Eurban Update

Vol. 16, April 2016
Sustainability news
Two German states hit 100% renewable electricity

The German states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein generated more renewable power in 2015 than households and businesses in each state consumed. Renewable energy production is easier in Germany’s rural areas than in cities, and low population density means that power consumption is also lower making it easier for rural states to reach 100 per cent renewable electricity.
Adaptation to Climate Change
Why Copenhagen is building parks that can turn into ponds

At first glance, Tåsinge Plads square doesn’t look much different from other parks. But there are hidden features that make the square part of this city’s plan to survive the effects of climate change.
Climate news
Climate deniers get reality check

In what should, in a rational world, have been an entirely unnecessary research project, US scientists have once again explored familiar ground and arrived at a familiar conclusion: 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening − and that it is caused by humans.
Innovation news
Award winning technology gives homes free energy by tapping the cloud

In a previous newsletter we wrote about a fascinating new start-up called "Nerdalize". The company was hoping to tap into the huge amount of waste heat generated by cloud computing to provide cheap and eco-friendly heating for our homes and offices. Nerdalize has joined the EU's European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT), and received the EIT Venture Award at the INNOVEIT conference in Budapest.
Climate scientist's high degree of concern

As world leaders meet in New York today to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, researchers warn that lack of ambition on limiting global warming could have devastating effects.
Partner's news
Green building & City solutions awards

Our partner Construction21, yearly organizes the “Green Building & City Solutions Awards”, a competition for sustainable buildings and exemplary urban projects, followed by a million professionals worldwide.

Editor's Choice

Featured Article

Paris Agreement Signed. Now What?

A record number of more than 170 nations attended the signing ceremony of the Paris Climate Agreement (PA) at the United Nations headquarters in New York on April 22. 
The event was a significant one, because despite the fact that countries adopted the text of the Paris Agreement during the COP21 back in December 2015, the Agreement is not yet fully implemented. The PA was a necessary step forward because a country’s signature on the agreement initiates the critical domestic process, on which depends its final entry into force.

Countries present at the signing ceremony included major carbon emitters like the U.S., China and India, as well as many tropical forest countries including Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Brazil.
In order for the Agreement to enter into full force, formal and legal ratification by at least 55 nations comprising 55 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions is necessary. One possible feasible scenario, for example, would involve the combined support of China, the U.S., Canada, Russia, India, Indonesia and Brazil (who cumulatively account for more than 55 percent of emissions today).

Signing the Agreement however, should not be confused with the legal requirement of ratification. In many countries, ratification will require domestic political processes within parliaments to occur. In some circumstances, this could take years.

What's your country doing to improve the energy performance of buildings?
"Buildings across Europe: Accomplishments and Challenges" is the fourth book in a series that started in 2008. It builds upon the 2012 edition, and highlights the important advances achieved in implementing the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) across the European Union in the period 2012-2015.

Why Helsinki's innovative on-demand bus service failed

Four years ago, Helsinki launched an innovative bus service as part of a long-term plan to make cars irrelevant. It was called Kutsuplus — Finnish for “call plus.” And it was one of the world’s first attempts to reinvent carpooling for the algorithm age.

The service matched passengers who were headed roughly in the same direction with a minibus driver, allowing them to share a ride that cost more than a regular city bus but less than a taxi. It was a bit like an Uber for buses — or more accurately, like UberPool — except that Kutsuplus was running for nearly two years by the time Uber got into the ride-sharing side of its business.

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