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Jeremy Rifkin: ‘What’s missing from UN climate talks is a new economic vision’

Nov 25, 2015 | News

(25 November 2015) – The UN climate change summit (COP21), which opens in Paris next week, “will be meaningless” if it doesn’t include a positive agenda for economic growth, warns Jeremy Rifkin. The good news is that European cities and regions are at the forefront of the internet revolution which can deliver this promise.

Jeremy Rifkin is an American economist whose best-selling ‘Third Industrial Revolution’ arguably provided the blueprint for Germany’s transition to a low-carbon economy, and China’s strategic acceptance of climate policy.

According to the economist, regional development funds to the European Investment Bank (EIB) were not designed to be allocated to a paradigm shift that would change the communication, energy and transport infrastructure and create an Internet of Things. This changed in March, during meetings held in Berlin hosted by Jean-Claude Juncker, Chancellor Merkel and Werner Hoyer. What happened is that the EIB changed their priorities. The new priorities for the initial €340 billion that’s been committed (and then for regional funds afterwards) are in digital communications – digitalised and renewable energy; digital transport; and health and education.

The Third Industrial Revolution allows us to jump to 40% aggregate efficiency in the next 30 years. This is made possible with the convergence of the communication internet with a digitalised renewable energy internet and automated GPS, and driverless transport internet. These three internets are now one. And they ride on top of an Internet of Things platform, which moves across regions.

What’s missing from those climate talks is a new economic vision, which can be put in place in every region and customised. Then you can put people back to work, all the industries combined ―telecoms, cable, ICT, transport, construction, real estate, etc. – and take two generations to build this out. (EurActiv)

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