Energy

Are Sustainable Cities a Pipe Dream?

Cities, once thought to be modern utopias that foster innovation, inclusivity, and commerce, actually ended up being hubs for environmental degradation. Although the concept of urban living is inextricable from humanity, there are proposed ways to make them less environmentally taxing. One such solution is the idea of a sustainable city, otherwise known as a metropolis that effectively consumes fossil fuels and disposes of emissions with regards to the longevity of the planet as well as the economic wellbeing of its citizens. Cities can also be considered sustainable so long as they curb the consequences of consumption through means such as recycling or using healthier energy sources. Although this sounds like a simple path forward in Earth’s journey of decarbonizing, we must take a plethora of issues into consideration, such as transportation, housing, manufacturing, trade, and comfort.

Is Artificial Intelligence The Way Forward or Backward?

Contrary to popular belief, artificial intelligence has been a cornerstone of technological progress for much longer than the past few years. Computer scientist Alan Turing brought forth the concept of computers solving complex human problems with his invention of the Turing Machine in 1936. This machine provided solutions to a seemingly infinite number of problems, yet the technological limitations of the early 1900s proved that this number was indeed very finite. Flash forward to the 2020s, artificial intelligence has become a widespread practice, impacting different fields such as music, art, science, forensics, finance, agriculture, and many others. Although artificial intelligence has been hailed as the future of human progress, it also poses a risk to this future due to its significant carbon footprint.

Megaport in Brazil Makes No Contribution to Local Development

With barely 10 years in operation, the port of Açu is now the second in Brazil in cargo transport and seeks to become an industrial and energy transition hub. But so far it has contributed little to local development, causing environmental and social damage.

Mexico Struggles to Cut Emissions from its Ports

The port of Pichilingue, in northwestern Mexico, faces challenges in decarbonising its activities, as do other maritime infrastructures in the country, while its polluting emissions are increasing.

Solar Energy, Vetoed as a Source of Income for the Poor in Brazil

“I feel like a mother who lost her son to drugs, to vice, destroying himself,” says Lucineide da Silva, 56, mother of eight children and grandmother of 11.

Explainer: Understanding Carbon Trading and its Rationale

Carbon trading has gained growing popularity on the African continent and is considered by many governments as a viable way to achieve their climate targets while building communities. IPS takes a look at what's behind the carbon market.

Rainy Chiloé, in Southern Chile, Faces Drinking Water Crisis

The drinking water supply in the southern island of Chiloé, one of Chile's rainiest areas, is threatened by damage to its peatlands, affected by sales of peat and by a series of electricity projects, especially wind farms.

Using Industrial Waste to Fight Pollution in Brazil

Biogas sounds like redemption, the conversion of the sinner. Its production involves extracting energy from filth, from the most disgusting environmental pollution, and at the same time avoiding the worsening of the global climate crisis.

Cuban Family Harnesses Biogas and Promotes its Benefits

Just to obtain a good fertilizer it was worth building a biodigester, says Cuban farmer Alexis García, who proudly shows the vegetables in his family's garden, as well as the wide variety of fruit trees that have benefited from biol, the end product of biogas technology.

AI Policy Can’t Ignore Climate Change: We Need Net Zero AI Emissions

Artificial intelligence provides amazing potential for advancement across fields, from medicine to agriculture to industry to the entertainment business, even as it generates significant concerns. AI can also improve the efficiency of energy production and use in ways that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Small Island States Fostering Effective Energy Transition To Achieve a Blue Economy

Small Island Developing States (SIDS), a distinct group of 39 states and 18 associate members, are making efforts to promote the blue economy as they possess enormous potential for renewable energy relying on the sea. Experts predict that switching to renewables will help SIDS countries decarbonize power generation as an appropriate option for islands to cut their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, fulfill Paris Agreement pledges and contribute to the global fight against climate change.

Fine, Sanctions, or Waiver: Iranian Gas Will Come at a Price for Pakistan

When Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visits Pakistan this week (April 22, 2024), experts say the two issues topmost on his mind that he will want to discuss with his Pakistani counterpart, President Asif Ali Zardari, will be border security and the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.

Portable Ginnery Could Revive Kenya’s Ailing Cotton Industry

Kirinyaga University may have just breathed new life into Kenya’s ailing cotton industry as varsity dons develop a portable cotton ginnery. For an industry that has been struggling to survive, this news came as a relief to cotton farmers, whose lives the invention is expected to change, and to a government pushing for job creation and self-reliance through manufacturing. 

‘Living in Fear’: Landowners in Uganda’s Oil Field on Brink of Eviction

When Mugisha Jealousy Mulimba learned that the government of Uganda was dragging him to court, he expected justice. But he says he has realized these courts are being used to deprive him of his rights to a fair hearing and the right to fair and adequate compensation for his land and property.

Better Incentives Needed to Expand Solar Energy in Cuba

With a bolder policy and flexible payment mechanisms, perhaps Alexis Rodríguez would have opted for solar panels for his home, instead of the portable generator that has made it possible for him to weather the frequent blackouts caused by Cuba's recurrent energy crises.

Africa Pushing Limits To Boost Renewable Energy Supply Chain, Security

Investors, regulators, researchers, policymakers, and representatives of renewable energy companies, acknowledged the key challenges of shifting away from fossil fuels to renewable energy in Africa when they gathered in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) this week.

Solar Power and Biogas Empower Women Farmers in Brazil

A bakery, fruit pulp processing and water pumped from springs are empowering women farmers in Goiás, a central-eastern state of Brazil. New renewable energy sources are driving the process.

Women Affected by ‘Gender-Biased’ Climate Change Deserve Justice

While research into the unequal impacts of climate change on women is growing, more is needed to enable them to realize their rights to climate justice. Researchers argue that women and girls have unequal access to food, water, health, education, and even income, thanks to climate change. This makes them more vulnerable.

Carbon Markets Biased, Distorted, Undermined

Carbon dioxide emission taxes, prices and markets have been touted as key to stopping global heating. However, carbon markets have failed mainly because they favour the rich and powerful.

No Turning a Blind Eye to Protection of Dominican Republic’s Natural Resources, Says Environment Minister

In 2020, general elections were held in the Dominican Republic. This took place while the COVID pandemic was becoming an increasingly serious threat, causing severe social and economic disruption. The elections were two months late as a result of the initial chaos COVID caused. The governing Dominican Liberation Party’s 16-year rule ended after the Modern Revolutionary Party’s candidate, Luis Abinader, received a majority of the votes. Elections are now scheduled for May 19 this year and IPS took the opportunity to ask Miguel Ceara Hatton, the country’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, how he perceived the past four years' efforts to mitigate a global crisis that now threatens us all, namely climate change and environmental degradation.

Grassroots Venezuelan Initiative Aims to Combat Electricity Crisis with Solar Energy

Sweating profusely, unable to sleep because of the heat, fed up with years of blackouts several times a day, many residents of Venezuela's torrid northwest want to cover the roofs and balconies of their homes with solar panels, and are asking the government to import them massively and cheaply from China.

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