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.
21 years is a long time. Long enough to raise a child and send him or her off to college. That is how long it has taken to get to the Paris Climate Agreement. The Paris Agreement does set a goal of holding the temperature increase to well below 2C and pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 C. The latter goal is in line with what credible scientists have been telling us for a long time (only a 1.5C goal may prevent long-term multi-meter sea level rise, as an example).
Everyone likes chocolate, yes? I know a few people who love the stuff and I’m quite partial to the odd block or two myself. So while spending a few days at a recent Forest Investment Program (FIP) monitoring and reporting workshop in Ghana I travelled to meet some cocoa farmers near Bibiani and get the low down on everyone’s favorite treat.
The frequency of the news is only matched by its direness. It feels like every day we hear more about how climate change is getting worse. The Arctic is melting faster than ever before, temperatures are breaking new records at a rapid pace and more than 90% of reefs in and around the Great Barrier Reef are being bleached by a warming world.
Readers of this blog site will know that open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed – it’s legally open and technically open. Readers of this blog may not know that the $8.3 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF), are providing scaled-up financing through the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to initiate transformational change toward climate-resilient, low-carbon development in 72 countries worldwide. And this month, for the first time, the CIF is publishing open data on the result
Tough questions can come from the most unexpected sources. As the father of three teenage children, starting a new job with the Climate Investments Funds as Forest Investment Program (FIP) Coordinator was a new experience in more ways than one.
As well as being the office newbie and having to learn the ropes there, my children - rather than just being aware that ‘dad works in forests’, which was the extent of their interest when they were younger - gave me a bit of a grilling