Category Archives: Environment

Nordea lanserar gröna företagslån(Nordea launch green company’s loan)

STOCKHOLM, July 2(Greenpost) —Nordea lanserar nu gröna företagslån – lån som främjar hållbara investeringar. På så vis kan våra små och medelstora företagskunder ta sitt hållbarhetsarbete till nästa nivå.

 

Magnus Montan, Nordenchef Business Banking på Nordea.

Nordea lanserar nu gröna företagslån – lån som främjar hållbara investeringar. På så vis kan våra små och medelstora företagskunder ta sitt hållbarhetsarbete till nästa nivå.

Fenomenet gröna obligationer har funnits en längre tid, främst för stora fastighetsföretag. Nu kan Nordea som första aktör erbjuda gröna lån till små och medelstora företag inom flera branscher.

– Vi har över en halv miljon små och medelstora företag som kunder, och för samtal med dem regelbundet. Hållbarhet lyfts ofta fram, vilket visar att efterfrågan på en produkt som exempelvis gröna lån är stor och kommer att växa, säger Magnus Montan, Nordenchef Business Banking på Nordea.

Den första kunden att använda vår produkt gröna lån är K2A, som arbetar med miljövänlig produktion av bostäder.

– För oss är det viktigt att vara hållbara i så stor del av vår verksamhet som möjligt. Att vi nu tecknar gröna lån gör att vi kan bli gröna även i vår finansiering, vilket är en viktig del vid bostadsutveckling. Det är spännande att se att begreppet hållbarhet hittar in i nya aspekter av företagande såsom finansiering, säger Johan Knaust, vd K2A.

Nordeas gröna obligation som emitterades i juni 2017 blev startskottet, och genom nära dialoger med kunder har Nordea nu utvecklat en modell för gröna företagslån.

– Hela kedjan är grön, det vill säga vi använder vår gröna marknadsupplåning. Kunden förbinder sig också att använda lånet till en hållbar investering, och måste kunna redovisa den positiva påverkan som investeringen har, till exempel på el- och vattenkonsumtion, säger Magnus Montan.

Med andra ord blir både kundernas investering och finansieringen för investeringen grön. Exempel på investeringar är energieffektiva fastigheter, vindkraft, vattenrening, elbilar och solenergi.

För de gröna lånen får kunderna också något mer fördelaktiga kommersiella villkor jämfört med de icke gröna lånen.

De gröna lånen kan få betydande positiv effekt på miljön. Vad gäller exempelvis gröna lån till fastighetskunder kräver Nordea minst 25 procent bättre energieffektivitet än svenska byggnadsregler (BBR) för nya byggnader. Nordea ger också ut gröna lån till investeringar i förnybar energi som har ännu större positiv effekt på minskade utsläpp.

– Vi tror att gröna lån är här för att stanna och kommer att etableras som standard på marknaden. Vi tror också att vår egen kreditportfölj kommer att växa sig starkare eftersom de mest hållbara företagen är framtidens vinnare – det ser vi redan nu i studier, säger Magnus Montan.

Först görs en intern utvärdering för att se om lånet kan klassas som grönt. Sedan följer en extern utvärdering där väl etablerade miljöcertifieringar används, godkända av Oekom Research som är oberoende granskare av Nordeas gröna låneramverk.

Source: Nordea.se

Sweden invests 1 billion SEK in testbed for electromobility

Edited By xuefei Chen Axelsson

 RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), and Chalmers University of Technology have now begun, with support from the Swedish government, the establishment of a Swedish testbed for electromobility. Overall, contributions from the government, and the industrial partners CEVT, Scania, Volvo Cars and Volvo Group, enable an investment of 1 billion Swedish krona for the testbed.

In 2017, RISE and Chalmers University of Technology were tasked by the Swedish government with creating a testbed for electromobility. It has now been decided that the testbed, called the Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory (SEEL), will be located in the Lindholmen area of Gothenburg, with facilities in the Stockholm region too. RISE and Chalmers will build and own the facility jointly, with industry as the customer base.

The aim of SEEL is to strengthen the competitiveness of the Swedish automotive industry, to help Sweden remain at the forefront of innovations in the transport sector, and to accelerate the shift towards a fossil-free Swedish society.

SEEL will provide testing for all the different areas of electrified transport. For example, electrified gearboxes and driveshafts for different types of vehicles, drivetrain and component testing for hybrids and electric vehicles, as well as charging and smart power-management. Even the marine and aviation sectors are expected to be able to make use of the testbed.

“The automotive industry is extremely important for Sweden, and today we take an important step to secure Swedish automotive jobs in the great transition that is taking place in the transport sector. From fossil to renewable, from petrol and diesel to electricity. Our goal is to make Sweden one of the world’s first fossil-free welfare states. And to do that we need to both cut emissions and secure our competitiveness. The Swedish automotive industry will play a key role in this transformation,” says Mikael Damberg, Minister of Enterprise and Innovation.

Stefan Bengtsson, President and CEO of Chalmers says, “this investment offers great opportunities for education, research and industrial development. The testbed complements the laboratories that Chalmers already has. It is ideal for us to take responsibility as one of the owners, to effectively contribute to rapid knowledge development relating to electric vehicles”.

“SEEL is unique in terms of the close collaboration that will take place between industry, institutes and academia. It has all the potential to become a world-leading electromobility testing facility. Together with our testing area for active vehicle safety, AstaZero, and our new test facility for stress-testing automotive electronics and wireless communications, Awitar, SEEL makes RISE well-equipped to be a strong innovation partner for the Swedish automotive industry in the future,” explains RISE CEO Pia Sandvik.

“CEVT has a clear mission within the Geely Group to become a world-leading innovation center. Electromobility is an area that allows for new features that will be absolutely essential for our future products to meet tomorrow’s requirements for fossil-free vehicles. Development of these features requires deep understanding of components and systems – SEEL will be part of the base we need to continuously develop this knowledge,” says Mats Fägerhag, CEO of CEVT (China Euro Vehicle Technology).

“Scania is driving the shift towards a fossil-free transport system. Electrification will be an important part of that journey, and Sweden – with large vehicle makers, green energy and good cooperation between politics, academia and the corporate sector – has unique conditions to take a heavy role in this development globally,” believes Björn Westman, Senior Vice President and head of powertrain development at Scania. “The two electric transport laboratories will be very beneficial for both developing and testing of heavy electric vehicles in Sweden,” he continues.

“We in the automotive industry have a major role to play in climate-management, and electrification is an important part of that work,” states Lars Stenqvist, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo Group. “We have started with buses and our first electric trucks, but much more research and development is required. SEEL will help us – and Sweden – to remain a leader in the development of vehicles and systems for climate-neutral transport.”

“Volvo Cars’ ambitious electrification strategy means that SEEL will be an important tool when developing and verifying the new technologies we are planning for the coming years,” says Paul Welander, Senior Vice President at Volvo Cars. “During the years 2020-2025, we anticipate a significant shift towards electrified vehicles, so the timing for SEEL is ideal. It is also an investment that will benefit both the industry and society.”

The different parts of the test bed will come into use as they become ready, with the lab expected to be fully operational by 2022.

Source from Chalmers University.

Ingmar Bergman’s 100th anniversary celebrated all over the world

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson


Photographer/Source: © Bengt Wanselius

“Bergmania” is sweeping the world in celebration of what would have been the legendary director’s 100th birthday. New digitisations of his films by the Swedish Film Institute have enabled the entire world to participate in the celebration, according to a press release from the Bergman Foundation.

– The huge interest in celebrating Bergman 100 exceeds our highest expectations! Though great art is indeed timeless, it still needs the support from public and private institutions to remain available. Most importantly, though, it needs the support of the audience. The art of Bergman, luckily, enjoys all of these, says Jan Holmberg, CEO at the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

In the beginning of February the Ingmar Bergman-fever reached New York as Film Forum opened its centennial celebration of the Swedish director, with a five week retrospective, screening 47 of his feature films. The program has been praised as “the repertory of the year” and has drawn great accolades from fans and critics with reviews in high profile New York-based magazines such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker wrote “The world of Ingmar Bergman is hereby declared open. It contains multitudes. Everyone is welcome.”

BFI programmer Geoff Andrew crowned Bergman as “the ultimate auteur” in his introductory speech for BFI’s Ingmar Bergman: A Definitive Film Season, a three month celebration that marks the centenary of the film-makers birth. As part of BFI celebrations of the centenary of Ingmar Bergman, many of his films will be returning to cinemas across the UK. From February 21 through April 14, London’s Old Vic presents Fanny & Alexander, an adaptation for the stage of Bergman’s 1982 semi-autobiographical work.

Back in continental Europe, the Centro sperimentale di cinematografia in Rome generated long lines circling around the theatre as they screened the Bergman retrospective. In Vienna, the Austrian Film Museum is staging a complete retrospective of Bergman’s filmography. In the Austrian newspaper Die Presse, hailed Bergmans films as “keeping us looking fearlessly into the mirror, their reflections are acid baths for the soul”.

Film retrospectives and screenings will continue all over the world, among them Tel Aviv, Singapore, Detroit, Beijing, Montreal, Madrid, Moscow, Prague, Berlin, Washington DC, Hong Kong, Bogota, Taipei, Chicago, Paris, Toronto, Ljublijana, Geneva and Mexico City.

– The fact that Ingmar Bergman’s films can be shown in this way worldwide is thanks to the Swedish Film Institute’s digitisation project. Three years ago, we decided that all of Bergman’s films would be digitised and translated into English by 2018, says Mathias Roensgren, Director of Film Heritage at the Swedish Film Institute.

In Scandinavia, among almost countless Bergman-related events, the cinematheques in Stockholm, Helsinki and Oslo started their all year long retrospectives. The Museum Hallwyl in Stockholm is showcasing a selection of women’s costumes featured in Bergman’s films. This year will also witness an extensive Bergman-related book release (more than 40 titles); including the Swedish publishing house Nordstedts releasing six volumes of mostly previously unpublished material written by the director.

The Oscars-weekend is fast approaching and nominated for Best Foreign Language Film is Ruben Östlund’s The Square. This could make it the first Swedish film to win the award since Fanny & Alexander at the 1984 ceremony. Bergman received three Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film during his career including The Virgin Spring(1960) and Through a Glass Darkly (1961), placing him second only to Federico Fellini, and received nine other Academy Award-nominations for his films. Watch actress Harriet Anderson accepting the award on Bergman’s behalf at the 1962 ceremony.

For more information, visit http://www.ingmarbergman.se/

The Swedish Film Institute works to promote film across the board – from idea to finished product, during launch in Sweden and around the world, and by preserving films for posterity in our archives. The Guldbagge Awards are Sweden’s leading film awards and have been presented by The Swedish Film Institute since 1964. In our database The Swedish Film Database you can search for information about all Swedish feature-length films released at the cinema since 1897.

Long Yuxiang Meets SCEA President Zhang Qiaozhen in Stockholm

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Jan. 16(Greenpost)—Visiting CPPCC member and Executive Director of China International Cultural Communication Center Long Yuxiang has met Zhang Qiaozhen, President of Sweden-China Entrepreneur Association in Stockholm on Jan. 13, 2018. They have exchanged ideas on promoting cooperation between China and Sweden in cultural, economic and sports sectors especially in ice hockey.

Zhang Qiaozhen has expressed warm welcome and deep gratitude  to Long Yuxiang’s visit. She said that SCEA is an information exchange platform for Swedish and Chinese entrepreneurs and was established on November  2015.  It mainly focuses on  environmental protection, energy saving technology, clean energy, biomedicine, life science, electronic information etc.

Zhang Qiaozhen said SCEA will try its best to provide a friendship bridge across the border and cultures between the two sides. It is a platform for scientific research, finance, trade and talented people. In the areas of  winter sports in particular ice hockey, China has made a great leap forward development in recent years and are looking forward to 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Zhang said SCEA hopes to be able to join hands with China International Cultural Communication Center to do its best in ice hockey cooperation and 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Long Yuxiang has thanked Zhang Qiaozhen for her contribution in pushing forward  exchanges and cooperation between the two sides. He said Sweden is an important country in Europe and the largest country in Nordic region. It has advanced economic and technological development. Its Swedish Model in social governance is well-known in the world.

Long said Sino-Swedish friendship has had a long history and Sweden is the first western country in the world to establish diplomatic relations with China.  In recent years, Sino-Swedish relations developed steadily and cooperation in various fields are deepened. As an important window for China to conduct cultural exchange with foreign countries, China International Cultural Communication Center has been engaged in making national cultural brand, holding the responsibility of attracting foreign culture towards the future, and established friendly relations with 130 countries in the world.

“President Xi Jinping has paid important attention to ice hockey development and made a series of directories for hosting 2022 winter Olympics. Kunlun Red Star Ice Hockey Club was established on June 25, 2016 witnessed by both Chinese and Russian Presidents. It symbolizes the birth of the first Chinese World class Ice Hockey Club. Since its establishment, it has seriously implemented Xi Jinping’s important mandate in order to promote Chinese Ice Hockey team to achieve excellent achievements in Winter Olympics. It has made great progress in improving Chinese ice hockey teams’ overall level. It also takes “belt and road” initiative as its mission to promote sports and culture exchanges. ”

Long Yuxiang said his center is more than willing to exchange and cooperate with Sweden-China Entrepreneur Association in promoting bilateral cultural , economic and sports especially ice hockey exchange and cooperation.

Yue Xinyu, founder of Beijing Kunlun Red Star Ice Hockey Club, Zhang Shouting, Nordic Sustainable Development Association, Zhang Shaobin, President of Shenzhen Kong Wah Real Estate Group, Zhang Shenhua, President of Shenzhen Xinyu Fund and Zhang Luping, General Manager of Rongtai Investment AB were also present at the meeting.

Photo/text Xuefei Chen Axelsson

SIPRI Expert on chances and challenges on cooperation of Ice Silk Road

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Jan. 11(Greenpost)– Chinese President Xi Jinping has put up forward a proposal about cooperation in Ice Silk Road along arctic routes as the ice in the arctic is melting faster and faster.

Greenpost has a chance to have a  written interview with Ekaterina Klimenko, Researcher and SIPRI expert on Arctic Security. The following is the Q & A.

1.     What are the chances and challenges in the cooperation of this ice Silk Road, or Northern Sea Route for China?

 Traditionally, Russia has been reluctant to allow non-Arctic states to play a strong role in Arctic region, including in economic projects. However, a number of factors have shifted Russia’s policies, among them significant shifts in the world energy markets and sanctions. This allowed for great China’s involvement, first of all, into oil and gas development in the Russia Arctic zone. Moscow and Beijing has significantly expended Chian’s investments in to the joint project on the Yamal peninsular, Yamal LNG.

 The Russian government officials and the President Putin personally have on a number of occasions encourages Asian partners, and China in particular, to look at the Northern Sea Route as a possible alternative shipping route. However, over the last couple years China, and other Asian states, is also seen as investors into the construction of the NSR infrastructure. E.g. in a Joint Statement signed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Russian Prime Minister Medvedev in December 2015, it was highlighted that the two sides would cooperate in developing the NSR into a competitive commercial sea route in the future. On several occasions Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s State Commission for Arctic Development, has mentioned that Russia and China are discussing cooperation on the NSR.

 Among the major challenges at the moment remains the fact that the Russian Government has still not defined the future of many infrastructure projects along the NSR. It is therefore unclear whether any of the projects will actually be implemented. Thus, despite the evident enthusiasm of Russian officials for fostering Chinese participation in infrastructure projects, this type of cooperation remains ‘on paper’ and does not go further than official statements and signed MOUs.

2.     How will this affect the Arctic countries?

It is too early to say at the moment how Russia China cooperation on the Northern Sea Route would affect the other Arctic states, as there is not much progress with it. I think we will see much more in the next 5-10 years.

 3.     How will it affect the environment?

Expansion of any economic activity in the Arctic brings the risks for environment. Growing shipping along the NSR, especially shipping of hydrocarbons creates significant risks for oil spills.

 4.     How can China participate in projects along the route?

 We have already 2 examples of how China can participate in the projects: the construction of the Belkomur railway and the deep-water harbour in Arkhangelsk. In 2015 Chinese Poly Technologies Inc. signed an agreement to invest in the development of the Belkomur railway and in the future to be responsible for its operation. . The project is believed to have a cost frame of more than 200 billion roubles (€2.67 billion). Poly Technologies has reportedly also expressed an interest in participating in construction of the new deep-water harbour in Arkhangelsk.[1]

I think we will see more of this type of partnerships.

Thank you. 

 

China Cultural Center in Stockholm holds the largest exhibition in its history

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Nov. 19(Greenpost)– China Cultural Center in Stockholm is holding the largest exhibitions since its establishment in September 2016.

Chinese Ambassador to Sweden Gui Congyou spoke at the opening of the three exhibitions. One is Born in the 60’s China Contemporary Art Exhibition & Invitational Exhibition for Swedish Artists. The third is Qian Yuqing’s Chinese calligraphy and Ding Yazhong’s  landscape ink Paintings.

“Art is a language that all the people can appreciate. Although China’s contemporary art has a short history, it has become an important art form in China and even in the world. China’s rapid development and great changes have become an inspiration and a source for artists.”  said Ambassador Gui.

“By learning from the western art, Chinese artists have explored deeply about Chinese traditional culture in recent years, by holding this exhibition, I am sure it will promote bilateral cultural exchanges through art works from both China and Sweden.” said Ambassador Gui.

Director of the China Cultural Center In Stockholm and Cultural Counselor of Chinese Embassy in Stockholm, Pu Zhengdong said he is proud to present these three kinds of exhibitions which he believed to have been historic and plays an important role in promoting bilateral understanding and exchange of cultures.  This has been the main purpose of the center and now it really meets the goal.

Anders Nyhlen, planner of the exhibition said he was very glad to attend this exhibition.

“I have held exhibitions relation to China for six times. Many Swedish artists like to know about China since China develops so fast. This time we have eight Swedish artists participating in the exhibition and I think we welcome the Chinese artists to come to Sweden. ” said Nyhlen.

Professor Zhang Fangbai who is also artist and one of the focal persons for the exhibition said he is very grateful to have a chance to exhibit Chinese contemporary art again in Sweden because this has been very conducive for the Chinese contemporary arts development. These kinds of exhibitions in Stockholm affect Chinese artists a lot and Chinese artists were inspired by Swedish artists.

Artist Han Zhongren said by looking at the Swedish artists works, he felt he could understand what those artists are seeking for and he felt that they are seeking for similar goals and shoulder similar responsibilities.  Han’s works are mainly about environmental protection theme.

Qian Yuqing used to be a policeman. But he loved Chinese calligraphy since childhood and calligraphy has always been his hobby. Now he treats the hobby as his main task and quitted the police job.  He loved calligraphy and if he couldn’t get both, he quitted the police job and keeps the calligraphy job.  He said Chinese and western artists actually can learn from each other.  These exhibitions are just the way for them to exchange ideas. He got inspiration from the Swedish artists and he hopes Swedish artists can get some inspiration from him.

Ding Yazhong has his own art gallery, Jia Ji Art Gallery, and has his own art school. He also loves art since childhood.  His specialty is to use special red ink color to paint the landscape. His works show  people a beautiful feeling of autumn symbolising good harvest and beautiful autumn.  China is indeed experiencing the good harvest in many aspects.

The exhibitions opening attracted many audiences.  It will last till 28th of November.

There is also a digital exhibition during the whole exhibitions.

Text/Photo  Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Chinese Special Series–Chinese Housing enough for the next generation

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Nov. 12(Greenpost)– To be honest, I came from a poor farmer’s family. But now those who live in the countryside enjoy big house, bigger space.

My brother and sister both have about 100 square meters apartment.
Recently a woman from Qingdao, Shandong province told me that they live in a 150 square meters apartment just for two persons.

Many civil servants have bigger office areas and enjoy two or three apartments.

Even those who came from the countryside and later lived in the city can enjoy very big apartment, not just one.

China has built so many buildings, so many cars and so many bikes.

A great change now is that people live much better.

Beijing attracts architeks from all over the world and it is a test site for all the vanguard builders. I saw an instrument type of building in Chaoyang district.

The famous CCTV building is even more protruding.  Skyscrapers are everywhere. And in many provinces, counties and cities, there are many buildings built.

Many people in local areas even have much more houses than those in bigger cities.  Chinese people enjoy far better material enjoyment now than ever. But their time of course is much tighter than before. They work harder than before.

Solvatten–An Innovative Tool to Achieve Climate and Development Goals 

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Nov.7(Greenpost)– Climate change is a reality and people from developing countries – specially women and children – are suffering the most. How can technology support governments to overcome these challenges?  Getting ready for the future. Credit: Solvatten. 

Here we have an interview between Analice Martins, independent writer, activist for women’s rights and founder of Internacionalidade and David Wadström focusing on an innovation called Solvatten.  The following is the details of Q and A.

Hej, David! Thanks for having me here! Can you tell me more about Solvatten?
Hej Analice! Sure! Solvatten – which means “Sun Water” in Swedish – is a jerry can that uses solar energy to purify contaminated water. After a few hours exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, specifically UV-B, the water is free from the pathogens that cause diseases such as dysentery, salmonella and cholera. We created a durable design that stands intense heat and sunlight for many years and it has the capacity to process up to 40 liters of water per day, all we need is sunshine!

Sounds very promising! And how is Solvatten addressing global challenges such as poverty, inequality and climate change?
Billions of people still use firewood to cook, heat and boil water in order to make it cleaner. There are numerous social and environmental consequences of this practice; for instance, burning firewood causes harmful indoor air pollution, releases greenhouse gas emissions, and impact the lives of many girls and women who need to walk dozens of miles every day to fetch water and firewood.
A typical household used to spend up to three hours a day to generate energy to water needs. Solvatten saves time and allow people to pursue more economically productive activities. Additionally, decreasing firewood burns is beneficial to both the household’s members as well as the trees in the local environment.

In which ways is Solvatten supporting governments and organizations to achieve their climate and development goals?
Solvatten is both a short and long-term solution. In the short term, Solvatten is a powerful relief tool for communities affected by natural disasters. Governments and International Organizations can use Solvatten in areas suffering from water contamination. In the long-term, Solvatten has been proven to be a change maker: it empowers women, increases girls’ attendance in schools, changes hygienic behaviors, and transforms its users into true climate heroes! Families have saved thousands of hectares of forest and a million trees by using Solvatten. That is real climate Action!
 

Solvatten works with governments but also green-minded companies, please tell me more about that? 
We work in partnership with governments, local organizations and corporations to provide Solvatten to millions of people living off-grid. Since 2007, we have initiated 45 projects reaching out over 300.000 people living in more than 20 developing countries. For instance, the Solvatten CSR and Climate Project provides companies and partners an opportunity to connect social and environmental impact with their business needs. An increased use of Solvatten can also improve the way a responsible company is doing business in East Africa and other emerging markets. It can really add value to their supply chains in agro-business. 

 

Can you give me an example of a successful partnership? 
Yes, good examples are the partnerships we have with sugar and coffee grower cooperatives. Solvatten plays a key role in improving the farmer’s lives at the same time it can be a practical way to offset the carbon emissions that the business contributes to. Solvatten is also being used by corporations like Axfood, International Organization such as the UN-Habitat, and environmental foundations like myclimate. 

 

It’s really inspiring! Now, to finalize, what is your biggest dream? 

My dream is to live in a world where everyone has access to safe and clean water, just as we do here in Sweden. I also hope that Solvatten shall inspire other entrepreneurs and innovators to raise their voice and come up with great solutions to address climate change! 

2017诺贝尔医学生理学奖将于2日上午发布敬请关注

北欧绿色邮报网报道(记者陈雪霏)–一年一度的诺贝尔奖发布日期即将来临。诺贝尔生理学或医学将将于10月2日在卡罗林斯卡医学院发布。

10月3日,4日诺贝尔物理学奖和化学奖将分别在瑞典皇家科学院礼堂新闻发布厅发布。

10月5日,如果没有意外应该是诺贝尔文学奖发布日。但是有时也有可能变化。敬请关注。

10月6日,诺贝尔和平奖将在挪威首都奥斯陆发布。

10月9日,诺贝尔经济学奖将在瑞典皇家科学院发布。敬请关注。

World Bank research shows poor sanitation and lack of clean water cause poverty

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Sept.9(Greenpost)– World Bank has issued a report during the recent world water week in Stockholm titled Reducing inequalities in water supply, sanitation and hygiene in the era of the sustainable development goals.

The report calls for drastic change in the way countries manage resources and provide key services, starting with better targeting to ensure they reach those most in need, and tackling inefficiencies to make sure public services are sustainable and effective.

Guangzhe Chen, Senior Director of the Water Global Practice of the World Bank speaks at the high level panel at the opening of the World Water Week. Photo by Xuefei Chen Axelsson

“Millions are currently trapped in poverty by poor water supply and sanitation, which contributes to childhood stunning and debilitating diseases such as diarrhea. To give everyone an equal chance at reaching their full potential, more resources, targeted to areas of high vulnerability and low access, are needed to close the gaps and improve poor water and sanitations services.  This report provides  a roadmap for closing that gap,” said Guangzhe Chen, Senior Director of the Water Global Practice of the World Bank.

Offering a comprehensive analysis of water and sanitation indicators, the research spans 18countries around the world and for the first time, pinpoints specific geographic regions within countries that have inadequate WASH services. It sheds light on major disparities in water supply and sanitation services between rural and urban poor and non poor areas.

Craig Kullmann, specialist and Luis Andres, Lead Economists at Water Global Practice, World Bank. Photo by Xuefei Chen Axelsson

The research finds a particularly stark contrast between urban and rural areas. Across the 18 countries, 75% of people who lack improved sanitation live in rural areas, and only 20 % of rural inhabitants have access to improved water. This report provides policymakers with a baseline and guidance on how to better target investments to ensure that basic services reach the poorest communities and households.

In Nigeria, over 60% of the rural population live more than 30 minutes away from a working water source.

In Indonesia, only 5 percent of urban wastewater is safely treated and disposed of  and children living in communities with open defecation during the first three years of life are 11 percentage points more likely to be stunned.

In Bangladesh, there is E.coli contamination  in water in  tap as well as in pond.  In Ecuador, about a quarter of population drinks contaminated water, and in Haiti, 67 percent of people drink bad water.

Today diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children under 5. thus water and sanitation services need to improve dramatically. otherwise we are risking the future of our children, says Rachid Bennmessaoud, country director of Nigeria.

The report stressed that the services didn’t go to the poor is due to poor implementation, not due to poor policy.

 

Video: A video interview with Kevin Rudd at World Water Week

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Sept. 8(Greenpost)–Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia and current Chairman of Sanitation and Water for All has said that all sectors should help invest in solving sanitation and water issue which is fundamental for achieving the UN 2030 SDGs.

The interview was done by Xuefei Chen Axelsson on Aug. 30  at the 2017 World Water Week in Stockholm.

Mr. Rudd talked about his relations with water and sanitation from childhood, government level and international level.  He said that to achieve the SDGs, it needs all sectors’ joint efforts because water and sanitation sector is a relatively weak one which indeed needs much more attention and efforts.

Filmed by Xuefei Chen Axelsson on Aug.30, 2017 Stockholm.

2017 Stockholm World Water Week stresses values of water

Stockholm ,1 September (Greenpost)–Understanding and recognizing the many different values attached to water is the key to more efficient use – a must as more people have to share the world’s limited fresh water. This was the conclusion at the end of the World Water Week on Friday in Stockholm.  Xuefei Chen Axelsson has more. 

Over 3,200 participants from 133 countries have attended several hundred sessions, shared experiences, and discussed solutions to the world’s most critical water challenges. The number of the people has been the highest so far.

Water is the lifeline of our civilization. Without it, there is no hope of sustaining households, industries, food and energy production, or such key functions as hospitals. Access to safe water is necessary in order to implement the global development agenda, said SIWI Executive Director Torgny Holmgren, host of the World Water Week.

“With increasing scarcity, we must recognize the many values attached to water, be it economic, social, environmental, cultural or religious. I believe that by re-valuing water, we will develop a deeper understanding and respect for this precious resource, and thus be better prepared for more efficient use,” added Holmgren.

During the week, delegates discussed all kinds of issues related to water which the theme of this year is water and water, reduce and reuse.

Throughout World Water Week, links were made between the different values of water, including its monetary value.

“I believe we will see more diverse pricing structures in the future, allowing for more economical and efficient use,” said Holmgren.

A growing global population is creating a higher demand for fresh water. Climate-driven changes in weather patterns, leading to extended droughts and devastating floods, further exacerbate pressure on our common water resources.

“Efficient use, therefore, is not an option but a must to ensure availability for all of us,” Holmgren added.

Another focus of World Water Week is the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In a filmed message to World Water Week, Amina J Mohamed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, pressed on the need to accelerate progress towards SDG6 on clean water and sanitation and on all the water-related sustainable development goals.

“Today, strains on water are rising in all regions and climate change is aggravating the challenge. When water is unequally shared, or perceived to be, the risk of local and national conflict increases. We are even seeing in some cases the use of water as a weapon of war.

The priority now is to harness national leadership and global partnership to scale up action. Only by ensuring the sustainability of fresh water and access to sanitation for all will we achieve the SDGs. Let us value and treasure water as we value and treasure life itself,” concluded Amina J Mohamed.

Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Water and Sanitation in South Africa, stressed that we need to embrace new technologies which support our route towards the realization of the SDGs and that an appreciation must also be given to new world class technologies emanating from Africa. “We cannot afford to continue to do what we did yesterday and expect to see a different result tomorrow. We must be bold!” said Minister Mokonyane.

Mark Watts from C40, an organization that gathers mayors of cities worldwide, told World Water Week participants about the risks that big cities face from climate change and how water is key to mitigation and adaptation efforts.

“We see that water pattern disruption is often the first sign of serious climate impacts and 70 per cent of our member cities tell us that they are already seeing the significant and negative impacts of climate change. 64 per cent of our member cities face significant risk from surface and flash floods, Watts said, adding that water must be part of the climate mitigation programmes, but also a central part of climate adaptation.

World Water Week hosted an event taking stock of water in the implementation of both Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Agreement. Addressing the event, Hungarian President János Áder said the world needs a more focused global effort towards tackling water challenges.

Two prizes were awarded during World Water Week. On Tuesday 29 August, Stockholm Junior Water Prize was awarded to Ryan Thorpe and Rachel Chang, USA, for their novel approach to detect and purify water contaminated with Shigella, E. coli, Salmonella, and Cholera. H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented the prize. On Wednesday 30 August, the Stockholm Water Prize was awarded to Professor Stephen McCaffrey, USA, for his unparalleled contribution to the evolution and progressive realization of international water law. The prize was presented to by H.M. Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, patron of the prize, during a ceremony in Stockholm City Hall.

World Water Week 2017 was the 27th edition. The 2018 World Water Week, to be held from 26 to 31 August in Stockholm, will focus on Water, Ecosystems and Human Development

 

About SIWI

SIWI is a water institute, working to improve the way freshwater resources are governed. By combining its areas of expertise with its unique convening power, SIWI influences decision-makers, facilitates dialogue and builds knowledge in water issues, thereby contributing to a just, prosperous and sustainable future for all.

SIWI organizes the world’s most important annual water and development meeting, World Water Week, and it awards the Stockholm Water Prize and Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

Stephen McCaffrey in international water law receives 2017 Stockholm Water Prize

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Stockholm, Aug. 31(Greenpost)–Professor Stephen McCaffrey received the 2017 Stockholm Water Prize on Wednesday, for his unparalleled contribution to the evolution and progressive realization of international water law.

The prize was presented to Stephen McCaffrey by H.M. Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, at a ceremony in Stockholm City Hall during the ongoing World Water Week.

 In its citation, the Stockholm Water Prize Nominating Committee recognized Professor McCaffrey’s “path-breaking leadership and legal scholarship in international water law. He has made a unique contribution in three specific areas: his seminal work on Treaty negotiation; his major scholarly works, including his book The Law of International Watercourses and; his leadership providing expert legal advice, wise counsel, training and facilitation of complex negotiations with a wide range of stakeholders.”

Dr Letitia Obeng, Member of the Stockholm Water Prize Nominating Committee, said: “Professor McCaffrey is an internationally respected pioneer in water law and in diplomacy. Today’s international lawyers stand on his shoulders”.

Water flows where it will and has no regard for national or regionally drawn boundaries. Beneficial hydrological, social, and economic linkages can be fostered among countries which share transboundary waters, with their equitable use promoting peace and development.

Nearly 40 per cent of the world’s population lives in countries that share river basins. Increasing stress on water resources globally will require the reasonable and equitable use of transboundary waters. Improved management of transboundary waters reduces the potential for conflict, fosters socio-economic development, promotes shared benefits, and supports healthy ecosystems and services.

On receiving the Prize, Professor McCaffrey said: “I accept this very special award not only on my own behalf, but also on behalf of many women and men who work so hard in the field to ensure that fresh water can be brought to people in ways that do not strain international relations, but which in fact affirmatively produce win-win solutions for countries and people on the ground in accordance with law”.

Stephen McCaffrey, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento, California, is the single most respected authority on International Water Law. His work continues to influence scholars, legal practitioners and policy-makers and contribute to the sustainable and peaceful management of shared waters.

In an interview with Greenpost.se, McCaffrey said the future lies on cooperation. Only through cooperation can people cope with water issues peacefully and can benefit from cooperation.

 

“Cooperation over shared waters is becoming increasingly important, as we witness higher demand coupled with growing scarcity. Stephen McCaffrey is a true inspiration for us in this area, as well as and an important guide, through his works and his wisdom”, said SIWI’s Executive Director Torgny Holmgren.

More about Professor Stephen McCaffrey

Professor McCaffrey has been acting as legal counsel to states in several negotiations concerning international watercourses. He has served as counsel in many inter-state disputes over shared water resources, for example between Argentina and Uruguay, Pakistan and India, and Slovakia and Hungary, which have been heard by international courts and tribunals.

He has guided, often multi-year negotiation processes among riparian countries with respect to transboundary water law, for example, on the Nile, Mekong, and Ganges, some with numerous countries involved.

In earlier writings, Professor McCaffrey articulated the human right to water which was later recognized by the UN General Embassy as a right in 2010. Additionally, he has provided critical insights, linking water law to policy, conflict resolution, benefit sharing, and environmental protection over the years.

About Stockholm Water Prize

The Stockholm Water Prize is a global award founded in 1991 and presented annually by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) to an individual, organization or institution for outstanding water-related achievements. H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is patron of the prize.

Photo by Xuefei Chen Axelsson

2017 Stockholm World Water Week focuses on water and waste—reduce and reuse

Stockholm, Aug. 29(Greenpost)–2017 Stockholm World Water Week has been focusing on water and waste—reduction and re-use. CRI’s Chen Xuefei has attended the opening session and has details.Torgny Holmgren, Director of Stockholm International Water Institute, host of Water Week made a welcome speech on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

Torgny Holmgren, Director of Stockholm International Water Institute, host of Water Week made a welcome speech on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

2017 Stockholm World Water Week has been focusing on water and waste—reduction and re-use. CRI’s Chen Xuefei has attended the opening session and has details.

Swedish astronaut Professor Christer Fuglesang made the opening remarks as the session began, noting that all water- including urine – in a spaceship is recycled and reused.

Stockholm International Water Institute Director Torgny Holmgren, host of Water Week, said the recycling practice in space described by Fuglesang perfectly illustrates this year’s theme at the conservation event.

Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly spoke at the World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly spoke at the World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

“To advance our knowledge and learn more about managing our scarce water resources, we choose water and waste, reduce and reuse as the theme of this world water week, the theme touches the very core of our daily lives, to reduce, some drastic changes will be needed by the main water users, it could be in the industry sector, energy sector and agricultural sector…”

In that sense, Holmgren said water is not a sector, it is actually a connector of all different sectors.

Stockholm Mayor Karin Wanggard said water is a circular resource and one has to learn how to reduce harm and reuse the resource we claim from the earth.

Stockholm Mayor Karin Wanggard made a speech at the opening plenary of World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

Stockholm Mayor Karin Wanggard made a speech at the opening plenary of World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

“Access to water is the most important international issue to ensure sustainable development, peace and security. Clean water is fundamental in a health perspective and secure access to it for all people and the growing population is one of the greatest challenges for the international community.”

During the opening of World Water Week, UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson also shared his reflection on the Ocean Conference held at the United Nations in New York last June and strengthened the interconnection of UN Sustainable Development Goals related to water sanitation and ocean resources.

Thomson said everything is connected and water, environment and climate change are all interrelated.

Swedish Astronaut Christer Fulgesang spoke at World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

Swedish Astronaut Christer Fulgesang spoke at World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

“Thus we must have an inclusive and integrated approach and never fall back on the failing side of past status quos, we all have something to bring to the work ahead.”

More than 2000 government officials, water experts, researchers, non-governmental sectors and students will discuss issues relating to water and waste during World Water Week which began on Sunday.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize, Stockholm Water Prize, and Stockholm Industry Water Prize will be issued during the event.

For CRI, Chen Xuefei, Stockholm.

Source, CRI

World Water Week in Stockholm focuses on water and waste to reduce and reuse

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Stockholm, Aug. 28,  (Greenpost) – World leaders, water experts, development professionals, policy-makers and students have gathered in Stockholm for a week-long meeting focused on finding ways to better use, and reuse, the world’s increasingly scarce fresh water.

The opening plenary of the water week began with Swedish Astronaut Christer Fulgesang telling about his stories in the spaceship.

Fuglesang said there is a very sophosticated water reuse system in the space which can treat their urin into drinking water.  Grapes can be grown there and many advanced technologies can be used to make water use more efficiently.

During this year’s water week, people talk more about the term “water scarcity” . As more countries, and cities, experience the effects of high population pressure and less available freshwater, the interest among policy-makers, businesses, and citizens grows. The realization is there. We need to become more efficient water users. We need to make some drastic changes.

“World Water Week is a key meeting place for the water and development community; it is here that we come together and make sure that the very best ideas are brought forward,” said SIWI’s Executive Director, Torgny Holmgren.

Holmgren said water is not a sector, it is a connecter linking all sectors in our daily life.

World Water Week is the world’s biggest global annual meeting focusing on water and development. It is organized by SIWI, Stockholm International Water Institute. The Week draws over 3,000 participants from nearly 130 countries, who come to Stockholm to learn about new research results, share experiences, discuss progress in the implementation of the Global Goals, and together try to find new ways to meet the world’s growing water challenges.

The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Peter Thomson, called the world’s climate and water resources the “fundament of our existence”, and said that “Without proper stewardship of that fundament the 2030 sustainable development agenda obviously goes nowhere. Because without the fundament we can’t exist.”

“Together with the Paris Climate Agreement, implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals represents the best chance our species has to achieve a sustainable way of life on Planet Earth before it is too late”, he said adding that we must take inclusive and integrated approach to involve all kinds of people and expertise together.

Sweden’s Minister for Environment, Karolina Skog said that “Sustainable and efficient management of our water and wastewater has a profound effect on all aspects of human life; economic growth, sustainable development, sustainable city planning, circular thinking in industry and in production, energy saving, good quality of our water and, last but not least, it is crucial for health and for a sustainable environment.”

Another central aspect of efficient water use, is to use less. In his welcoming speech Holmgren pointed out that it will be challenging but necessary to change large-scale water consumption patterns:

“The Week’s theme, Water and waste: Reduce and reuse, really touches the very core of our daily lives. To reduce, some drastic changes will be necessary – especially by the main water users, including industries, energy producers and the agriculture sector.”

He added that changes are also needed in how we think about reuse of water: “I think that it is very important to try and change the mind-set around waste. Rather than presenting us with a problem, we can view waste as an asset also becoming a business opportunity.”

Stephen McCaffrey, 2017 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate and a Professor in water law, spoke of the need for water cooperation and water diplomacy. He told participants that although the ingredients for potential water conflicts exist, such as higher population pressure, climate change, and much of the world’s fresh water being shared by two or more countries, studies show that water sharing is much more likely to lead to cooperation than conflict.

The grand opening plenary ends with Kevin Rudd led panel discussion on how to prioritize and financing water issue with participation of Swedish, Danish, Malaysian, World Bank, Ecuador and Ethiopian leaders.

Beginning from 1990, SIWI is a water institute, working to improve the way freshwater resources are governed. By combining its areas of expertise with its unique convening power, SIWI influences decision-makers, facilitates dialogue and builds knowledge in water issues, thereby contributing to a just, prosperous and sustainable future for all.

SIWI organizes the world’s most important annual water and development meeting, World Water Week, and it awards the Stockholm Water Prize and Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

About World Water Week: World Water Week is the largest annual meeting for water and development issues, organized by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). The Week brings together more than 3,000 participants from nearly 130 countries representing actors from governments, private sector, multilateral organizations, civil society and academia to shape joint solutions to global water challenges. The Week strives for equal gender participation. At this year’s Week, 46 per cent of participants are female, and 54 per cent are male.

Note to Editors: