5 ideas in 5 minutes

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The idea: Feed-in Tariffs

It’s interesting because it’s a particularly effective policy tool for speeding up the development of renewable energy industries. A feed-in tariff is a renewable energy law which obliges energy suppliers to buy electricity produced from renewable resources at a fixed price, usually over a fixed period. It was recommended in the Stern Report as the fastest, lowest-cost way to increase deployment of renewables.
They tried it in Germany, where the law has ‘made them a world leader in renewable energy, generated billions of dollars a year in exports, created a quarter of a million jobs, saved nearly 100m tons of CO2 annually, and set records for installed capacity across many technologies – all at the cost of around $1.80 per household, per month’.
Read more at http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/reinsider/story?id=48310

The idea: Time Banks

It’s interesting because the scheme involves the participation of community members of all ages, genders and occupations and everyone’s time is considered equal. One hour given is one hour banked, and one hour received at a later date. It can help to establish support networks for the needy, whilst also strengthening social networks in communities with poor social cohesion. It values the contribution of those whose time is often treated as worthless. A more empowering form of ‘mutual obligation’.
They tried it in the UK and USA
Read more at http://www.neweconomics.org/gen/z_sys_publicationdetail.aspx?pid=48

The idea: banning junk food ads that target kids.

It’s interesting because Australia has the most junk food advertising per hour of television in the world. Most of this is for foods that are high in salt and sugars, i.e. burgers, chips, soft drinks and sweets. Two thirds of Australian children are overweight and a third obese. Is there a connection between the poor health of our kids and junk food advertising during children’s viewing times?
They tried it in the UK. Ofcom have recently put forward restrictions on advertising to limit the exposure of junk food ads to kids, and a Bill has been introduced to parliament that will bring in a 9pm watershed for junk food TV ads.
Read more at http://www.epha.org/a/767.

The idea: the Alaska Permanent Fund

It’s interesting because it’s an unusual model for governments to distribute resource rents to their citizens. The rationale that underlies the fund is that every Alaskan has a right to the wealth that their natural resources produces, therefore a proportion of the State Oil Revenues is paid to every citizen. This has amounted to nearly US$25,000 since its inception in 1982.
They tried it in Alaska in an attempt to convert non-renewable oil wealth into a renewable source of wealth for future generations. A similar model has been tried in Norway.
Read more at: http://www.policylibrary.com/alaska/

The idea: Circles of Care

It’s interesting because ‘Circles of Care’ aims to create a supportive community within schools that ‘is there’ for a single child throughout his or her primary school career, and which can provide ongoing support, encouragement and advocacy. The child’s ‘Circle of Care’ supports positive development and helps to reduce friction between the child and the school that could cause problems with education and poor attendance rates. Effectively, the program acknowledges the child’s achievements, celebrates successes and provides a small community – including but ‘extending’ the family. The network acts to look out for the interests of the child and heads off difficulties before they occur.
They tried it in disadvantaged areas of Brisbane
Read more at http://www.griffith.edu.au/centre/kceljag/pathways/circles_of_care.pdf

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