Three giant concrete cylinders with inflated membrane roofs are a strange sight in the industrial park of Zárate, a world of factories 90 kilometers from Buenos Aires that heavy trucks drive in and out of all day long. They are the heart of a plant that is about to start producing energy from agro-industrial waste, for the first time in Argentina.
The Pacific Ocean could quench the thirst caused by 10 years of drought in Chile, but the operation of desalination plants of various sizes has a long way to go to become sustainable and to serve society as a whole rather than just corporations.
“If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”. Still haunted by the clever preaching of monetarist guru Milton Friedman’s ghost, all too many monetary authorities address every inflationary threat or sign they see by raising interest rates.
Finger pointing in the blame game over Russia’s Ukraine incursion obscures the damage it is doing on many fronts. Meanwhile, billions struggle to cope with worsening living standards, exacerbated by the pandemic and more.
Losing sight in the fog of war
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken insists
, “the Russian people will suffer the consequences of their leaders’ choices”. Western leaders and media seem to believe their unprecedented
” will have a “chilling effect
” on Russia.
Georg Hegel once stated: ”What experience and history teach is this — that nations and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it.” Nevertheless, self-taught historian Vladimir Putin has learned to interpret history in his own manner. During COVID he went down in Kremlin’s archives and after studying old maps and treaties he wrote a lengthy essay On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians
, while declaring that ”the formation of an ethnically pure Ukrainian state is an aggression directed against Russia.”
Electricity transmission lines run through Chiedza Murindo’s home in Murombedzi, a small town in Zvimba district in Mashonaland West province, but her house has no electricity. That is the harsh reality for much of Zimbabwe’s rural population, where only 13% of households live without power compared to 83% of urban households.
For decades women’s demands for political and economic inclusion have placed them centre-stage in mass struggles against dictatorships across the world. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its indiscriminate attacks on civilians now put women’s movements firmly on the front line of war, autocrats and fossil fuels.
Cuba has readjusted its plans to achieve at least 37 percent of electricity from clean energy by 2030, a promising but risky challenge for a nation that is a heavy consumer of fossil fuels and has persistent financial problems.
Coal—considered to be one of the most polluting
fossil fuels and, therefore, one of the biggest contributors to climate change—took centre stage at COP 26. A last-minute intervention by India during the negotiations resulted in a crucial amendment to the coal pledge in the Glasgow Climate Pact
Inflation hawks are winning the day. The latest ‘beggar thyself’ race to raise interest rates has begun. This ostensibly responds to the spectre of runaway inflation, supposedly retarding economic growth and progress, and thus threatening central bank ‘credibility’.
Consider the situation. Faced with growing fiscal stress, the government of an energy exporting country decides to cut generous subsidies, doubling the fuel price overnight.
Not for the first time, global energy markets are in turmoil. Internationally traded gas prices more than quadrupled in 2021
. In their wake, many energy suppliers have gone bust and household bills across Europe are set to soar. Energy prices are driving up the cost of living and inflation, but this is also a moment to realise the old saying: “never waste a good crisis”.
The new Yangtze River Protection Law (YRPL), which came into effect on March 1, 2021, is China’s first legislation on a specific river basin
. The Yangtze River is China’s longest and largest river system, stretching over 6,300 kilometres
and has over 700 tributaries
. With a drainage basin covering more than 1.8 million square kilometres, approximately one-fifth of China’s total land area, the river basin is home to over 40% of the country’s population
Nothing is wasted from sugarcane, one can conclude from the biomethane production process at the Cocal plant, a Brazilian company that produces sugar, ethanol, electricity and other by-products from sugarcane agro-industrial waste.
First came sugar. For four centuries, it was the main sugarcane product in Brazil. But since the 1970s sugarcane has grown and diversified as a source of energy: ethanol, electricity and biogas.
The effects of the covid-19 pandemic and high energy prices have had an impact on the consumption of polluting fuels in Latin America and the Caribbean, exacerbating energy poverty in the region.
On 14 April this year, the price of a single Bitcoin reached a then all-time-high
of around US$64,870. Just over a month later, the price of the world’s most popular digital currency had tumbled to $34,259.
Funding for developing countries to address global warming is grossly inadequate. Very little finance is for adaptation to climate change,
the urgent need of countries most adversely affected. Also, adaptation needs to be forward-looking rather than only addressing accumulated problems.
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.
Carbon offset markets allow the rich to emit as financial intermediaries profit. By fostering the fiction that others can be paid to cut greenhouse gases (GHGs) instead, it undermines efforts to do so.
It sounds incredible: while politicians have been cackling about the climate emergency and profiling in empty promises to halt it, they have spent six trillion US dollars from taxpayers' money to subsidise fossil fuels in just one year: 2020. And they are set to increase the figure to nearly seven trillion by 2025.