Fredrik NG Andersson
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fredrik NG Andersson
Negative interest rates were once seen as impossible outside the realm of economic theory. However, recently several central banks have imposed such rates, with prominent economists supporting this move. In a column, associate professor Fredrik N G Andersson, Department of Economics at Lund School of Economics and Management and member of Intelligence Watch’s Economic Council, together with professor Lars Jonung, Knut Wicksell Centre for Financial Studies at Lund University, investigate the actual effects of negative interest rates, taking evidence from the Swedish experience during 2015-2019. It is evident that the policy’s effect on the inflation rate was modest, and that it contributed to increased financial vulnerabilities. The lesson from the experiment is clear: Do not do it again.
Read the column here
Associate professor Fredrik N G Andersson, Department of Economics at Lund School of Economics and Management and member of Intelligence Watch’s Economic Council, argues that the problem for the euro area of today is not the return of the nation-state, but that the nation-states never disappeared. A common currency requires common economic policies, which is largely lacking in the euro area. As a result, large economic and social imbalances have emerged. In a chapter in the book The European Union and the Return of the Nation State he examines proposals from the European Commission to increase the level of co-operation to reduce the imbalances, but finds the proposals backward-looking and insufficient. Instead he explores the possibility of some countries leaving the euro area and finds that a friendly divorce is costly in the short term, but likely needed to restore economic balance in the long run. According to Andersson, a smaller euro area may mean more European co-operation down the line.
The global coverage and the need for consensus explain why the UN Paris agreement, in several critical dimensions, is characterized by low levels of commitment and reciprocity. Hence, complementary designs are needed. In a paper in Policy Design and Practice Håkan Pihl, vice-chancellor of Kristianstad University and vice chairman of Intelligence Watch, analyzes the parameters of such designs. New agreements should cover only nations that are willing to high levels of commitments and reciprocity. They should use measures that governments can control and be made accountable for. Commitments should be short-term and few-dimensional and they should incentivize efficient reductions, prevent leakages to outside nations and provide sanctions for noncompliance. Further, they should provide incentives to outsiders to reduce emissions and encourage them to join the agreement. A Climate Club that harmonizes minimum national carbon prices (i.e. carbon taxes), introduces a common carbon tariff, and welcomes new members to meet these criteria. Such a complementary design also has the potential to expand and, with time, provide a global price on carbon.
Read the full paper here
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.