‘How realistic is the green economy?’

The idea of a green economy has gained great popularity of late but the proof will be in implementation. During the last year, particularly, green economy issues have gained ascendancy, receiving a boost through fiscal stimulus measures in many countries where the recession has resulted in significant job losses within the more traditional sectors.

The idea that an economy will simply become ‘green’ as a result of a strident investment criteria imposed in terms of fiscal stimulus measures is more of an ideal than an immediate reality. Truly green economies will, of necessity, be characterised by a major shift in the economic paradigm itself. If a country is going to go green, this will not be achieved purely through short-term fiscal stimulus measures.

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‘Nuclear power could triple over next 40 years – IEA’

Engineeering News, 17th June 2010

Almost one-quarter of global electricity could be generated from nuclear power by 2050, which would significantly contribute to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated.

A joint study by IEA and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) showed that such an expansion would require nuclear generating capacity to more than triple over the next 40 years, a target described as “ambitious”, but “achievable”.

To read the full article click here

‘Eskom hopes to complete concentrating solar power project by 2014′

Engineering News, 18th June 2010

As power utility Eskom continues working to ensure the lights are kept on and new coal-fired power stations are built, the company also continues to progress with work on its first concentrating solar thermal power (CSTP) plant, and has identified a site near Upington, completed an environmental-impact assessment and received the record of decision for it.

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A New Report: ‘OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2010-2019′

Foreword: This report covers biofuels, cereals, oilseeds, sugar, meats, and dairy products over the 2010-19 period. The market assessments are based on a set of underlying assumptions regarding macroeconomic factors, agricultural and trade policies and production technologies. They also assume normal average weather conditions and longterm productivity trends. The Outlook’s relatively stable price projections are highly conditional on these assumptions, and on the continuation of domestic policies and policy settings. For instance, an agreement of the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations would likely have a considerable impact on the prospects for agricultural markets as contained in this assessment. Nevertheless, the Outlook presents a consistent view on the evolution of global agricultural markets over the next decade and provides a baseline for further analysis of alternative economic or policy assumptions. Continue reading

Bonn Climate Change Talks: IISD Daily Web Coverage

If you are interested in the day to day happenings of the Bonn Climate Change Talks that took place between 31 May and 11 June 2010, the International Institute of Sustainable Development documented this exciting event.

Daily Reports and webcasts are available here

‘Small Producer Agency in Globalised Markets Video’

Associate to compete?
Give their products value added?
Make part of supply chains?
Diversify Products and Markets?
Manage information and regulations?
Which public policies might be favourable?

These dilemmas show some of the knowledge gaps that small scale farmers have to fill in order to position themselves in more and more globalized markets and make informed decisions.

Today, more than ever, after the food crisis of 2007-2008, governments and private sector are showing greater interest in agriculture and food supply for a fast growing and more urban world population. Today small scale farmers are facing great challenges.

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‘LED lighting offsets part of World Cup carbon emission’

In an effort to offset the carbon emissions generated as a result of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, European lighting technology provider Lemnis Lighting and local partners have started the Light-emitting diode (LED) Kick Off programme.

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‘Biofuels, Foodsecurity and Africa’

Abstract: GLOBAL BIOFUEL PRODUCTION TRIPLED BETWEEN 2000 and 2007 and is projected to double again by 2011.1 This growth reflects a growing interest worldwide in renewable energy alternatives to fossil fuels, especially as a perceived solution to the transport sector’s dependency on oil. It also reflects the enforcement in 2005 of the Kyoto Protocol, and the increasing implementation of national biofuels targets. As a result of these and other influences, policy makers and researchers in African countries are giving more attention to biofuels. Yet the rising demand for biofuels has sparked a debate over the threat that energy security poses to food security, and within a few short years biofuels have shifted from being seen as a multi-purpose solution to a range of problems – climate change, energy insecurity and underdevelopment – to what the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food has described as a ‘crime against humanity’.2 The threat is particularly profound for the many African countries where food security is a significant issue, and raises questions in what has become known as the ‘food-versus-fuel’ debate. This briefing discusses the relationship between biofuels and food security in Africa, and brings in related issues concerning land ownership and livelihoods. As more and more African countries devote land to the cultivation of biofuels, the numerous questions and potential conflicts that are addressed here are of crucial relevance to many vulnerable populations, environments, and states across the continent.

Full Citation: Molony, T. & Smith, J. (2010). Biofuels, Foodsecurity and Africa, African Affairs, Vol. 109 (436): 489-498 (Available with subscription at: http://afraf.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/adq019)

‘Highlights of closing press conference, June Climate Change Talks’

Addressing the media on the final day of the Bonn session, Yvo de Boer said that progress made during the two weeks opens the way for Cancún to deliver the full package of operational measures that will allow developing countries to take faster, stronger action across all areas of climate change.

He underlined the need for governments to make full use of the next two formal sessions ahead of Cancún, as well as the need for intense work at all levels to help and give guidance.

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‘Obama Vows Clean Energy Push, Green Groups Want Details’

WASHINGTON, Jun 16, 2010 (IPS) – Despite the pleas of some conservative politicians that parallels should not be drawn between the oil spreading over the Gulf of Mexico and the need to transition out of a reliance on fossil fuels, U.S. President Barack Obama made it clear Tuesday night that he sees the race against the spreading oil as inherently connected to the race against a changing climate.

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