On the outer edges of Buenos Aires proper, where the paved streets end and the narrow alleyways of one of Argentina’s largest shantytowns begin, visitors can find the En Haccore soup kitchen.
How do you plan a resilient city? A city that can withstand climate change impacts, and the natural disasters that it produces at increased frequencies. And how do you protect the city, its individuals and communities, its business and institutions from either the increased flooding or prolonged droughts that result? It’s a complex question with an even more complex solution, but one that the central African nation of Rwanda is looking to answer.
"This is the best thing ever invented for the poor," says Emanuel del Monte, pointing to a tank covered in black tarps protruding from the roof of his house. It forms part of a system built mostly from waste materials, which heats water through solar energy and is improving lives in Argentina.
Because the government has never provided them with electricity, indigenous communities in the mountains of northwest Guatemala had no choice but to generate their own energy.
With the advent of the 21st century, there has been a steady rise in energy access all around the globe. For the first time ever, the total number of people without access to electricity fell below 1 billion in 2017 according to the International Energy Agency. Despite the increase in the pace of electrification, 13 percent of the global population, mostly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, still lack critical access to electricity—a factor linked closely with productivity, health and safety, gender equality and education. Without much greater ambition and more intensified efforts, the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 that has an objective of “ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” will be impossible to attain by 2030.
Perhaps the most direct way to introduce this tough issue is what the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, stated
just one week ahead of the 5 June World Environment Day
, which focuses this year on air pollution, caused chiefly by the use of fossil fuels both in transport, industry and even household cooking, heating, etc.
The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ report on the global state of biodiversity is shocking but not entirely surprising. The question is, how much more evidence and repeated warnings will it take for governments, companies and financial institutions to wake up to the urgency and act?
On 25 April, Joseph Biden announced his candidacy for the US presidency, declaring that his decision was based on fears of Trump being re-elected:
In April 2019, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published a report
on a “roadmap to 2050” in terms of renewable energy.
With the recent military moves announced uncharacteristically by the White House first, the world is witnessing with grim fascination what could turn out to be the early moves towards a war against Iran. How plausible is this scenario and what is likely to happen geopolitically if and when the US belligerence leads to an actual military confrontation with Iran?
Dubai is an Emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a population of about 3 million. The discovery of oil in the 1960’s transformed Dubai from a sleepy port town to a global metropolis. The recent shift to address environmental sustainability in Dubai draws attention to energy issues in the city.
Sophocles in his tragedy Antigone has the line "evil[folly] appears as good in the minds of those whom god leads to destruction". First came the US unilateral exit from the historical Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA without the consent from our European allies with the resulting division between the US and Europe regarding policies towards Iran. US also restored sanctions against Iran but gave some time for energy-needy allies to import energy from Iran against a deadline. Some like Japan have complied grudgingly with the US orders. Others, particularly China and India have gone on importing Iranian energy.
Jamaica and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are embracing renewable energy as part of their plans to become decarbonised in the coming decades.
In the stifling heat, Diego Matom takes the bread trays out of the oven and carefully places them on wooden shelves, happy that his business has prospered since his village in northwest Guatemala began to generate its own electricity.
Our acceptance of climate change doesn’t keep pace with our energy consumption reduction. However, the latest International Energy Agency’s (IEA’S) Global Energy and CO2 Status Report for 2018
has some good news.
Pakistan, which has been listed as the 7th most vulnerable country affected by climate change, is now seriously tackling the vagaries of weather, both at the official as well as non-official level.
Pursuant to an initiative launched by the Pakistan Parliament’s Upper House, the Senate, which specially entrusted a sub-Committee of the Standing Committee on Climate Change to focus on “Green and Clean” Islamabad, media, civil society and students have taken up the cudgels on combating climate change.
Jua Kali is a social enterprise tackling waste management and helping to reduce reliance on St. Lucia’s only landfill, which will reach the end of its lifespan in 2023. The company, with its slogan ‘Trashing the Idea of Waste,’ hosts waste collection drives through pop up depots that encourage residents to bring in glass, plastic and tin cans in exchange for supermarket shopping points.
Our planet is heating up. 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, with peak temperatures engulfing the planet – from 43°C in Baku, Azerbaijan, to the low 30s across Scandinavia. The last four years have been the hottest since records began in 1880.
A large steel wheel, 14 meters in diameter and 1.3 meters wide, could be the energy solution of the near future, generating 3.5 megawatts - enough to supply a city of 30,000 people, according to a company in the capital city of the state of Amazonas in northwest Brazil.
Two military-inspired initiatives are leading Brazil's new government, which includes a number of generals, down the path of mega-projects, which have had disastrous results in the last four decades.
2019 will be a defining year for the 2030 Agenda; and the regional forums will pave the way for our first stocktaking on the SDGs in the General Assembly in September.