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[en] To address current challenges regarding sustainable development and support planning for this form of development, new learning about different possible futures and their potential sustainability implications is needed. One way of facilitating this learning is by combining the futures studies and sustainability assessment (SA) research fields. This paper presents the sustainability assessment framework for scenarios (SAFS), a method developed for assessing the environmental and social risks and opportunities of future scenarios, provides guidelines for its application and demonstrates how the framework can be applied. SAFS suggests assessing environmental and social aspects using a consumption perspective and a life cycle approach, and provides qualitative results. SAFS does not suggest any modelling using precise data, but instead offers guidelines on how to carry out a qualitative assessment, where both the process of assessing and the outcome of the assessment are valuable and can be used as a basis for discussion. The benefits, drawbacks and potential challenges of applying SAFS are also discussed in the paper. SAFS uses systems thinking looking at future societies as a whole, considering both environmental and social consequences. This encourages researchers and decision-makers to consider the whole picture, and not just individual elements, when considering different futures. - Highlights: • The paper presents a new methodological framework for qualitative sustainability assessment of future scenarios with transformative changes. • The framework suggests qualitative assessment with consumption perspective and a life cycle approach. • The paper presents the framework and provides guidelines for its application. • The paper demonstrates on an example how the framework can be applied. • The benefits, drawbacks and challenges of the framework application and the need for further development are discussed.
[en] Nowadays an increasing attention of public and private agencies to the sustainability performance of events is observed, since it is recognized as a key issue in the context of sustainable development. Assessing the sustainability performance of events involves environmental, social and economic aspects; their impacts are complex and a quantitative assessment is often difficult. This paper presents a new quali-quantitative method developed to measure the sustainability of events, taking into account all its potential impacts. The 2014 World Orienteering Championship, held in Italy, was selected to test the proposed evaluation methodology. The total carbon footprint of the event was 165.34 tCO_2eq and the avoided emissions were estimated as being 46 tCO_2eq. The adopted quali-quantitative method resulted to be efficient in assessing the sustainability impacts and can be applied for the evaluation of similar events. - Highlights: • A quali-quantitative method to assess events' sustainability is presented. • All the methodological issues related to the method are explained. • The method is used to evaluate the sustainability of an international sports event. • The method resulted to be valid to assess the event's sustainability level. • The carbon footprint of the event has been calculated.
[en] Rural electrification is considered to be a key strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. It should therefore include (1) expanding electricity access and (2) enable new consumers to increase their electricity consumption. In this paper we ask how Brazil’s recent rural electrification efforts have managed to reach these objectives. A new method to measure energy and income equity is presented which uses estimations of non-parametric density curves for the analysis of energy and income distributional trends following electrification. By applying our method to a panel data set from two Brazilian states situated in the country’s poor northeast region we find that (1) rural consumers take up electricity consumption after electrification, and that (2) low consumption levels give way to higher electricity consumption levels after only a few years. This indicates immediate social benefits for households through consumption of electricity services. However, our analysis cannot verify a direct link between electricity use and rural income generation in the short term. The results emphasize the need for government and other actors to integrate rural electrification into broader rural development strategies in order to enable long-term welfare increases through electricity use. - Highlights: ► Comprehensive analysis of Brazil’s recent rural electrification efforts. ► New methodology to analyze energy and income equity trends ex post electrification. ► Analysis indicates immediate social benefits for electrified households. ► We cannot establish a direct link between electricity use and income in the short-run. ► Electrification thus should be integrated in long-term rural development strategies.
[en] Based on reality of a State Key Laboratory, the artcle researches on the environment of science and technology information resources guarantee and the changes of user behavior under modern scientifical research environment, sums up misunderstandings that scientific and technolgical departments should avoided and provides a new pattern of information resources guarantee. At the same time, it discusses the sustainable development of science and technology information resources construction and puts forward the implenentation patterns of the core competencies of information department and knowledge services. (author)
[en] The paper summarizes the results of RATEN ICN Pitesti experts' activities in the IAEA's Collaborative Project INPRO-SYNERGIES. Romanian study proposes to evaluate and analyze development of the nuclear capacity and increasing of its share in national energy sector, envisaging the long term national and regional energy sustainability by keeping options open for the future while bringing solutions to short/medium-term challenges. The study focused on the modelling of national NES (Nuclear Energy System) development on short and medium-term (time horizon 2050), considering the existing NFC (Nuclear Fuel Cycle) infrastructure and legislation, provisions of strategic documents in force and including also the possibility of regional collaboration regarding U/fresh fuel supply and SF (Spent Fuel) storage, as services provided at international market prices. The energy system modelling was realized by using the IAEA's MESSAGE program. The study results offer a clear image and also the possible answer to several key questions regarding: potential of nuclear energy to participate with an important share in national energy mix, in conditions of cost competitiveness, safety and security of supply; impact on national energy mix portfolio of capacities and electricity production; impact on Uranium domestic resources; economic projection/investments needed for new nuclear capacities addition; fresh fuel requirements for nuclear capacities; SF annually discharged and transferred to interim wet storage for cooling; SF volume in interim dry storage, etc. (authors)
[en] Certification systems for sustainable neighbourhoods started to emerge around a decade ago. This study analysed the content, structure, weighting and indicators of two established certification systems for sustainable urban development – BREEAM Communities and LEED for Neighborhood Development. Several limitations of these systems were identified: both have a bias for procedure and feature indicators over indicators that assess actual performance; performance demands are set according to a relative understanding of sustainable development; the focus is on internal sustainability, while upstream and downstream impacts of construction are disregarded; the number and distribution of mandatory issues do not cover essential sustainability aspects; and the disproportionately large number of non-mandatory issues makes benchmarking difficult and signals that sustainability aspects are exchangeable. Altogether, this means that an area can be certified without being sustainable. Moreover, the lack of continuous development of certification requirements in the systems means that they risk exerting a conservative effect on urban development, rather than pushing it forward. - Highlights: • BREEAM-C and LEED-ND were analysed in terms of content and structure. • Specific attention was given to the type of indicators used for showing compliance. • In both systems procedure and feature indicators dominate over performance indicators. • Several other limitations of these certification systems were also identified. • Altogether the limitations imply that a certificate does not warrant sustainability.
[en] The purpose of this study is to explore the empirical relationship between foreign direct investment (FDI), population, energy production, and water resources in South Asia. The newly developed approach dynamic common correlated effects (DCCE) by Chudik and Pesaran (Journal of Econometrics 188:393–420, 2015a) for measuring co-integration has been applied in the present study. This procedure provides significant robust outcomes in the presence of cross-sectional dependence among the cross-sectional units. The findings confirmed that earlier models, such as mean group (MG), pooled mean group (PMG), and augmented mean group (AMG), which have been used in the literature for long data, provide misleading results in the presence of cross-sectional dependence among the cross-sectional units. A statistically significant and negative result has been observed between FDI, population, energy production, and water resources in South Asia. The governments of South Asian economies must encourage green FDI initiatives for water management, ensuring water security, securing natural resources for enhancing the sustainable development of regional economies.
[en] Full text of publication follows. Nuclear energy's role in a sustainable energy future is increasingly embraced by various countries around the world. As a technologically mature, economic and safe energy conversion technology, nuclear energy provides also an important solution towards abating the unsustainable pressure on environment by our fossil-fuel driven economy. Today, there is significant deployment of nuclear power reactors especially in Asian countries, i.e. China and India, with a variety of newcomer countries already launched or planning in the construction of new nuclear power plants. While nuclear on itself may already contribute significantly to the sustainability of energy provision to the world, i.e. being a 'zero-greenhouse gas emission' energy conversion technology, the sustainability of the nuclear option is essentially defined by the intranuclear options aimed at reducing the use of non-renewable natural resources, by reducing further the waste arising and to assure economic and non-proliferating as well as safe operation of nuclear energy systems. Sustainability of the nuclear option is therefore primarily defined by the nuclear fuel cycle with reprocessing and recycling playing an essential role to achieve such sustainability and this based on industrially proven practices. The paper addresses specifically, in more detail, the role of reprocessing and recycling in providing sustainable avenues from a resource and a waste management perspective. (authors)
[en] In the area of energy, we can relate sustainable development with availability of resources and GHG emissions regarding the fight against climate change. For an energy source to be sustainable, secure and competitive it must present the availability of the resource in cause, a low GHG emission rate and competitive cost in contrast with the alternatives found on the market. Currently taking into account its high energetic dependency rate and its high share of fossil fuel in the energy mix, the EU is aiming through the use of renewable energy, wind and solar panels in particularly to redevelop its energetic sector. It wants improve its energetic security and in the same time reduce the impact upon environment at a sustainable cost; Nuclear energy can be a solution to the EU energy policy due to the fact that it is available, competitive and has a low impact upon environment. The current paper analyzes the economics of nuclear energy taking into account these three dimensions. (authors)