The Colorado river basin has recently been wracked by an extended drought which brought to the fore major concerns regarding hydroelectricity production. Up on the Colorado sits the iconic Hoover Dam
, which transforms water into enough electricity to power 1.3 million people in Nevada, Arizona and California.
Africa is caught in the crosshairs of climate change. Despite contributing just 3-5% of global carbon dioxide emissions, the continent will endure climate change’s destructive impact, including more severe storms, rising temperatures and erratic rainfall in the years ahead that threaten the well-being of hundreds of millions of people.
An estimated 2.4 billion
people currently lack access to clean cooking fuels, with the majority relying on biomass (firewood, charcoal, dung) to meet household cooking needs. This is only a slight decrease from 2017, when 2.5 billion
people lacked access to clean cooking fuels.
In the climate change discourse, “mitigation
” (namely, reducing greenhouse gas emissions) often dominates. This is particularly true when the discussion turns to the mobilization of the massive amounts of private capital
needed to achieve our climate objections. But “adaptation
” — namely, action to respond to the impacts of climate change that are already happening, as well as prepare for future impacts
— also faces large funding needs.
This year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 28, will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates
, which, together with its Gulf neighbors, enjoys abundant solar, natural gas
and financial resources. At the same time, many poorer countries are struggling to generate the additional affordable electricity they need to power their development — especially as wealthier nations halted their overseas financing for high-emitting coal power plants
BP, the oil company that previously brought us “Beyond Petroleum” and more recently robust corporate climate goals, has announced a return in emphasis to its traditional business of producing oil. Drawn by the inescapable appeal of oil’s latest high profits, has BP rebranded itself as “Back to Petroleum?”
President Biden and leaders of 49 invited African countries and the African Union
met in Washington last month for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
— a meeting that all parties hope will launch a strengthened partnership to deliver benefits for the peoples of both the U.S. and Africa
after report highlights that we can only achieve the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions required by the climate goals of the Paris Agreement
if much of the existing coal power generation capacity is retired early. To this end, one concept that deserves greater consideration is conducting an auction for early retirement of coal power plants worldwide: a global coal retirement auction. This article sets out the broad outlines of how this global auction might operate.
With COP 27 approaching, pressure is mounting on wealthy countries to increase their support to poorer ones in the face of climate change. The recent floods in Pakistan have amplified this issue
. China, as the world’s second largest economy, will similarly face increasing pressure to help other developing countries on climate.
One third of Pakistan is now under water
. The scope of the destruction is difficult to fathom, not just the enormity of the devastation its people are facing today, but also the damage to its infrastructure, its buildings, and its economy that will weigh heavily on the country for months and even years to come.
U.S. President Biden
just hosted The Summit for Democracy
to demonstrate the advantages of democracy
in the global competition with authoritarian regimes
. The U.S. can succeed in this competition by demonstrating to the people of developing countries (i.e., the vast majority of the world’s population
) how coupling democracy and development is the best course to improve their lives.
Last month, at the COP 26 climate conference in Glasgow, a consortium of philanthropies, led by The Rockefeller Foundation
, announced a massive program to fund renewable electricity projects
for impoverished people in developing countries.
President Xi announced last month
that China is stopping its financing for new coal-fired power plants overseas. With this announcement from Beijing, the governments of the world’s largest economies have now achieved a consensus to halt their overseas funding of coal plants in developing countries, thereby advancing global efforts to reduce future carbon dioxide (CO2
Visions of Grand Inga
, a proposed massive hydropower plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) powering much of Africa, have excited energy experts, investors, and governments for decades. The announcements this week by the Australian company
, Fortescue Metals Group
, and its chairman
, billionaire Andrew Forrest
, of their plans to develop Inga for green hydrogen
exports brings this vision a little closer to reality.
As the world looks to address issues of gender equity, development and climate change, the importance of increasing the participation of women in the energy sector is gaining attention. To date, this topic has generally been framed around the underrepresentation of women in the energy workforce.
Energy efficiency (EE) is often marketed as a tool to save energy and money. The oft-repeated mantra is doing “more with less”, namely producing more goods with less energy. But, as set out in a recent World Bank report
(which I co-authored), EE can do something that is often much more important for developing countries: it can produce the additional goods and services needed to raise standards of living.
President Xi Jinping announced on Tuesday China’s aim to become carbon neutral before 2060
. Achieving this goal will require the support and engagement of China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs), as they currently generate more than half of the country’s energy sector emissions
. SOEs are major drivers of greenhouse gas emissions globally, particularly in emerging economies
Later this month, government officials and climate stakeholders will once again converge on New York City (this time virtually) for Climate Week and the United Nations meetings. And while there will be much discussion about the important role that actors such as private businesses, civil society and cities will need to play in the climate change effort, there will once again be relatively little discussion about one key cohort: government-owned companies.
While COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across Latin America, its governments are developing policies which they hope will provide for a rapid economic recovery when the pandemic wanes.