A Taste of Best Practice in Engineering Sustainable Solutions
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Over recent decades there has been growing awareness of the seriousness of environmental issues like climate change, leading to significant re-thinking of how engineers can contribute to solving these problems. Engineers, often utilising the latest innovations with sensible design, are making significant strides to understanding how to create a truly ecologically sustainable society. But few believe that it is really possible to truly achieve an ecologically sustainable economy. Research by The Natural Edge Project(TNEP) over the last 4 years suggests this is incorrect. TNEP's research shows that with existing technologies countries already have much with which to make significant strides towards an ecologically sustainable economy. These inspiring case studies and examples of best practice from around the world have been featured in TNEP's new publication "Natural Advantage of Nations: Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century". This talk will overview some of the most exciting case studies featured in the book that relate to the core conference themes. It is important that these case studies, which demonstrate that we can through wise design and the latest technological know how achieve sustainable development cost effectively, are communicated as without these enabling technologies governments will not be willing to review current incentives, regulations and subsidies that currently penalize sustainable technologies. To achieve an ecologically sustainable economy we need both innovations for sustainability in design and technologies but also changes to government's incentives to at least give environmentally sound technologies a "fair go". The talk will finish with a brief discussion of some governments around the world who are doing this.
Proceedings of the 2005 SSEE National Conference