Stories written by Philippe Benoit

Pakistan Flooding Shows ‘Adapting’ to Climate Change Can Be a Dangerous Illusion

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.

Biden Should Add Development to the Next Summit for Democracy – and Convene a Development Summit

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.

Clean Energy Alone Won’t Uplift Impoverished Nations — We Must Invest in People

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.

Less Overseas Coal Is Good, But Developing Countries Still Need More Electricity

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) emissions.

To Fund Grand Inga Using Green Hydrogen, Equity and Ethics Matter

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. 

The Invisible Women in Energy: Biomass Producers Who Deserve More Recognition

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 for Developing Countries: Pivoting from Fewer Inputs to More Outputs

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. 

Making State-Owned Enterprises Work for Climate in China and Beyond

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

State-Owned Companies Are Key to Climate Success in Developing Countries, but Are Often Overlooked in the International Dialogue

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. 

​As Latin America Looks to a COVID Recovery, It Will Need to Tackle its Growing Middle-Class Angst

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.