Wind: to become the largest source of renewable energy in the US-Report
Fév14

Wind: to become the largest source of renewable energy in the US-Report

Wind: to become the largest source of renewable energy in the US-Report By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache   According to a new report released recently by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) based in Washington, wind surpassed hydropower dams and will become the largest source of renewable electric capacity in the U.S . This report, “the U.S. Wind Industry Quarterly Market Report”, is a snapshot view of U.S. wind industry activity and trends, including new wind capacity installed, wind projects under construction and in the advanced stages of development. “American wind power is now the #1 source of renewable capacity, thanks to more than 100,000 wind workers across all 50 states,” said Tom Kiernan, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) CEO. “Growing this made-in-the-USA clean energy resource helps rural communities pay for new roads, bridges, and schools, while bringing back manufacturing jobs to the Rust Belt. With our two-thirds cost reduction over the last seven years, household brands like General Motors, Walmart, and more are buying low-cost wind energy to cut costs and power their businesses. American wind power is on track to double our output over the next five years, and supply 10 percent of U.S. electricity by 2020,” he added. The report  indicated that at the close of 2016, the American wind fleet totaled 82,183 MW, enough to power 24 million average American homes. And with the addition of North Carolina’s first utility-scale wind farm announced earlier recently, there are now more than 52,000 individual wind turbines in 41 states plus Guam and Puerto Rico. Over 100,000 American workers now manufacture, construct, and maintain the U.S. wind turbine fleet according to the U.S. Department of Energy. In total, wind supports more American jobs than nuclear, natural gas, coal, or hydroelectric power plants. Who are the beneficiaries? According to the report, Rural and Rust Belt America are among the greatest beneficiaries of wind power development. Wind projects in these areas often become the largest contributors to the property tax base, helping to improve schools, roads and other public services. Of the $13.8 billion invested by the U.S. wind industry last year, $10.5 billion was invested in low-income counties, emphasized the report. Wind: the new solution Wind is a new drought-resistant cash crop for farmers and ranchers who host wind turbines on their land, explained the report.  Nationwide, wind projects provide private landowners with more than $245 million in land lease payments annually. Texas landowners receive more than $60 million of that, in many cases helping to keep farms and ranches in their families. And it is also  less costly: it often provides the least expensive energy available. Wind power can bring costs...

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To Bonn and Beyond
Fév14

To Bonn and Beyond

To Bonn and Beyond Message from the Incoming COP 23 President Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama   Maintaining  the momentum of the Paris Agreement Bula vinaka! Wherever you are the world, I convey my warmest greetings, along with the greetings of the Fijian people. Fiji assumes the Presidency of COP 23 determined to maintain the momentum of the 2015 Paris Agreement and the concerted effort to reduce carbon emissions and lower the global temperature, which was reinforced at COP 22 in Marrakesh. To use a sporting analogy so beloved in our islands, the global community cannot afford to drop the ball on the decisive response agreed to in Paris to address the crisis of global warming that we all face, wherever we live on the planet. That ball is being passed to Fiji and I intend, as the first incoming COP president from a Small Island Developing State, to run with it as hard as I can. We must again approach this year’s deliberations in Bonn as a team – every nation playing its part to combat the rising sea levels, extreme weather events and changing weather patterns associated with climate change. And I will be doing everything possible to keep the team that was assembled in Paris together and totally focused on the best possible outcome. “Our concerns are the concerns of the entire world” I intend to act as COP President on behalf of all 7.5 billion people on the planet. But I bring a particular perspective to these negotiations on behalf of some of those who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change – Pacific Islanders and the residents of other SIDS countries and low-lying areas of the world. Our concerns are the concerns of the entire world, given the scale of this crisis. We must work together as a global community to increase the proportion of finance available for climate adaptation and resilience building. We need a greater effort to develop products and models to attract private sector participation in the area of adaptation finance. To this end, I will be engaging closely with governments, NGOs, charitable foundations, civil society and the business community. I appeal to the entire world to support Fiji’s effort to continue building the global consensus to confront the greatest challenge of our age. We owe it not only to ourselves but to future generations to tackle this issue head on before it is too late. And I will be counting on that support all the way to Bonn and beyond....

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Les ONG multinationales, la RSE et le développement économique de l’Afrique
Jan24

Les ONG multinationales, la RSE et le développement économique de l’Afrique

Les ONG multinationales, la RSE et le développement économique de l’Afrique Par Thierry Téné, Associé et Directeur de l’Institut Afrique RSE Plainte contre le WWF Le 6 janvier 2017 est une date historique pour les Principes Directeurs de l’OCDE, qui sont des recommandations des Gouvernements des 35 pays les industrialisés du monde, à l’attention des multinationales pour la prise en compte de la Responsabilité Sociétale (droits de l’Homme, environnement, intérêts des consommateurs, fiscalité, etc.). Jusqu’à ce jour, ce sont les entreprises multinationales qui faisaient l’objet des plaintes des ONG pour non respect des Principes Directeurs de l’OCDE. Mais en ce début d’année, le Point de Contact National Suisse a jugé recevable la plainte de l’ONG britannique SURVIVAL contre l’ONG suisse WWF (Fonds Mondial pour la Nature). Dans sa plainte très documentée, SURVIVAL accuse WWF d’abuser des droits des pygmées BAKA du Cameroun au nom de la conservation de la nature.  Cette procédure auprès de l’OCDE met en exergue plusieurs problématiques en lien le développement économique de l’Afrique. Les interrogations Comme toutes les ONG représentées dans plusieurs pays, WWF (présente dans 80 pays) ne devrait-elle pas être aussi considérée comme une organisation multinationale qui devait justifier ses pratiques et actions ? Elle finance d’ailleurs plusieurs programmes de conservation de la nature en Afrique. Ce qui a des répercussions non seulement sur la politique d’exploitation des ressources naturelles des Etats (source des ressources financières) mais aussi les conditions de vie des populations comme les pygmées qui vivent dans la forêt. Jusqu’ici « donneuses » de leçons sur les questions sociales, environnementales, de droit de l’Homme et éthique, les ONG peuvent désormais se retrouver également au banc des accusées comme les Etats et les entreprises. La RSE : la solution Mais le plus surprenant dans cette saisie de l’OCDE est l’absence de marge de manœuvre du Gouvernement Camerounais alors qu’il s’agit de ses ressortissants, que les faits dénoncés se passent sur son territoire avec une implication de son armée et des éco-gardes financés par le WWF dans le cadre d’un partenariat avec l’Etat. Face à la montée en puissance de la lutte contre le changement climatique (entrée en vigueur de  l’Accord Paris), du rôle croissant des ONG multinationales, de l’adoption des Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD), de la signature des Principes de l’Equateur (prise en compte des critères Environnementaux, Sociaux et de Gouvernance pour tout investissement supérieur ou égal à 10 millions de dollars) par les institutions financières, les états africains ne peuvent plus envisager leur développement économique sans intégrer la Responsabilité Sociétale des Entreprises (RSE) . La polémique autour de l’huile de palme est l’un des symboles de cette problématique. Entre les besoins pour la...

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Casablanca : Remise du prix « Startup Africaine de l’Année 2017» le 26 janvier 2017
Jan24

Casablanca : Remise du prix « Startup Africaine de l’Année 2017» le 26 janvier 2017

Casablanca : Remise du prix « Startup Africaine de l’Année 2017» le 26 janvier 2017 Par Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache Le 26 janvier prochain le prix «  Startup Africaine de l’Année 2017 sera remis à Casablanca. Après  deux éditions organisées en France, le  magazine collaboratif des startups et le Groupe OCP, leader mondial du marché des phosphates et ses dérivés et acteur engagé pour une agriculture durable en Afrique, se sont associés pour lancer la première édition africaine du concours Startup de l’Année « Startup of the Year / Africa 2017 » à l’occasion de la COP 22. Son objectif : promouvoir le développement économique et social du continent africain grâce à des startups innovantes et performantes.Une multitude d’entreprises de renom telles que PwC, ENGIE ou encore MICROSOFT participeront à...

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Paris Agreement and the incoming US administration
Déc29

Paris Agreement and the incoming US administration

  Paris Agreement and the incoming US administration By Aya Kathir and Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache All around the world, people, politicians and leaders are talking about the “changing American political landscape”. Donald Trump the president elect has yet  to decide his environmental agenda regarding the climate change and the fossil fuel which could cripple a decade of climate diplomacy. Barack Obama’s Clean Power Strategy could fail after Donald Trump’s decision to remove the US from the Framework Convention on Climate Change and remove his Nation from the Paris Agreement. How Climate Change is affecting the US? There are public health threats associated with the extreme weather including the heat stress, air pollution and diseases carried by food, water and insects. Climate Change has come at a cost to the US. Disasters in 2012 cost the American Economy more than $100 billion with drought, heatwave, western wildfires, super storm Sandy and hurricane ISAAC. What is the Clean Power Plan about? The Clean Power Plan aims to  reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. It should prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths, 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks, 90,000 asthma attacks in children, 300,000 missed workdays and schooldays. According to the current US administration, the Clean Power Plan should boost the US economy by leading to 30 percent more renewable energy generation in  2030, creating tens of thousands of jobs and continuing to lower the costs of renewable energy. President Obama renewable energy policy calls to keep global warming below 2 degree Celsius. On August 3, 2015, Mr Obama announced “the clean power plan”,  a turning point and an important step in reducing carbon pollution. By announcing a clean power plan, the US is committed to lead global efforts to address Climate Change. The Clean Power Plan was first proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in June 2014, under the administration of the President Obama. Its final version set a national limit on Carbon pollution.  US Investment From 2010-2015, the US has invested more than $11 billion in International clean energy finance, while in 2016,  Mr Trump as a candidate  announced that investing in  Climate Change wasn’t worth it:  it was waste of money he said. But on November 17, 2016, “more than 360 businesses and investors sent a strong message to the US headers; reaffirming their support for the historic Paris Climate Agreement. They were calling the US administration to strongly support the continuation of low-carbon policies and the commitment of the US in the Paris Agreement. Financing developing countries: a priority While the current US administration announced statistics and numbers to continue the global transition to zero- and-low...

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“Southern Africa could create 78,000 new jobs in less than 20 years”- Thelma Munhequete
Déc19

“Southern Africa could create 78,000 new jobs in less than 20 years”- Thelma Munhequete

Southern Africa could create 78,000 new jobs in less than 20 years By Thelma Munhequete*   I have attended the global Gender Climate Alliance Innovation Forum, on the sideline of COP22,  the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Marrakech, Morocco last november. The event was supported by different UN Agencies, organizations and stakeholders. 200 participants from different countries attended the two days event. Different experience and action where shared. Mary Robinson from the Mary Robinson Foundation, addressed the need of bigger and great Dialogues among Women  globally, Regionally and at a country level. Participants  have concentrated efforts to   improve gender balance and increase the participation of women in all UNFCCC processes. The Forum addressed key questions:  Where  Are We?  Where  Are We Going? What topics? How  can we integrate gender into urban climate policy? These are my thoughts. Where Are We? Gender in the communities is a relatively new topic in Mozambique. But it  has not received much attention although it is acknowledged that women and the youth are the most vulnerable groups in the communities. In its response to ensure social safety and protection of the citizens, the Government of Mozambique introduced measures through departments. This is further supported by Policy Frameworks and Legal instruments. As Country Executive Director of Africa Foundation which works  in southern Africa Countries, both in Mozambique and Zambia,  I  shared my experience in Mozambique. The lack   of data  is the main obstacle to integrate climate change, gender mainstream and the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) simultaneously, in order to reduce poverty, promote food security and further gender equality in my country. Climate change is affecting the youth. In most  cases, the youth helps the family. The decrease in water pressure reduces the reliability of the water borehole in the villages. During drought,people move with their livestock for grazing and so require water. These additional challenges compromise the health condition of the youth as well as the education. It is critical to assess the viability of scaling up successful local solutions as well as identifying new solutions for them. Where  Are We Going? The associated lack of food, water and income is already visible and it’s reaching social consequences such adoption of risky behaviours consuming of alcohol abuse, criminal activities (Poaching), theft and corruption that lead to family breakdowns. We have embraced the principles of gender equality and empowerment of women and youth . Through our affiliation to the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), we  aim to mainstream gender in all  projects. We adopted the Global Environment Facility’s Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) to guide our gender action plan which forms part...

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