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Stefan Schurig: “The importance of having a clear, shared vision cannot be underestimated.”

This week, Anne-Sophie Garrigou, journalist at The Beam, interviewed Stefan Schurig, Director of Climate, Energy and Cities at the World Future Council (WFC) since 2007.


The Beam interview series, edition 8: Stefan Schurig

To lighten up your week and give you even more energizing thoughts, we publish interviews from our partner The Beam twice a week.

The Beam takes a modern perspective at the energy transition, interviewing inspirational people from around the world that shape our sustainable energy future.

This week, Anne-Sophie Garrigou, journalist at The Beam, interviewed Stefan Schurig, Director of Climate, Energy and Cities at the World Future Council (WFC) since 2007. The World Future Council is a sister organization of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, better known as the Alternative Nobel Prize. In his role at World Future Council, Stefan Schurig started the global policy campaign on climate change, renewable energy and sustainable city development.


The Beam: What are the World Future Council’s main missions?

Stefan Schurig: In one sentence I’d say we import and export future just policies for the next generations. Our mission is to identify and spread exemplary policy solutions globally. The mission of the WFC Climate and Energy team is to advise governments at all levels and facilitate an international policy dialogue particularly on renewable energy and regenerative urban development. The aim is to build capacity and cross-sectoral networks among policy-makers to improve legislative frameworks to facilitate the transition towards 100% renewable energy and towards the creation of regenerative cities.


How important is it to be visionary about climate change?

The importance of having a clear, shared vision cannot be underestimated. Such a vision needs to be accompanied by ambitious target-setting. This is why we think it is important to set visionary targets such as the 100% renewable energy target. Setting an ambitious, long-term renewable energy target also shows political commitment, and can provide both stakeholders and the population a clearer view of the long-term vision for the region, and a better understanding of how they fit within it. It catalyses change by providing an official mandate for action. To identify and communicate a 100% renewable energy target has several additional advantages: it can help engage a wide range of stakeholders; it can ensure a more efficient deployment of both technical and administrative resources and reduce the risks of duplication and competing policy goals; it can help give key stakeholders (such as utilities, or private investors) the confidence required to make large investments, like in transmission and distribution grids. By increasing investment certainty, setting ambitious targets can also help attract domestic and international investors, ultimately making it easier to achieve the target. Experience in the European Union and in many other jurisdictions around the world demonstrates that targets can also help build awareness, both among external audiences, and among the citizens in the local area. This awareness can be essential to building public support among local citizens and businesses to help to achieve the aim.”

Read the entire interview here.

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The Beam Magazine is an independent climate solutions and climate action magazine. It tells about the most exciting solutions, makes a concrete contribution to eliminating climate injustices and preserving this planet for all of us in its diversity and beauty. Our cross-country team of editors works with a network of 150 local journalists in 50 countries talking to change makers and communities. THE BEAM is published in Berlin and distributed in nearly 1,000 publicly accessible locations, to companies, organizations and individuals in 40 countries across the world powered by FairPlanet.


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