Energy

Fossil Fuels: At What Price?

We often read comparisons between the prices of solar energy or wind energy with the prices of fossil fuels. It is encouraging to see that renewables are rapidly becoming competitive, and are often cheaper than coal or oil. In fact, if coal, oil and natural gas were given their correct prices renewables would be recognized as being incomparably cheaper than fossil fuels.

The Devil in Development

The word “development” - eliciting as it does grandiloquent notions of progress - has become, at least in Bangladesh, something of a red herring. It is used as a catch-all phrase to justify just about anything — from eviction of slum-dwellers to make way for high-rise housing projects to forceful grabbing of ancestral lands to build eco-parks and tourism spots, from rampant deforestation of our woodlands to unapologetic pollution of our rivers, from undemocratic and top-down imposition of anti-people projects to suppression of dissent through violence both sponsored or otherwise. It matters little that such so-called development only exacerbates the extreme vulnerabilities of people already on the margins, destroys scarce natural resources and intensifies the ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots; that it does precisely the opposite of what “development”—real, pro-people development—ought to do. If one protests these actions as unjust, undemocratic or inequitable, one can be easily dismissed as being “anti-development”, and by extension, “unpatriotic”, making it ever more difficult to have any sort of constructive conversation about Bangladesh's development priorities (or the lack thereof).

Olympic Games End Decade of Giant Mega-projects in Brazil

An era of mega-events and mega-projects is coming to a close in Brazil with the Olympic Games to be hosted Aug. 5-21 by Rio de Janeiro. But the country’s taste for massive construction undertakings helped fuel the economic and political crisis that has it in its grip.

New Alliance to Shore Up Food Security Launched in Africa

As over 20 million sub-Saharan Africans face a shortage of food because of drought and development issues, representatives of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Pan African Parliament (PAP) met in Johannesburg to forge a new parliamentary alliance focusing on food and nutritional security.

Lessons from Germany for Latin America’s Energy Transition

Germany has been undergoing an energy transition for over 20 years, and it can offer valuable lessons to Latin America with regard to promoting renewable energy and moving towards a low-carbon economy.

Newly Empowered Black Farmers Ruined by South Africa’s Drought

Almost half a decade of drought across most of South Africa has led to small towns in crisis and food imports for the first time in over 20 years, as well as severely hampering the government’s planned land redistribution programme.

Chronic Hunger Lingers in the Midst of Plenty

In a fraught global economic environment, exacerbated by climate change and shrinking resources, ensuring food and nutrition security is a daunting challenge for many nations. India, Asia's third largest economy and the world's second most populous nation after China with 1.3 billion people, is no exception.

African Leaders Driving Push for Industrialisation: UN Official

Industrialisation in Africa is being driven by African leaders who realise that industries as diverse as horticulture and leather production can help add value to the primary resources they currently export.

​Indian Climate Activist Ponders the ‘Unthinkable’

For acclaimed Indian novelist and essayist Amitav Ghosh, the future of humankind as global warming impact events spread worldwide looks grim. So grim that the 60-year-old pamphleteer has titled his new book of three climate-related essays "The Great Derangement."

Germany’s Energy Transition: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Immerath, 90 km away from the German city of Cologne, has become a ghost town. The local church bells no longer ring and no children are seen in the streets riding their bicycles. Its former residents have even carried off their dead from its cemetery.

Fast-track Development Threatens to Leave Indigenous Peoples Behind

Fast-tracked development often means that indigenous people and their territories get run over and their rights are not taken into consideration, Roberto Borrero, from the International Indian Treaty Council and Indigenous Peoples Major Group, said here Friday.

Rewriting Africa’s Agricultural Narrative

Albert Kanga Azaguie no longer considers himself a smallholder farmer. By learning and monitoring the supply and demand value chains of one of the country’s staple crops, plantain (similar to bananas), Kanga ventured into off-season production to sell his produce at relatively higher prices.

Biogas Brings Heat and Light to Pakistan’s Rural Poor

Nabela Zainab no longer chokes and coughs when she cooks a meal, thanks to the new biogas-fueled two-burner stove in her kitchen.

Making Sustainability Part of the Corporate DNA

Companies, governments and non-profit actors agree that economic growth and sustainable development have to go hand in hand to shape our increasingly globalised world in a fair way.

The Environment: Latin America’s Battleground for Human Rights

2015 was the deadliest year on record for the killings of environmental activists around the world, according to a new Global Witness report.

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