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energy security

SE4All Highlights Plans for Implementing SDG 7

25 March 2016: The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), Rachel Kyte, highlighted challenges to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all).

Briefing UN Member States and civil society, she also provided an update on the SE4All initiative's plans for supporting implementation of the Goal.

Kyte emphasized that Goal 7 has three “pillars,” addressing energy poverty, technological advancement, and investment in energy efficiency. Stressing the interlinked nature of the Goal, she said the first pillar, addressing energy poverty, is essential to leaving no one behind, noting that the electricity access gap undermines education, productivity and economic growth, while the gap in access to clean cooking fuels is detrimental to health and gender inequality. On technological advancement, Kyte noted the past decade's reductions in the cost and complexity of renewable energy, which makes on-shore wind, solar photo voltaic, and other technologies more competitive with fossil-based energy sources. On energy efficiency, she said greater investment has made it possible to provide basic electricity services using much less power.

Despite this positive progress, Kyte warned that global economic trends have slowed the momentum for electrification, renewables, efficiency and clean cooking. She said the global energy transition is not taking place at a sufficient pace to meet the temperature goal set out in the Paris Agreement on climate change, or the broader development goals expressed in the 2030 Agenda.

Kyte also stressed that the financial needs to achieve SDG 7, which are estimated at over US$1 trillion annually, will need to come from both private and public sectors. She highlighted the importance of small-scale, private investments to develop renewable energy in many African countries.

On the role of the SE4All initiative in supporting the achievement of SDG 7, Kyte said the Forum's 2017 meeting will assess progress and provide substance for the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF) and the UN system as a whole in its review of progress towards the SDGs. In the meantime, SE4All is developing a framework for addressing challenges faced by Member States in achieving SDG 7. Member States will have opportunities to provide input on this framework throughout May 2016, Kyte said, and the SE4All Advisory Board will consider the framework at its meeting, on 15-16 June 2016. [Event Webcast] [SE4All Website]

 

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5 Ways to Sustain the Corporate Renewables Market

5 Ways to Sustain the Corporate Renewables Market

THE CORPORATION MOVES IN

The year 2015 represented a major turning point for electricity generation in the United States. The country retired 14 GW of fossil-fueled generation. Meanwhile, it brought online 16.4 GW of carbon-free generation, with wind energy leading the mix at 8.5 GW of new installed capacity, according to BNEF's Sustainable Energy in America 2016 Factbook. Natural gas, despite historical low commodity prices, brought online just 6 GW. This is an exciting sign of a changing tide, but the U.S. bulk power fleet today totals ~1,100 GW of capacity, and two-thirds of generation still comes from fossil fuels. Renewables still have much ground left to cover.

The good news is that renewable capacity growth has a new ally, with the potential of mobilizing tens—at times, hundreds—of additional MWs at each step: corporate demand for renewable energy.

RMI’s Business Renewables Center (BRC) has been focusing on renewables growth in large chunks—through corporations’ appetite to contract large amounts of electricity. And its member companies have been doing exactly that, in record numbers. Though a young market, corporate deals for large-scale renewables have been growing fast, from 0.56 GW in 2013, to 1.18 in 2014, to 3.44 last year. Meanwhile, the number of market participants has blossomedfrom 1 to 26. That corporate demand for renewables is now becoming the nation’s leading source of demand for wind power and an increasingly important source of demand for solar, too. More

 

 

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IEA Ministers Call for Successful COP 21

18 November 2015: The International Energy Agency (IEA) held its 2015 Ministerial meeting under the theme, ‘Innovation for a Clean, Secure Energy Future.’

According to the Summary of the Chair, Ernest Moniz, US Secretary of Energy, discussions focused on “the critical role that energy sector policies and energy innovation can play to successfully combat climate change.” Among the meeting outcomes was a statement calling for the successful outcome of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC.

The IEA Ministerial Statement on Energy and Climate Change highlights five key opportunities for reducing emissions from the energy sector and advance the date that emissions peak. These opportunities are: increasing energy efficiency in the industry, buildings and transport sectors; phasing-out the use of the least-efficient coal-fired power plants; increasing investment in renewable energy technologies (including hydropower); gradual phasing out of inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies to end-users; and reducing methane emissions from oil and gas production.

In the context of COP 21, the ministers call for explicit recognition and a signal that an energy transformation is necessary to achieve climate goals and that the transformation is underway. They further pledge to support their negotiators to successfully conclude an ambitious agreement.

During the meeting, ministers heard from IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol on three pillars for modernizing the IEA, the first being the opening of the IEA’s doors to membership of emerging economies. On 16 November 2015, Mexico announced its decision to pursue membership of the IEA. The second pillar, according to Birol, is broadening the IEA’s core mandate of energy security, and the third pillar relates to “transforming the Agency to become a global hub for clean energy technologies and energy efficiency.” According to the Chair’s Summary, ministers also noted an analysis by the IEA Secretariat that energy efficiency is the “first fuel” and is supporting economic growth without increasing emissions.

The meeting was held 17-18 November 2015, in Paris, France. All 29 IEA countries were represented by ministers or other high-level officials at the meeting. Nine partner countries and 30 top business executives also attended. [IEA Press Release] [Chair’s Summary] [IEA Ministerial Statement on Energy and Climate Change]

 

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Climate Expert James Hansen: The Planet May Become Ungovernable

The repercussions of climate disruption are still not being acknowledged fully, warned climatologist Dr. James Hansen, addressing an audience of Baby Boomer and Greatest Generation climate activists on September 9.

Dr. Jim Hansen

“We’ve now got an emergency,” he told about 150 “elder activists” at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, DC, who were participating in Grandparents Climate Action Day.

Hansen — formerly NASA’s head climate scientist, now adjunct professor at Columbia University — is probably best known for bringing definitive evidence of global warming to Congress in testimony in 1988. In July of this year, he released a report with sixteen co-authors studying glacier melt in Greenland and Antarctica. Unlike previous models, the new report takes into account some feedback loops which may be hastening the loss of ice sheet mass far faster than anticipated.

Time is running out to transition to renewable energy, Hansen said, yet the most “relevant” people in power aren’t aware of the situation’s gravity. “Even people who go around saying, ‘We have a planet in peril,’ don’t get it. Until we’re aware of our future, we can’t deal with it.”

Mass species extinction, extreme weather events, dry spells and fires are climate change impacts which are happening now. A warmer atmosphere and warmer oceans can lead to stronger storms, he explained. Superstorm Sandy, for example, remained a hurricane all the way up the Eastern seaboard to New York because Atlantic waters were abnormally warm.

“Amplifying impacts” and feedback loops will accelerate the changes, according to Hansen. “It will happen faster than you think,” he said. If major coastal cities become “dysfunctional” because of sea level rise, as he believes is possible, the global economy could be in peril of collapse.

It is therefore imperative to stop using coal, oil and gas as energy sources now. “We’ve already burned as much as we can afford,” he said. Fossil fuels already burned will continue to have impacts, because the climate system “has inertia.” “We’ve only felt the warming for half of the gases that are up there,” he said.

The use of fossil fuels is still on the rise in spite of the dangers, he said, because governments subsidize them and don’t make companies bear the real costs to society. The only viable way to make the price of fossil fuels “honest,” in his opinion, is to implement a “fee and dividend” system.

While Hansen denounced “unfettered capitalism”and “scary” trade agreements in the works, he believes government regulation can steer captains of industry onto the right path. “We’ve got to make the system work for us,” he said. “If you properly harness the market, it will work for you.”

He gave an example of incentives and tax breaks for solar panels, which he has on his own home, and how he contributes electricity to the grid. Yet one audience member took issue with a corruption-free scenario. “Come to Virginia, I dare you!” he said. (In Virginia, where Dominion Virginia Power has a stranglehold on state politics, “standby” fees and other barriers stifle solar panel installation by individuals.)

Hansen, a grandparent himself, was the keynote speaker at Grandparents Climate Action Day, an event to mobilize elder activists and promote a policy agenda aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Hansen believes elders possess resources and wisdom which, combined with the zeal of youth, can help find solutions to climate change. “Older people have a lot of clout, a lot of votes, and time,” he said. With more older people getting involved, there will be more pressure to make needed changes.

Fellow speaker John Sorensen, co-founder of the Conscious Elders Network, echoed this point. The 80 million elders in the U.S. — 25 percent of the population — are living longer and healthier lives with more time and resources to devote to activism.

Hansen is supporting a lawsuit in which 21 young people are suing the U.S. government. (One of the plaintiffs is his granddaughter Sophie.) The lawsuit alleges that the federal government knew decades ago that burning fossil fuels and climate were linked, but continued on the same course anyway.

In his testimony for Youth v. Obama, Hansen said, “In my opinion, this lawsuit is made necessary by the at-best schizophrenic, if not suicidal, nature of U.S. climate and energy policy.”

The judiciary, he believes, is the only viable recourse left for the younger generation, “because the courts will be less under the thumb of the fossil fuel industry.”

“Young people have all these rights that are guaranteed by the constitution, and that’s what we’re asking the courts to look at, and I think this may be our best chance to force the government to do its job,” he said.

Most of the elders participating in Grandparents Climate Action Day probably won’t live to see the worst effects of climate change, yet they were eager to learn about the earth future generations will inherit. One participant explained her reason for being there. After working with children for her whole career, she realized that “all of it mean[s] nothing if we don’t have a livable planet.”

“Young people have all these rights that are guaranteed by the constitution, and that’s what we’re asking the courts to look at, and I think this may be our best chance to force the government to do its job,” he said.

Most of the elders participating in Grandparents Climate Action Day probably won’t live to see the worst effects of climate change, yet they were eager to learn about the earth future generations will inherit. One participant explained her reason for being there. After working with children for her whole career, she realized that “all of it mean[s] nothing if we don’t have a livable planet.” More

 

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Op-Ed: The Challenge of Small Island Developing States

The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States defines small island developing states, or SIDS, as “a distinct group of developing countries facing specific social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities.”

These countries are across the globe in the Caribbean, the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and the Mediterranean and South China Sea.

In addition to common difficulties faced by developing countries, SIDS have an additional series of challenges to cope with that require special assistance from the international community.

These challenges were highlighted in the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) and the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI) of 2005, both of which stated that the difficulties SIDS face in the pursuit of sustainable development are particularly severe and complex.

Recognition of these issues was reinforced in September of 2014 when Member States of the United Nations officially adopted the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action, known as the SAMOA Pathway.

The challenges that SIDSs face are varied, but all conspire to constrain their development processes.

They typically do not have a wide base of resources available to them, and thus do not benefit from cost advantages that this could potentially generate.

Coupled with small domestic markets, they experience difficulties in profiting from globalisation and trade liberalisation and are cripplingly reliant on external and remote markets with limited opportunities for the private sectors.

The cost of provision of energy, infrastructure, transport and communication are high, and along with high population densities, creates increased pressure on these already limited markets.

These developing countries generally have a heavy reliance on tourism and services; however, as a consequence of their low resilience and location, they are also heavily affected by disasters due to frequent natural hazards.

The unique characteristics and vulnerabilities facing SIDS were first addressed by the international community at the Earth Summit (United Nations (UN) Conference on Environment and Development) in Brazil in 1992.

The SIDS case was the focus of Agenda 21, a non-binding, voluntarily implemented plan of action of the Summit, committed to addressing the problems of sustainable development of SIDS.

This plan involved adopting methods to enable SIDS to function and cope effectively with environmental change, and to mitigate the impacts and reduce the threats posed to their marine and coastal resources.

Following Agenda 21, the Barbados Programme of Action was introduced in 1994, in an effort to provide further aid and support to SIDS. Similarly, its ultimate aim was to improve sustainable development.

It highlighted the challenges of converting Agenda 21 into precise strategies, movements and procedures at the national, regional and international level and listed fifteen areas of priority for specific action.

Five further areas were selected by the UN General Assembly in 1999, recognising their urgency. These five were: climate change, as the rising sea level could render some low-lying SIDS submerged; natural and environmental disasters and climate variability, with an emphasis of improving disaster preparedness and recovery; freshwater resources, preventing water shortages as demand increases; coastal and marine resources, promoting the protection of coastal ecosystems and coral reefs; energy, developing solar and renewable energy in order to lessen dependence on imported oil; and finally tourism, focusing on the management of the growth of the tourism industry and the protection of the environment and cultural integrity.

The 2005 Mauritius Strategy of Implementation further complemented the BPOA.

It gave recognition to the challenges that are unique to SIDS, and proposed further action towards their sustainable development.

The MSI emphasised the location of SIDS in the most vulnerable regions of the world with respect to natural and environmental disasters and their rapidly increasing impact.

It made call for a global early warning system covering threats such as tsunamis, storm surges and cyclones, and stressed that some major adverse effects of climate change are already being observed.

Further, the MSI recognised the importance of international trade for building resilience and sustainable development in SIDS, and established the necessity for international institutions, including financial ones, to pay more specific attention to the structural drawbacks of SIDS.

The MSI went further on matters of trade, stating that “most small island developing states, as a result of their smallness, persistent structural disadvantages and vulnerabilities, face specific difficulties in integrating into the global economy”.

More recently, in September 2014, the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action, also known as the SAMOA Pathway, was adopted. As in the case of the previous adoptions, the strategy recognises the need to support and invest in SIDS so that they can achieve sustainable development. Distinguishing the Samoa Pathway slightly from the BPOA and the MSI is the idea of investing in the education and training of the people of SIDS.

The aim of this idea was to create “resilient societies and economies, with full and productive employment, social protection and decent work for all”, and to provide “full and equal access to quality education at all levels”, the latter which is a vital ingredient for achieving sustainable development.

The promotion of education for sustainable development is especially crucial for SIDS that are under direct threat from climate change, as it will “empower communities to make informed decisions for sustainable living rooted in both science and traditional knowledge”. Finally, the SAMOA Pathway supports efforts “to promote and preserve cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, which provide a mechanism for social cohesion and, thus, are essential in building blocks for addressing the challenges of social development”.

Many SIDS have recognized the need to embrace sustainability through their own internal processes, however, without external aid from the international community, the required change will not come quickly enough. Following on the adoption of the Samoa Pathway, 2015 is rapidly becoming a watershed year for global processes of importance to SIDS.

Convergence is occurring across a broad spectrum of activities as this year has seen the international community deliberate on the Post 2015 framework for disaster risk reduction which culminated in the adoption of the Sendai Framework, new expected agreements in the post 2015 development agenda with Sustainable Development Goals replacing the Millennium Development Goals. New agreements are also expected on how development is financed and there remains expectation of a new international agreement on climate change.

Given their far reaching impact, these developments are critical, particularly when viewed from the perspective of the small island developing state.

Notwithstanding the global consensus, serious challenges remain for SIDS and for the foreseeable future; they will remain a special case for sustainable development.

However, with a global consensus and an avid commitment to the advancement of sustainable development in these countries, positive change is most certainly on the horizon.

George Nicholson is the Director of Transport and Disaster Risk Reduction and Anastasia Ramjag is the Research Assistant of the Directorate of Transport and Disaster Risk Reduction of the Association of Caribbean States.

Note: the opinions expressed in Caribbean Journal Op-Eds are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Caribbean Journal. More

 

 

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Filed under alternative energy, energy, energy security, islands, renewable energy, SIDS

July 2015 Sustainable Energy Finance Update

1 August 2015: During the month of July, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank announced sustainable energy project funding and initiatives.


The Asian Development Bank (ADB), AfDB, the European Commission, EIB and the World Bank also released publications on financing and deploying clean energy

The announced sustainable energy initiatives are being implemented in Anguilla, Argentina, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, Denmark, France, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Montenegro, Spain, Turkey, the UK, Ukraine, Uruguay, Zambia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.


In Argentina, IDB approved US$14.4 million in financing from the GEF for a housing project that integrates energy efficiency and renewable energy to improve the quality of life of residents and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Using renewable energy schemes adapted for each of Argentina's eight bio-climactic zones, 128 prototypes will be built and monitored for a year. US$70.7 million in local funds and a US$1 million IDB technical cooperation grant will also support the project. [IDB Press Release]


In Burkina Faso, AfDB granted €25.35 million from the African Development Fund (ADF) to support the programme for budget support in the energy sector (PASE). The funds will be largely directed to improving the electricity supply for basic social sectors, public services, the private sector and households. The funds are intended to increase reliability and energy access, as just 17.6% of the population currently has access to electricity. [AfDB Press Release]


In Cambodia, the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) launched a project promoting commercial biogas plants with US$1.5 million in funding from the GEF. The project aims to increase rural electrification and energy access by installing plants with 1.5 MW in cumulative generation capacity and mitigate climate change by avoiding 1.3 megatons carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in emissions directly and 3.3 MtCO2e indirectly over 15 years. [UNIDO Press Release]


In Chile, the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed an agreement with Banco Consorcio in support of non-conventional renewable energy projects. Under the agreement, IFC will provide a US$60 million credit line to finance, inter alia, small hydropower, biomass, solar, geothermal and wind. [IFC Press Release]


In Denmark, EIB announced the first transaction in the country under the Investment Plan for Europe: up to €75 million in equity-like financing to Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) for the Copenhagen Infrastructure II fund. The fund is an “innovative” renewable energy infrastructure fund focusing primarily on newly established greenfield energy-related investments, such as large-scale offshore wind, biomass and transmission projects, in Western and Northern Europe. [EIB Press Release]


In France, EIB undertook its first equity participation under the Investment Plan for Europe, providing €50 million for Capenergie 3, an investment fund dedicated to renewables and managed by Omnes Capital. It is anticipated that the investment will finance 500 MW of generating capacity. [EIB Press Release]


In Georgia, EBRD facilitated the sale of over 400,000 carbon credits from the Enguri Hydro Power Plant to Statkraft, a Norwegian electricity company. EBRD's Carbon Project and Asset Development Facility (CPADF) provided technical assistance for the sales strategy and emissions reductions verification. The project, registered under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), was able to partially recover costs associated with carbon project development through the sale of the credits. [EBRD Press Release]


In Guinea-Bissau, AfDB announced the approval of a €9 million loan and a €7.7 million grant for a three-year programme aimed at reducing daily power outages and increasing electricity access in the capital, Bissau. The funding will connect 10,500 new subscribers to electricity, rehabilitate facilities for 31,000 existing subscribers, improve the efficiency of the system's infrastructure and improve management and governance of the National Electricity and Water Corporation. [AfDB Press Release]


In Kenya, the World Bank's Climate Investment Funds (CIF) approved US$218,000 for the second tranche of the Electricity Modernization Project under the Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low-Income Countries Program (SREP). The funds are for implementation and supervision services for the project, which is aimed at increasing electricity access and reliability in the country. [CIF Document Page] [Project Proposal]


In Mali, IFC and Scatec Solar announced a partnership to develop the US$55 million Scatec Segou solar power project in cooperation with Africa Power 1. IFC is investing US$12.5 million in the 33-MW plant, in addition to taking on a 20% equity stake in the project company for US$2.5 million. The project will support Mali's goals of increasing the share of electricity generated from renewables and enhancing energy supply and access. [IFC Press Release]


In Montenegro, EBRD is providing a senior secured loan of up to €48.5 million to Krnovo Green Energy, a subsidiary of the French company, Akuo Energy, to develop the country's first commercial wind farm. KfW Development Bank is providing an equivalent loan for the 72-MW plant through its subsidiary, KfW IPEX-Bank. [EBRD Press Release]


In Spain, EIB granted the Spanish company Abengoa a €125 million loan for research, development and innovation (RDI) activities related to, inter alia, advanced electrical systems and renewable energies. The company's RDI programme is focused on clean/green energy and environmental technology breakthroughs that significantly benefit the environment. [EIB Press Release]


In Turkey, EBRD announced US$180 million in financing for mid-sized renewable energy projects, including solar, hydropower, wind, geothermal, waste-to-energy and energy efficiency. The funds, sourced from the Turkey Mid-Size Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (MidSEFF), will be on-lent by Turkey's Garanti Bank and Yapi Kredi Bank to private sector companies. [EBRD Press Release]


Also in Turkey, IFC approved a US$75 million long-term financing package for energy efficiency investments by the Turkish flat glass manufacturer, Trakya Cam. The company will use the funds for improving waste heat recovery and rehabilitating furnaces in plants located in both Turkey and Bulgaria. In addition to significantly reducing costs, the project is expected to cut GHG emissions by over 60,000 tons annually. [IFC Press Release]


In the UK, the National Trust, a conservation charity, revealed plans to invest £30 million in renewable energy projects, including a 200-kilowatt (kW) lake source heating project, two biomass boilers and a 250-kW hydropower project. [National Trust Press Release]


In Ukraine, the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) signed five grant agreements for five cities in the eastern part of the country to implement energy efficiency measures. The funding is sourced from the NEFCO-administered Nordic Energy Efficiency and Humanitarian Support Initiative (NIU), which focuses on refurbishing municipal buildings and social infrastructure, especially schools, day care centers and health centers, in vulnerable areas of eastern and southern Ukraine. [NEFCO Press Release]


Also in Ukraine, medium and large municipalities will benefit from EIB loans totaling €400 million for 25-40 public infrastructure energy efficiency projects. The funds will be directed to central, regional or local government agencies, public utilities and municipalities by the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine. EIB's financing will cover up to 50% of total costs, with supplementary financing coming from other international financial institutions (IFIs). [EIB Press Release]


In Uruguay, US$55.7 million in loans from IDB will finance six solar PV plants, totaling 69.9 MW in generating capacity. The IDB-administered China Co-Financing Fund and the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector are co-financing the project with additional loans of US$19.3 million and US$10 million, respectively. Producing an estimated 154.4 gigawatt-hours (GWh) per year, the plants will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 74,000 tons annually. [IDB Press Release]


In Zambia, IFC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of Zambia to explore development of the country's first utility scale PV projects as part of IFC's Scaling Solar programme. The two 50-MW projects would help address a hydropower shortfall caused by low rainfall. [IFC Press Release]


In the MENA region, IFC announced a US$25 million investment for renewable energy projects, especially wind and solar plants. The investment takes the form of equity in Alcazar Energy, which will develop and operate the projects in Africa, the Middle East and Turkey. [IFC Press Release]


On publications, ADB released three volumes in a series on power planning as part of the ADB project ‘Ensuring Sustainability of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Regional Power Development.' The series explains how strategic environmental assessment contributes to better policymaking in the power sector, how indicators are used to analyze power development plans, and how sustainability assessment and the consideration of wider impacts can affect decisions in power planning. [ADB Press Release, Vol 1] [Integrating Strategic Environmental Assessment into Power Planning] [ADB Press Release, Vol 2] [Identifying Sustainability Indicators of Strategic Environmental Assessment for Power Planning] [ADB Press Release, Vol 3] [How Strategic Environmental Assessment Can Influence Power Development Plans: Comparing Alternative Energy Scenarios for Power Planning in the GMS]


ADB also published a series of three reports on the potential of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the GMS. The publications are part of a study under the ADB project ‘Promoting Renewable Energy, Clean Fuels, and Energy Efficiency in the GMS.' [ADB Press Release, Report 1] [Renewable Energy Developments and Potential for the GMS] [ADB Press Release, Report 2] [Energy Efficiency Developments and Potential Energy Savings in the GMS] [ADB Press Release, Report 3] [Business Models to Realize the Potential of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the GMS]


AfDB released the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) annual report, highlighting that it reached US$6.5 million in commitments in its project portfolio in 2014. The report also underscores achievements such as launching the Africa Renewable Energy Fund, distributing enabling environment grants to help attract private sector investment and co-sponsoring the Second West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF-2) business plan competition. [AfDB Press Release] [SEFA 2014 Annual Report]


The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) issued its 2014 wind status report, finding that wind meets 8% of Europe's electricity demand and predicting a 12% electricity share by 2020. With a focus on the EU, the report outlines the state of the economics, market and technology in the wind sector, with relevant comparisons to other regions. [JRC Press Release] [2014 JRC Wind Status Report]


EIB released an information brief on Africa's energy challenges, describing EIB's financial and technical support for the continent's efforts to build accessible and efficient power generation from sustainable sources. According to the brief, almost 25% of EIB operations in Sub-Saharan Africa and more than 33% in North Africa are dedicated to the renewable energy sector. [EIB Press Release] [Tackling the Energy Challenge in Africa]


EIB also released the annual report of the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, which highlights the significant renewable energy investments of the Fund, including €33 million for the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative. [EIB Press Release] [EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund 2014 Annual Report]


The World Bank, in partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) and the SE4All Finance Committee, published recommendations for increasing the world's investment in clean energy. The report suggests four thematic areas that could collectively mobilize US$120 billion. [World Bank Press Release] [SE4All Press Release] [UN Press Release] [Scaling Up Finance for Sustainable Energy Investments] [IISD RS Story]


The World Bank's Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) conducted wind resource mapping in Tanzania and published the interim results. [Wind Resource Mapping in Tanzania: Candidate Site Identification Report]


The World Bank also released a study highlighting the positive energy access outcomes that can be achieved through energy efficiency measures. The report recommends factoring energy efficiency into development projects, based on an examination of eight recent World Bank projects. [World Bank Press Release] [EA + EE: Enhancing the World Bank's Energy Access Investments Through Energy Efficiency]


On events, IDB hosted an event, titled ‘LAC2025: Water Energy Food and Mining Nexus,' on 6 July 2015. The event considered how resource-related policy decisions today will affect future generations in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Topics ranged from the depletion of aquifers and water pollution to resource rights. [IDB Event Announcement]


The World Bank sponsored an Indian delegation's visit to Brazil to learn about the country's experience in scaling up renewable energy to meet growing demand. As a result of the exchange, the two countries are working toward an MoU to cooperate on matters related to integrating variable renewable energy into the grid. [World Bank Press Release]


Climate finance news and developments outside of the sustainable energy sector are published in IISD RS's monthly Climate Finance Update, available via the Climate Change Policy & Practice portal. [IISD RS Climate Finance Updates]



read more: http://larc.iisd.org/news/july-2015-sustainable-energy-finance-update/


 

 

 

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Caribbean States ‘lighting path’ towards sustainable future, says UN chief in Barbados

“I want to salute Caribbean countries for taking on ambitious renewable energy targets. By 2020, for example, Barbados will be one of the world’s top five leading users of solar energy on a per capita basis. You are lighting the path to the future,


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon My main message to you is to remain fully engaged and keep working with us to strengthen our partnership during this vital year for humanity. Together, we can build a better, more sustainable world, for all.said during a high-level symposium focused on sustainable development in the Caribbean.

This meeting was among the UN chief’s first stops in Barbados, where later on Thursdayhe is expected to make opening remarks to the 2015 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Summit, and where tomorrow, he will, among others, hold an interactive dialogue at the University of the West Indies.


“Twenty years ago, this very building was the site of the First Global Conference on Small Island Developing States that adopted the Barbados Programme of Action – the first compact between this group and the international community,” he noticed


For small island developing States, Ban added, this space is “hallowed ground.”

Encouraged by the presence of so many leaders of governments, regional and international organizations, the private sector, academia, and civil society, the Secretary-General highlighted the “continuing Caribbean commitment to put our world on a safer, more sustainable and equitable pathway,” a few days from theThird International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“As leaders of some of the most vulnerable countries in the world, you don’t need to be told that our planet is at grave risk. You are on the climate frontlines. You see it every day,” he continued.

Convinced that sustainable development and climate change are “two sides of the same coin,” the UN top official went on to say that this generation could be the first to end global poverty, and the last to prevent the worst impacts of global warming “before it is too late.”


To get there, he underlined, the international community must make sure that the proposed sustainable development goals (SDGs) are “focused, financed and followed up – with real targets, real money and a real determination to achieve them.”


Considering these goals as a sort of a “to-do list for people and the planet”, Ban emphasized that it will take partnerships to make that happen. In that regard, he said, the Third International Conference on Small Islands Developing States in Samoa last year laid a pathway for collective action and success within the post-2015 development agenda.


But, as the world prepares for a new sustainability framework and the sustainable development goals, a number of critical partnership areas must be strengthened, in particular the need for capacity building; financing; access to technology; and improved data collection and statistics.

Member States also must continue working together to link the global agenda to regional agendas and to deepen regional integration and to address the “unique needs and vulnerabilities” of small island developing states and middle-income countries, such as the debt challenge.

“And we need to keep forging the way forward towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient development pathway that will benefit both people and the planet,” the Secretary-General underlined.

He gave the assurance that, through the Green Climate Fund, and in working with world leaders, he will continue to insist that small islands and least developed countries are top funding priorities.


“My main message to you is to remain fully engaged and keep working with us to strengthen our partnership during this vital year for humanity. Together, we can build a better, more sustainable world, for all.”

Later, in an address to an event on ending violence against women, the Secretary-General said the Caribbean has among the highest rates of sexual assault in the world. Three Caribbean countries are in the global top ten for recorded rapes. Moreover, he noted that in the eastern Caribbean, UNICEF estimates that child sexual abuse rates are between 20 and 45 per cent – meaning at least one in five precious children are affected. Most are girls who have no choice but to live close to their attacker.

“They desperately need our help. Too many women are afraid to seek help. One study showed that up to two thirds of all victims suffer without ever reporting the crime. I am outraged by this. Shame belongs to the perpetrators – not the victiWe have to change mindsets – especially among men,” declared the UN chief.

In that light, he said he was proud to be the first man to sign onto the UN’s HeForShecampaign, and he invited more men to take the HeForShe pledge.

“I encourage you to join UNICEF’s End Violence global campaign. And every day, I count on all of you to work for true equality.”


In the margins of the 36th meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community in Barbados, the Secretary-General met with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Maxine McClean, of Barbados, a country he congratulated for its upcoming leadership of CARICOM. More

 

 

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