Large-scale wind farms and solar power plants are springing up everywhere one looks. That’s good for the climate, but small-scale farmers and the poor are becoming the pawns of hard-nosed business interests around the world.
On September 26, Jordan’s renewable energy leaders discussed Germany’s energy transition in Amman. The key questions to be answered were how does the German Energy Transition work, what are the international reactions and what does it actually mean for Jordan? The workshop was organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation Arab Middle East and EDAMA.
At its historic first meeting from August 23-25 in Geneva, the 24 members of the new Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) officially took charge, eager to decide the direction of the Fund and regain momentum as the Board begins the complex and ambitious work of fully operationalizing the GCF by early 2014.
Germany’s green global leadership role was taken to new heights in 2011 when the country embarked on an ambitious energy transition, die Energiewende. But can a highly industrialized economy be dominantly powered with wind and solar energy? What about energy costs and grid stability? This dossier addresses these questions and provides other insights from the German Energy Transition.
The new Board of the Green Climate Fund will have its first meeting in late August in Geneva. This analysis looks at the issues on the agenda of the Geneva meeting and discusses what needs to be done, if the Fund stands a realistic change to be fully operational by 2014.
Natural resources are back on the agenda. After the rise of new economic powers such as China, India, and Brazil, global competition has perceptibly increased strategic concerns. Germany, the EU, the US and others have formulated raw material strategies that put concern over access and supply at center stage – but the environmental and the socio-political dimensions are widely neglected in these strategies.
Much of Europe is betting on offshore wind as a way of transforming its energy system into one which will be almost entirely based on renewable energies. Europe - and Germany - have seen a large influx of investment in this sector over the past years, and the quest for becoming the leading supply and manufacturing region is well underway - with seaports leading the way.
On the eve of Rio+20, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America has asked several of its partners from civil society to reflect in short commentaries about some of the linkages and synergies between gender equity and key issue areas of sustainable development.
Since the first UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, we've seen a worsening of all important ecological trends, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and scarcity of resources. This essay describes a policy of less and wealth measured in "just enough" to allow a decent life without poverty for all.
In the past 10 years, Brazil has undeniably gone through a remarkable process of transformation. The international community sees Brazil as success story. This collection of articles addresses the discrepancy between the perception of Brazil abroad and at home where NGOs and social movements have been criticizing the Brazilian development model.
At Rio+20, the concept of the "green economy" focuses on industrial production from biomass as one way to overcome fossil fuel dependency. The push for a bio-based economy comes with a call for market-based mechanisms for the financialization of the Earth’s natural processes, re-branded as ‘ecosystem services’, which also encourage land and water grabs.
The urgent need to address climate change, the concerns of depleting fossil fuel reserves, volatile global oil prices and continued economic crisis amongst other reasons have put energy at the center of public policy debates. While the discussions are centered around addressing energy security, often focused primarily around electricity generation, the more immediate energy crisis is in creating equitable energy access and eradicating energy poverty.
In a time of economic hardship, dangerous climate change, and growing demand for reliable and cleaner sources of energy, global fossil fuel subsidies for production and consumption remain staggeringly high; however, momentum for subsidy reform is growing internationally. Greater transparency and equity need to be at the heart of such reforms, argues this report.
Cooperatives have a vast history of playing important roles in supporting local economies in both the Midwestern United States and Germany. Today, a significant opportunity exists to build on existing cooperative models in the Midwest to also supply sources of local, renewable energy production.
Germany was a first mover in the solar energy sector. Recent bankruptcies call its early commitment into question, but a closer look shows how well positioned Germany remains – and why it’s a good time for the US to get on board.
Can the world fight climate change without nuclear power? According to a recent Washington Post op-ed, Germany's decision to shut down eight nuclear reactors in the aftermath of Fukushima leads to rising carbon emissions. In reality, however, Germany reduced its emissions in 2011, because of more renewable energy - and a warm winter.
20 years after the first Earth Summit, the international community will gather once more in Rio de Janeiro from the 20th to the 22th of June 2012. But for a greener, more equitable and more resource efficient world mere declarations will not be enough. A serious shift in priorities is needed. A greener economy is possible, but it needs to be socially just, gender equitable and democratic.
The Green Deal Nigeria study commissioned by the Heinrich Böll Foundation focuses on the potential for a greener Nigeria and is being launched as the country prepares for the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit. The study provides an overview and practical examples of how to green Nigeria before 2020 and explains the long-term measures that Nigeria needs to take today to make the economy grow beyond oil.
The international community is focusing increasing attention on the need for more informatioon and transparency on climate finance. This brief reflects on the practical experience of monitoring climate finance from Climate Funds Update (CFU), a joint initiative of the Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Overseas Development Institute.
The World Bank's May 2012 volume on "Inclusive Green Growth" has some positive solutions to offer, but falls short in several crucial ways: the lack of emphasis on poverty reduction, equality and human rights; an uncritical regard for market mechanisms to govern asset markets, and a view of infrastructure as the “heart of green growth,” among other things.