“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.
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.