Standards have immense leverage. They are a powerful way to slow the accelerating hazards of climate change. In November, during the side events at the 23rd Conference of the Parties in Bonn, Germany, participants discussed what to do to use standards development to help nations take action on their Nationally Determined Contributions.
During the solar policy debates that have happened in the United States over the past several years, many conversations about what low-income utility customers want have taken place without the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) being in the room. But now that the organization has published its 2017 report “Just Energy Policies: Model Energy Policies Guide,” it’s clear that the views of its constituents have been misrepresented in these meetings.
Enter the search term “100% renewable energy” into Google and you will find fierce debate. Is the possibility of 100-percent-renewable energy a myth? Or is the world already close to achieving this goal? This debate tends to underemphasize energy efficiency. But recent research makes a case that energy efficiency is important in any discussion about 100-percent-renewable energy.
When refugees and migrants escape adverse circumstances in search of better lives, the organizations that assist them tend to not prioritize sustainable energy development as a tactic. But if these relief providers follow the recommendations of two reports published by the EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility and Moving Energy Initiative, they will start doing so.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are on the front line of climate change, facing the damage of shrinking coastlines and the ravages of tropical storms. However, these 57 island nations around the world can attempt to address this global challenge by relying on their renewable resources including sunshine, wind, hydropower and biomass. The topic was the subject of multiple events in November at COP23 in Bonn, Germany.
Momentum is building in the private sector for climate resilience financing. This necessary acceleration could help to avert the worst consequences of climate change. Financiers and others weighed in about their priorities and goals at COP23 in Germany on Nov. 13 in the Bonn Zone. They shared their thoughts and successes from developing pathways for resilience financing.
As world leaders met in Bonn, Germany in November for COP23, the challenge of climate finance projects in developing countries took center stage. A second challenge receives less attention: fewer than 10 percent of development finance from international climate funds reaches the local level. This finding is presented in a paper called “Delivering Real Change: Getting International Climate Finance to the Local Level.” It was published by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), a London-based policy-research group.
Behind factory doors, decisions about industrial energy efficiency are rarely visible to the public and the media. But in the United Kingdom, Carbon Trust’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator is shining a spotlight on innovation by rewarding companies that step forward to rework their manufacturing processes.
As decision makers gathered at COP23 this November in Bonn, Germany, they considered strategies that could empower them to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Financing sustainable infrastructure is one of the keys to putting these goals in motion. According to Laura Canas da Costa, senior advisor in sustainable infrastructure financing at WWF Switzerland, developing nations will be building extensive amounts of infrastructure as they pursue the SDGs. Traditionally, up to 70 percent of infrastructure financing comes from the public sector.
In the face of United States federal inertia regarding the Paris Agreement, a cluster of initiatives driven by corporations and NGOs has sprung up to help maintain forward momentum. These initiatives are drawing together large collaborative networks to set higher goals.
The need to mobilize capital for green causes and adaptation initiatives to follow up on the Paris climate conference is raising many questions about the verification and assurance of what qualifies as “green” and how the proceeds of these bonds are allocated.
How can green banks collaborate internationally to scale up private financing to meet the challenge of climate change? A new international organization, the Green Bank Network, hopes to lead the way. During the Paris climate conference, six green banks and two nonprofit organizations jointly announced the opening of the network on Dec. 7. The network will accelerate clean energy installations and mobilize private investments worldwide.
International Energy Agency (IEA) launched the Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015 on Oct. 8 via a webinar. IEA projected the market would continue to grow and would reach $120 billion USD by 2020. However, this number “still falls far short of the estimated $215 billion USD to reach the 2-degree scenario,” said Sam Thomas, senior programme manager at IEA.
On May 7, 2014, Unilever and NRG Energy announced the formation of a strategic partnership. The goal? To source 100 percent of the energy used by Unilever’s United States operations from onsite and offsite renewable generation by 2020. During a recent two-day conference, managers from both companies reflected on the progress they’ve made and the lessons they’ve learned during the past year.
In the Navajo Nation, electricity may be a fragile commodity as climate change intensifies. Other tribes in the United States face similar energy quandaries. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced on Sept. 2 that it is requesting applications to co-fund renewable energy, energy efficiency, and combined heat and power to help increase the climate resilience of indigenous communities. The available funding is estimated to total around $4-6 million. Applications are due by Dec. 10.
One of the overlooked elements in President Obama's Clean Power Plan is the positive effect it will likely have on low-income United States citizens - those who suffer most from climate change and who are facing a crisis in available affordable housing...