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From space the Earth appears as a blue planet, but about
one billion people are forced to drink contaminated water,
while another 2.3 billion are suffering from water shortages.

Threatened water

Air pollution kills 7 million people each year, according
to the World Health Organisation. Worst hit are
cities in India, China and Pakistan. In China, about 1.6
million people die from air pollution each year.

In Europe, the number of premature death from air
pollution is 430.000-800 000 persons.

Air pollution kills

New solar capacity installed increased to 100 GW in 2018
up from 98 GW in 2017. Globally there is now 505 GW
compared to 50 GW in 2010. China, India, the U.S., Japan
and Australia stood for 75 percent of the installments in 2018
and 84 percent in 2017.

Solar revolution continues

The World Health Organization warns that the obesity
epidemic creates a health crisis of immense proportions.
According to the Lancet, the number of overweight
reached 2.3 billion in 2016, compared with 857 million in
1980. Weak socioeconomic groups suffer. Among African-
American women in the US 50 percent have obesity.

The US has the highest proportion of obesity among OECD
countries: 35 percent of women and 34 percent among men.
The obesity rate is even higher for women in arab countries:
40-50 percent in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait.

Obesity epidemic

Unlike many other of the world's major cities Tokyo-
Yokohama with 37 million inhabitants is functioning
with first-class public transport, sewage and sanitation
systems. Central to the sustainable city is an efficient
land use in the station near areas of dense settlement
and concentration of activities within walking distance of
1000 meters, and that the station is integrated with the
surrounding neighborhoods and the region.

Sustainable city

Humanity's collective knowledge explodes and technology
evolves. Super entrepreneur Elon Musk, involved in Paypal,
Tesla, SpaceX, Solar City and Hyper Loop, wants to see a
human colony on Mars in his lifetime. He warns against
the AI as the greatest threat to humanity.

Intelligence Watch monitors technological progress and
its implications for sustainable development.

Technological progress

New report: The housing market: Large need, less demand 

The need for housing, which has increased dramatically after the wave of immigration, has wrongly been taken as demand and is exaggerated. Never has so many expensive apartments been constructed compared to the buyers’ low purchasing power. Almost all the population growth consists of refugees and narratives from non-European countries who in general stand far from the labour market and with a weak economy. They will not demand 600.000 apartments until 2025 in accordance with Boverket’s analysis for the need, but maybe half. That is some conclusions from the report ”The housing market: Large need, less demand” by Intelligence Watch.

Download the report: The housing market: Large need, less demand (in Swedish) 

New report: The growth of Sweden’s large cities – top 20

The value in the Swedish economy is created in an ever smaller area. Almost three of four employeed work in or around twenty big cities with a much employment growth than the rest of Sweden. The employment in these cities increased by 1.5 procent a year 2008-2015, while the twenty smallest municipalities experienced a decline of 0.2 procent a year and the 250 municipalities in between grew by 0.55 procent. These are some findings in the report ”The growth of Sweden’s large cities – top 20”, which  also shows that Stockholm, Uppsala, Solna and Malmö were the four fastest growing cities 2008-2015. They are all located close to one of the big airports Stockholm-Arlanda or Copenhagen Airport and take advantage of the globalization.

Download the report: The growth of Sweden’s large cities – top 20 (In Swedish)

Dagens Nyheter Debate: ”The Riksbank misinterprets the law in its view of the inflation target”

Against the spirit of the law. The Riksbank seems to have misinterpreted its mandate. The Riksbank Act provides flexibility, despite this, the Riksbank sticks to its 2 per cent inflation target at almost any price. In addition, it violates the spirit of the law when it buys government bonds for billions, write the associate professors Fredrik NG Andersson and Andreas Bergh, Lund University and Intelligence Watch Economic Council, and Anders Olshov, chief Intelligence Watch. They also call for a discussion on the monetary policy’s income and distribution effects.

Read the article in Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish)

In the report “Smart city – Smart planning to achieve Sweden’s environmental goals” Intelligence Watch argues Sweden must end its sprawl if the target of at least 70 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions from domestic transport shall be reached by 2030. Instead, cities must be densified sharply around public transport stations in order to make commuting sustainable and, in addition, grow inward so that more individuals can afford to live and work in a zone close to the work and life’s most necessary. Nyhamnen in Malmö is mentioned as an example of an area with very good communications both locally and regionally which can be developed as an extraordinary densed zone and grow in importance for the regional labor market.

Download the report ”Smart city – Smart planning to achieve Sweden’s environmental goals” (in Swedish)

Read debate article in Sydsvenskan (in Swedish)

The Swedish economy may be heading for a crisis worse than the crisis in the 1990s that could cripple the Swedish model, increase exclusion and create a new group of poor in Sweden. It appears from the Intelligence Watch report ”Sweden into the fog – an unpleasant probable crisis scenario”. The authors, associate professors Fredrik NG Andersson and Andreas Bergh, Lund University and Intelligence Watch Economic Council, and Anders Olshov, chief Intelligence Watch, point out the risks associated with the Riksbank’s ultra-loose monetary policy with negative interest rates, the rising property prices, unsustainable household debt levels, Sweden’s large banking sector, an extraordinary influx of refugees to volume with many low-skilled and a fragmented political governance with a lack of ability to manage Sweden’s challenges. An interest rate rise would create financial problems for many households, real estate prices to fall and risk a recession and a rapidly growing budget deficit. A deep economic and social crisis in a few years time seems uncomfortably plausible.

Download the report ”Sweden into the fog – an unpleasant probable crisis scenario (in Swedish)

Read debate article in Dagens Industri (in Swedish)

Time for a climate alliance for a global price on carbon emissions

Countries with high ambitions should form a climate alliance, harmonize their national carbon dioxide taxes and introduce a common carbon dioxide tariff on imports, suggests Håkan Pihl, vice-chancellor of Kristianstad University and vice chairman of Intelligence Watch, in an article in Svenska Dagbladet. The climate impact of all domestic consumption would then be priced. If the alliance is open to all countries which introduce a corresponding price (carbon dioxide tax and import tariff) a mechanism is created that gives countries outside the alliance a strong reason to consider an entry, argues Pihl.