Stories written by Philippe Benoit

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.