As the world population increases and modern amenities become available to developing countries, the desires and needs of these emerging economies are logically changing. In particular, air conditioning and ventilation have become essential for both domestic and commercial use throughout the developing world. However, we understand that this sudden upsurge in cooling needs has both financial and environmental costs.
Addressing climate change requires massive decarbonisation of our economy, particularly in areas such as electricity generation, transportation and agriculture. We focus on sharing knowledge on solutions to the problem as opposed to just forming the case for action.
From the largest of concentrated solar plants, to the most modest of farms in Kenya, the application of 'sustainable solutions' holds the promise of making the world a better place. John’s business, like so many, is one that is threatened by consequences of climate change. In an effort to secure his way of life, and provide for his family, he turned to innovation: “I had to get involved in smart farming because everything used to dry up,” he says.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with Bloomberg New Energy Finance recently released their 10th Annual Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report. The report examines investment in renewable energy technologies such as waste to energy, geothermal, solar, wind, biomass, tidal and small hydropower at a country level. An exciting trend was that developing countries investment exceeded the spend of developed countries for the first time.
There will be a 10 per cent growth in the photovoltaic solar markets around Africa for the coming ten years. This growth, is propelled by a number of factors including government policies that favor adoption of renewable energy, increased environmental awareness for adoption of more renewable energy, viability of these systems as alternatives in powering homes including better costing plans, and the fact that they are becoming cheaper than traditional grid power.
Fear factor - the TV show a number of us watched through parted fingers - almost always featured bug eating (entomophagy). The creators of the show had a knack for choosing the most succulent, squiggly, disgusting looking grubs - a la Lion King. Now scientists are saying insects could be the answer to the world’s food sustainability challenges. Should their thinking catch on; you may just find yourself dining like Simba.
Use of scalable off-grid solutions in advancing rural electrification is important in developing worlds. Last year, Kenya awarded the first utility concession permit to a off-grid power company to generate, distribute and sell power. This year marks an important stage for the project that will demonstrate how these solutions can fit into the agenda, and probably pave the way for entry of more private players of scalable off-grid energy generation and supply solutions.
Can nations in Africa and other parts of the developing world leapfrog over the use of fossil fuels and go straight to renewable energy sources? Understandably, the focus in rural development settings is often on generating centralized electrical capacity through renewable energy. Through the use of solar powered technologies, rural farmers can live healthier lives, create efficiencies to reduce their hard physical labor and create food security year-round.
Municipalities in developing countries are increasingly producing solid and liquid wastes. The management of those waste are relevant because of their impact to the environment and health. For instance, disposing waste in surrounding areas become vectors for the development of diseases, and they contribute to produce lixiviates which are already infiltrating into the water table. In addition, solid waste accounts for 5% of the total GHG emission. This becomes an environmental issue that has to be resolved.
Precision, smart agriculture, Ag 3.0, any name is fine. The Internet of Things is beginning to change agricultural practices, from monitoting farms, collecting relevant farm data, to empowering farmers receive this information and take necessary timely decisions. When used together with weather data from sattellite and other systems, alongside smartphones, cloud platforms and satellite, the result is cost reduction and better yields.
Many people are definitely beginning to ask if the climate pact reached in Paris last month will yield any benefits especially for the worst sufferers of climate change - the developing countries. Though there are many gaps, it will see more cleanleaps launched especially in the area of clean energy and smart climate measures, but much more efforts are needed to reach the targeted benefits.