Africa’s political instability, its armed conflicts and regulatory issues are placing at risk investment needed to tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the continent.
A landmark conference bringing more than 1,200 people from across the world together to promote and explain the importance of bamboo and rattan to global sustainable development and tackling climate change has ended with a raft of agreements and project launches.
“Our main challenge is to get the project back on track," agreed the administrators of two affordable housing complexes, where a small solar power plant was installed for social purposes in Juazeiro, a city in northeast Brazil.
The West African nation of Guinea may be a signatory of the Paris Agreement, a global undertaking by countries around the world to reduce climate change, but as it tries to provide electricity to some three quarters of its 12 million people who are without, the commitment is proving a struggle.
When Senegalese president Macky Sall opened the 30MW Santhiou Mékhé solar plant last June, the country gained the title of having West Africa's largest such plant. But the distinction was short lived.
As governments scramble for corrective options to the worsening land degradation set to cost the global economy a whopping 23 trillion dollars within the next 30 years, a humble grass species, the bamboo, is emerging as the unlikely hero.
As in other Latin American countries, in recent years China has been a strong investor in Argentina. The environmental impact and economic benefits of this phenomenon, however, are a subject of discussion among local stakeholders.
Colombia is a global power in biodiversity and water resources, but at the same time it depends on exports of fossil fuels, coal and oil, to the world. But don't panic: in the green economy there are also incomes and jobs - says a world expert on the subject, Juhern Kim.
With 80 percent of the population living in urban areas and a vehicle fleet that is growing at the fastest rate in the world, Latin America has the conditions to begin the transition to electric mobility - but public policies are not, at least for now, up to the task.
Many factors contribute to the cost of a tomato. For example, what inputs were used (water, soil, fertilizer, pesticides, as well as machinery and/or labor) to grow it? What kind of energy and materials were used to process and package it? Or how much did transportation cost to get it to the shelf?
Chile has become a model country for its advances in non-conventional energy, and is now debating whether citizens who individually or as a group generate electricity can profit from the sale of the surplus from their self-consumption - a factor that will be decisive when it comes to encouraging their contribution to the energy supply.
The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) presented the African model of a National Financing Vehicle in which the governments of Rwanda and Ethiopia have successfully promoted green growth and climate resilience, at an event May 25 on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Busan, South Korea.
“It made me angry that a company from outside the region was making money from renewable energy and I wondered why people weren't getting involved," says Petra Gruner-Bauer, president of the German co-operative SolixEnergie.
Climate finance has never been more urgently needed, with massive investments in climate action required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and avoid the devastating effects of a warmer planet.
With the landmark Paris Agreement now almost two years old, funding for climate-related activities continues to be a challenge. However, efforts have been underway to bring two seemingly very different sectors together to address climate change.
Promoting the widespread use of innovative technologies will be critical to combat the hostile effects of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and many African countries are already leading the way with science-based solutions.
As negotiators concluded ten days of climate talks in Bonn last week, climate finance was underlined as a key element without which the Paris Agreement’s operational guidelines would be meaningless.
The end of the oil age
In the early 1970’s the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was an impoverished desert, with little access to food, water and well-paying jobs. Today, this country looks nothing like it was fifty years ago. Thanks to oil, the UAE has completely transformed and now is one of the most developed economies in the Middle East, if not the world: its per capita GDP is equal to those of highly developed European nations ($68,000 - 2017 est.).
Many believe that the food and agricultural sector is different to all other economic sectors, that it is unique, and that it requires special economic models to thrive. After all, we expect the global food and agricultural system to respond to many different goals. It needs to deliver abundant, safe, and nutritious food. It needs to create employment in rural areas while protecting forests and wildlife, improving landscapes, and preventing climate change through lower food production emissions. Well-functioning food systems are also considered essential for social stability and conflict prevention. In fact many politicians today go as far as to argue that food systems need to thrive so as to stem rural-to-urban migration and the cross-border flow of desperate people fleeing food insecure nations.
IPS caught up with Dr. Frank Rijsberman, director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), at the end of the flagship side event of the GGGI during the 51st
Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila on May 4, 2018, which featured the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its potential to create sustainable infrastructure and promote green growth pathways.
"My son in primary school did not attend a birthday celebration because it was cancelled due to bad air -- and we live in Seoul, a great place to live," said Dr. Frank Rijsberman, director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).