Newsletter No 4 December 2009

OBELIX, an IVM coordinated EU project

 

cbThough the incidence of obesity has grown to epidemic proportions globally, the underlying causes of this disorder are not fully understood. Recent evidence shows that factors influencing the long-term risk of obesity begin very early in life. OBELIX (OBesogenic Endocrine disrupting chemicals: LInking prenatal eXposure to the development of obesity later in life) is a major new EU-funded research project coordinated by IVM. Its main goal is to investigate if early life exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in food plays a role in the development of obesity and related disorders later in life.

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Evolutionary economics and the modelling of micro-mechanisms

 

eeIn a PhD thesis to be defended in a public examination at VU University on the 20th January 2010, IVM researcher Karolina Safarzynska explores how evolutionary economics can contribute to modelling the micro-mechanisms underlying transitions towards sustainable development. Transitions are fundamental or structural changes in systems, including economic and socio-technical systems. Transitions involve, or even require, escaping lock-in of dominant, environmentally unsustainable technologies, introducing major technical or social innovations, and changing prevailing social practices and structures.

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Carbon leakage and the use of border adjustment measures

 

epaIn December, countries from all over the world will get together in Copenhagen to agree on climate policies beyond the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, ending in 2012. At this stage, it is still uncertain what kind of agreement will be reached, and what the contents of such an agreement could be. Given these uncertainties, two interrelated problems have been highlighted in the domestic discussions in both the United States and the European Union, namely competitiveness and carbon leakage. Energy-intensive industries argue that they will be adversely affected by climate policies vis-à-vis their international competitors operating in countries with less stringent climate policies. A related yet distinct concern is carbon leakage, which generally refers to an increase of emissions in countries without climate policies due to a shift in production from countries with climate policies in place.

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Climate Adaptation in Delta Cities

 

The Connecting Delta Cities study is a joint initiative of the IVM, the City of Rotterdam, The Dutch 'Knowledge for Climate' Programme and others. The study explores the different aspects of climate adaptation in major coastal cities and compares adaptation problems and progress in the cities of Rotterdam, New York, London and Jakarta. The results of the study are summarized in a book and a documentary (www.deltacities.com).

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