Mental Accounting

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, known as an environmental activist, loves his old-fashioned Hummer (Weight 3 tons, 6 Liter volume, 330 hp, 23 liters /100 km, price about 70,000 Euro) – the original type of the Sports Utility Vehicle – SUV. To calm his conscience, Arnold equipped his new Mercedes G-car with an electric drive. Many people use mental accounts to offset the consumption in different areas: e.g., consumption of ecologically produced food and less meat charging it against polluting consumption in another area, such as a plane trip. The behavioral economist Richard Thaler speaks in this context of “mental accounting”; however, it regularly overestimates the effects of environmentally conscious behavior and underestimates the effects of its own environmentally harmful behavior.

Sources:

Bernd Sommer, Forum der Verantwortung, Wege aus der Wachstumsgesellschaft, Herausgegeben von Harald Welzer und Klaus Wiegandt.

Thaler, Richard H.: Mental Accounting Matters, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 12, 1999, Page 183-206.

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

Direct Rebound Effect

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Recently I took the D-tram to Nußdorf/Vienna when suddenly the passengers looked out the window and admired a delightful little red car enthusiastically. It was a Fiat 500 Cinquecento the first series from 1957 to 1972. I searched the Internet discovering that the Cinquecento weighed between 450 – 550 kg and guzzled an average of 5 liters gasoline per 100 km. The model of the second series (1991 to 1998) already weighed 670 – 780 kg and the consumption increased to 6 liters per 100km. The current Fiat 500 weighs about one ton and burns up between 4 and 5 liters per 100 km. Producing a small car of the same type requires more material today, and despite enormous advances in engine development, the fuel consumption did not decrease considerably. Technical devices such as a refrigerator, TV or cars are becoming more efficient, but also larger. They require as much or even more energy and resources than their less efficient predecessors. Its called a direct rebound. If I were rich, I would buy a Rolls Royce Cullinan, an SUV: Weight 2.6 tons, 6.75 liters petrol engine, 15 liters per 100km, price over 400,000 Euro. Better for me is to acquire a pick-up for my farm.

Literature: Bernd Sommer, Entkoppelung, Wege aus der Wachstumsgesellschaft, Herausgegeben von Harald Welzer und Klaus Wiegand, Frankfurt am Main, Juni 2013.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan – > Caroline Krismer, a Tyrolean, is responsible project developer of the first SUV of Rolls Royce,  www.oeamtc.at/autotouring

Autosalon Genf: The SUV boom continues – E-mobility is increasing!

Roland Leithenmayr   VfV

Warming of 2 degrees Celsius achievable?

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The IPCC (Weltklimarat) comes to the conclusion that even a warming of two degrees Celsius has severe consequences for our planet and with the currently planned measures of two-degree-celsius-limit cannot be achieved. The focus is therefore on urgency. Ms. Alzbeta Klein, Director of Climate Business at the World Bank Group’s International Financial Corporation (IFC) mentioned in an interview in the Wiener Zeitung 27/28 October 2018 “Climate change is a financial risk!” two technologies to mitigate the climate change problem: one is the storage of solar energy (including for the household) and the other Off-shore-wind power. For both, the World Bank Group is launching a $ 5 billion investment program. Ms. Klein notes a lot of movement at the corporate level citing several reasons: leadership vision and increasing pressure from customers. In summary, Ms. Klein enumerates three levers:  visionary business leaders, a government that takes the climate change seriously, and finally the consumer who demands a greenhouse,green car, and food with a good carbon footprint.

Roland Leithenmayr VFV 

Smart City misunderstood?

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In my opinion, the term “smart city” is misunderstood when taking into account only the technical dimension. It’s correct to recognize the enormous potential of smart technology, in particular, digital technology to improve how cities work. But the smart city considers additional dimensions: smart economy, smart people, smart governance,  smart mobility, smart environment, smart living and …  

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

 

 

Austrian Court of Auditors (Rechnungshof) confirms failures to implement the SDGs in Austria

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Austrian Court of Auditors: From June to September 2017, the Austrian Court of Audit (ACA) carried out an audit of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Austria. The audit aimed in particular at assessing the legal framework conditions and the national recognition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the responsibilities of the Federal Government and the coordination across all levels of government. A further objective was to evaluate the initial situation (stocktaking and gap analysis), the implementation plan and the target attainment monitoring system, as well as the inclusion of the civil society, the reporting system and the impacts of the SDGs. The audit was carried out at the Federal Chancellery and the Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs – in their capacity as coordinating entities regarding the national implementation of the SDGs – as well as at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology – as federal ministries selected as examples by the ACA. The audited period largely spanned the years from 2016 through 2017.

https://www.rechnungshof.gv.at/fileadmin/downloads/_jahre/2018/Aktuelles/Entwicklungsziele_Vereinten_Nationen_2030.pdf

other downloads

Link:

https://www.ots.at/presseaussendung/OTS_20180706_OTS0079/sdg-watch-austria-rechnungshofbericht-bestaetigt-versaeumnisse-bei-umsetzung-der-nachhaltigen-entwicklungsziele

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Roland Leithenmayr VFV

 

 

Human Rights of Older Persons: Active Aging

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October 1, 2018 -, the symposium “Celebrating Human Rights of Older Persons” took take place in Vienna. To get a proper job is for older persons the most important matter. Many programs and projects about “Active Ageing” were carried out in Austria over the last decade and their proposals implement more or less successful, but the practice looks sobering maybe caused by the Financial Crises starting 2008. Today the situation is better for elderly people. One of these projects is presented in the publication “Active Ageing, Regionale Handlungsoptionen in Österreich,” based on the accumulated experience of the EQUAL Development Partnership “TEP_EQUAL_ELDERLY” (7/2005 -6/2007).  Unfortunately, the website www.elderly.at is deleted. It is an exciting task to compare the visions, challenges, general suggestions and examples presented in December 2007 with today. Please leave a reply below: 

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

 

Science Diplomacy to solve the Sustainable Development Goals

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Research institutes like IIASA (*) produce essential knowledge for governments, diplomacy, multinational organization (such as UNO), and NGOs. It is surprising that they do not have implemented an integrated system “…for bringing science to advise into its decision…” (1). Because policy decisions are made mostly in individual countries, not by the international organization, it needs integration between international agencies and “domestic science advisory system.” Additional this advisory system shall include national and international NGO’s, who should put pressure on both sides to use the available know-how and experiences, including theirs. Global interest is on stake such as climate change, ocean pollution, water use, etc. in general to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. It needs to connect scientific knowledge, national and international community incl. NGO’s, businesses and UN Agencies and domestic policy.

(1) OPTIONS, Summer 2018, page 10,

For further info: In November 2017, Sir Peter Gluckman delivered an IIASA45th Anniversary Lecture on this topic. The full text is available online: www.iiasa.ac.at/events/Gluckman-18

(*) IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) uses systems analysis to research the critical issues of environmental, economic, and technological change we face today. IIASA,  is located in Laxenburg near Vienna, Austria

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

The decrease of fossil emission is too slow

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IIASA (1) criticise the assumption of international policymaker that heavy implementation of negative emission technology later can offset the slow decrease of fossil fuel emission today.  IIASA proposes that the policymaker “…need a broader range of scenarios as they seek to limit climate change to below 2°C above the pre-industrial level .”  

(1) IIASA – International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, www.iiasa.ac.at is located in Laxenburg near Vienna, Austria. IIASA uses systems analysis to research the critical issues of environmental, economic and technological change we face today.

(2) Thinking outside the box on climate mitigation, Option Summer 2018, page 5.

Further reading: Obersteiner M, Bednar J, Wagner F, Gasser T, Ciais P, Forsell 

N, Havlik P, Valin H, et al. (2018), How to spend a dwindling greenhouse gas budget.Nature Climate [pure.iiasa.ac.at/15031]

Roland Leithenmayr VFV

Drivers of Migration

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EU policy-makers have no control over the situation caused by migration. Their attempt to look at the big picture and long-term impacts of migration on the European society and its labor force failed until now. That is the reason why the EU policymakers turned 2016 to IIASA (-1-) to launch a partnership with the goal to get a more scientific basis for their policymaking. IIASA focuses on their systematic analysis on the drivers of migration such as pull factors that drive people towards to a new country and push factors that drive people to leave their homes. This partnership plans to produce scenarios exposing “…the potential impacts of different immigration policies, allowing policymakers to make educated decisions and smart planes…” (-2-). The present findings of IIASA are that the EU future labor force depends not only on migration but also on the proportion of people working (-3-): (1) people over the age of 65 become progressively active in the labor market. (2) Women were to work in the EU at rates common in Sweden. (3) Increasing Digitalisation and Automatization reduces the need for unskilled workers, but increase the need for more educated workers. The result is that the future EU labor force size requires only a moderate rate of migration in the long term. IIASA is just not only modeling the accumulated population but include the characteristics of the individual. Those characteristics include demographics (age and sex, education), ethnocultural (place of birth, ethnicity, language, religion), and economic (labor activity, employment). IIASA applies microsimulation (contrary to the macro-level approach used for the broad population) to find answers “- how well immigrants -are able – to adjust to their new countries, learn the language, find jobs -.“ (-4-) , and to asses the integration of migrants into society. IIASA does not restrict their scenarios to Europe but takes into account worldwide drivers for migration: the population growth in Africa, climate change, food security, and other challenges.

(-1-) IIASA, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, located near Vienna in Laxenburg Austria, use systems analysis to research critical issues of environments, economic, and technology change we face today. www.iiasa.ac.at

(-2-), (-3-), (-4-) “What Drives Migration,” Options, Summer 2018. Page 18.

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

Wicked Problems and the 17 SDGs

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The members of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development (CSD) in Vienna/Austria debate how to solve the problem of poverty in context to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (17 SDGs). The members struggle to define the problem or let alone to solve it. Linked to other issues like the economy, education, nutrition, and fairness, and so on, the solution to one aspect of the problem often reveals other more complicated problems.  Often the members of  CSD find no perfect solution to a “wicked problem”, although many solutions might fit well and help to mitigate the problem.

Roland Leithenmayr VFV