9 months ago

Climate Action 2014-2015


CATALYSING TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE CATALYSING CHANGE WITH OUR PARTNERS, BY: Avina and their partners are promoting reduction of deforestation in the Amazon region through sustainable territorial management Latin America and the Caribbean are key in the global fight against climate change. The region’s unique cultural and biological diversity play a strategic role in guaranteeing community resilience and the provision of global environmental services, such as food, energy, water, and climate stability. Simultaneously, as a rapidly developing region, high infrastructure development and economic growth offer a window of opportunity for timely, climate compatible investment that can promote adaptation and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while bringing positive social impact to the population. Although it produces only 9 per cent of global GHG, the region is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which already affect many countries, communities and ecosystems, and can seriously threaten future development needs and poverty reduction. Being proactive on adaptation strategies and encouraging an ambitious global agreement is essential for reducing climate risks while promoting inclusive, sustainable development. This requires increasing efforts around technological and social innovation, transferring fossil fuel subsidies towards low emission infrastructure; recognising environmental services as key for economic development, and fostering multistakeholder, regional cooperation. All this can be duly addressed by public policies developed through a participatory process with the private sector and social movements. In recognition of the continent’s potential, as well as of its significant vulnerability and inequity levels, Fundación Avina is working with governments, business and civil society partners to catalyse transformational change. By promoting local, national and regional initiatives in sectors like energy, water, inclusive recycling and sustainable cities, as well as in biomes like the Amazon and Chaco region, Avina aims to contribute with innovative and effective climate policies and actions. Multilevel, collective action is key to responding to climate change; we believe that complemented with effective social and technological innovation, we can scale up transformational change in Latin America and the Caribbean as a global contribution in the transition to an equitable, low emission economy. 54

MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION RENEWABLES: THE BEST VALUE ENERGY SOLUTION By Adnan Z Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) As the urgency rises in our quest for answers to the climate change challenge, we can take heart from one remarkable piece of good news: renewables have become the best value energy for areas off the grid everywhere. In other words, technologies that were once considered "alternative" are proven to be viable and have become mainstream. Now, we need to take bold steps to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix. Over the past five years, renewable energy has become cheap. The cost of solar panels has fallen by 75 per cent. Onshore wind has become the least-cost option for new grid supply in many countries worldwide – even in countries with cheap shale gas, such as the United States. The falling cost of renewable energy heralds a transformational turn of events, whose importance is still not fully realised. What it means is that we have a viable answer to rising greenhouse gas emissions, which not only allows us to meet our present and future energy needs, but does so potentially more cheaply than using fossil fuels. How often do we face a serious crisis and then find that the solution makes us wealthier and healthier in the process? This is a genuine breakthrough, which presents us with a clear objective. Our job is to move renewable energy from the mainstream to the majority as soon as possible. It is worth repeating some basic facts. By 2030, our planet will be home to 8 billion people. They will be richer and they will want to buy more things. Middleclass spending is expected to soar, from US$21 trillion to $56 trillion annually. Under business-as-usual scenarios, the consequence of all this activity is clear. Energy demand and emissions will grow, and they will do so in a way that causes catastrophic climate change. So how do we stop this? The answer "How many crises do we face, where the solution makes us wealthier and healthier in the process?" seems clear. More than 80 per cent of human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide come from burning fossil fuels. We need to use energy more efficiently, and we need to replace fossil fuels with renewables. The good news is that this is entirely within our grasp. CHEAPER TO ACT THAN TO DELAY IRENA analysis shows that we already have the technology and the know-how to double the share of renewable energy by 2030, from 18 to 36 per cent. But in fact, since half of today's renewable energy still consists of traditional biomass uses, which is unsustainable and entails pollution and health risks, we need to quadruple the use of modern renewables, including sustainable biomass and biofuels. The even better news is that under the REmap 2030 initiative, IRENA has worked out that we can do this more cheaply than not doing so – when we take into account the cost of pollution, including ill health, environmental degradation and carbon emissions. 55