Inter Press ServiceGlobal Green Growth Institute (GGGI) – Inter Press Service http://www.ipsnews.net News and Views from the Global South Mon, 28 May 2018 06:51:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.6 Public-Private Pacts Open Doors to Climate Finance in Rwanda and Ethiopiahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/public-private-pacts-open-doors-climate-finance-rwanda-ethiopia/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=public-private-pacts-open-doors-climate-finance-rwanda-ethiopia http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/public-private-pacts-open-doors-climate-finance-rwanda-ethiopia/#respond Sat, 26 May 2018 18:46:17 +0000 Ahn Mi Young http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155935 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 […]

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From left, Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at AfDB, Hyoeun Jenny Kim, Deputy Director General of GGGI, Fisiha Abera, Director General of the International Financial Institutions Cooperation (Ethiopia). Credit: Ahn Miyoung/IPS

From left, Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at AfDB, Hyoeun Jenny Kim, Deputy Director General of GGGI, Fisiha Abera, Director General of the International Financial Institutions Cooperation (Ethiopia). Credit: Ahn Miyoung/IPS

By Ahn Mi Young
BUSAN, May 26 2018 (IPS)

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.

GGGI and AfDB signed a partnership to accelerate Africa’s inclusive and sustainable green growth.

“We will focus on Africa, as we are seeing a huge potential in Africa,” Hyoeun Jenny Kim, deputy director general of GGGI, said in her opening remarks.

“So far, we’ve worked very closely and very extensively with Ethiopia and Rwanda throughout the comprehensive stages of designing and developing projects as well as mobilizing funds,” she told IPS after the side event.

“We’ve so far worked only with a small number of countries… But these climate funding success stories in Rwanda and Ethiopia encouraged us to extend our reach to other Africa countries like Senegal, Uganda or Mozambique,” she added.

After a two-year stint as ambassador to Senegal, Kim, who previously worked at the OECD, joined GGGI in May as its new deputy director general, in charge of planning and implementation of 33 projects in 25 countries.

She emphasized the need for adopting locally relevant green growth paths in Africa, as well as mobilizing funds. “When I was working at OECD, I was seeing the agenda from a global perspective. [While in Senegal as a Korean ambassador], I have seen the unique and particular reality facing each African country. So I understand the need to adapt our climate resilience and green growth initiatives to fit the particular condition of each African country.”

The side event highlighted how Rwanda and Ethiopia have used public investment funding to bring aboard private sector investment with close cooperation with GGGI.

Hubert Ruzibiza, CEO of Rwanda’s Green Fund, revealed how Rwanda has successfully financed green growth and climate resilience through its National Fund for Environment and Climate Change (FONERWA), whose function is to identify and invest in the best public and private projects that have the potential for transformative change that aligns with Rwanda’s commitment to building a strong green economy.

The fund has created about 137,000 green jobs, rehabilitated 19,304 area (ha) of land against erosion, and made about 28,000 families connected to off-grid clean energy.

“FONERWA has a global track record as the national financing mechanism by bringing together public and private sector investment,” Ruzibiza noted.

The side event also highlighted the GGGI-Ethiopia partnership to design, develop and implement Ethiopia’s political commitment to CRGE (Climate Resilience Green Economy), as well as its national financing mechanism called the Ethiopia CRGE Facility, which is the country’s primary financial instrument to mobilize, access and combine domestic and international, public and private sources of finance to support the institutional building and implementation of the CRGE Strategy.

“As we are raising the green growth and climate resilient funding, especially from small and medium-sized business that constitutes about 90 percent of our business, so are the number of projects increasing,” said Fisiha Abera, Director General of the International Financial Institutions Cooperation in Ethiopia.

GGGI has been working closely with the government of Ethiopia since 2010 to omplement its CRGE strategy. GGGI supported CRGE to mobilize a 60-million-dollar grant from the Adaptation Fund (AF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), as well as another 75 million in climate finance. Most recently, GGGI helped mobilize 300 million dollars from the international private sector for the Mekele Water Supply Project.

“The CRGE model shows the importance of the government’s political commitment in which the government takes a holistic national approach. So our advisers are working closely with a wide variety of government functions,” said Kim.

The AfDB and GGGI signed an MOU on the sidelines of the African Development Bank Group’s Annual Meetings in Busan to promote programs, conduct joint studies and research activities to accelerate green growth options for African countries, as well as to work together in the GGGI’s cities programs and the AfDB’s initiatives on clean energy, sustainable landscapes, green cities, water and sanitation, with the ultimate goal of strengthening climate resilience in Africa.

The MOU was signed by Kim of GGI and Amadou Hott, Vice-President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, AfDB.

Ban Ki-moon, who previously served as the eighth Secretary General of the United Nations, took office as President of the Assembly and Chairman of the council of GGGI on March 27.

Headquartered in the heart of Seoul, GGGI has 28 member states and employs staff from more than 40 countries. Its areas of focus include green cities, water and sanitation, sustainable landscapes, sustainable energy and cross-cutting strategies for financing mechanisms.

AFDB is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the AfDB, the African Development Fund and Nigeria Trust Fund NTF. Working on the ground in 44 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.

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Ethiopia’s Green Growth Goals: A Launchpad for Wider Climate Action in Africahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/ethiopias-green-growth-goals-launchpad-wider-climate-action-africa/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ethiopias-green-growth-goals-launchpad-wider-climate-action-africa http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/ethiopias-green-growth-goals-launchpad-wider-climate-action-africa/#respond Fri, 25 May 2018 10:13:45 +0000 Dex Agourides http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155916 Dex Agourides is Head of Programs - Africa & Europe, Global Green Growth Institute

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Ethiopia's Green Growth Goals: A Launchpad for Wider Climate Action in Africa

Landscape of Tetchia in Southern Ethiopia. Credit: GGGI

By Dex Agourides
May 25 2018 (IPS)

The vision for a sustainable future in Africa is being realized at a time of great possibilities and this vision is underpinned by a shift in continental focus towards sustainable and inclusive economic growth and development. This focus highlights strategic efforts towards poverty alleviation, resilience building, promoting sustainable infrastructure and, efficient management of natural resources.

With this, East Africa stands as one of the fastest growing region on the continent, with a projected economic growth rate of 5.9% in 2018 and 6.1% in 2019. Within the region, Ethiopia is amongst the top contributors to this growth, with notable growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) averaging 10.8% between 2003 and 2015 (Second Growth and Transformation Plan – GTP II 2015/16-2019/20).

East Africa stands as one of the fastest growing region on the continent, with a projected economic growth rate of 5.9% in 2018 and 6.1% in 2019. Within the region, Ethiopia is amongst the top contributors to this growth

Ethiopia’s rapid development is largely attributed to a public investment-led development strategy that has produced tangible growth and has measurably improved social circumstances.  These interventions have been guided by a series of targeted macro-economic planning instruments, namely, the First and Second Growth and Transformation Plans (GTP I 2010-2015 &GTP II 2015-2020), which outline the goals and benchmarks for Ethiopia to reach middle-income status by 2025.

Still, while inclusive growth and development is occurring, it has been differentiated in terms of distribution of gains across geographical regions and socio-economic groups.   This is partly attributed to the fact that Ethiopia has one of the most complex and variable climates in the world as a result of its location between various climatic systems and its diverse geographical structure.

Ethiopia, and its expanding socio-economic systems, are thus left vulnerable to adverse effects of climate change. So much so that by 2050, several key shifts in the climate are expected to develop, namely: Continued temperature increases; Annual rainfall variability and; Overall shifts in seasonal rainfall patterns.

Thus, climate change has the potential to leave the goals of reaching middle-income status by 2025, highly susceptible – the negative impact on the GDP is estimated to possibly reach 10% or more by 2050 – leaving the most vulnerable groups disproportionately impacted.

Recognizing the seriousness of this, Ethiopia stands committed to building a Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE), through developing a CRGE Strategy, which has been fully integrated into the GTP II at federal and sector levels. The CRGE embodies a political commitment to green growth nationwide as well as a realization that climate resilience is a core development priority for the future.

The CRGE is anchored in the following pillars: Sustained economic growth, at an average of 11% per annum (in real terms); Protection from the adverse effects of climate change and build resilience and; Limited emissions for this development trajectory and achievement a 64% reduction by 2030.  It is based on this that Ethiopia has submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC’s), making it one of the first Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) do this, with one of the most ambitious targets set by any economy globally.

 

Ethiopia's Green Growth Goals: A Launchpad for Wider Climate Action in Africa

 

As such, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) has been supporting the Government of Ethiopia since 2010, with the development and implementation of its CRGE vision and strategy – developed at sector level for Agriculture and Forestry (2014) and for Water and Energy (2015).  GGGI’s in-country delivery model consists of embedded expert/advisory technical support and capacity building to support CRGE ambitions and remain responsive to the dynamic issues facing its full realization.

Interventions are in fundamental alignment of CRGE strategic priorities, namely incentivizing targeted interventions and focused investment approaches that go well beyond the notion of ‘growth at all costs.’ Interventions are instead anchored in the principle of shared responsibility in building long-term, sector-wide resilience capacity to achieve carbon neutral growth.

To help ensure the bold vision and ambitions of the CRGE are fully realized by all of its principal stakeholders, GGGI supported the establishment and operationalization of the CRGE Facility, the CRGE’s principal national financing vehicle, based in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC).

This work has been focused on supporting the facility with positioning itself to mobilize and channel resources for climate action from domestic, international, public and private sector sources and the capitalize bankable green growth projects.  In line with this, in 2015 and 2016, GGGI supported MoFEC attain direct access accreditation by the Adaptation Fund (AF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), respectively.

Further, in 2017, GGGI supported the Facility with the mobilization of USD 60 million from the AF and GCF and mobilization of USD 75 million from bilateral development partners towards Ethiopia’s large scale Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Implementation Program.

With all that said, as we move forward and continue to build on the milestones reached in Ethiopia thus far, we draw on key lessons to continue to develop, scale-up and replicate climate-smart interventions to collectively achieve transformation and advance green growth development in the country and on the continent at large.

Our work moving forward shall continue to be focused on interventions that: Are aligned with Ethiopia’s key national strategies and implementation plans and anchored by its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); Demonstrate real potential for transformational impact and; Demonstrate replicability/scale-up potential at national and continental levels, towards further unleashing climate smart opportunities in Africa.

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Excerpt:

Dex Agourides is Head of Programs - Africa & Europe, Global Green Growth Institute

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Unlocking Private Finance for Developing Countries’ Green Growthhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/unlocking-private-finance-developing-countries-green-growth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=unlocking-private-finance-developing-countries-green-growth http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/unlocking-private-finance-developing-countries-green-growth/#respond Wed, 23 May 2018 11:03:03 +0000 Friday Phiri http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155894 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. However, it is an open secret that public financing mechanisms alone are not enough to meet the demand for climate finance, especially for […]

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines has installed 750 kilowatt hours of photovoltaic panels, which it says reduced its carbon emissions by 800 tonnes annually. Credit: Kenton X. Chance/IPS

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has installed 750 kilowatt hours of photovoltaic panels, which it says reduced its carbon emissions by 800 tonnes annually. Credit: Kenton X. Chance/IPS

By Friday Phiri
PEMBA, Zambia, May 23 2018 (IPS)

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.

However, it is an open secret that public financing mechanisms alone are not enough to meet the demand for climate finance, especially for developing countries whose cost to implement their conditional Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and transition to low-carbon economies is pegged at 4.3 trillion dollars.Scaling up and accelerating innovative approaches to climate finance from multiple sources, including the private sector, has emerged as a key strategy to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

This is a huge price-tag when compared to the Green Climate Fund (GCF’s) current coffers, which are still being counted in billion terms. The GCF is one of the designated UNFCCC financial instruments created at COP 17 in Durban, South Africa.

Therefore, scaling up and accelerating innovative approaches to climate finance from multiple sources, including the private sector, has emerged as a key strategy to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement through long-term and predictable climate-smart investments.

It is for this reason that the World Bank and partners has been organising platforms in which ways of leveraging public resources with private sector financing are discussed.

One such platform is the Innovate4Climate, launched in 2017 in Barcelona. It serves as an integral part of the global dialogue on climate finance, sustainable development, carbon pricing and markets.

This year’s event, set for Frankfurt from 22-24 May, with four thematic areas, convenes global leaders from industry, government and multilateral agencies for a one-day Summit, workshops and a Marketplace, to work and dialogue on development of innovative financing instruments and approaches to support low-carbon, climate-resilient development pathways.

The Business Case for Climate Investment

Under this pillar, the focus is on the important role of the private sector to fight climate change. It explores climate-related business opportunities such as how to create markets for climate investments, and which approaches are effective in de-risking investment opportunities.

At the meeting, this stream is set to showcase sustainability and climate-resilient initiatives of business associations and industries, present models of collaboration and partnerships between public and private sector, as well as analyse trends and new initiatives in mobilizing development/climate finance, to match developing country investment needs with private sector capital.

A classic example under this theme is the GCF blended model—the use of four financial instruments: concessional loans, equity, grants, and guarantees that can be used through different modalities and at various stages of the financing cycle. Debt and equity instruments help close a specific financing gap for specific projects and programmes, thus bringing more projects and programmes to fruition, while guarantees help to crowd in new private sector financing from multilateral development banks, national development banks, and others.

“We are starting to see it already with the GCF,” says Fenella Aouane, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI’s) Principal Climate Finance Specialist. “They put out the 500-million-dollar private sector facility…they have gone into the market for the entirety of the private sector globally, they put out a call for proposals to spend up to 500 million. Now relate that to the fact that in a single board meeting in February, they approved projects worth 1 billion.”

NDC Implementation—policies and finance

Another central theme of the Innovate4Climate conference this year is focusing on improving access to finance and support for capacity building to successfully implement countries’ NDCs. This stream targets initiatives aiming at getting “further-faster-together” for NDCs implementation.

The key questions revolve around how to improve access to available funding and mobilize new sources, to strengthen climate finance readiness and accelerate disbursement of climate finance, how to increase and sustain ambitions, and ensure accountability and how to reduce transaction costs through standardisation and simplifying processes.

Innovation for Climate Resilience

Technology is a crucial component of the Paris Agreement’s means of implementation pillar. There is no question that innovative technologies and financial instruments are changing the narrative of climate change resilience. Thus, this stream presents achievements and models in climate smart agriculture, climate action in cities, and disaster risk management among others.

And in relation to the theme of technology, Tony Simon, Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), recently emphasised the importance of adopting locally-relevant options that enhance agricultural productivity, for example, in relation to climate change adaptation and mitigation through exploring innovative finance instruments.

“Explore innovative finance instruments,” said Simon at the UNFCCC organized first regional Talanoa which was part of the Africa Climate Week, held in Nairobi in April 2018. “Private equity offers a huge amount of money. Use the money from CTCN and other sources to pull in other funds and use that as an opportunity to blend financing for climate change initiatives.”

Climate Market and Metrics

Under this theme, the focus is on the contribution of market-based approaches to efficient and cost-effective climate change mitigation. Delegates will discuss current and future trends around practical outcomes of international negotiations on Article 6 (voluntary cooperation on mitigation and adaptation actions). The theme also seeks to understand what can be expected from aviation and shipping.

“One area where forestry hopes the private sector may be interested is—the airline industry is currently trying to decide how it will offset its emissions as an industry and one way that might do this is through the purchase of carbon offsetting assets so that could be forestry in the form of some level of carbon credit,” GGGI’s Fenella told IPS. “If they do this, then there will be a possible clear return for investors.”

While the Innovate4Climate conference gets underway in Frankfurt next week, it seems the private sector approach by GGGI is already paying dividends. According to its 2017 Annual report, GGGI helped mobilize over half a billion dollars for green investments that aim to support developing countries and emerging economies transition toward environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive economic growth.

It contributed to the mobilization of 524.6 million dollars in green investments in Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Rwanda and other countries in which the Seoul-based international organization operates.

“This is a record achievement for GGGI, representing more than 11 times the organization’s actual budget in 2017,” said Dr. Frank Rijsberman, GGGI Director-General. “Working closely with partner countries over the years to develop and implement policies that enable the environment to for green growth investment, GGGI is now demonstrating its growing capacity to access and mobilize finance for projects that deliver strong impact.”

With GGGI technical support to design and de-risk bankable projects, of the total amount mobilized, 412 million came from the private sector.

And just to highlight some countries in Africa, in Ethiopia, GGGI produced a pipeline of projects for the Mekelle City Water Project that helped attract 337 million dollars from the international private sector, while in Rwanda, GGGI catalyzed a 60-million investment from the private sector for a Cactus Green Park Development Project in Kigali, to support Rwanda’s secondary cities program.

Role of Multilateral Banks

The discussion on green economic growth and the increasing need for private sector climate financing cannot be complete without mentioning the role of multilateral banks. According to the World Bank, concessional climate finance is one critical strategy under this pillar, to support developing countries to build resilience to worsening climate impacts and to catalyzing private sector climate investment. Through this approach, collectively, the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) increased their climate financing in developing countries and emerging economies to 27.4 billion dollars in 2016 – including more than 11 billion from the WBG.

From an African perspective, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has been instrumental to the green growth discourse and the need for African countries not to follow the fossil fuel development pathway.

And in its efforts to foster a green growth economic pathway, in 2014, the AfDB released the first-ever Green Growth Framework—to function as a foundational reference document for its work on green growth. The bank was therefore instrumental in the formulation of Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI).

The initiative, which came out of COP21 and subsequently approved by the African Union, aims at delivering 300GW of renewable energy by 2030.

The AfDB also played a key role in de-risking one of Africa’s gigantic multi-billion-dollar solar power investment in Ouarzazate, Morocco, an example of a green growth economic model, which requires multi-million-dollar investments that cannot be done by public financing alone.

Mustapha Bakkaoury, president of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), told delegates at COP 22 that his country’s renewable energy revolution would not have been possible if multilateral partners such as the AfDB had not come on board to act as a guarantor for financing of the project.

About the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

Based in Seoul, GGGI is an intergovernmental organization that supports developing country governments transition to a model of economic growth that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.

GGGI delivers programs in 27 partner countries with technical support, capacity building, policy planning & implementation, and by helping to build a pipeline of bankable green investment projects.

More on GGGI’s events, projects and publications can be found on www.gggi.org.

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When Two Becomes One: Blending Public and Private Climate Financehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/two-becomes-one-blending-public-private-climate-finance/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=two-becomes-one-blending-public-private-climate-finance http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/two-becomes-one-blending-public-private-climate-finance/#comments Wed, 23 May 2018 05:27:21 +0000 Tharanga Yakupitiyage http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155888 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. While developed countries have committed to channeling 100 billion dollars to developing countries by 2020, trillions may be needed […]

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The Erie Shores wind farm in Ontario, Canada. Credit: Denise Morazé/IPS

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage
UNITED NATIONS, May 23 2018 (IPS)

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.

While developed countries have committed to channeling 100 billion dollars to developing countries by 2020, trillions may be needed in order to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

“Trying to address climate change at current financing levels is like walking into a Category 5 hurricane protected by only an umbrella,” said head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Patricia Espinosa during a conference.

“Right now, we are talking in millions and billions of dollars when we should be speaking in trillions,” she continued.

Achieving the ambitious climate goals set out by the international community will require major financial investments by both the public and private sectors in order to fill funding gaps.

It also requires coming up with ways for the two sectors to work together.

“International organizations such as the Global Green Institute (GGGI) and development banks are trying and testing different structures, different methods of financing, different blends of public and private financing all the time. And occasionally, things work,” GGGI’s Principal Climate Finance Specialist Fenella Aouane told IPS.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF), set up by UNFCC, was given an important role to serve the Paris Agreement and has since used public investment to mobilize private finance towards low-emission, climate-resilient development.

In March, the GCF approved concessional funding to 23 projects in developing countries valued together at 1 billion dollars.

“This large volume of projects for both mitigation and adaptation – and the additional USD 60 million for readiness support – shows that GCF is ready to shift gear in supporting developing countries to achieve their climate goals…. The projects adopted here will make a real impact in the face of climate challenges,” said GCF Co-Chair Paul Oquist.

Aouane echoed similar sentiments about GCF’s efforts to IPS, stating: “They are testing the waters but that was a very good move by the GCF to say if we’re going to get the private sector, we have got to start dealing with them.”

And waving a magic wand won’t get the private sector, whose sole purpose is to make profits, to funnel money into climate mitigation and adaptation.

“[We need] to make projects more attractive for private sector investment. Reduce the costs, reduce the risks, and do a few using that concessional funding to show that they worked,” Aouane said.

Already, successes can be seen in renewable energy development.

With the help of concessional finance and continued political will, there has been a boom in renewable energy development across the world, opening the door to more players.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the private sector paved the way in renewable energy investment in 2016, providing 92 percent of funding compared to 8 percent from the public sector.

This has helped rapidly reduce the cost of renewable energy, which is set to be cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020.

In fact, solar and wind energy is already cheaper than fossil fuels in many parts of the world.

The forestry sector, on the other hand, is finding it more difficult to attract investments, Aouane told IPS.

“Forestry is a struggle in the sense of what is return, where do you make your money in a project?” she said.

But there is an ongoing initiative by the aviation industry that could help protect forests, Aouane noted.

In an effort to offset its carbon emissions, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has looked to buy credits from projects that reduce emissions such as forestry.

This could not only help level out their emissions, but also help nations protect their forests from deforestation and ensure biodiversity.

“If they do this, then there will be a possible clear return for investors in forestry because they will be able to purchase the forest and then sell the emission reduction assets to an airline who will pay for it. If the price is sufficient, then it’s attractive enough for the private sector,” Aouane said.

The idea has been controversial, however, with environmental groups noting that the move is not enough to substantially offset or reduce emissions.

The environmental group Fern also found that the Virgin Atlantic airline’s carbon offsetting projects in Cambodia have actually led to local residents being “exploited and kicked off their land,” while another project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by Austrian Airlines and the San Diego Airport has resulted in increased deforestation.

Other challenges arise when bringing together two very different sectors with different goals, Aouane said.

“Using some World Bank finance and some GCF finance is relatively simple because they are both heading in the same direction culturally. But when the private sector gets involved, there can often be an issue with trying to get mindsets to work together,” she told IPS.

“You can imagine that the mindsets are very different about how you put a deal together and how you actually get the motives right that the project is right for everybody,” Aouane continued.

The GCF provides a model for bringing the two sectors together, and its new projects could help the private sector become even more involved. But it will take time, Aouane said.

“There is work happening, but I think quite often people forget how long it takes for things to change…but it will get done,” Aouane said.

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Leveraging Climate Finance in Africahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/leveraging-climate-finance-in-africa/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=leveraging-climate-finance-in-africa http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/leveraging-climate-finance-in-africa/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 14:38:23 +0000 GGGI http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155810 What: GGGI, in partnership with the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and the Government of Rwanda will host a side event during the 53rd Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Busan, Republic of Korea. The side event will focus on the great strides made by Ethiopia in mobilising financial […]

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Leveraging Climate Finance in Africa

By GGGI
May 17 2018 (GGGI)

What: GGGI, in partnership with the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and the Government of Rwanda will host a side event during the 53rd Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Busan, Republic of Korea. The side event will focus on the great strides made by Ethiopia in mobilising financial resources for the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) initiative to protect the country from the adverse effects of climate change and to build a green economy that will help realise its ambition of reaching middle-income status before 2025.

This official side event will showcase success by the Governments of Ethiopia and Rwanda, as well as GGGI and the AfDB in mobilizing climate finance to build sustainable green growth.

The presentation will highlight:

  • GGGI’s track record of mobilizing climate finance into projects globally, with a focus on Africa
  • Ethiopia’s achievements to date in mobilizing climate finance investments as part of the country’s Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy (CRGE)
  • Rwanda’s success in mobilizing climate finance as part of the country’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) and Green Growth and Climate Resilient Strategy (GGCRS)

The potential collaboration opportunities with the AfDB and its members to replicate Ethiopia’s CRGE and Rwanda’s EDPRS2 and GGCRS achievements across Africa.

 

Where: Busan, Republic of Korea

 

When: Friday, May 25 at 12:30 PM to 2 PM UTC+09

 

Who:

  • Hyoeun Jenny Kim, Deputy Director General and Head of Green Growth Planning and Implementation, Global Green Growth Institute
  • Representative of the Rwandan Government, (To Be Confirmed)
  • Mr. Fisiha Abera, Director General for the International Financial Institutions Cooperation (Ethiopia)
  • Anthony Nyong, Director Climate Change and Green Growth, AfDB
  • Annick Nzambimana, Senior Officer – Partnerships, the Global Green Growth Institute (moderator)

 

Background

The government of Ethiopia has set out to achieve ambitious goals for its economy. By 2025 Ethiopia wants to attain middle-income country status. This singular ambition alone promises to lift Ethiopia’s economy out of the list of Lower Income Countries. By so doing Ethiopia will join Cabo Verde and Botswana as countries in Africa whose economies have been graduated into middle-income status. Another African country that has intentions to accelerate its economic growth and follow suit is Angola who is touted to reach the status by 2021.

To graduate to middle-income status countries must have a Gross National Income ranging between $1,006 and $3,955 for lower middle-income countries and $3,956 and $12,235 for upper middle-income countries. At the moment Ethiopia’s GNI stands at $660, this means significant interventions in the economy will need to be made to graduate.

 

Middle Income Countries and Poverty

The attainment of middle income status alone is no guarantee for improved quality of life for citizens. The world bank estimates that 73% of the world’s poor reside in middle-income countries. These countries also contribute one third of the world’s GDP and have historically been the main drivers of global economic growth.

The picture of poverty in Ethiopia is even more grim. In 2016 UNICEF estimated that 13 million Ethiopian children live in poor households, of these 13% live in extreme poverty.

 

Ethiopia’s approach to inclusive growth

The ambitions shown by Ethiopia to accelerate economic growth show that the country is concerned about the nature of the country’s growth path. The government has identified socially inclusive and sustainable economic growth as the only viable means of improving the lot of its people. The adoption of the Ethiopia’s Climate-Resilient Green Economy(CRGE) is a commitment to include environmental sustainability and mitigation of the adverse effects of climate change into development planning.

Ethiopia has chosen to spell out its plans for a socially inclusive economy in very clear language. The strategy it has adopted is blatant about the intention to build a green economy.  The task of delivering on this strategy is spread among key ministries of the country’s government. The CGRE units are the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Urban Development and Construction, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

 

GGGI’s work in Ethiopia

GGGI has been working with the Government of Ethiopia since 2010. Hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), GGGI also maintains senior advisors embedded with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation; the Ministry of Water Irrigation and Electricity; the Ministry of Agriculture; the Prime Minister’s Office, and Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector.

GGGI’s work has included support for the Green Economy Strategy, development of a Country Planning Framework fully aligned with the Growth and Transformation Plan II, and advisory support on investment and implementation processes for priorities identified in the CRGE strategy.

GGGI’s specific contributions in support of the  CRGE vision include: the development of Climate Resilient (CR) strategies for the agriculture & forestry and water & energy sectors; development of the GTP II at the federal and sectoral levels; design of g frameworks and sector guidance for integrating the CRGE into the GTP II; design and review of the CRGE Facility’s operational systems; support for  the CRGE Facility to develop and monitor fast track investments; design and implementation of the national and regional capacity development programmes, and; REDD+ readiness.

Ethiopia has achieved important results and mobilized significant finance since CRGE Facility establishment and with GGGI support. Between 2015 and 2016, GGGI supported MoFEC to obtain direct access accreditation to the Adaptation Fund (AF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). In 2017, GGGI supported the CRGE Facility in mobilizing USD 60 million grant finance from AF and GCF. GGGI has also supported the CRGE Facility in mobilizing 75 million climate change finance. Most recently, GGGI contributed to the mobilization of USD 330 million of international private sector finance for the Mekele Water Supply Project.

 

Positive results for project financing

Through the CRGE Facility the Ethiopian government has been able to attract funding for its climate change action initiatives. This financing vehicle has been able to mobilise support from from key financing organisations. Among  the 22 new projects Green Climate Fund  has approved for $1 billion worth of funding $45 is invested to assist Ethiopia’s climate resilience initiatives related to the impact of the drought in the country. This funding is specifically meant to address the disproportionate impact of climate change on women. This  project aimed at gender-responsive resilience in Ethiopia’s most vulnerable communities is anticipated to increase climate resilience for  about 1,3 million people. This is just one example that stands out among many which include about $10 million from the Adaptation Fund.

 

AfDB and Africa’s green growth

There are many exciting areas that the African Development Bank has committed itself with regards to climate action in Ethiopia. The first is the alignment of the bank’s $1 billion financing framework for drought stricken countries with some of Ethiopia’s climate resilience strategy projects and the development of similar plans in other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Among other exciting areas where the AfDB has an opportunity to make an impactful collaboration other stakeholders is through its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation initiative. Here there is a wide range of knowledge sharing areas which include working together with the recently operationalised Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries.  Joint efforts aimed at mobilising investment into green technology for the African continent will help accelerate industrialisation powered by low carbon energy sources.

An  exciting area that has not been explored to its fuller extent is the exploration of the benefits of index insurance for economies largely driven by agriculture.

 

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GGGI raises bar in support of green and climate finance mobilizationhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/gggi-raises-bar-support-green-climate-finance-mobilization/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gggi-raises-bar-support-green-climate-finance-mobilization http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/gggi-raises-bar-support-green-climate-finance-mobilization/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 08:25:15 +0000 GGGI http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155801 The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), in 2017, helped mobilize over half a billion USD for green investments that aim to support developing countries and emerging economies transition toward environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive economic growth. According to the GGGI 2017 Annual Report, published today, GGGI contributed to the mobilization of USD 524.6 million in […]

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By GGGI
SEOUL, May 17 2018 (GGGI)

The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), in 2017, helped mobilize over half a billion USD for green investments that aim to support developing countries and emerging economies transition toward environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive economic growth.

According to the GGGI 2017 Annual Report, published today, GGGI contributed to the mobilization of USD 524.6 million in green investments in Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Rwanda and other countries in which the Seoul-based international organization operates.

“This is a record achievement for GGGI, representing more than 11 times the organization’s actual budget in 2017,” said Dr. Frank Rijsberman, GGGI Director-General. “Working closely with partner countries over the years to develop and implement policies that enable the environment to for green growth investment, GGGI is now demonstrating it growing capacity to access and mobilize finance for projects that deliver strong impact.”

Of the finance GGGI helped mobilize in 2017, USD 412 million came from the private sector.  GGGI delivered key technical support to design and de-risk bankable projects that attracted private investment in a number of partner countries.

 

 

In Ethiopia, GGGI produced a pipeline of projects for the Mekelle City Water Project that helped attract USD 337 million from the international private sector.

“This is a record achievement for GGGI, representing more than 11 times the organization’s actual budget in 2017,”
Dr. Frank Rijsberman, GGGI Director-General

To support Rwanda’s secondary cities program, GGGI helped catalyze a USD 60 million investment from the private sector for a Cactus Green Park Development Project in Kigali.

GGGI also supported green and climate finance mobilization in 2017, by helping a number of partner countries to develop National Financing Vehicles in the form of funds and other financial instruments that attract international investment.

In Mongolia, GGGI led the design of the Mongolian Green Credit Fund to access climate finance that will help achieve Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement.

To assist Vanuatu to meet its energy and sustainability targets, GGGI provided support for the operationalization of the National Green Energy Fund.

GGGI’s green finance achievements in 2017 marked a 5-fold increase from the previous year. In 2016, GGGI contributed to the mobilization of USD 105 million in finance.

The 2017 Annual Report is available online, and includes detailed project by project reporting on each of the 49 programs and projects GGGI delivered during the first year of organization’s Work Program and Budget 2017-2018.

 

 

Visit http://report.gggi.org/2017/ to learn more.

Read the 2017 Annual Report Key Messages here.

 

 

About the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

Based in Seoul, GGGI is an intergovernmental organization that supports developing country governments transition to a model of economic growth that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.

GGGI delivers programs in 27 partner countries with technical support, capacity building, policy planning & implementation, and by helping to build a pipeline of bankable green investment projects.

More on GGGI’s events, projects and publications can be found on www.gggi.org. You can also follow GGGI on Twitter and join us on FacebookYouTube and LinkedIn.

 

 

 

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“Green Development Has to Be Equal for All”http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/green-development-equal/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=green-development-equal http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/green-development-equal/#respond Mon, 14 May 2018 00:57:29 +0000 Diana Mendoza http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155745 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 […]

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Dr. Frank Rijsberman, director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). Credit: Diana Mendoza/IPS

By Diana Mendoza
MANILA, May 14 2018 (IPS)

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.

In this brief chat with IPS correspondent Diana Mendoza, Dr. Rijsberman noted the success of just a few countries with successful environmental protection policies, while many others have yet to adopt green growth policies.

Q: China is obviously the major player in the BRI. How does GGGI see China influencing other countries to actively take part in it and adopt green growth policies?

A: China is a huge investor. Among the countries in the BRI, China is the most important foreign direct investor, if not one of the most important. What we are particularly interested from our GGGI perspective is that China has also become, out of necessity, an important source of green technology because it implements renewable energy policies at a large scale. It is but fitting for it to have initiated the BRI. It is a leader in electric mobility, green technology and policy. It is keen on its air quality around Beijing and has very rapidly cleaned it up in just the last two years. What we’re interested in also is not just having large direct investments as part of their BRI initiative but how it will influence its government to export green technology.

Q: On one hand, China has also upset its Asian neighbors, particularly in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), that claim China is exploring their islands and upsetting territorial boundaries.

A: I know basically nothing about territorial disputes but it’s clear that China is a world power, a dominant force.  It is very influential and we are hoping it will use this to bring opportunities for other countries to prosper. We’ve been seeing China for decades as having relations with countries in bringing resources such as Afghan steel or mineral resources to which China is a huge importer. That’s basically the first relationship we’re seeing in a bilateral way. It is also starting its ODA ministry to bring more support to developing countries and is willing share more environmental technology and hopefully, to also share the benefits of the equal civilization approach.

Q: What would the equal civilization approach mean to countries around the BRI?

A: There are small and relatively poor countries along the Maritime Silk Road. Growth and development should also benefit them. The impact of climate change and the unhealthy effects of modernization and urbanization affect all countries, but green development has to be equal for all.

Q: What are GGGI’s priorities in the next five years?

A: We would like to see countries adopting renewable energy policies. Many countries are not introducing renewable energy to the potential that they have. Many countries also have some policies but we see they only have something like 1 percent solar, where it could be 20 or 30 percent. Only in China do we see a very rapid transition to renewable energy and electricity generation. But I live in Korea and they only have 2 percent. The government recently increased the target for renewable energy to 20 percent, but you know even 20 percent is still modest.

Q: How much is the ideal target for renewable energy?

A: It should be 50 or 60 percent if we want to achieve what was agreed upon in the Paris Agreement. Vietnam is still planning to build 24 more coal fire-powered plants. The current paths that many governments are on are still very far away from achieving the Paris Agreement. We need to see a rapid switch to renewable energy and we think it’s much more feasible than governments are aware of. Prices have come down so quickly that you know I’ve been spending most of my week in the Philippines and the provincial governments are still talking about hydropower because that’s what they know. You go to Mindanao and they’re talking about this big project in 1953 and they know that renewable energy is hydro.

Q: So hydro is not the answer?

A: We told them that if they want more hydro they should realize there are much better opportunities now in solar energy.  Even if the potential in hydro is there, it’s complex. It takes a long time and it has a big environmental risks. It takes five years to put it in place and construction is complicated. You can have solar in six months if you have enough land. In Manila, every school, factory and shopping mall should have solar rooftops already. In Canberra, even if the central government was not all active in this movement, it adopted in 2016 the 100 percent renewable policy by 2020. It is doing just that and it looks good.

Q: What can you say about tiny efforts to protect the environment such as opting for paper bags instead of plastic bags?  

A: A plastic bag should no longer be available. We should absolutely stop using all those disposable plastic bags. We should all look at the major impact that plastics cause, that micro-plastics go into the sea and the fish eat them. It goes back to our body when we eat the fish. It goes right back in the body.

Q: So which counties have totally eradicated plastic?

A: Rwanda — they said no more plastic bags. There will be many more countries that will do that. They will say you don’t have to pay for plastic bags if you didn’t bring your eco bag or there’s no available paper bag. If there is plastic, it has to be biodegradable. The cheap plastic in the supermarket lasts forever. It looks biodegradable if you leave it in the sun, but it’s more dangerous when it is thrown into the sea. But either way, there should be no more plastic bags anywhere.

Q: You live in Seoul and you mentioned about your child not going to an event because of bad air. How do you think kids understand environmental issues?  

A: The school nurse checks the air quality and informs us in the morning. My wife also does that. Our nine-year-old is totally aware of that. Even if it’s not too bad, the kids go to school wearing masks. The kids’ experiences on a daily basis will help them understand the need for clean, quality air.  This way, they will learn about the rest of the environment concerns as they grow up.

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Regional Cooperation Needs a Strategic Vehicle for Inclusive Growthhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/regional-cooperation-needs-a-strategic-vehicle-for-inclusive-growth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=regional-cooperation-needs-a-strategic-vehicle-for-inclusive-growth http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/regional-cooperation-needs-a-strategic-vehicle-for-inclusive-growth/#respond Fri, 11 May 2018 10:04:23 +0000 Winston Chow http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155721 Winston Chow is Country Representative for China at the Global Green Growth Institute

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Regional cooperation needs a strategic vehicle for inclusive growth

By Winston Chow
BEIJING, May 11 2018 (IPS)

There is growing recognition that regional cooperation is a crucial driver of growth. We should now also recognize if regional trade networks are to yield the intended benefit of inclusive growth, then there needs to be a strategic vehicle for development that can be scaled.

The China Belt Road initiative is an example of an ambitious regional cooperation programme that includes benefits for many other countries in its development plans.

The initiative's planned $150bn investment over the next five years is an opportunity for sector specialists across development institutions to work together even more closely. More importantly, the initiative should complement the work of other regional cooperation efforts.

Its importance lies in that the scheme offers an opportunity for GGGI and Asian Development Bank (ADB) member countries to narrow the inequality, technology and poverty gap by improving trade among themselves. The scheme also shows us that the prospects of a sustainable future rely heavily on countries working together.

The initiative’s planned $150bn investment over the next five years is an opportunity for sector specialists across development institutions to work together even more closely. More importantly, the initiative should complement the work of other regional cooperation efforts.

Some key examples of current regional partnerships are the Eurasia Initiative, Partnership for Quality Infrastructure, Steppe Road. The Belt Road Initiative stands out  because it is bold, it intends to connect Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf in a single strategic and more closely coordinated network.

 

Regional trade growth should be inclusive

The recent increase in regional trade between countries in the Asia region presents some opportunities. This makes the introduction of green technology to the Asia-Pacific region crucial.

Manufacturing of new technologies can help tackle structural distortions in Pacific Island countries. These economies are dominated by agriculture, fisheries and tourism.

South-South collaboration will assist in this spread of technology across the region to benefit countries that will start from a very low green technology base. China for instance has emerged as aworld leader in the manufacture and use of clean energy technology.

The energy sector’s growth will not only cater for energy needs, if low carbon energy is introduced it will generate positive spin-offs in regions and communities where they are hosted.

The sharing of knowledge between countries in this respect is a catalyst that can be used to fast-track growth in the green technology sector in countries that are lagging behind.

Research shows that Asian economies are deeply intertwined. This interdependency has been forged by supply chain activity that has extended to financial industries and regional infrastructure networks.

An efficient regional economic network will make the collaboration between GGGI, ADB and other development stakeholders in countries like Georgia much easier. It will make it easier for the government of Georgia to improve the security and stability of its electric power systems.

Another important opportunity for shared learning that avails itself is the GGGI-ADB partnership in Mongolia. Increasing investment in the country’s mining sector will slowly translate into an increase in energy demand. We have to anticipate these developments in the regional economy.

 

Governance

It is important that countries have a long term vision in their environmental sustainability policy approach. This involves the introduction of green growth guidelines into development planning policies.

For these guidelines to be effective their use must be scaled up to include local, provincial and national plans. It is important  to understand is that the local government level is crucial as it is at the frontline of climate change planning.

 

Green local currency bonds

The next important point for our collective consideration is how to increase socially and environmentally beneficial investments to the region and its partners. Here we have to think of ways of growing the green bonds market.

Growth in this market has proved to be an essential source of funding for programmes aimed at eradicating poverty and meeting the SDGs. The Asian region should continue being among the leading regions that invest in green bonds.

To stimulate growth in the sector we must remove barriers such as higher administration costs for green bonds. Another area that requires focused attention is the task of harmonizing Green Bond Principles (GBPs) that guide issuers about environmental benefits.

There has to be synergy between the widespread adoption of GBPs and the development of a framework that will make them available in local currencies. The aim is to make green bonds more attractive to investors.

I need to re-emphasize what makes responsible investment important. I’m convinced that responsible investors have an eye for solutions to the under employment and gender disparate labour market of the region.

The Pacific Island Countries are in a precarious situation because climate change could reduce tourism revenues considerably. This impact is expected to add to the numbers of migrant labourers, many of whom are women already disadvantaged by the labour markets.

The urgent task for us is to take advantage of the opportunities that mainstreaming green growth will avail. Regional cooperation is central to scaling up the impact of inclusive green growth.

Increased South-South cooperation on the basis of the shared objective of attaining environmentally sustainable economic growth will assist in the attainment of the SDGs.

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Excerpt:

Winston Chow is Country Representative for China at the Global Green Growth Institute

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Belt and Road Initiative Vows Green Infrastructure with Connectivityhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/belt-road-initiative-vows-green-infrastructure-connectivity/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=belt-road-initiative-vows-green-infrastructure-connectivity http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/belt-road-initiative-vows-green-infrastructure-connectivity/#respond Tue, 08 May 2018 12:04:47 +0000 Diana G Mendoza http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155665 “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). He was speaking to delegates of a forum that discussed creating environmental policies […]

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Belt and Road Initiative Vows Green Infrastructure with Connectivity

Belt and Road Initiative Vows Green Infrastructure with Connectivity

By Diana G Mendoza
MANILA, May 8 2018 (IPS)

“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).

He was speaking to delegates of a forum that discussed creating environmental policies while enabling economic and regional cooperation among countries in the Belt and Road route during the 51st annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that concluded over the weekend.The initiative covers more than 65 countries -- or more than 60% of the world's population -- that includes Africa and Europe and plans to mobilize 150 billion dollars in investments over the next five years.

The forum took cues from Rijsberman’s story of living in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, one of the poorest countries that in 50 years became an example for many developing countries to demonstrate the importance of economic growth while being mindful of air quality and the overall livability of the environment.

The “Green Growth and Regional Cooperation” forum was a side event hosted by GGGI with an expert panel that discussed China’s proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and, with many references to “green growth,” “green policies” and “green investments,” looked at putting in place policies to accelerate green investments and green technology while exploring ways to create opportunities that address poverty across countries.

“Climate change is already exacting its toll, particularly in the Asian region, so rapidly that technological and economic growth (that may have worsened issues like air quality) should also be our most immediate driver of action to do something,” said Rijsberman.

He said there is a need for countries to have “green growth,” a new development approach that delivers environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive economic growth that is low-carbon and climate resilient; prevents or remediates pollution; maintains healthy and productive ecosystems and creates green jobs, reduce poverty and enhance social inclusion.

Rijsberman said the GGGI will join the Green Belt and Road Coalition and currently cooperates with the China Ministry of Ecology and Environment and the ASEAN Center for Environmental Cooperation on regional cooperation and integration that facilitates sustainable urban development and supports high-level policies and impactful knowledge sharing on the adoption of sustainable growth in the Belt and Road countries.

Prof. Dongmei Guo, China state council expert of the China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Center, said the BRI brings together two regional trade corridors: the Silk Road Economic Belt that will link China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea though Central Asia and West Asia with three routes:  China-Central Asia-Russia-Europe through the Baltic Sea; China-Central Asia-West Asia-Persian Gulf through the Mediterranean Sea and China- Southeast Asia-South Asia through the Indian Ocean; and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that stretches from the South Pacific Sea to Europe with two roads — Coastal China-South China Sea-Indian Ocean-Europe and Coastal China-South China Sea and South Pacific.

The initiative covers more than 65 countries — or more than 60% of the world’s population — that includes Africa and Europe and plans to mobilize 150 billion dollars in investments over the next five years. Initiated in 2013, the BRI aims to create the world’s largest platform for economic cooperation, including policy coordination, trade and financing collaboration, and social and cultural cooperation.

“The BRI provides great opportunities for promoting green transformation and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2030,” said Guo, mentioning environmental-related SGDs 6, 12, 13, 14 and 15 as the same targets envisioned in the initiative.  “The global sustainable development process has entered a new stage through the BRI and it must be green.”

Goals 6, 12, 13, 14 and 15 enjoin countries to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation and sustainable consumption and production patterns, to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development and to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Guo said among some of the concerns in the countries along the route are water shortages, water pollution, agricultural pollution, tailings, industrial wastes, and nuclear waste for Central Asia, biodiversity loss, water pollution and urbanization-led pollution in South Asia, and biodiversity, forest fire and haze brought by conventional pollution in Southeast Asia.

Winston Chow, GGGI country representative for China, said the program is still in its initial phase but is seeing an estimated investment of 500 billion dollars through 2030 that will be invested in the developing world along the BRI route, with 300 billion of that being carbon-related.

“What that means is that we have to consider the impacts of these economies in the long term and a major opportunity to decarbonize, which is a big step as we enhance global development,” he said. “We have to look at 2030 development goals and align our efforts at helping member countries contribute as they implement development projects.”

Organized under five guiding tasks of policy coordination, unimpeded trade, facilities connectivity financial integration, and people-to-people bond, Chow said the BRI aims to utilize Chinese government policy, financing and technology in enhancing strong projects in the developing world. The GGGI will facilitate the work with member states on how to deploy green projects and we have talked to a number of country governments such as those in Mongolia, Jordan, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Vietnam and the Philippines.”

He cited the strong collaboration with Mongolia after its policy makers were introduced to energy efficiency with air quality restrictions and environmental impact reductions through the introduction of the electric vehicles tariff in the capital Ulaanbaatar that successfully reduced bad air from 2016 to 2017.

Jordan, Indonesia and Ethiopia are also underway in their ecological restoration and water treatment practices. Transformative projects among Chinese technologies in solar energy use, e-transportation and e-mobility technology, land restoration, water and solid waste treatment and solar, wind and energy building efficiency projects will also be shared as well with participating countries.

But with BRI being recently introduced, Chow mentioned a few challenges in financing schemes such as gaps between what China wants to invest in and what developing countries are ready to do but have financial needs that are complex to underwrite. For instance, he said “the debate is still out on countries that have electricity grids not quite ready for global energy integration that may not necessarily yield benefits financially or socially.”

The gap is also shown in Chinese investments in green projects that can be worth 100 million dollars but some countries can only do projects in the 20 or 30 million range. He cited BRI large scale projects such as airports in Cambodia or Vietnam’s hydropower plants and dams.

In his press conference prior to the GGGI side event, ADB President Takehiko Nakao lauded China’s Belt and Road Initiative as a key program to connect countries and regions and to broaden integration and cooperation across Asia, and that the ADB will participate in this initiative when needed. He enjoined countries along the route to be careful not to take out excessive loans when they get involved in the initiative to finance their projects and to look closely at the benefits the projects can give to their citizens.

“If countries borrow too much for certain projects without seriously looking at the feasibility, it might bring more trouble in repayment,” he said, stressing the need to “look at debt sustainability issues very seriously.”

Ayumi Konishi, special senior adviser to the president of ADB, told the side event “the ADB intends to cooperate with BRI because of its strong preference for green projects such as renewable energy or sustaining transport projects.”

Since the BRI initiative was announced in September 2013 advocating for improved connectivity for shared prosperity and after China signed an agreement with six multilateral development banks, he said the ADB is in agreement as “we share the same vision; we need the entire portfolio of cooperation projects to make them greener and make them less vulnerable to potential bad impacts of climate change.”

Rijsberman, GGGI’s director-general, said the GGGI, a treaty-based international organization headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, is seeing good examples of green efforts such as the Pacific greening in Vanuatu, the eco-towns in the Philippines, the business models in Indonesia that prevent fires and rehabilitate forests, the efforts in Rwanda to eradicate plastics and the biodiversity protection efforts in the Greater Mekong area.

“Efforts go beyond protecting environment but more on promoting it,” he said, stressing that such initiatives are all anchored on landmark agreements such as the UN SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The 2018 ADB Annual Meeting, themed “Linking People and Economies for Inclusive Development,” was held on May 3-6 2018 in Manila, its headquarters. It gathered more than 4,000 delegates and brought together experts of different disciplines who discussed framing global economic shifts, re-examined governance structures, explored governments and development institutions’ adapting new opportunities while addressing challenges presented by an increasingly digital future.

The ADB estimates Asia’s infrastructure needs could reach 22.6 trillion dollars through 2030, or 1.5 trillion annually. If climate change adaptation measures are adopted, the cost would rise to over 26 trillion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled 32.2 billion dollars, including 11.9 billion in co-financing.

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GGGI assesses inclusive green development Belt and Road opportunitieshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/gggi-assesses-inclusive-green-development-belt-road-opportunities/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gggi-assesses-inclusive-green-development-belt-road-opportunities http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/gggi-assesses-inclusive-green-development-belt-road-opportunities/#respond Fri, 04 May 2018 10:51:46 +0000 GGGI http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155617 The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) hosted a side event under the theme of “Green Growth and Regional Cooperation” on 4 May on the sidelines of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, Philippines. The GGGI side event served as a platform for discussing opportunities and challenges in mainstreaming green […]

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GGGI assesses inclusive green development Belt and Road opportunities

By GGGI
Seoul, May 4 2018 (GGGI)

The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) hosted a side event under the theme of “Green Growth and Regional Cooperation” on 4 May on the sidelines of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, Philippines.

The GGGI side event served as a platform for discussing opportunities and challenges in mainstreaming green growth, such as enabling policies to mobilize green investments, addressing poverty and ensuring sustainability while promoting economic cooperation among countries in the context of regional cooperation, for example, along the proposed Belt and Road route. The topic of green growth and regional cooperation is closely in line with the ADB Annual Meeting’s theme of Linking People and Economies for Inclusive Development.

“The meeting is a great opportunity for GGGI to share knowledge and lessons we have acquired through engagement with our member and partner countries over the years, our goal is to examine opportunities and explore ways to address the mainstreaming of green growth through the Belt and Road Initiative”
Frank Rijsberman, GGGI Director General

The Belt and Road Forum was launched in May 2016 in Beijing, China. It aims to invest USD150 billion in the next five years to support projects that will help address significant regional infrastructure gaps in agriculture, water management, electric power, communications, and transport of the countries along the BRI route.

“The meeting is a great opportunity for GGGI to share knowledge and lessons we have acquired through engagement with our member and partner countries over the years,” says GGGI Director General, Frank Rijsberman. “Our goal is to examine opportunities and explore ways to address the mainstreaming of green growth through the Belt and Road Initiative”.

During her presentation, Ms. Guo Dongmei, China ASEAN SCO Center for Environmental Cooperation said that China will launch a Coalition for Greening the Belt and Road Initiative. They will examine and explore ways to decarbonize $300 billion of Chinese investments in 70 developing countries.

The event covered policies in greening the Belt and Road Initiative in a presentation by Ms. Guo Dongmei, China Association of Southeast Asian Nations Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (ASEAN SCO) Centre for Environmental Cooperation. She also presented strategies to support the acceleration of green investment and technology deployment along the Belt and Road.

Mr. Winston Chow, GGGI Country Representative for China also elaborated on the importance of Greening the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and said that GGGI supports this commitment to align the objectives of the Initiative with the development goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The side event provided an opportunity for the participants to better understand how mainstreaming green growth can contribute to poverty alleviation, which is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The environmental impacts and social dimensions of the BRI, mobilizing private sector participation, and Belt and Road countries’ national demand on green investment, were examined in a panel discussion.

Around 200 participants, including finance development ministry representatives, policy makers, investors, development partners, scholars, media, academia and civil society participated in the GGGI side event.

The GGGI event officially opened with remarks by ADB Senior Advisor to the President, Mr. Ayumi Konishi.

According to the 2017 ADB report, Meeting Asia’s Infrastructure Needs, developing Asia will need to invest USD 1.7 trillion per year for the region to maintain its growth momentum, eradicate poverty, and respond to climate change.

 

GGGI assesses inclusive green development Belt and Road opportunities

 

About the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

Based in Seoul, GGGI is an intergovernmental organization that supports developing country governments transition to a model of economic growth that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.

GGGI delivers programs in 27 partner countries with technical support, capacity building, policy planning & implementation, and by helping to build a pipeline of bankable green investment projects.

More on GGGI’s events, projects and publications can be found on www.gggi.org. You can also follow GGGI on Twitter and join us on FacebookYouTube and LinkedIn.

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GGGI Side Event At the Asian Development Bank Annual Meeting: Green Growth and Regional Cooperationhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/gggi-side-event-asian-development-bank-annual-meeting-green-growth-regional-cooperation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gggi-side-event-asian-development-bank-annual-meeting-green-growth-regional-cooperation http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/gggi-side-event-asian-development-bank-annual-meeting-green-growth-regional-cooperation/#respond Wed, 02 May 2018 15:24:29 +0000 GGGI http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155583 What: The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) will hold a knowledge sharing side event during the 51st Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila that will look at opportunities and challenges in mainstreaming green growth. The side event will also look at enabling policies for regional cooperation for inclusive and sustainable growth, […]

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By GGGI
May 2 2018 (GGGI)

What: The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) will hold a knowledge sharing side event during the 51st Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila that will look at opportunities and challenges in mainstreaming green growth. The side event will also look at enabling policies for regional cooperation for inclusive and sustainable growth, green investment and eradicating poverty. China’s Belt and Road Initiative is an example of how regional infrastructure initiatives can be used to pursue the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Where:

ADB Lecture Theater 1

Asian Development Bank Headquarters

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City

Philippines

 

When: May 4, 2018 at 10:30-12:00

 

Who:

Dr. Frank Rijsberman, Director-General, GGGI

Mr. Ayumi Konishi, Senior Advisor to the President, Asian Development Bank

Ms. Guo Dongmei, China ASEAN SCO Center for Environmental Cooperation

Mr. Winston Chow, Country Representative for China, GGGI

Mr. Suki Atwal, Country Representative for the Philippines, GGGI

Mr. Pierre Amilhat, European Commission Director for Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf, and Pacific

Mr. Robert Guild, Chief Sector Officer, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, ADB

Other Speakers TBC

 

Officially launched in May 2016 at the first Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China aims to invest USD150 Billion in the next 5 years to support projects which will help address significant regional infrastructure gaps in agriculture, water management, electric power, communications, and transport of the countries along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) route. GGGI supports China’s commitment to align the objectives of the Initiative with the development goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 

Background

GGGI and ADB

Collaboration between GGGI and the Asian Development Bank  are aimed at unlocking financing for sustainable green growth projects. In Mongolia GGGI and ADB partnered to assist the country to meet its National Green Development Policy objectives.

What is crucial in these partnerships is that they champion green growth pathways by identifying areas of intervention in countries and how to replicate those at local, provincial, national and regional level.

 

Belt and Road Initiative

Regional cooperation and integration (RCI) deepens connections among the national economies. Trends in the Asia region have shown that RCI yields positive benefits for the countries involved.

The growth of intraregional supply chains and stronger financial links can assist less developed countries to accelerate their growth. This in turn helps them address structural problems such as high unemployment, inequality and to eradicate poverty faster.

The  Belt and Road Initiative is an opportunity to scale efforts at extending regional cooperation benefits to include Africa and Europe. It involves the participation of more than 65 countries, more than 60% of the world population is part of the initiative.

This broad cooperation platform is projected to mobilise about $150bn in investments over the next five years. The initiative brings together the objectives of two regional trade corridors, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

 

The Silk Road Economic Belt:

The Silk Road will link PRC with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central Asia and West Asia. Its three routes of the Belt include:

  1. China—Central Asia—Russia—Europe (the Baltic)
  2. China—Central Asia—West Asia—Persian, Gulf—Mediterranean Sea
  3. China—Southeast Asia—South Asia—Indian Ocean

The route is fashioned on the ancient Silk Road that allowed trade across Central Asia.

On January 18 2018 the first freight train from the People’s Republic of China arrived in London, it travelled about 7,500 miles through seven countries for 18 days. The route has the added benefit of being considerably cheaper than air travel and faster than shipping.

 

The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road

The main priorities of this route is port construction, transport and logistics and ecological protection. It stretches from the South Pacific Sea to Europe. The two routes of the Silk Road are the following:

  1. Coastal China—South China Sea—Indian Ocean—Europe
  2. Coastal China—South China Sea—South Pacific

 

Development finance institutions and green growth

The role of development finance institutions is important in following a trajectory of development and economic growth that does not sacrifice the environment. They have central role to play in assisting countries to develop sound legal and policy frameworks to mainstream green growth.

Development banks have the new obligation of ensuring that there are enough bankable development infrastructure projects to attract private sector resources. They also have to factor in environmental considerations into strategic planning and approaches to regional integration.

National development banks can use their unique operational advantages in their host regions. They can have a bigger involvement by including sustainable development imperatives to infrastructure project planning.

The unique position national development banks occupy allows them to take part in structuring successful regulatory and investment frameworks for Public-Private Partnerships. They are also well placed to increase the pool of available financing from both the public and private finance sectors.

 

Challenges in scaling up sustainable projects

Infrastructure projects can have proven benefits for environmentally sustainable growth but there are still obstacles to replicating them in other regions or national spheres. The major challenge to scaling-up the transition to increased use of renewable energy is a lack of consistency and policy certainty.

Other challenges relate to a lack of diversified funding resources. To complement public and international sources of climate finance a domestic financing sector needs to be nurtured by working closely with local financial institutions.

GGGI supports and facilitates the design and implementation of financial products that de-risk private investments into infrastructure and renewable energy projects.

 

Green Bonds

A new impetus needs to be put in growing the green bonds market. Green bonds are bonds with proceeds that are specifically earmarked for projects with environmental sustainability benefits.

Green bonds encourage responsible investment into projects that are aligned with the attainment of the SDGs. They broaden the pool of actors involved in climate action and poverty eradication.

The social benefits of increased responsible investments lie in three factors. First investors look at the environmental impact of investment decisions and how they will contribute towards sustainability. Secondly they look at social aspects like gender inequality and other social factors. The third aspect relates to good governance.

When countries develop financial instruments to mobilise finance for inclusive growth it is important that they have clear frameworks and green investment guidelines. These provide the necessary policy harmony for banks and institutional investors.

Green bond frameworks are governance regulations based on the four main aspects of Green Bond Principles. To qualify bonds to be green aspects the use of proceeds, project evaluation and selection, management of proceeds, reporting are looked at. Green bond volumes are estimated to reach $300bn of issuance by 2018.

 

Additional Information

For more information contact:

Erika Calayag
Sr. Assistant
Knowledge Development
+63 977 827 3267
erika.calayag@gggi.org

Darren Karjama
Head of Communications
+82 10 9530 9995
darren.karjama@gggi.org

 

About GGGI

Founded to support and promote the mainstreaming of green growth, GGGI programs and projects target economic growth that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. Headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea, GGGI has 28 Members with operations in 27 countries.

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Revving Up Green Growthhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/04/revving-green-growth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=revving-green-growth http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/04/revving-green-growth/#respond Fri, 27 Apr 2018 09:55:50 +0000 Tharanga Yakupitiyage http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155503 While sustainable development may still seem elusive to some, a new initiative wants to pave a path for nations working towards a greener future. Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, or P4G, is a new partnership initiative that aims to boost countries’ efforts in achieving the globally adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). […]

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African cities are prone to feeling the effects of climate change. Pictured here is the Democratic Republic of Congo capital, Kinshasa. Credit: Einberger/argum/EED/IPS

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 27 2018 (IPS)

While sustainable development may still seem elusive to some, a new initiative wants to pave a path for nations working towards a greener future.

Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, or P4G, is a new partnership initiative that aims to boost countries’ efforts in achieving the globally adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

By creating and accelerating public-private partnerships, P4G could provide market-driven solutions to real life challenges in developing nations.

“There is an increasing conviction and need that to solve some of the more challenging problems, people are wanting an inter-disciplinary forum where they can talk to financiers, companies, banks…they want a forum like that and they want a forum to be quick, practical, and action-oriented,” Global Green Growth Institute’s (GGGI) Assistant Director-General and Head of its Investment and Policy Solutions Division Mahua Acharya told IPS.

“P4G is really one of those coalitions that is responding to needs…where you can bring private companies, governments, and others together and try to get around a single problem,” she continued.

Established by the Government of Denmark, the initiative will bring together leaders in government, civil society, and business to work together in five key sectors in sustainable development: food, water, energy, healthy cities, and circular economy.

But why these sectors in particular?

“Because they present the biggest climate change challenges,” Acharya told IPS.

The world’s cities emit up to 70 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide—and the figure is likely to be even higher when consumption emissions are included, one of P4G’s organizational partners C40 Cities found.

As city populations are predicted to double by 2050, the amount of carbon emissions is only expected to increase.

In response, cities such as New York have already begun to step up and lead the way against climate change.

Despite the United States’ announced withdrawal from the landmark Paris climate accord, New York aims to cut its carbon emissions from buildings by 30 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050.

Buildings account for almost three quarters of the Northeastern American city’s contribution to climate change.

Like what P4G represents, New York’s government has partnered with leaders in the private and non-profit sectors in order to achieve its ambitious goal. With assistance from the Mayor’s Office, a number of partners from universities, hospitals, and commercial offices have already met their 30 percent goal.

Acharya also pointed to the role that innovative partnerships have played in food waste.

Around the world, entrepreneurs have launched apps to help reduce food waste among households, restaurants, and supermarkets.

In the United Kingdom, FoodCloud allows supermarkets and farms to work with charities in order to donate surplus food, while YourLocal in Denmark gives consumers a discount to food that would otherwise go to waste.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), food loss and waste account for 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Food waste is also a major source of other greenhouse gases such as methane, a pollutant that is at least 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

With apps like FoodCloud and YourLocal, stakeholders can work together to create a cleaner, greener society.

Though it will take time for P4G’s partnerships to have concrete results, the initiative acts as a foundation to get the conversation started.

“Can the public sector start to work with private companies towards a solution—short-term, quick, commercial, action-oriented solutions? Can private companies offer solutions that are not just observing but are creating solutions to issues affecting society? They need to come a little closer together and try to speak the same language,” Acharya told IPS.

Over 400 public-private partnerships from over 80 countries have applied to receive funding or support through P4G, proposing a range of solutions to drive sustainable development.

“It was really encouraging, I saw some really revolutionary ideas…I’m very inspired by these partnerships,” Acharya said.

Launched in 2017, P4G awards up to 4 million dollars annually to help between 10-15 partnerships and accelerate sustainable development solutions. Winners will be announced at the first P4G Summit in 19-20 October 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Can Sustainable Bioeconomy be a Driver of Green Growth?http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/04/can-sustainable-bioeconomy-be-a-driver-of-green-growth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=can-sustainable-bioeconomy-be-a-driver-of-green-growth http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/04/can-sustainable-bioeconomy-be-a-driver-of-green-growth/#respond Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:42:02 +0000 Frank Rijsberman http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155437 Dr. Frank Rijsberman is Director-General, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

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Can sustainable bioeconomy be a driver of Green Growth?

By Frank Rijsberman
Apr 24 2018 (IPS)

On April 19-20, I attended the second Global Bioeconomy Summit in Berlin. Bioeconomy is currently a hot topic for scientists and policymakers. Rapid advances in molecular biology combined with big data and artificial intelligence have resulted in big jumps in our understanding of living organisms as well as organic matter, the biomass produced by plants and animals, at the level of their DNA. That has gone hand in hand with technologies that allow scientists and industry to manipulate, easily, everything from enzymes to bacteria to plants and animals.

 

Bioeconomy: the 4th industrial revolution

Thus, industry can now make bio-based plastics from plant oils rather than fossil-based sources, for example. And those bio-based plastics can be made bio-degradable, even in oceans, or they can be made durable, to replace glass. In fact, pretty much anything made by the chemical industry could be made from bio-based sources, substituting fossil-based ones used primarily today.

Industry can also reproduce complex compounds found in nature, such as artemisinin, used to treat malaria. Or developed advanced biofuels that use grasses or algae for biofuels rather than sugarcane or corn. Or use bio-based sources for 3-D printing. So rapid are the changes in science and manufacturing, and so profound are its implications, that some refer to the new bio-economy, that uses bio-based sources for pretty much anything in our economy, as the 4th industrial revolution.

The 800 people in the Berlin Summit appeared to me to be roughly equally split between: (1) those wondering whether this bioeconomy disruption will be environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive – as we at GGGI define green growth; and (2) developers of these new technologies that have the power, as they believe, to change the world as we know it – much as the earlier industrial revolutions we experienced.

 

Our current agro-food system is the primary driver of planetary ill health

The traditional bioeconomy is not new – it is agriculture and forestry, or the agro-food system. Clearly, the current agro-food system is not sustainable. It produces roughly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, has led to degraded soils in a very large share of cultivated land, is responsible for some 70% of all water used by man and thus a key factor in water scarcity, overuses chemical fertilizers that causes massive pollution in rivers, lakes and coastal zones, and is responsible for the lion’s share of deforestation, loss of wetlands and biodiversity. In short, our current agro-food system is the primary driver of our planet’s ill health – and it produces unhealthy food that has produced 2 billion overweight and obese people causing massive health problems.

 

Can the new bioeconomy be sustainable?

The most important natural climate change solution is to prevent deforestation, reforest, and restore peatlands. A good example is Colombia. Forty percent of the country is part of the Amazon, some 46 million hectares (the size of Germany), of which 39 million is still forest.
Can the new bioeconomy help make the old bioeconomy sustainable? That is a big question without an obvious answer. At the summit there were certainly enough examples of eco-friendly products. Clothes made from bamboo or coffee grounds. Furniture from recycled anything. A fridge sized gadget to grow your own salads and herbs in your kitchen, fully automated. Bicycles made from bamboo.

There was also ample discussion on the downsides of the high-tech bioeconomy. Will the public accept and trust the bioeconomy – given the distrust of biotechnology, let alone GMOs? Will the benefits of the new innovations be fairly shared with the countries and people of origin of the biodiversity? Are the new bioeconomy products truly sustainable? Do we know enough about health impacts?

 

Bioeconomy, climate change and energy security

My own contribution to the Summit assessed whether the new bioeconomy has the potential to strengthen the Paris Climate Agreement and Energy Security. My conclusion is that the answer to this question is also far from obvious. To begin with, our current bioeconomy, as indicated above, is more part of the problem than the solution. But can this change? Are there bio-based, or natural, solutions to deal with climate change and can increase energy security?

 

Avoiding deforestation

The most important natural climate change solution is to prevent deforestation, reforest, and restore peatlands. A good example is Colombia. Forty percent of the country is part of the Amazon, some 46 million hectares (the size of Germany), of which 39 million is still forest.

This forest was in part conserved as a result of the 53-year existence of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who enforced limits on logging by civilians – in part to protect their cover from air raids by the government army. After the 2016 peace agreement the forest now is opened up – will it be deforested, or can there be new bio-businesses created that generate forest and agricultural products and sustainable livelihoods while conserving the ecosystem?

That is the subject of a major collaboration between the governments of Colombia and Norway, under the partnership called the Joint Declaration of Intent on cooperation on REDD+ and promoting sustainable development, supported by GGGI.

Earlier in April the Colombian and Norwegian governments agreed to extend the current program from 2020 to 2025, with an additional US$250 million contribution from Norway. A key component in the Colombian national green growth policy that GGGI is helping to develop, is a modern, sustainable bioeconomy with focus on activities ranging from biofuels with palm species to pharmacological compounds.

One exciting presentation in Berlin from Mauricio Lopes, the president of EMBRAPA in Brazil, promised carbon-neutral beef. Carbon neutral beef could be produced, in the Brazilian Amazon, through integrated systems that combine trees, brachiaria fodder grasses with a bio-stimulant, and cows.

Such integrated systems may also have a high potential for the Colombian Amazon, much in line with an innovative financial instrument being structured by GGGI, FINAGRO, and the Amazon Vision Program, dedicated to providing low-interest credit loans and additional incentives to local producers who are committed to sustainable cattle ranching practice.

In Indonesia, GGGI supports the government to develop sustainable business models to restore the peatlands, also with Norwegian funding. The goal is to prevent peatland burning which causes air pollution all over SE Asia, as well as major GHG emissions.

Our analyses show that, for example, restoration of the 40 thousand ha Utar-Serapat peatland dome in Central Kalimantan would generate 600 thousand tons of carbon credits. Even at a low $5/ton carbon, that could finance the peatland restoration in ten years.

 

Bioenergy

Can bioenergy strengthen the world’s energy security? No, that is unlikely. There just isn’t enough biomass available to do so sustainably, without competing with other uses, from food (for sugarcane or corn) to maintaining a healthy soil (for agri-waste).

At smaller scales, locally, using biomass waste for energy makes a lot of sense and is already commercially attractive. Paper mills, for example, used to leave a large share of the wood pulp as waste, and use fossil fuel to power their machines.

Turning that waste into energy can, it turns out, fully power the mill as well as supply excess energy to the grid and is commercially attractive. Similarly, sugar cane mills produce bagasse as a waste product which can be turned into energy for the mill, and excess energy for the grid.

In Vietnam, for example, 8 of the 41 sugar mills already have grid connected waste to energy plants. I visited one, in Soc Trang province, which was expanded from 6 to 12 MW in 2014. GGGI hosted a workshop to assess the total biomass waste to energy potential in Soc Trang province, which may be as much as 50MW under one optimistic scenario. The province already has one coal fired power plant, with a 1200MW capacity.

All the biomass of the province is not going to prevent the planned second coal fired power plant, of equal capacity, from being built. For Vietnam as a whole, the total potential of biomass energy, if all obstacles could be overcome, may be as high as 6000MW, or 5 coal-fired powerplants. Vietnam is planning to build another 24 coal fired power plants, however, and clearly biomass energy is not going to be an alternative source of renewable energy at that scale.

 

Traditional biomass energy

Of the estimated 19% of renewable energy as part of total final energy consumption used in the world in 2015, about half is unsustainable traditional biomass energy such as fuelwood. Worldwide an amazing 3 billion people still do not have access to clean energy for cooking, meaning that they prepare food on open woodfire. That leads to very poor indoor air quality which has a major health impact, particularly for women and children.

In Cambodia, 80% of Cambodian families in rural areas use wood fuel (wood and charcoal) for daily cooking. The industry sector also uses around 780,000 ton of firewood annually. In the garment industry, for example, firewood represented the main source of primary energy with up to 80% of the final energy consumed. GGGI is now looking at ways to green the Cambodian industry as part of its policy alignment for green growth project.

 

Can the bioeconomy be a driver of green growth?

Already, avoided deforestation, reforestation, peatland restoration are key priorities for the green growth strategies of GGGI member countries such as Colombia, Indonesia and Ethiopia. Modern, sustainable bioeconomy can be a key strategy to make this successful, as is underway in Colombia.

In addition, for many of GGGI’s Member and partner countries the traditional bioeconomy, agriculture and forestry, is still the backbone of the economy and responsible for 60-70% of employment, from Ethiopia to Senegal, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Laos and Myanmar.

For all these countries innovation that significantly increases the value addition of their agricultural products, sustainably, or uses waste products smartly, will be critical to create the decent green jobs. It will be important for these countries to spot the opportunities early – to leapfrog their development rather than risk getting left behind.

Such technology foresighting related to key areas of green growth-related innovation is an important goal for GGGI. If the modern bioeconomy truly develops into the 4th industrial revolution, then many least developed countries are in a good position to take advantage and transform their economies towards an environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive development path. To achieve green growth, that is.

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Excerpt:

Dr. Frank Rijsberman is Director-General, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

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Dreaming of A New Sustainable Economyhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/04/dreaming-new-sustainable-economy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dreaming-new-sustainable-economy http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/04/dreaming-new-sustainable-economy/#respond Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:59:47 +0000 Tharanga Yakupitiyage http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155384 Officials from around the world came together to create and support a vision for a new, sustainable economy: a bioeconomy. Almost 1000 bioeconomy experts, from former heads of state to civil society leaders, convened in Berlin for the second Global BIoeconomy Summit to discuss best practices and challenges. Already, over 50 countries have begun to […]

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Bioeconomy - Dreaming of A New Sustainable Economy

Unless leaders act promptly, climate change and environmental degradation will only worsen and cause greater global problems, scientists warn. Credit: Crustmania/ CC by 2.0

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 20 2018 (IPS)

Officials from around the world came together to create and support a vision for a new, sustainable economy: a bioeconomy.

Almost 1000 bioeconomy experts, from former heads of state to civil society leaders, convened in Berlin for the second Global BIoeconomy Summit to discuss best practices and challenges.

Already, over 50 countries have begun to pursue bioeconomy policies in their own ways.

But what exactly is bioeconomy?

Though there is no single definition for the relatively new term, bioeconomy refers to the use of renewable biological resources instead of fossil-based sources for sustainable industrial and energy production. It encompasses various economic activities from agriculture to the pharmaceutical sector.

“How will we feed a growing world population? How will we supply the world with energy and raw materials? How do we react to climate change? The bioeconomy can help us to master these challenges,” said German Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek in her opening address.

“We are facing a huge crisis on climate…people might not be as aware that agriculture and forestry— key parts of the bioeconomy—are in fact major drivers of planetary ill health,”
Frank Rijsberman, Director General, Global Green Growth Institute
“We must use renewable resources, biological knowledge and biotechnological processes to establish a biobased – and above all sustainable – economy,” she continued.

The Globa Bioeconomy Summit provides a forum to discuss such issues and to work towards protecting the ecosystem and developing an economy based on renewability and carbon-neutrality.

Among the speakers and participants at the conference is Global Green Growth Institute’s (GGGI) Director-General Frank Rijsberman.

“We are facing a huge crisis on climate…people might not be as aware that agriculture and forestry— key parts of the bioeconomy—are in fact major drivers of planetary ill health,” he told IPS.

“Our food production system is really not sustainable,” Rijsberman continued.

The world population is expected to grow to over 9 billion by 2050, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Feeding such a population means that food production will need to increase by approximately 70 percent. Production in developing countries alone would need to almost double.

However, agriculture, particularly the expansion of agriculture, significantly contributes to increased deforestation, water scarcity, soil depletion, and greenhouse gas emissions.

In South America, soybean farming has been a major driver of deforestation across the region including in the Amazon rainforest.

Soy is often used to feed livestock, and as global demand for meat and other soy products have grown, so has deforestation in order to expand soybean production.

According to Greenpeace, almost 70,000 square kilometers of the Amazon rainforest was destroyed between 2003-2006 in Brazil alone largely for soybean production. The amount of land lost is larger than the size of Ireland.

Though Brazil recently enacted laws to curb deforestation and disincentivize soybean farming in such areas, concerns still remain across the region.

Rijsberman pointed to Colombia as an example where the government and a rebel group signed a historic peace agreement after a 50-year long conflict.

“Now that there is a peace accord, which is obviously a good thing, the fear is that the part of the country that has not been accessible will suddenly be developed and that like in Brazil, trees will be cut and the cattle ranchers and soybean farmers will destroy the forest,” he told IPS.

Soon after the demobilization of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), deforestation in the country’s rainforests rose by 44 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Much of the land that was once controlled by FARC has been opened up and lost to illegal logging, mining, cattle ranching, and palm oil production.

GGGI has been working with the Colombian government to come up with alternative ways of developing and using their forests.

“We are trying to support the Colombian government…to get high-value products produced by the forests itself, to have sustainable livelihoods and green jobs…alternatives to cutting the forest down for agriculture,” Rijsberman said.

Other countries have also chipped in, including Norway which has donated $3.5 million over two years to the South American nation to curb deforestation through the adoption of sustainable farming methods and eco-tourism projects.

While bioeconomy can help countries become more green, not all bioeconomy is sustainable, Rijsberman said.

For instance, biofuels, which are made from food crops, have been seen as low-carbon substitutes for liquid fossil fuels to power transportation.

In the United States, 96 percent of ethanol was derived from corn in 2011. Brazil uses sugar cane in order to produce ethanol. Both countries produced 85 percent of the world’s ethanol in 2016.

However, research has shown that the demand for such biofuels leads to the destruction of forests, higher food prices, and increased greenhouse gas emissions.

In fact, accounting for all factors in production such as land use change, biofuels from palm oil and soybean cause carbon emissions comparable to that of oil from tar sands.

Though research is already underway on new biotechnologies such as deriving clean biofuels from algae, a lot more work is needed to get government policies right, Rijsberman said.

“We need to work together on this issue. We need to find ways to share experiences between countries. That is what this summit helps do—it helps bring people together that share progress in technologies and policies that have worked in different places,” he told IPS.

Karliczek echoed similar sentiments in her opening remarks during the Global Bioeconomy Summit, stating: “We must make use of regional strengths and unite them on the global level because the shift to a sustainable bioeconomy is a global task.”

This involves the inclusion of indigenous communities who are most impacted by harmful environmental policies and are often the frontline defenders of natural resources.

However, they are often marginalized and even killed for their work.

In 2017, 67 percent of activists killed were defending land, environmental and indigenous peoples’ rights in the face of extractive industries and agribusinesses.

Rijsberman also highlighted the need for investments in research and policies as well as technology transfer to countries such as Colombia in order to transform the world’s agriculture and food system into one that is sustainable.

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Can modern bio-economy strengthen the climate agreement and energy security?http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/04/can-modern-bio-economy-strengthen-climate-agreement-energy-security/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=can-modern-bio-economy-strengthen-climate-agreement-energy-security http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/04/can-modern-bio-economy-strengthen-climate-agreement-energy-security/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 18:29:27 +0000 GGGI http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155332 Dr. Frank Rijsberman, GGGI Director-General, will deliver a keynote presentation on Strengthening the Climate Agreement and Energy Security at the Global Bioeconomy Summit 2018 on April 20 in Berlin, Germany. During his presentation, Dr. Rijsberman will delve into the relationship between bioeconomy and climate change, and how agri-food systems are the primary driver of climate, […]

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Dr. Frank Rijsberman, GGGI Director-General, will deliver a keynote presentation on Strengthening the Climate Agreement and Energy Security at the Global Bioeconomy Summit 2018 on April 20 in Berlin, Germany.

Dr. Frank Rijsberman, GGGI Director-General.

By GGGI
SEOUL, Apr 18 2018 (GGGI)

Dr. Frank Rijsberman, GGGI Director-General, will deliver a keynote presentation on Strengthening the Climate Agreement and Energy Security at the Global Bioeconomy Summit 2018 on April 20 in Berlin, Germany.

During his presentation, Dr. Rijsberman will delve into the relationship between bioeconomy and climate change, and how agri-food systems are the primary driver of climate, water, soil and bio-geo-chemical cycles.

He will highlight some of the challenges and opportunities of bioeconomy related energy and climate, pointing to the fact that the world urgently needs to pay greater attention to increasing bioeconomy policy and research interest to address and tackle sustainability issues..

The 2018 Global Bioeconomy Summit is expected to come up with a set of recommendations for national governments, regional bodies and international organizations to focus their national policies and technical, scientific and financial bioeconomy related cooperation activities.

Can modern bio-economy strengthen the climate agreement and energy security? The findings suggest that bioeconomy, climate change and energy security are interlinked and there have been many proposed solutions; however, progress is far from sufficient to limit CC to 2 degrees, let alone 1.5.

Under the theme Innovation, Growth, and Sustainable Development, the Summit will explore how bioeconomy can contribute to mitigating the impacts of climate change and transition to a low carbon economy.

While still in the early stages of development, bioeconomy is considered to have great potential to contribute to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including food security and nutrition, climate change, ecosystems and biodiversity, and affordable and clean energy.

Scientific advances in the areas of food security and nutrition include microalgae as a sustainable biomass food source rich in in protein and valuable fats. In energy, the generation of biogas from city waste is gaining ground.

GGGI is a member of the Global Bioeconomy Summit International Advisory Committee. GGGI supports its Member countries to make a transition to environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive pathways.

Renewable energy is a priority for developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, for sustainable development, energy security and rural electrification. According to recent GGGI study findings, investment in renewables to the tune of USD258 billion will be needed for 27 of its 36 member and partner countries to significantly reduce emissions and boost renewable target achievement by 2013. But, the Paris Agreement does not address the financial and other needs for progress in the area.

To strengthen the climate agreement and energy security, GGGI is supporting governments to deliver on, and boost their commitments to emissions reductions in line with their nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

Some of GGGI’s achievements in 2017 included helping countries to mobilize USD 524 million in green and climate finance to support developing countries achieve their green growth plans; supporting governments to develop green growth plans and policies and forging a strong strategic partnership with the Green Climate Fund.

While exciting bioeconomy advances are being made daily, this requires financing for innovation and developing countries may be left behind without the necessary resources for research and development.

GGGI is working closely with private sector and government through private public partnerships to boost capacity for innovation, development and implementation of bankable projects through policy development and financing arrangements.

The 2018 Global Bioeconomy Summit is expected to come up with a set of recommendations for national governments, regional bodies and international organizations to focus their national policies and technical, scientific and financial bioeconomy related cooperation activities.

 

About the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

Based in Seoul, GGGI is an intergovernmental organization that supports developing country governments transition to a model of economic growth that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.

GGGI delivers programs in 27 partner countries with technical support, capacity building, policy planning & implementation, and by helping to build a pipeline of bankable green investment projects.

More on GGGI’s events, projects and publications can be found on www.gggi.org. You can also follow GGGI on Twitter and join us on Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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Former UN Chief Takes the Helm of Global Green Growth Institutehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/former-un-chief-takes-helm-global-green-growth-institute/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=former-un-chief-takes-helm-global-green-growth-institute http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/former-un-chief-takes-helm-global-green-growth-institute/#respond Tue, 27 Mar 2018 16:24:03 +0000 Ahn Mi Young http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155049 In the face of climate change and growing energy demand in developing countries, Ban Ki-moon, the new president and chair of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), unveiled his vision for a more sustainable path by helping countries in their transition to greener economies and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “We at GGGI need […]

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Ban Ki-moon, the new president and chair of GGGI, with Dr. Frank Rijsberman, the group’s director general. Credit: GGGI

Ban Ki-moon, the new president and chair of GGGI, with Dr. Frank Rijsberman, the group’s director general. Credit: GGGI

By Ahn Mi Young
SEOUL, Mar 27 2018 (IPS)

In the face of climate change and growing energy demand in developing countries, Ban Ki-moon, the new president and chair of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), unveiled his vision for a more sustainable path by helping countries in their transition to greener economies and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We at GGGI need a much greater capacity to help member states in their transition to sustainable development and also to adapt to climate change,” said Ban Ki-moon, who previously served as the eighth secretary-general of the United Nations, in his first press conference as the President of the Assembly and Chair of the Council of GGGI on March 27 in Seoul."Countries must shift their economies towards environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive pathways." --Ban Ki-moon

Headquartered in the heart of Seoul, GGGI has 28 member states and employs staff from more than 40 countries, with some 26 projects currently in operation. These include green cities, water and sanitation, sustainable landscapes, sustainable energy and cross-cutting strategies for financing mechanisms.

As part of GGGIs growth path, Ban hopes to add new members like Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and France.

“We need more members, particularly from those countries that would be in a position to render the financial and technological support for the developing countries which otherwise would not have much capacity to mitigate or adapt to the changing climate situation. That’s why 28 countries are not a reasonable size as an international organization. We need more member states, particularly from those OECD member states,” said Ban.

“(For that), I’ll continue to use my capacity as chair of GGGI and also I will try to use my network as a former secretary-general of the United Nations,” he added. “To implement the Paris Agreement, countries must shift their economies towards environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive pathways – which we call green growth.”

Environmentalists have warned that most developed countries are falling short of their pledges to curb the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The future of global cooperation on the issue was clouded after US President Donald Trump’s decision last June to withdraw the US from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

“This (withdrawal by Trump) is politically suicidal and economically irresponsible as the leader of the most powerful and the most responsible country. Moreover, this is scientifically wrong,” Ban, who has been a vocal critic of the move, said in Seoul this week.

“I sincerely hope President Trump will change and understand the gravity, seriousness and urgency of this situation, in which we must take action now. Otherwise, we’ll have to regret [the consequences] for succeeding generations, humanity and this earth.”

The new GGGI chair also discussed his transition from the secretary general of a global body with 193 member countries to his leadership of GGGI, which is mandated to recommend development solutions for developing countries.

“First, GGGI is committed to achieving the same vision that I’ve pursued for the past decade. Second, GGGI is the right place to add my own experiences and passions with which I had led the United Nations.

“To achieve GGGI’s goals, I will make the most of my own experiences. If the United Nations is dealing with internationally divisive political issues, GGGI is addressing the issue on which the whole humanity is united with their full awareness of its compelling mission.”

The appointment of Ban Ki-moon as the new Assembly President and GGGI Council Chair became effective on February 20 following the unanimous agreement by members of the GGGI Assembly, the Institute’s governing body.

 

 

Dr. Frank Rijsberman, Director-General of GGGI, spoke about GGGI’s key achievements in 2017.

He said that “2017 was an excellent year for GGGI, in which we helped mobilize 524 million dollars in green and climate finance to support developing countries achieve their green growth plans.”

He said this money would be used by member countries to, for example, increase climate resilience in agriculture in Ethiopia, install solar energy plus battery storage in eight islands in Indonesia, build a green housing project in Rwanda, and prevent deforestation in Colombia.

GGGI also continued to support governments to develop green growth plans and policies, for example, a Green Growth Plan for Sonora State in Mexico, new energy efficiency laws in Mongolia, and an NDC Implementation Plan for Fiji.

Rijsberman added that GGGI has forged a strong strategic partnership with the Green Climate Fund. As of March 2018, 15 of GGGI’s member and partner countries have elected GGGI to be their delivery partner for their GCF Readiness projects. The GCF Board recently approved two direct access grants to GGGI Member countries supported by GGGI, namely a 50-million-dollar grant for Ethiopia and a 35-million-dollar project for Rwanda.

“With Mr. Ban’s leadership, I am confident that GGGI will be able to quickly expand its partnerships and memberships and mobilize greater results – championing green growth and climate resilience,” added Dr. Rijsberman.

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GGGI supports Rwanda in solving pressure to the provision of waterhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/gggi-supports-rwanda-in-solving-pressure-to-the-provision-of-water/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gggi-supports-rwanda-in-solving-pressure-to-the-provision-of-water http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/gggi-supports-rwanda-in-solving-pressure-to-the-provision-of-water/#respond Thu, 22 Mar 2018 14:17:48 +0000 Ilija Gubic and Dheeraj Arrabothu http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=154972 Ilija Gubic is Senior Officer – Green Infrastructure (Rwanda Program) Africa & The Middle East and Dheeraj Arrabothu is Green Building Officer, Rwanda Program

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Kimisagara Sector, CITY OF Kigali, Rwanda

By Ilija Gubic and Dheeraj Arrabothu
KIGALI, Rwanda, Mar 22 2018 (GGGI)

Rwanda, although predominantly rural, has been urbanizing rapidly, from a half-million urban residents in 1995 to more than three and a half million today.

Two years ago the Government of Rwanda, in partnership with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), launched the National Roadmap for Green Secondary Cities Development. This Roadmap provides guidance to Rwanda’s six Secondary Cities on how to grow sustainably, contributing to Rwanda’s national urbanization strategy. Securing access to basic services is detailed in six pillars of inclusive and harmonious development of Secondary Cities.

Providing better access for city dwellers to clean water, sanitation, health care, transportation, education and other basic needs is crucial to securing the advantage that urbanization brings to population: with those urban services, Rwanda’s Secondary Cities are becoming hubs for economic development.

Providing better access for city dwellers to clean water, sanitation, health care, transportation, education and other basic needs is crucial to securing the advantage that urbanization brings to population: with those urban services, Rwanda’s Secondary Cities are becoming hubs for economic development.
The National Roadmap suggests that water production, distribution and sanitation services are a necessity for urban growth, and has guided practitioners on how to preserve and protect water sources, increase access to water and improve the sustainability of water treatment and distribution.

The National Roadmap also provides guidance to optimize water consumption behaviors as urbanization of secondary cities is adding pressure to the provision of water.

In 2017, the GGGI Rwanda team in cooperation with the Ministry of Infrastructure conducted trainings for 24 secondary cities district technicians and more than 30 sector- level technicians in Muhanga and Nyagatare on implementing the National Roadmap. The focus of the trainings was on water production, distribution, sanitation and efferent water usage practices in buildings.

Recently, the Government of Rwanda has requested districts to prepare its development strategies that would guide development until 2024. GGGI seconded its Technical Assistants to facilitate the consultation process in 6 districts, namely, Huye, Muhanga, Musanze, Nyagatare, Rubavu and Rusizi. District Development Strategies (DDS) highly prioritized water and sanitation projects and programs.

For example, in the Nyagatare DDS that is under development, Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) is identified as a cross-cutting sector to mainstream sustainable development in the district. Specific interventions include strengthening shorelines of rivers increasing households with rainwater collection systems to name a few.

In terms of increasing access to safe drinking water, Nyagatare DDS aims to have 100 percent of urban and rural households to be connected to safe drinking water by the end of the plan period. In secondary cities in Rwanda, overall urban access rates suggest that cities are progressing, reaching targets of the Sustainable Development Goal 6 to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Moreover, following the National Roadmap, GGGI is supporting the Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA), the national agency of the Government of Rwanda to develop Green Building Minimum Compliance Guidelines. The Guidelines shall be mandated for all new buildings of 3 and 4 category.[1]

 

Centre of the City of Rubavu, Rwanda

 

The guidelines focus on improving water efficiency in large-scale buildings by encouraging projects to install water efficient plumbing fixtures (devices that help in reducing water consumption in restrooms), rainwater harvesting systems, wastewater treatment in buildings, reuse of treated wastewater for flushing, landscape irrigation and other secondary applications.

Most importantly, the guidelines advise installation of water sub-metering for various water-use applications (such as flushing, landscape irrigation or wastewater treatment). Those applications measure water consumption so that it can be efficiently managed. Similar water efficiency best practices from India have shown water savings potential of 30-40% in buildings compared to conventional buildings.

The guidelines are aimed to help building owners and developers to bring ‘water wise’ planning at the forefront of building construction to promote resource efficiency in the sector and sensibly use water.

In 2016, GGGI was requested by the Government of Rwanda to provide technical assistance for green building certification of the upcoming International Airport in Bugesera district of Rwanda. Phase 1 work involved reduction of energy and water consumption of the proposed airport design through design optimization and high-value engineering.

Notable design modifications/suggestions include installation of rainwater harvesting tank for non-potable water requirements, provision of low-flow water fittings, promotion of native & drought tolerant plant species and rain sensor detection system to reduce water consumption for landscape irrigation, waste water treatment system, monitoring of water consumption through Building Management System (BMS) – a tool to monitor and manage resources efficiently and provision of a water leakage detection system to minimize distribution losses.

The study estimated that the New Bugesera International Airport (NBIA) can achieve water savings of 71% compared to the baseline scenario. GGGI is working with the NBIA team to ensure that the airport achieves a high-level of sustainable performance in design, construction and operation.

Last year, GGGI held consultations with Rwanda’s Water & Sanitation public utility (WASAC) planning team members to help them strengthen their technical capacity. This support planned for 2018 would ensure that the sanitation sector is developed in a sustainable way. GGGI would provide strategic advice on new projects, provide assistance at the operational level, and strengthen capacity of WASAC’s staff.

In addition to all ongoing work in partnership with the Government of Rwanda on water production, distribution and sanitation, for the GGGI Rwanda team looks forward to taking on new challenging projects in 2018.

So far, this year, GGGI has provided technical assistance in preparing application documents for the Government of Rwanda to benefit from two grants from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). One grant of USD 32 million will help improve the climate resilience of rural communities and focusing on restoration and enhancement of the watersheds.

The second grant of USD 600,000 will enhance climate resilience readiness of Secondary Cities: it will serve to elaborate a green secondary city development plan that will help decrease the demand for water in the short, medium, and long-term.

Proving to be a trusted partner for the Government of Rwanda and stakeholders in the water sector, GGGI will continue to support Rwanda in solving pressure to the provision of water that urbanization brings as a challenge, achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.

[1] As per Rwanda building permitting procedures, Category 3 buildings are defined as buildings with more than two floors (Ground floor + 1) and with a capacity to host more than 100 people. Similarly, category 4 buildings are defined as buildings with a capacity to host more than 500 people.

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Excerpt:

Ilija Gubic is Senior Officer – Green Infrastructure (Rwanda Program) Africa & The Middle East and Dheeraj Arrabothu is Green Building Officer, Rwanda Program

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A Breath of Fresh Air in Indiahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/breath-fresh-air-india/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=breath-fresh-air-india http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/breath-fresh-air-india/#respond Tue, 20 Mar 2018 00:44:02 +0000 Ranjit Devraj http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=154898 With India’s citizens clamouring for breathable air and efficient energy options, the country’s planners are more receptive than ever to explore sustainable development options, says Frank Rijsberman, Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). Rijsberman, who was in India to attend the first International Solar Alliance Summit on March 11, told IPS in an […]

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Vehicle ownership in India is projected to hit 400 million by 2040 from the 170 million recorded in 2015, which could prompt a five-fold increase in poisonous gases emitted by cars and trucks. Credit: Neeta Lal/IPS

Vehicle ownership in India is projected to hit 400 million by 2040 from the 170 million recorded in 2015, which could prompt a five-fold increase in poisonous gases emitted by cars and trucks. Credit: Neeta Lal/IPS

By Ranjit Devraj
NEW DELHI, Mar 20 2018 (IPS)

With India’s citizens clamouring for breathable air and efficient energy options, the country’s planners are more receptive than ever to explore sustainable development options, says Frank Rijsberman, Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Rijsberman, who was in India to attend the first International Solar Alliance Summit on March 11, told IPS in an interview that the GGGI was prepared to support the Indian government to explore energy alternatives and improve the country’s growth model.

India is not yet a member country of the GGGI but is recognised as a partner, says Rijsberman. He points to the fact that GGGI has had small but successful projects running in India such as a collaboration to get India’s first electric buses running in Bangalore city.

“The electric buses are an example of how local level innovation can yield positive results in energy efficiency,” said Rijsberman. “The success of this project is in line with India’s Intended  Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) commitments to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.

GGGI’s recognition of the potential for expanding its activity in India can be seen in the fact that  the organization has been recruiting top managerial talent for its India country office.

Frank Rijsberman. Credit: GGGI

“For us, it is a bit of restart in India trying to position GGGI well at a time when the Indian government clearly wants to have more leadership internationally and project its own cleantech or green growth initiatives,” Rijsberman said.

So far, the successes have not been on the scale of what India is capable of, says Rijsberman. “In other countries we sit with ministries — the ministry of planning and investment in Vietnam and Laos for instance — and help with national green growth strategy or in the next five-year plan.

“Last year, said Rijsberman, “we helped member countries get 500 million dollars’ worth of green and climate finance – we’ve had no such breakthrough in India.”

Still, Rijsberman finds encouraging the “growing concern over deteriorating air quality and other things that is convincing citizens and politicians that the quality of growth really matters — we are looking at what GGGI can do to help the Indian government shift to a model of growth that is cleaner and more sustainable.”

India has experience in increasing the share of renewable energy in its overall energy mix and GGGI is keen to work with the government, particularly the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the International Solar Alliance (ISA), to share India’s expertise, and knowhow with other developing countries facing similar developmental challenges

“India has wonderful experiences that can be shared with countries like Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and in other cases we could help share experiences from other countries that could support India’s green growth initiatives,” Rijsberman said.  

It has not all been smooth sailing though. Last year, Rijsberman said, GGGI had worked with the MNRE to find a combination of financing from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency and other sources to improve India’s small and medium industries. “In the end we could not get the seal of approval from the environment ministry — so it has got a bit stuck.”

An important international finance mechanism, the GCF is  mandated to support developing countries to access international climate finance by developing projects to achieve renewable energy targets.

India country representative for GGGI, Shantanu Gotmare, said the project has not actually been shelved and is still in process. “We haven’t given it up yet,” said Gotmare, a career bureaucrat who has taken a break from government work to lead the GGGI in India.

Gotmare explained that much of GGGI’s work, so far, has been with provincial governments like those of Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab states. “We have developed comprehensive green growth strategies and supported these state governments in adopting integrated analytical approaches to assess green growth challenges and prioritise opportunities in energy, water, agriculture and forestry.

“We supported these three state governments in implementing specific green growth opportunities by formulating detailed project proposals, policy implementation roadmaps, and capacity building initiatives,” Gotmare said.

The plan for the immediate future is to scale up GGGI’s programmatic activities to launch green growth interventions at the national level.

“Our aim is to support the government to deliver on its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ambition by helping to develop policy frameworks, mobilising domestic and international climate finance and helping to introduce clean technologies and finally to create and share green growth knowledge and best practices,” Gotmare said.

There is an immediate opportunity to finance off-grid energy (OGE) access to millions of households in India that have limited or no access to electricity. GGGI is designing an innovative finance mechanism to support the government’s goal of ‘electricity for all’.

“This is a plan that is expected to simultaneously achieve social, economic and environmental  benefits,” Gotmare said.

According to Gotmare, as India’s citizens demand more power, it is a challenge for the government to make sure that there are energy options that are cleaner than the traditional coal or diesel-fired power plants. “This is precisely where GGGI comes in,” he said.

GGGI’s experience, says Rijsberman, allows it to work closely with the government to rapidly ramp up India’s electrification plans in a clean and sustainable way and use solar solutions to extend electrification services to India’s most marginalised households.

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GGGI to Assist Thailand to Close Financial Gaps for Green Growthhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/gggi-assist-thailand-close-financial-gaps-green-growth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gggi-assist-thailand-close-financial-gaps-green-growth http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/gggi-assist-thailand-close-financial-gaps-green-growth/#respond Tue, 13 Mar 2018 12:18:29 +0000 GGGI http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=154792 Thailand, a member of GGGI, has set an ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target of 20-25% from the business-as-usual level by 2030 under the Paris Agreement. However, the country is faced with a bold challenge in securing resources for green growth and low-carbon investment. The Green Climate Fund (GCF), a fund established within the framework […]

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With a strong partnership between the Thai Government and GGGI, the Advancing Thailand’s Access to GCF project has been launched with the funding support from GCF Readiness.

By GGGI
BANGKOK, Thailand, Mar 13 2018 (GGGI)

Thailand, a member of GGGI, has set an ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target of 20-25% from the business-as-usual level by 2030 under the Paris Agreement. However, the country is faced with a bold challenge in securing resources for green growth and low-carbon investment.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF), a fund established within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to respond to climate change, is viewed as a key potential source for green growth development.

With a strong partnership between the Thai Government and GGGI, the Advancing Thailand’s Access to GCF project has been launched with the funding support from GCF Readiness.

To access the Fund, Thailand has successfully developed its Country Program, criteria for no objection procedure, and other necessary elements. With these necessities in place, the country is in a better position to pursue the GCF’s funding opportunities. Nonetheless, there are a few key challenges preventing the country to effectively access the GCF’s resources. These are limited technical capacity of the government in assessing potential GCF projects, unidentified priority sectors for project pipeline development; and the needs for private sector engagement.

With a strong partnership between the Thai Government and GGGI, the Advancing Thailand’s Access to GCF project has been launched with the funding support from GCF Readiness. Ultimately, the project aims to assist Thailand to overcome financial gaps in green growth development by accelerating the country to effectively access the GCF’s resources. The project will strengthen the project evaluation process; develop an investment plan for the industrial sector; and importantly engage with the private sector in the investment planning process.

The financial gap has always been a big challenge for Thailand in pursuing our green growth and low carbon development. We are very pleased that we will be working very closely with GGGI to address this key challenge. With this project, we hope that the country, especially the industrial sector – which is one of the major GHG reduction contributors, will be ready to access the GCF’s resources and on track to achieve our GHG reduction targets” said Dr. Phirun Saiyasitpanich, Director of Climate Change Management and Coordination Division, Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

This partnership really demonstrates that GGGI is a trusted partner for the government. We are delighted to work with Thailand to close the financial gap for green growth and low carbon development. It also marks an important milestone between GGGI and the GCF in working with developing countries to reduce their GHG” said Khan Ram-Indra, Country Representative for Thailand, GGGI.

 

With a strong partnership between the Thai Government and GGGI, the Advancing Thailand’s Access to GCF project has been launched with the funding support from GCF Readiness.

 

About the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

Based in Seoul, GGGI is an intergovernmental organization that supports developing country governments transition to a model of economic growth that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. GGGI delivers programs in 26 partner countries with technical support, capacity building, policy planning & implementation, and by helping to build a pipeline of bankable green investment projects.

To learn more about GGGI, see http://www.gggi.org and visit us on Facebook and Twitter

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Greening India for a Sustainable Tomorrowhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/greening-india-sustainable-tomorrow/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=greening-india-sustainable-tomorrow http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/greening-india-sustainable-tomorrow/#respond Mon, 12 Mar 2018 08:56:59 +0000 Frank Rijsberman http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=154751 Dr. Frank Rijsberman is Director-General, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

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Sunlight pours over a break in canal-top solar panels recently installed over the Vadodara branch of the Sardar Sarovar canal project in Gujarat. Credit: Malini Shankar/IPS

By Frank Rijsberman
SEOUL, Mar 12 2018 (IPS)

Actions taken today in the pursuit of environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive growth path in India stand to benefit more than 17 percent of the world’s population. A sustainable future for India carries an impact for the subcontinent and the entire world.

At GGGI – the Global Green Growth Institute – our attention is captured by the impressive economic performance of India and the progress of its more than 1.32 billion people toward improved household incomes and welfare. At a consistent annual GDP growth rate of around 7 percent, environmental sustainability and social inclusivity of growth are our highest priority concerns.

However, given India’s tremendous growth potential, it is important to incorporate green solutions for sustaining the pace of growth. Green low carbon solutions are of paramount importance in extending India’s service delivery of clean water, sanitation and energy for all. This goes hand in hand to ensure resilience of India’s ecology, its capacity to adapt to climate change impact, and enabling marginal segments of the population to participate in the mainstream economy and the emerging opportunities.

Frank Rijsberman.

Policy choices are important for achieving the goal of resilient ecosystems. Robust and growing economies have rapidly increasing energy demands. As the third largest energy consumer in the world, India is making substantial interventions in improving energy access through schemes such as Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojna for rural electrification and SAUBHAGYA for intensive household electrification. However, as energy consumption grows in India and access of about 50 million additional households become a reality, India’s decisions on ways of powering its economy will have far-reaching consequences on its sustainability.

Use of modern technology to reduce emissions is a game changer in the pursuit of an inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth path. The collaboration between GGGI, Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation and other stakeholders to introduce the first electric buses to India is an example of how local level innovation can yield positive results in energy efficiency. The success of this project is in line with the country’s Intended  Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) commitments to reduce its carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.

Successfully sustained green growth projects, such as Bengaluru electric bus project, have at least two important impacts:They demonstrate success case and the value of national government championing priority sustainability issues; and more importantly, they highlight the longer-term benefits and the more resilient rates of return of green projects that can attract more investment for funding their scaling up.

GGGI understands the importance of facilitating finance for programs to harness benefits of green technology solutions in electrification of the country. We are supporting design and financial structuring of a debt fund for the off-grid energy sector. These sources can help increase the capacity of India’s electricity network. We will continue to develop innovative financing schemes to draw more actors into these effort, especially small and medium enterprises that ordinarily see the overwhelming risks to get involved.

Development institutions and governments must collaborate to achieve their shared aims. India has taken a commendable step in this direction through the International Solar Alliance. As an international organization devoted to collaboration and partnerships, at GGGI, we stand with the Indian Government. GGGI’s experience places an accent on the compounding benefits from working together to successfully and rapidly ramp up India’s electrification network and particularly to increase the presence of solar solutions in extending electrification services country-wide, including to the most marginal households.

At GGGI, we envision a healthy ecosystem of investors, lenders, and development institutions sharing the financial burden. We aim to increase the number of investors and funding committed to increasing low-carbon and climate-resilient investments. The capital itself exits. The New Climate Economy report says the Investor Platform for Climate Actions has attracted investors with a combined $125 trillion assets. This can help governments across the world not to rely solely on budgetary resources.

The task today is to ensure that countries take bold steps to commit to reducing emissions to accomplish their carbon emission reduction goals. We encourage ambitious targets and offer the necessary support for implementation. With India’s commitment tosustainability, technology transfer and capacity building are essential ingredients to its green ambitionsand the International Solar Alliance presents an important opportunity to share knowledge among the partnership.

GGGI will work closely with countries in the ISA.We will leverage our lessons from the renewable energy sector in India and elsewhere and provide a platform for learningamong countries in the region and the world. With these efforts, and support from the governments to incorporate low carbon technology and green policy choices to enable the release of the benefits of cleaner air and extended sustainable services access we envision a sustainable greener planet.

The International Solar Alliance sets our expectations high for a sustainable future for India, the continent and the world as our resolve in sustainable growth momentum accelerates through this global partnership.

 

The post Greening India for a Sustainable Tomorrow appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Excerpt:

Dr. Frank Rijsberman is Director-General, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

The post Greening India for a Sustainable Tomorrow appeared first on Inter Press Service.

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