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.
The Green Climate Fund has made significant progress in terms of supporting low-carbon and climate resilient development in developing countries. Yet the Fund still has to work on some of the gaps and challenges that have manifested throughout the first phase of operationalization. An overview of the key tasks for 2018.
At the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech in 2001 (COP7), the international community agreed to establish a climate adaptation fund, which was then launched in 2007. The Adaptation Fund celebrated its tenth anniversary at the 2017 Climate Change Conference (COP23), which was held in Bonn under the Fijian presidency – a good time to reflect on past successes and future developments.
The first Indo-German Dialogue on Sustainable Lifestyles during COP 23 in November 2017 in Bonn brought together Indian and German NGO representatives with an interest in sustainable lifestyles. Before discussing the potential of bringing the topic of sustainable lifestyles into the UNFCCC process, a mutually agreeable definition of sustainable lifestyles had to be found.
While the ongoing Fijian COP23 in Bonn and the coalition negotiations in Berlin capture media and public attention, Germany quietly released a self-review of their own fossil fuel subsidies as part of the G20 peer review process. The G20 fossil fuel subsidy review, pioneered in 2016 by US and China, is currently the only concrete step to make progress on the group's pledge from the 2009 summit in Pittsburgh to phase-out “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that increase wasteful consumption”.
The Hamburg G20 summit saw an impressive showdown between US President Donald Trump and the other G20 members regarding climate change and the fate of the Paris Agreement. After the unprecedented split in the leader’s declaration, and the acceptance of the G20 action plan on climate and energy for growth (CEAP) by all G20 members except the US, all eyes are now on the incoming Argentinean presidency under President Mauricio Macri – will he find a way to back up the Hamburg result and continue the work towards the long-term climate goals within the G20 while preserving the unity of the group?
Russia, the world’s third largest oil producer, is caught between two futures: diversify its fossil fuel based economy in response to changing energy markets and the end of the raw super cycle, or to restore Russian positions in fossil energy markets. While Russian leadership is torn on the subject, the future of the 1.5 degree goal hinges on the direction the nation will take.