Monday, September 30, 2013

New Books: Water Tech A Guide to Investment, Innovation and Business Opportunities in the Water Sector By William Sarni, Tamin Pechet (30 Sep 2013)

Water Tech

A Guide to Investment, Innovation and Business Opportunities in the Water Sector

By William SarniTamin Pechet

Routledge – 2013 – 224 pages
This book unveils how the world in the twenty-first century will need to manage our most fundamental resource need, water. It outlines how stakeholders can improve water use in their homes, their businesses, and the world.
In particular, it focuses on the role of stakeholders in crafting a twenty-first century paradigm for water. Investors not only drive innovation through direct investment in new technologies but also by highlighting risk and driving reporting and disclosure within the business community.
Water Tech highlights the business drivers to address water related issues. These include business disruption, regulatory risk and reputational risk along with opportunities in the commercialization of innovative technologies such as desalination and water reuse and treatment. The authors argue that through increased attention on water scarcity through activities such as reporting and disclosure we are now accelerating innovation in the water industry. They show how we are just now capturing the true cost and value of water and this is creating opportunities for investors in the water sector. The text takes the reader through key aspects of emerging innovative technologies along with case studies and key issues on the path to commercialization. A roadmap of the opportunities in the water sector is presented based on interviews with leading authorities in the water field including innovators, investors, legal, regulatory experts and businesses.

Marcus Norton
Tom Kostigen
Part 1: Innovation
1. The Value of Water
2. Global Trends as Drivers for Innovation
Part 2: What is Water Tech?
3. Do Water and Innovation "Mix?"
4. Water Supply
5. Water Demand
6. The Water, Energy, and Food Nexus
Part 3: Building the 21st Century Water Industry – Ideas, Money and Commercialization
7. The Ideas
8. The Money
9. Commercialization
10. What does Success Look Like?
11. The Global World Water Forum 2024

New Books: Environmental and Human Security in the Arctic Edited by Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, Dawn Bazely, Goloviznina Marina, Andrew Tanentzap (30 Sep 2013)

Environmental and Human Security in the Arctic

Edited by Gunhild Hoogensen GjørvDawn BazelyGoloviznina MarinaAndrew Tanentzap

Routledge – 2014 – 288 pages
This is the first comprehensive exploration of why human security is relevant to the Arctic and what achieving it can mean, covering the areas of health of the environment, identity of peoples, supply of traditional foods, community health, economic opportunities, and political stability. The traditional definition of security has already been actively employed in the Arctic region for decades, particularly in relation to natural resource sovereignty issues, but how and why should the human aspect be introduced? What can this region teach us about human security in the wider world?
The book reviews the potential threats to security, putting them in an analytical framework and indicating a clear path for solutions.Contributions come from natural, social and humanities scientists, hailing from Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Finland and Norway.
Environmental Change and Human Security in the Arctic is an essential resource for policy-makers, community groups, researchers and students working in the field of human security, particularly for those in the Arctic regions.
Preface:Remarks by Ambassador Shirley Wolff Serafini at the Human Security in the Arctic Seminar 1. Introduction: Hoogensen Gjørv and Goloviznina 
Part 1: The Diversity of Arctic Security
2. Competing Perceptions of Security in the Arctic Hoogensen Gjørv and Goloviznina3. Cold War Legacies in Russia’s Svalbard Policy Åtland and Pedersen
4. A New Northern Security: Environmental Degradation and Risks, Climate Change, Energy Security, Trans-nationalism and Flows of Globalization and Governance Heininen 
Part 2: Arctic Security in a Changing Environment 5. Arctic Environmental Security and Abrupt Climate ChangeBriggs 6. Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and the Technology Interface David Malcolm 7. The Sustainability Transition: Governing Coupled Human/Natural systems Oran Young 
Part 3: Health and Human Security 8. Health and Human Security Communicable Diseases in the Post-Soviet ArcticRowe, Wilson Rowe and Hønneland 9. Telemedicine as a Tool for Improving Human Security Linstad
10. Health Security vs Economic Security? The Case of KomiHoogensen Gjørv and Goloviznina 
Part 4: Human Security in Focus: Women and Aboriginal Peoples
11. Aboriginal Self-Determination and Resource Development Activity: Improving Human Security in the Canadian Arctic Slowey 12. Human Security and Women's Security in North West Russia Kirsti Stuvøy
13. Democratization in Russia: the Political Exclusion and Commodification of Women Maria Lvova
14. Bridging the GAPS between Ecology and Human Security Dawn R. Bazely, Julia Christensen, Andrew J. Tanentzap, Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv and J. Zoe Wilson Chapter
15: Examining Arctic Security Marina Goloviznina and Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Publications: Energizing Hong Kong: A Comprehensive Study of Hong Kong People’s Attitudes Towards Power Sources and Climate Change by Michael E. Degolyer (24 Sep 2013)

Energizing Hong Kong: A Comprehensive Study of Hong Kong People’s Attitudes Towards Power Sources and Climate Change
DATE: 24 Sept 2013

This survey report captures how Hong Kong people view issues related to energy and climate change, as well as their environmental behaviours and knowledge.The survey is in hope of informing us on how best to approach energy policy deliberation in Hong Kong. Where appropriate, comparisons were made between the current survey’s findings and previous environmental surveys in order to give additional information on how perceptions and behaviours have changed over time. Download full report

For more information:

Events: Swedish Clean-Tech Solutions Seminar in Hong Kong organized by Consulate General of Sweden in Hong Kong, the Swedish Trade and Invest Council (Business Sweden), and the Government Offices of Sweden on 9 Oct 2013

Swedish Clean-Tech Solutions Seminar in Hong Kong
Event Date: 9 Oct 2013
Venue: Oasis Room, 8/F, Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel, Hong Kong
Contact: Miss Carrie Chan
Telephone: 2521 1215

Business Environment Council is happy to be a supporting organisation of Swedish Clean-Tech Solutions Seminar in Hong Kong which is organised by Consulate General of Sweden in Hong Kong, the Swedish Trade and Invest Council (Business Sweden), and the Government Offices of Sweden. - See more at:

About the Seminar
Within Hong Kong´s ambitions to transform into a low carbon economy, green buildings, waste management and air quality are key areas that have become more prioritized and gained extra attention. Sweden as a country has a strong brand and is well known for its knowledge and experience when it comes to environmental technology and Swedish companies can provide various solutions. The purpose of this seminar is to further strengthening cooperation within Cleantech between Sweden and Hong Kong.

Ms. Anna-Karin Hatt´s, Swedish Minister for Information Technology and Energy and Dr. Christine Loh, JP, OBE, Under Secretary for the Environment, HKSAR Government, will be the keynote speakers at the seminar. Mr. Mats Denninger, High Representative for the Environmental Technology Cooperation with China, and Dr. William Yu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, World Green Organisation will also be the co-moderators of the event.

Please visit here for event and registration details.

For more information:

Chinese Updates: Beijing Plans Gas-fired Future to Solve Problem (28 Sep 2013)

Beijing Plans Gas-fired Future to Solve Problem (Sep. 28, 2013)
By Jiang Xueqing and Wu Wencong (China Daily)

China will reduce its consumption of coal and gradually increase the use of natural gas during the next few years, according to the Airborne Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (2013-17), which was released by the State Council on Thursday.

Total energy consumption is measured in tons of coal, irrespective of the method of generation. In 2011, China's total energy consumption was 3.48 billion metric tons of coal, out of which coal consumption contributed 68.4 percent, while natural gas contributed just 5 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

In 2012, the country consumed nearly 2.5 billion tons of coal, more than all other countries combined, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

The central government has decided to reduce the amount of coal being burned to less than 65 percent of total energy consumption by 2017, while consumption of natural gas will rise to 7.5 percent of the total by 2015.

The country will employ a number of measures to achieve the reduction in coal use, including increasing the use of non-fossil energy. Coal consumption is expected to decline in areas such as the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster, the Yangtze River Delta region and the Pearl River Delta region, often known as the "three key districts".

Supplies of natural gas, coal gas and coalbed methane will also be increased. Between 2011 and 2015, 44,000 kilometers of natural gas pipelines will be built, raising the annual receiving capacity of coastal-based liquefied natural gas terminals by more than 50 million tons, according to the 12th Five-Year Plan on Energy Development (2011-15).

Natural gas pipeline capacity will rise by 150 billion cubic meters by 2015, covering the three key districts, and urban residents will have priority use of the power generated by the newly added supply.

China's huge coal consumption has resulted in serious air pollution. In Beijing, coal use contributed about 20 percent of a primary pollutant called PM2.5 - particles up to 2.5 microns in diameter, small enough to enter the lungs and blood stream. However, that figure rises to approximately 30 percent if emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide - which can produce PM2.5 during the burning process - are taken into consideration, said Jiang Kejun, senior researcher at the Energy Research Institute of the National Reform and Development Commission.

About 50 percent of the coal burned in China is used for homes, small-capacity boilers and small businesses, according to Chai Fahe, vice-president of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences.

"These pollution sources are always close to the ground, and have very poor pollution-control technologies," he said.

Chai emphasized the importance of "efficiency control", or the way the coal is burned, in addition to controlling the total amount of fuel being burned.

Some environmental scientists and industry experts have suggested that the current price of coal - which averaged 565 yuan ($94) to 575 yuan per ton of thermal coal with a calorific value of 5,500 kcal/kg at Qinhuangdao Port by the end of July - is too low and doesn't include the costs of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, controlling air pollution and restoring public health.

As air pollution has become a serious problem in China, and attracted unwelcome attention worldwide, it's inevitable that coal will be replaced by natural gas. However, the low price means major State-owned oil companies are unenthusiastic about exploring for natural gas, said Yang Fuqiang, senior advisor on climate and energy at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

For example, it costs 3.5 yuan per cubic meter to import natural gas from Central Asia to gas stations in Beijing, but the stations can only sell the gas to residents at a government-regulated price of 2.05 yuan per cu m. The loss of 1.45 yuan per cu m is covered by government subsidies, according to Yang.

"Low prices have become a key impediment to the exploration of natural gas. Who would want to invest when it's so difficult to cover the costs?" he said.

Supplying natural gas requires huge front-end investment for large-scale pipeline construction, and costs will increase as the sources of gas become more diversified, especially with the development of unconventional gases, said Zhou Dadi, vice-chairman of the China Energy Research Society.

He said the most significant bottleneck to the supply of natural gas is infrastructure construction, which has failed to keep pace with the rising demand for the fuel.

"This problem has led to a situation where anyone who invests will lose money," said Zhou.
Chen Weidong, chief energy scientist at the Energy Economics Institute of China National Offshore Oil Corp, said he learned from China National Petroleum Corporation that it loses an average 1.4 yuan on every cubic meter of natural gas it imports from Central Asia and an average 2 yuan on every cubic meter of liquefied natural gas.

Although imported natural gas loses money and domestically produced natural gas makes minimal profit, oil rakes in huge profits. It costs less than $50 on average to produce a barrel of oil in China, but each barrel sells at $100, said Chen.

"If the government could raise the price of natural gas to make it profitable, oil companies would increase their efforts to explore for it," he said, adding that China lags behind Western countries in terms of the strategic development of natural gas.

To ensure supplies of natural gas and promote energy saving and the reduction of emissions, the National Development and Reform Commission increased the wholesale price of natural gas for non-residential users from July 10. At gate stations, where trunk pipelines connect with local gas distribution networks, the average price of natural gas rose by 15 percent to 1.95 yuan per cubic meter.

However, the operators of some thermal power plants are worried that the costs of raw materials, facilities and operations will increase significantly when they replace their current coal-fired power- and heat-generating units with natural gas-fired ones.

"It costs 25 yuan per gigajoule to generate heat by burning coal, but almost 70 yuan by burning natural gas. We certainly cannot afford such a big hike in costs. Either the government or the public will have to pay for the transformation," said Du Chengzhang, vice-president of Huaneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant.

Similarly, the fuel cost of generating electricity will also rise to more than 0.4 yuan per kilowatt-hour from 0.25 yuan, excluding expenditure on water, labor and facilities, he added.

According to estimates provided by Du and his colleagues, Beijing's municipal government will have to provide the plant with subsidies of 700 to 800 million yuan per year just to keep it running once it switches to gas-fired power generation units.

"Beginning last year, we paid just 68 percent of the cost of natural gas to Beijing Gas Group. Otherwise, our plant would have closed," he said.

Last winter, the plant sold heat produced by coal-fired units to the local thermal power group for 33 yuan per gigajoule, while heat produced using gas sold for 79 yuan. When the plant jettisons its coal-fired power generating units in 2016, the price it charges for on-grid electricity will rise to 0.63 yuan per kWh from 0.49 yuan. In the end, the prices of electricity and heating for residential users will rise for sure, he said.

"Reform of the price of natural gas is not a one-step process. On the contrary, it should move forward in small, quick steps to avoid damaging sustainable consumption," said energy scientist Chen Weidong.

In the long run, as the pipeline network is expanded to cover more regions, steep rises in the cost of natural gas will cease, according to Zhou of the China Energy Research Society.

"It's just that for now, the cost must rise to allow industry to develop, but it will reach a balanced stage later on. Then we will be able to discuss the possibility of lowering the cost," he said.

Zhao Xu contributed to this story.

New Books: Civil Society in Water Governance in South Asia Edited by N. C. Narayanan, S. Parasuraman, Rajindra Ariyabandu (30 Sep 2013)

Civil Society in Water Governance in South Asia

Edited by N. C. NarayananS. ParasuramanRajindra Ariyabandu

Routledge India – 2013
The central issue this book attempts to address is paradigm shifts in water policy/governance and the role of the civil society organizations (NGOs) in influencing public policy. The volume maps current State–society relations in South Asia under neoliberal governance reforms, its implications and key responses.
List of Tables. List of Figures. List of Maps. List of Abbreviations. Foreword. Acknowledgments. Introduction: Paradigm Shifts in Water Governance and Civil Society Responses in South Asia — A ReviewN. C. Narayanan, S. Parasuraman and Rajindra de Silva Ariyabandu 1. Nature of State, Space for Civil Society and Challenges to Democratic Governance in South AsiaMahfuzul H. Chowdhury 
Part I. NGOs in Collaborative Advocacy 2. Watershed Development Policies and Programs in India: Scope and Constraints of Civil Society Action K. J. Joy 3. How Samaj Pragati Sahyog Works the State and Why it Succeeds Vasudha Chotray 
Part II. Foreign Assistance and Water Governance
 Water Provision and Modernity: The Consequence of Foreign Aid in Nepal Sudhindra Sharma
 Foreign Assistance, Dependence and Debt: Sanitation Case Study, Kandy, Sri Lanka Sunil Thrikawala and N. C. Narayanan 6.Institutional Changes, Public Provision and Drinking Water Supply in Kerala N. C. Narayanan and S. Mohammed Irshad 
Part III. NGOs in Policy Influence
Water Policy Development in a Multi-party System of Governance: A Case Study of Sri Lanka Rajindra de Silva Ariyabandu 8.Water Rights in Civil Society and Governance: The Sri Lankan Experience Ruana Rajepakse 9."Flood Action Plan" and NGO Protests in Bangladesh: An Assessment Hamidul Huq 
Part IV.Social Movements in Water Governance
The Water Rights Movement in South Maharashtra, India Suhas Paranjape and Seema Kulkarni 11. Lessons from Plachimada: From Anti-Coca-Cola Agitation to Democratization of Water C. R. Bijoy. About the Editors. Notes on ContributorsIndex

Publications: Climate Justice: Equity and Justice Informing a New Climate Agreement by Edward Cameron, Wendi Bevins, Tara Shine (Sep 2013)

Climate Justice: Equity and Justice Informing a New Climate Agreement
September, 2013

This paper explores the links between climate change and justice. It establishes why climate change is an issue of justice, analyzes the potential role of justice in the agreement currently being negotiated for 2015, and explores climate justice narratives. This paper is written for climate negotiators, academic institutions and civil society organizations following the negotiations, and anyone interested in the justice aspects of climate policy.



Full Working Paper
Licensed under Creative Commons (more info).

Executive Summary

This paper explores the role of equity in the climate negotiations. It establishes why climate change is an issue of injustice by examining the environmental challenges posed by climate change and links those challenges to socio-ecological and economic systems that undermine the rights of people, especially the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable.
The paper then analyzes the role of justice and equity in designing a new climate agreement by looking at how equity has been treated to now in the climate negotiations. It examines several perspectives on key equity issues to highlight those issues that must be addressed in the new agreement.
The paper concludes by exploring the potential of climate justice narratives in mobilizing domestic constituencies of demand for climate action. The authors suggest a variety of constituencies that can use climate justice narratives and how similar narratives have been used in other social movements.
This paper is the first publication of the Climate Justice Dialogue, an initiative led by the Mary Robinson Foundation — Climate Justice and the World Resources Institute. The initiative seeks to develop creative thinking and mobilize demand for a people-centered climate agreement in 2015.
For more information:

Events: IGES Side Event at Smart City Week 2013 "Introducing Low Carbon Cities in Asia" organized by IGES on 22 Oct 2013

  •  IGES Side Event at Smart City Week 2013

    "Introducing Low Carbon Cities in Asia"

This seminar looks at ways to facilitate economic growth in Asia while improving living standards. Representatives from cities across the region will discuss leap-frogging and environmentally-friendly strategies when transitioning to a low-carbon and recycling based society. The aim is to develop a network that will allow knowledge transfer between cities, introducing Japan's low-carbon technologies and a new Japanese crediting mechanism (i.e. Joint Crediting Mechanism.)

This meeting intends to:
(1) introduce successful case studies on low-carbon city developments that were made possible through city to city partnerships (e.g. Surabaya City in Indonesia, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Iskandar City in Malaysia);
(2) offer insights into assistance given to Japanese businesses overseas by Japan's national and local governments, as well as the respective learning platforms for academia, municipalities and the business community;

(3) discuss barriers and countermeasures when promoting technological transfer for low-carbon development.

  • Date and TimeOct. 22 2013  9:00-12:00 (Reception 8:30 -)
    VenuePACIFICO YOKOHAMA, Conference Center 5F
    1-1-1 Minato Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama 220-0012, Japan >>access
    OrganisersInstitute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
    Ministry of the Environment, Japan
    RegistrationPublic participants are requested to register prior to the event.
    Please send an E-mail stating your full name, position held, organisation, 
    and contact information (email or telephone) to:
    IGES Climate Change and Energy Area at
    Closing Date: Oct. 16, 2013
    FeeFree of charge
    LanguageEnglish /Japanese with simultaneous interpretation
    Related LinksSmart City Week 2013

For more information:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Lecture by HKU: SERVICE 100 Lecture Series - Food (25 Sep, 29 Oct, 6 Nov and 20 Nov, 2013)

The University of Hong Kong

SERVICE 100 Lecture Series - Food

SERVICE 100 Lecture Series - Food


Poverty and Food Budget, GROW a Fairer Global Food System, Feeding Hong Kong to Fight Hunger and Food Waste, Eating Green can Solve World Hunger?
25 Sep 2013 ,29 Oct 2013 ,06 Nov 2013 ,20 Nov 2013
Lecture 1: Poverty and Food Budget
Date: 25 September, 2013 (Wed)
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Venue: T5, Meng Wah Complex, HKU
Speaker: Dr. Stephen Frederick Fisher, Director General of Oxfam Hong Kong
Language: English
Lecture 2:  GROW a Fairer Global Food System
Date: 29 October, 2013 (Tue)
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Venue: LE3, Library Extension, HKU
Speaker: Ms Kalina Tsang, Senior Manager, Hong Kong Programme Unit, Oxfam Hong Kong
Language: English
Lecture 3: Feeding Hong Kong to Fight Hunger and Food Waste
Date: 6 November, 2013 (Wed)
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Venue: LE3, Library Extension, HKU
Speaker: Ms. Gabrielle Kirstein, Executive Director, Feeding Hong Kong
Language: English
Lecture 4: Eating Green can Solve World Hunger?
Date: 20 November, 2013 (Wed)
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Venue: T6, Meng Wah Complex, HKU
Speaker: Mr. David Yeung, Co-Founder, Green Monday
Language: English
For details of SERVICE 100 Lecture Series, please visit:
For details of SERVICE 100 Workshop Series, please visit: 2857 8387
For more information:

Public Lecture by HKU: Marine Biodiversity and Conservation of Hong Kong: Past, Present and Future on 5 Oct 2013

The University of Hong Kong
Marine Biodiversity and Conservation of Hong Kong: Past, Present and Future

Marine Biodiversity and Conservation of Hong Kong: Past, Present and Future


Public Lecture co-organized by the Faculty of Science, School of Biological Sciences and The Swire Institute of Marine Science.
05 Oct 2013
11:00 - 12:30
Professor Brian Morton
Professor Emeritus of Marine Ecology
School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong
Date: October 5, 2013 (Saturday)
10:30 - 11:00 am Registration and light refreshments
11:00 - 11:50 am Public lecture
11:50 - 12:30 pm Panel and open discussion
Venue: Rayson Huang Theatre, Main Campus, HKU
Medium: English
About the talk:
While Hong Kong is surrounded by marine waters with a long coastline, the territorial sea area is relatively small (ca. 1,650 km2) and there are numerous conflicts with regard to the use of such a small marine environment ranging from ship navigation, ports, marinas and piers, to fisheries, sea bathing and diving, marine protected areas and, notably, the habitat of the Chinese white dolphin. Given the ever-increasing local human population and demands for land supply to build infrastructures (e.g. sites for bridge and causeways, the 3rd runway for the airport) and residential accommodation, reclamation has been proposed as a possible option to achieve this. There is also an on-going debate about whether the Government should turn the shore at Lung Mei into an artificial beach as a way to promote tourism and the local economy. Controversially too, the area around the marine park of Hoi Ha is being developed. In this talk, Professor Morton will talk to us about the history and character of our marine environment, the local rich marine biodiversity and the ecology and conservation of our marine environment, and then address the following questions:
- Should the Marine Parks and Reserve network be expanded? If so, where?
- How much more reclamation can there be in Hong Kong? If more is needed, what for and where?
- Can a swimming beach be built at Lung Mei? If so, why? And will it thrive?
- What is most needed to help scientists (Government and University), consultants and environmentalists plan a biodiversity strategy for Hong Kong?
Professor Morton’s talk will be followed by a panel and open discussion. Representatives from the Hong Kong Government, green groups and academia will be invited to serve as panel members. This public lecture and its panel discussion will be highly relevant to the Liberal Studies curriculum of local high schools and useful to graduate and postgraduate students who are studying environmental science and management.
Registration is required. Please visit for seat reservation and details. For enquiries, please contact School of Biological Sciences at 2299 0800.
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