Press releases

INVITATION

on the way to Copenhagen:

Workshop for non-governmental organisations in the south and the north
with emphasis on energy and sustainable development

„A sustainable future based on renewables - how do we meet the challenge?“
Copenhagen-preparatory-workshop 1.-5. December 2009
in the centre for sustainable development artefact
(next to the German-Danish border)

Ladies and gentlemen,
we cordially invite you to a workshop as a pre-conference of the climate summit.
The existence of climate change has been recognized even by most backward governments and
industries but what are the consequences, targets and instruments to struggle for a change of
energy systems?

- Large top-down projects from government to government?
- technology transfer for central power units?
- decentralized concepts with small scale businesses, private industries or others actors?

What are the challenges for NGOs in the south and the north?
Which technologies are appropriate, which structures and cooperations required?
Are we ready for this task, with man- and womanpower, capacity building and financing
instruments?
During these days in Glücksburg we want to facilitate the exchange of experiences and positions,
in order to improve our own knowledge on realistic energy concepts on local and regional levels,
identify the the need for change and the definition of joint positions in the Copenhagen
negociations.

artefact operates numerous installations on solar and wind energy for trainings as well as it´s
own energy supply. The German-Danish border region is the nucleus of civil society initiatives
from local resistance against central fossile companies, feed-in-law for renewables and pilot
communities struggling for independant energy systems both in Denmark and Germany. Several
municipalities are close to energy autonomy. Excursions to special places, the Club of Rome´s
concept „desertec“ and experiences including your own are presented for discussion and
exchange.

The workshop is supported by the Northern German Foundation for development and environment
BINGO, the Protestant development service EED, (Lighthouse Foundation?) and artefact.
Costs for „Southerners“ for programme, accomodation and meals during the workshop € 100,-
Costs for „Northerners“ for programme, accomodation and meals during the workshop € 200,-

Registration is open from now until November 6 latest.
The workshop is limited to a maximum of 24 persons.

Any questions? Mail to info@artefact.de or call 0(049)4631-61160


12.02.09

Dear Chancellor Merkel,

Re: Spring European Council: The Road to Copenhagen


The key challenge in 2009 for European and international leaders will be to achieve an equitable global agreement on climate change in Copenhagen that is consistent with keeping global average temperatures as far below 2 degrees Celsius as possible.
This year’s Spring Council will help define Europe’s negotiating position on key elements of the “Copenhagen Agreement”. This is perhaps the European Union’s last opportunity to fundamentally shape the process and direction of the climate negotiations before all eyes turn to the US to see what the Obama administration will bring to the table.
To become a real climate champion, Europe must put forward quantified positions on finance and technology, and reevaluate its mitigation targets in light of recent science. This includes an indication of the level of additional financing that Europe intends to make available for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, concrete proposals on the financing mechanisms which would reliably deliver this (including the auctioning of emission permits or levies on aviation and shipping emissions) and a framework for innovation and technology transfer.
The European Commission's recent estimates for additional energy-related mitigation costs in developing countries are €48bn per year by 2020; forest-related mitigation costs in developing countries are €18bn per year by 2020; and agriculture-related mitigation costs in developing countries are !5bn per year by
2020. In addition, the EU should take full responsibility for the damage caused by its historic pollution. Oxfam International estimates current adaptation needs of at least €40bn per year.
The overall additional financing requirement is very likely to be well in excess of €110bn per year by 2020. Europe should pay its fair share of the total requirement based on the EU’s financial capacity and share of historic emissions, and make a minimum commitment now in the order of €35bn per year in the post-2012 regime.
This is not charity. A strong finance package is essential to secure a global deal which delivers climate security to Europe’s and the world’s citizens. In December 2007, EU ministers committed under the Bali Action Plan, along with other leaders from developed countries, to improve access to adequate,
predictable and sustainable financial resources and technical support for developing countries.
The EU must now live up to these commitments; doing so will be vital to building the trust between developed and developing countries needed for a successful conclusion of the Copenhagen summit.
Without firm guarantees of international support that is additional to existing official development assistance (ODA) target levels, Europe cannot expect that developing countries will be prepared to contribute to the global effort required now if global emissions are to peak before 2020, as the EU has acknowledged they must.
Medium term fiscal constraints should not be seen as an excuse for caution. New climate financing mechanisms will impact from 2013 when the global economy should again be growing at a robust rate, and spurred by green stimulus measures taken between now and then.
The decision you make during the March EU Summit could break the deadlock in the climate negotiations and ensure a sustainable recovery from the economic crisis. Without a bold statement of EU intent at this juncture there will be no chance of delivering a Copenhagen Agreement capable of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
We, the undersigned representatives of global civil society, call on you to:

  • Invite EU Finance Ministers to make specific recommendations by 10 March on the most effective, efficient and equitable mechanisms to generate this additional finance under the UNFCCC;
  • Agree, during the March EU Summit, that Europe should provide its fair share of the total financing needed for climate action in developing countries. This should mean a minimum commitment now in the order of !35bn per year in the post-2012 regime, in addition to both existing ODA target levels and to any purchasing of carbon credits that offset EU emissions;
  • Use the G20 summit in April and the G8 Summit in July to engage other Heads of State and Government on these issues and to maximise the environmental benefits of fiscal stimulus packages;
  • Initiate a broader international process for reaching consensus on the overall financing levels and mechanisms required for an ambitious climate deal at Copenhagen, engaging as a starting point with recent G77 proposals, with a deadline for agreement no later than the opening of the UN General Assembly on 22 September.

Successful artefact Solar School

„So what about the payback period of your Mercedes?“ answers Martin Petersen to the question of his counterpart Frank Kebel, concerning the economical efficieny of a solar roof.
The emotional discussion is just a part of a role play within the workshop programme „consultancy and financing“. Together with 14 other electricians, chimney sweepers and physics teachers they take part in the fifth „solar school“ of artefact in Glücksburg, in the most northern corner of Germany. The four days- crash course is offered twice a year according to the regulations of the non-profit „Union of energy consumers“.
During ten years about 2000 participants got trained in about 120 courses countrywide all over Germany, herewith reaching multiplicators for the introduction of renewable energy in the usually rather conservative circles of craftsmen. Both in photovoltaics, the electrical use of solar radiation, and in solar thermal applications, the support of heatig systems, the courses are offered, with increasing success: „Our first course in Glücksburg on solar thermal enery hardly attracted five participants, in the most recent one there were sixteen“ tells Werner Kiwitt, organizer of the solar school in Glücksburg. „And from several „oldies“ we heard that they successfully integrated their new skills in their business activities.“
The required combination of theoretical lessons on basic knowledge, technical calculation, practise on the solar treaining roof and excursions to demonstration sites can be offered excellently by the artefact centre: the international guest house is self sufficient with renewable energy sources – one of the reasons to receive Eurosolar´s European Solar price in 1998. In the next year, the 100.000th visitor is expected on the site. The PowerPark, Germany´s first energy infotainment centre, attracts school classes as well as tourists and groups for special programmes. „You can experience energy, from the fossile coal to the modern wind energy, with all your sins (Sinne?) and still may get some motivation to take responsibilty for your own energy consumption" says Kiwitt. „ For our solar school programmes, we got increasingly requests from other countries. So far we counted participants from Italy and Spain, Sri Lanka and Nicaragua. But since the present courses are conducted in German language, I´m sure that there is an even much higher demand for corresponding courses in English, French or Spanish.“ Therefore the search for cofunding of programme costs has begun: artefact itself doesn´t receive any institutional funding and has to cover all costs with participants´fees. But looking at the proclaimed targets of Johannesburg and the European community, there should be ways to extend an obviously successful concept to other target groups on international level. Martin Petersen, at least, is ready to start his own solar marketing company.

Where sustainability gets a face:
the artefact centre for sustainable development in Glücksburg/Baltic Sea

„Oh my god, I´ll only drink cold water now“ shouts Nijole, the fifteen-years-old student from Lithuania. Together with her class mates from Vilnius and their German partner class she is visiting the PowerPark in Glücksburg, Germany´s first energy infotainment park. With all her girl power Nijole tries to produce electrical energy necessary for boiling hot water – and she is surprised by the hard work required for such a simple device. To understand energy in all ist forms, from the limited resources of fossile energy up to the ever lasting ways of using solar energy – these are the action oriented topics of the artefact PowerPark near the German-danish border. Besides thousands of tourists who are on vacation at the near Baltic Sea coast increasingly students from the whole region visit the unusual centre. It´s possible to book a PowerPark-Rallye or even a complete project day on topics such as intercultural learning, energy efficiency or renewables. Whether Vitalish from Uganda brings fair trade and globalisation down to children´s reality by trying new recepees with cocoa and plantains, or whether Jens Paulsen, energy teacher of the non profit company, shows students how to create their own solar driven toys – sustainability is getting a vivid face at artefact.
Vocational teachers and other technical staff from 60 countries per year join training courses for improving living conditions with renewable, decentralized and peaceful energy sources. The whole centre with facilities for 32 persons in the guest house, conference rooms for 100 and the infotainment park for thousands of visitors receives the European Solar Price 1998 and is, of course , self sufficient in energy consumption, while its architecture was inspirated by pre-egyptian experiences, realized with the help of Indian earth construction specialists.
But not the faszination of exotic examples is the main purpose of the artefact concept. Modern innovation for sustainable production and lifestyle is the goal, that attracted about 100.000 visitors within the last years – an unusual success story for an initiative which has to consequently charge for all services rendered, since the centre has to cover all costs without regular external funding. But the enthusiastic feed back of the many visitors helps to keep up the non-fossile energy of the international team of ten employees and volunteers. At least Nijole is motivated now to check the hidden energy consumption of her stand-by-equipment at home in Vilnius – and satisfied that even the „always cool“ boys of her class weren´t able to overcome the solar fountain with their own pedal power.

 

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