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Where are food prices heading? Short-term drivers, trends and implications
Abstract: Food prices are reaching record highs, which raises concerns about spending capacity, hunger, political turmoil and global growth. The current surge in food prices is due to the combination of short-term supply shocks and longer-term structural factors leading to a tight demand-supply balance. In this paper we review the main considerations regarding food price movements and include a discussion on the impact of speculation.
Topics: Asia; Capital markets; Chemicals industry; Economic growth; Economic policy; Emerging markets; Environmental protection; Food and beverages; Globalisation; Intern. relations; International capital markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Natural resources; Prices, inflation; Retail trade; Sectors / commodities; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Socio-econ. trends; Supervision and regulation; Sustainability; Trade; WTO
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Gas and oil prices end long-standing relationship
Abstract: Due to the recent gas glut, a link between the gas price and the oil price makes increasingly less sense. New US gas deposits are in fact calling into question nearly all medium and long-term scenarios which still seemed plausible a few years ago. As a result of the huge deposits, new strategies for the use of excess supply are currently being discussed in the US. If gas exports were possible, this would be another great challenge for all de facto price links to the oil price that are still in place in Europe, and possibly even the final nail in the coffin...
Topics: Chemicals industry; Economic policy; Energy policy; Energy sector; Gas industry; Natural resources
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Energy efficiency refurbishment is often cost-effective, but …
Abstract: The federal government’s energy concept provides for the construction sector to become virtually climate-neutral by 2050. This will require major investment in existing properties that is to be financed from the savings made on energy costs. Recent research confirms that energy efficiency refurbishment can be cost-effective; for this to be the case, however, the properties must satisfy certain criteria. Policymakers can do a great deal to help make more energy efficiency refurbishment cost-effective by amending rental legislation. The target of a climate-neutral building sector by 2050 will, however, remain unrealistic even then...
Topics: Construction industry; Environmental policy; Housing policy; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Real estate; Residential real estate; Sustainability
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Beyond Cancún - market opportunities trump multilateral discourse
Abstract: Despite low expectations, the UN climate change negotiations in Cancún made important progress. In fact, the public discussion in Cancún confirmed several conclusions we emphasised after Copenhagen a year ago: national policies are the key drivers of action; emerging markets are becoming increasingly important contributors towards emissions reductions; and the private sector plays a critical role.
Topics: Economic policy; Economic structure; Energy policy; Energy sector; Environmental policy; Environmental protection; Financial market trends; Intern. economic system; International capital markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Sectors / commodities; Sustainability
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Presentation: Bidding for the better - The EU ETS moves to auctioning
Topics: Global financial markets; Natural resources
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Green IT: More than a passing fad!
Abstract:  “Green IT” can easily be misinterpreted, so prematurely kindled expectations may soon be dashed. After all, IT is not “green” at first glance – and this does not only hold true because of rising energy consumption. Nonetheless, IT does have “green” potential. This applies not only to the saving of resources in IT infrastructure itself (“green in IT”), but also to the resources that are ultimately saved by the use of IT in the economy as a whole (“green by IT”). This observation was the starting point for a joint study by Deutsche Bank Research and the Green IT Advisory Office established by BITKOM e.V. On the basis of our survey, experience gathered in advisory practice and macroeconomic analysis, we determined among other things that the often ambitious environmental and resource targets can only be achieved if companies address the subject of green IT on a cross-divisional basis and integrate staff members. By means of intelligent IT systems, companies of the most varied sectors can not only counter cost pressures but also offer new goods and services as well as more flexible job models in the competition for top talent.
Topics: Economic policy; Energy sector; Environmental policy; Information technology; Innovation; Internet; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Natural resources; Sectors / commodities; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Sustainability; Technology and innovation
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Food prices on the rise: weather events exacerbate a tight supply-demand balance
Abstract: Food prices are rising considerably, prompting talks of another impending food crisis. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation announced last week that prices for basic commodities hit record highs last month. Global prices increased between June and December 2010 by 57% for grains, by 56% for oils and fats and by 77% for sugar. Prices for wheat, corn, sugar and oil seeds are now above their highs of 2007-2008. As Robert Zoellick (President of the World Bank Group) puts it, "rising prices are re-emerging as a threat to global growth and social stability".
Topics: Economic growth; Emerging markets; Food and beverages; Globalisation; Natural resources; Prices, inflation; Sectors / commodities; Socio-econ. trends; Trade
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Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber on international climate policy
Abstract: „... The turnaround has to be achieved before the end of this decade. Those who dismiss this as unrealistic ignore the realities of physics. Even if we want to achieve the objective of limiting global warming to 2°C more than in the pre-industrial age with only a two-thirds probability, greenhouse gas emissions must fall by 2020 at the latest. The 2°C is a figure on which the international community has reached a political agreement – based on numerous scientifically-backed arguments, because at this level the ramifications of climate change are expected to be relatively manageable. With an increase of more than 2°C we would enter a new world with risks on a completely different scale. Those wanting to initiate the energy turnaround later will make this more unrealistic rather than more realistic, because emissions would then have to decline abruptly instead of gradually, which is more difficult to implement. And the turnaround would become more expensive. The International Energy Agency recently declared that the too timid resolutions passed at the Copenhagen Climate Conference will cost us all USD 1 trillion – because investments in green technologies will be made later und then under massive time pressure. This trillion dollar total indicates the scale of the task....”
Topics: Economic policy; Energy policy; Environmental policy; Environmental protection; Intern. economic system; Intern. relations; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Sectors / commodities
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Hydropower in Europe: The Alps, Scandinavia and South-eastern Europe – rich in opportunities
Abstract:  In Europe nearly 40% of the economically viable hydropower potential is still not being tapped. The ever-increasing price of fossil fuels as well as environmental and climate policy readjustments make hydropower a winning proposition. Also, the technologies involved are very mature, no climate-damaging emissions are generated and no fuel purchase costs are incurred. Furthermore, small-scale power plants in particular are accepted by the public. Hydropower outscores the new renewables by offering high levels of efficiency and greater flexibility. In addition, it is a multiple-use resource. Interesting opportunities for sustainable investments with a highly attractive risk-reward profile are offered not only by those countries with huge potential in the Alps and in Scandinavia but also in particular in South-eastern Europe.
Topics: Economic policy; Energy policy; Energy sector; Environmental policy; Environmental protection; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Sectors / commodities; Sustainability
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Bidding for the better: EU Emissions Trading Scheme moves to auctioning
Abstract:  The EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the world's first large-scale CO2 emissions trading programme, has been operating since January 2005. In phase 3 of the ETS, a paradigm shift will take place. As of 2013, national allocation plans will be abolished and auctioning will become the default method of allocation. In July 2010, the European Commission finalised its Auctioning Regulation draft. The regulation shall ensure that auctioning is conducted in an open, transparent, harmonised and non-discriminatory way. Overall, the proposed draft is reasonably designed aiming at implementing a competitive and efficient auctioning mechanism.
Topics: Chemicals industry; Environmental protection; European issues; Global financial markets; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Other sectors; Sectors / commodities; Sustainability
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