The role sustainable lifestyles can play in achieving a paradigm shift to sustainability is acknowledged in both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement of 2015. They can be defined as “responsible living with our total surrounding and ourselves”, thus including aspects like global equity (see previous blogpost). Nevertheless, the vast majority of scientific literature focuses on ecological sustainability.
The small country in the heart of Europe portraits itself as a leader in "sustainable finance". Already in 2007, the first green bonds were issued and now there is also a "green" stock exchange. However, demand and reality do not coincide enough.
The year 2019 will be key for future climate policy in Germany and Europe. Finance plays a key role in improving climate protection and sustainable growth.
To this end, Germany should learn from pioneering countries for “Green Finance”. In the seven articles in our series, international authors will therefore explain their country's approach towards a green financial system, addressing opportunities, hurdles and unanswered questions.
Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) can play a critical role in limiting climate change and helping communities adapt to its impacts. Since 2011, they have provided nearly $200 billion in finance for climate change mitigation and adaptation (so-called “climate finance”). The World Bank Group’s recent announcement that it will increase its climate-related investments means this number is likely to grow. But while climate finance is important, it makes up less than a quarter of all finance provided by the MDBs. The rest goes to activities that may (or may not) undermine climate goals.
In November 2015, Saúl Luciano Lliuya, a Peruvian farmer living in Huaraz in Peru, filed a lawsuit in Germany against RWE, Germany’s largest electricity producer. Mr Lliuya claims that his house in the village of Huaraz is at imminent risk of being damaged or destroyed due to an outburst flood from a glacial lake, caused by the melting of glaciers linked to climate change.
In June 2018, the European Commission installed a Technical Expert Group to develop a classification for sustainable finance. That human rights considerations are almost entirely absent from the group’s mandate considerably weakens the current approach, criticises Germanwatch alongside other pressure groups.
In the beginning of July, Germanwatch published its Kosovo research study “Phasing in Renewables“ and discussed it in Pristina with development organisations, ministries, business, NGOs and academia. Kosovo faces quite typical challenges of the Western Balkans, being heavily reliant on lignite use for power generation and struggling with serious social and economic problems.
In 2017, Germanwatch e.V. initiated an international online training course and exchange project on Climate Action for 20 young professionals from India, Tanzania and Germany – the “Empowerment for Climate Leadership”-program (ECL). With this program, the Germanwatch team for Education for Sustainable Development offers a new educational format and represents a pilot project under the umbrella of the African-German Youth Initiative (AGYI) of the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Dr. Jim Taylor, director of environmental education for the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) and & Dr. Mark Graham, director of GroundTruth, report about the consequences of the extreme drought in Cape Town (South Africa) and what kind of positive learn effects this water crisis has - besides the negative impacts.
India faces major environmental challenges with respect to the stress on its natural resources such as biodiversity and water and increased air, water and land pollution. All of these provide major challenges but also opportunities for development considering the path that India would choose to take. The development that is currently seen in the West with its high ecological and carbon footprint is not sustainable. Therefore, the developing countries simultaneously need rapid development, high population, increased aspirations and the need to protect the environment. We need to do this in ways which leapfrog the country to a more sustainable level of development than is visible in any of the models of developed countries today.