After a slow first few weeks, 2012 is getting very busy, very quickly.
Our knowledge management projects provide us a barometer to measure international activity on various sustainable development issues. In past years, we have found that the international events and activities that we track have remained limited until a few weeks into February. This year, however, we are finding many more activities, much earlier in January.
In particular, the growing interest around sustainable energy, particularly with this being the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All as well as the second year in which the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will be in operation, resulted in many related activities during the past week. Our Earth Negotiations Bulletin teams gathered with other participants in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), for the second meeting of the IRENA Assembly and the fifth World Future Energy Summit to track the directions taken in deliberations at those meetings. Our knowledge management team also was busy behind the scenes, launching our latest knowledgebase: Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice. This tool will help policy makers and practitioners monitor activities related to international negotiations, as well as policy and technology news from leading international energy policy and technology organizations and institutions. It is published by IISD in cooperation with the IRENA and with funding from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
With the launch of this newest knowledgebase, we are now distributing the Sustainable Energy Update exclusively on our ENERGY-L community listserve. The subscription levels on our community listserves provide us with another barometer of the international sustainable development community's interests, and subscriptions to ENERGY-L have increased steadily with each issue of Sustainable Energy Update, with over 250 new subscribers having been added in the past week. Our two other fastest growing listserves are UNCSD-L, which distributes UNCSD Update containing additions to our Sustainable Development Policy & Practice knowledgebase, tracking activities related to the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), and CLIMATE-L, which distributes the Climate Change Daily Feed – updates to our original knowledgebase, Climate Change Policy & Practice. As negotiations on the Rio+20 outcome document commence this week, we anticipate that interest in activities related to the UNCSD will increase. In the past few months, for every ten new subscribers to our UNCSD-L listserve, we have had approximately twice as many subscriptions to our CLIMATE-L community listserve, indicating that the international focus on climate change policy and practice remains strong. We will continue to foster the growth of these tools and to consider the insights they provide into the interests of the international sustainable development community as we head into a very busy new year.