What more can you do you do as mayor of the greenest city in Europe, to make further sustainable progress?
So, last month, Dr Dieter Salomon, Green Party mayor of Freiburg in the Black Forest in southern Germany, hosted the third Convention of over 100 Global Environmental Laureates, myself included, in his super-sustainable city, a long term leader in solar energy installation, waste and resource upcycling, and sustainable construction. (www.freiburg.de/greencity)
At the convention, attended German academic entrepreneur Dr Winfried Hoffmann of Applied Solar Expertise (ASE) in Germany predicted a total solar revolution by 2050; while Dr Ahmet Lokurlu, the CEO of SOLITEM Group, based in Turkey, Germany& USA showed how solar based cooling has already been Implemented in Cyprus, Mexico, and Turkey (http://www.european-environment-foundation.eu/text/103/en/convention-2014.html)
Another contributor cited the ominous words of Xie Zhenhua, China's chief climate negotiator: "If we allow China's per capita carbon emissions to rise to US levels, it will be a disaster for the world."
Perhaps the most compelling contribution came from an international green businessman, Günter Pauli, founder of the zero energy resources (www.zeri.com) and advisor to the United Nations University in Tokyo. In his presentation “Blue Economy” called on “each and every one“ to develop ideas to bring about positve economic change, and was evisceratring in his criticisms of waht he considers the negative economic models promoted by the giant global business schools at Harvard, Stanford and INSEAD, in Paris.
The $313 billion consulting business is molding corporations to do more of the same, while the present crisis requires something much better, he argued.
He stresses a glass is never half full or half empty: it is always full - part liquid, part air.
Dr Pauli has some intriguing views on sustainable construction and materials use.In 2000, at theWorld Fair in Hannover, he organised the building of a vast pavillion using only bamboo as structural material, based on carbon neutral concrete. He advocates growing your own house, in certain developing world contexts!
He also has ideas for re-use of demolition rubble, demonstrasting how it can be made into paper products witout cellulose, and is being done so commercially in Taiwan. The German environment ministry now uses stone-based paper Much more at www.theblueeconomy.org!