Energy

Convincing Investors to Unlock Africa’s Green Energy Potential

Lowering investment risks in African countries is key to achieving a climate-resilient development pathway on the continent, say experts here at the U.N.-sponsored Climate Conference.

Opposition to Oil Pipeline in U.S. Serves as Example for Indigenous Struggles in Latin America

Canadian activist Clayton Thomas-Muller crossed the border between his country and the United States to join the Native American movement against the construction of an oil pipeline, which has become a model to follow in struggles by indigenous people against megaprojects, that share many common elements.

Stronger Collaboration for Greater Energy Access in Asia Pacific

The emergence of new ideas, technological advancements and innovative market-driven financing solutions has lent confidence to the idea that universal access to energy services is attainable. This is particularly good news in the Asia and the Pacific region, where, despite making significant contributions to global growth and poverty reduction since 2000, nearly half a billion citizens still have no access to modern energy, principally in rural and far-flung areas. Three-quarters of these people live in South Asia alone. Some 70% of the Pacific island households are un-electrified, a level similar to sub-Saharan Africa. The lack of electricity and clean cooking options marginalizes predominantly remote and slum communities who are trapped in energy poverty, preventing them from stepping on the first rung of the ladder to prosperity.

Few Families Overcome Forced Displacement by Hydropower Plants in Brazil

The construction of mega-hydropower plants in Brazil has been a tragedy for thousands of families that have been displaced, and a nightmare for the companies that have to relocate them as required by local law.

Making Policy out of Scientific Bricks, not Straw

Given the enormity of the challenges confronting humanity, the world’s investment in science, technology and innovation is woefully inadequate.

Wave Energy on the Horizon in the Pacific Islands

Waves are ubiquitous in the more than 20 island states scattered across 165 million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean. But only this year, following a ground-breaking study by oceanographic experts, are they now seen as an economically viable source of renewable energy in the region.

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."

Next Page »