources will be key to guarantee a high quality of living there. The ever emerging, adapting cities are a very exciting playground. And there's still so much to be done...
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- Would you add another problem, or 'hot topic', to any of the four themes?
I believe that the fisheries sector should be included within the sustainable land use and crop productions misses the fishery sector.

- Which of these problems resonates most with you - and why?
Personally I relate most to Sustainable Land Use practices. I have great interest in soil restoration of degenerated arid soils. I would like to focus on the restoration of land in order to increase biodiversity, stimulate crop production and add to the improvement of (micro) climates
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I'm also very interested in what you are posting about.
Doing research into how to change daily habits to reduce my environmental impact, I was shocked the extent to which meat consumption has an effect!
I then tried going on a vegan and vegetarian diet. The two things I find the most interesting were
- This was actually quiet difficult. Living in Dubai there wasn't much availablity of these food products. And when I found them they were often more expensive.
-Peoples reaction to my decision to try this out. Coming from a spanish background (which is not particularly veggie-friendly), my family and friends didn't seem to know much about why I would ever want to try it out. Some were open-minded and wanted to learn more about it. Others, required quite a lot of convincing to be 'okay' with my decision. Made me realise how hard it was to fight the 'status-quo' of socially normal behaviour.

So overall the two topics I think need to be added to the list are how to change costumer behaviour and therefore demand. I am a strong believer that people in general are lazy and will go for the easier/cheaper choice. Therefore, I think there needs to be a change in the market structure with a greater availability of veggie/eco-friendly food and, I also believe we should find a way to make meat-fish derived products less economically available.

Also think there should be a section on education and raising awareness. This has a lot to do with the decision metrics nugget.




Rabia Abrar wrote:

Would you add another problem, or 'hot topic' to any of these four themes?

I'd like to echo what many of you have said, which is that influencing & changing consumer behaviour is an important part of the equation of reducing global emissions, and is missing from the hot topics of the sustainable production systems theme.

There are so many daily activities & purchasing habits that consumers can change to reduce carbon emissions from energy, food & plastic waste.

I'm in the middle of completing a 100 day challenge for climate action on Instagram with #the100DayProject, to identify just such actions (If you're interested, you can check out my #100daysofclimateaction at https://www.instagram.com/_lalittleone/)

Having said that, not all climate actions are created equally. In my research for my #100daysofclimateaction thus far, I've learned that the two consumer actions that would reduce emissions the most, are eating less meat (mainly beef) & taking cars off the road more often. Stats show that 80% of Amazon deforestation is driven by cattle ranching. Also, livestock production accounts for 18% of total global GHG emissions, and cows alone account for 8%. By switching out beef for other meats that have a lower per pound carbon footprint (not even going vegetarian), consumers could significantly reduce their carbon footprint. (Lamb: 2x less, Pork: 6x less, Chicken: 7x less)

Which one of the aforementioned topics resonates most with you - and why?

If it includes consumer actions, then the sustainable production systems topic resonates more with me. Along with changing consumer habits, I am very interested in making mainstream more sustainable versions of daily products (i.e. bamboo based toilet paper, tooth brushes & disposable cutlery).

Just like me, consumers don't know the extent of the impact of their daily actions - and if they did and were provided with more easily accessible, 'non-extreme, hippy' type sustainable alternatives, then emissions would be much lower.

I think growing demand & optimizing supply for sustainable consumer alternatives is a huge area of opportunity and is low hanging fruit for any green company, start up or otherwise.
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Whilst it has been touched on lightly in the topics of Urban Transition and Sustainable Production Systems, I think it is really important to provide simple, cheap and effective technologies that transform PRE-EXISTING infrastructure/products into low carbon, energy efficient improvements. I truly believe that the average consumer is not necessarily looking to buy a new low carbon flat or an electric car in the next few years, and we need technologies reaching them that are affordable and simply give a climate friendly upgrade to what they have already spent their money on.

The aforementioned topics that resonate with me most would have to be either Recording and Reporting Emissions and all of the Urban Transition. Recording and Reporting Emissions is a vital condition for kickstarting change and a somewhat uniform approach is preferable across Europe too.

Urban Transition for me is finding the advantage in millions of people living in close vicinity to one another to share resources and energy in the most efficient way possible. With all amenities being close by cities should have lower carbon emissions per person than rural areas however this is not a trend we see.
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I believe some solutions may adress various of the hot topics simultaneously. For example, the idea of the 'Vertical Farm'. In first place, it will relieve pressure on land use, while it might enhance urban transitions (reducing the need for transportation, potentially creating green areas for citizens, among others). Also, it might reduce the use of resources such as fuels o fertilizers also as it might be needing a highly integrated highly efficient electrical system (probably storage being needed).

I found very useful the categorization in topics, but many of the solutions I can think of are hard to frame in just one.
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Urban transition is my main area of interest, and in particular greener transportation and smart use of space. I would link this to the sustainable land use and biomass valorisation, in order to think more and more about the city as an ecosystem, not as something that is not related to the surrounding country. Another climate-related problem that I see as urgent is the resilience of the built environment to the effects of climate change, in order to avoid lives and values losses.
The issue that resonates the most in me is the presence of green in cities and the big use of polluting private transports.
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