Forests are having a bit of a moment right now. Hot on the heels of their inclusion in the Paris climate agreement, U.S Secretary of State John Kerry giving a keynote speech at the Oslo REDD Exchange and 800,000 citizens of Utter Pradesh setting a new world record for planting nearly 50 million trees in one day, forests are high on the agenda for those attending Climate Week in New York City.
A greener future depends on the widespread adoption of low carbon technologies. Through the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris climate agreement, world leaders have outlined a transformative agenda which heralds a shift from a fossil-fuel based global economy to one that is low carbon and climate resilient. And funding this future means we need to think in terms of trillions not billions.
“Water is life's master and matrix, mother and medium,” said Nobel Prize winner for Physiology Albert Szent-Györgyi. The annual World Water Week is currently taken place in Stockholm bringing together experts, practitioners and decision-makers from over 300 organizations. This year's edition focuses on ‘Water for Sustainable Growth’ and aims to tackle the most pressing water-related challenges of today and think through solutions for the future.
There is an established global consensus that climate change disproportionately impacts the poor, and when the United Nations estimates that 70% of the world’s poor are women, this exceptional vulnerability of women and girls is why professionals in the climate change sphere must need to look at gender issues in their work.
Will 2016 mark the first step to delivering on the ambition of 2015’s Paris agreement? One thing’s for certain - the private sector will be crucial in providing much of the financing needed to help developing countries meet the climate goals set in the French capital.
As we got out of the car and started walking to a cocoa farm in Ghana’s Western Region, I was happy to see some female cocoa farmers welcoming us. What a pleasant surprise! Knowing that it is not easy for women in West Africa to own or access productive land for their own use, I was very glad to see that the Forest Investment Program – FIP – is directly benefiting them.
I first became familiar with clean energy mini-grids about nine years ago, when I was working in India on solutions to expand access to modern energy to the hundreds of millions of Indians who didn’t have it. At the time, mini-grids were kind of a holy grail – hugely promising, but still illusory.
For the forestry sector in 2016, there’s a lot that feels new and a lot that feels normal. The Paris climate agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) all take us into new territories. But much remains as it was – deforestation and forest degradation are still major challenges and many feel the full potential of forests are still not being fully grasped.
Investments in clean energy are at an all-time high, a staggering USD 329 billion. 2015 was the first time that investments in renewable energy were higher in developing countries than developed ones. Over the past decade, renewables have grown as a share of total power generation with a six-fold increase in non-hydro renewables. Prices are at some of all-time lows and likely to go lower. And just in the past few months alone, the CIF has approved 300 million dollars in solar energy for India
It does not happen often that one of the finest actors of our time tweets about a World Bank supported project and invites all his fans to have a look at the impressive pictures taken from space. In fact, I can’t remember having seen that before.