Current trends depict an irreversible momentum for a global energy transformation. Renewables have moved to the centre of the global energy landscape. Technological advances and falling costs have made renewables grow faster than any other energy source. Many renewable technologies are now cost-competitive with fossil fuels in the power sector, even before taking into account their contributions to the battles against air pollution and climate change. These trends are creating an irreversible momentum for a global energy transformation leading to shifts that will affect almost all countries and will have wide-ranging geopolitical consequences.
This report published by IRENA's Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Energy & Industry, and the German Federal Foreign Office looks into these developments from a foreign policy perspective.
After close to 40 years of armed conflict, Afghanistan may be poised to begin a period of economic recovery. Electrifying remote areas and establishing pervasive political control is critical to its success. India is currently planning and funding several major hydropower projects along the Kabul River and its tributaries. Micro-hydropower is bringing electricity to remote areas such as the Banda Miralamji Village in eastern Nangarhar Province. However, in some areas far from the capital, the central government in Kabul and opposition groups are struggling for control and influence. While electrification of a village often eases poverty, health concerns, and improves communication, it does not always benefit the government in Kabul.
What outcomes do the agreements achieved at COP24 hold for cities and regions? Despite the decisive part the so-called non-state actors play in achieving the international climate goals, their role hasn't been formally recognized by the UNFCCC.
The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, concluded in October 2016, has entered into force on January 1st, 2019. Its 65 signatories are now on the fast track to significantly reducing the use of harmful greenhouse gases in the production of cooling devices, representing a major step towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. After a season of unsatisfying climate negotiations, the amendment's implementation marks a time of action and reminds the international community why climate diplomacy ultimately pays off.
In many ongoing armed conflicts, water has been used as a weapon of war, but it can also be a strong instrument of peace.
Climate adaptation has been praised for its potential for contributing to peace. It is highlighted for the potential to remake systems and equip the world to better cope with the impacts of climate change. However, these remain hopeful claims until rigorous research is done on how this might take place and what type of peace we might expect to result from the implementation of climate adaptation.
Responding to climate change has become more urgent than ever. Cooperation within communities is a precondition for urban resilience, as recurring heatwaves and hurricanes cannot be put down to chance any more. Lou del Bello argues that part of the response to disaster risks lies in digital communications, which will help build preparedness from the bottom up.
The so-called Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group was established in October 2015 with the inaugural meeting of the V20 Ministers of Finance at the Climate Vulnerable Forum in Lima, Peru. The V20 can be considered as an example of the importance of early action in the field of adaptation in order to initiate a transformative change towards resilient societies.
Almost 200 states have agreed on measures to limit global warming in Katowice, Poland, after a two-week marathon of negotiations. The state representatives participating at the Conference of the Parties (COP24) agreed on a 156-page rulebook on Saturday night, listing measures and controls to limit the global rise in average temperatures to well below two degrees Celsius.
The United Nations Secretary-General will host a summit on climate change on 23 September 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The purpose of the summit is twofold. First, it will mobilize political will to raise real ambition for the achievement of the Paris Agreement goals. Second, it will demonstrate transformative action in the real economy in support of the goals.
The meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development in 2019 convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, will be held from Tuesday, 9 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019; including the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 16 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019. The theme will be "Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality".
The 49th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) will convene in Bonn, Germany, from 17 to 27 June 2019.
The annual UN Environment Emissions Gap Report presents an assessment of current national mitigation efforts and the ambitions countries have presented in their Nationally Determined Contributions, which form the foundation of the Paris Agreement.
The United Nations Environment Assembly is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment. The Assembly meets biennially to set priorities for global environmental policies and develop international environmental law. This year’s theme is “Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production”.