Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

Three rules for donors: making sure public-private development finance actually works

April 4, 2016

Last year’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement on climate change represent a significant political shift away from a dependency on fossil fuels towards an era of development more in harmony with the environment. They broaden the previous focus of tackling poverty to include leaving no-one behind and tackling inequality.

Both will require billions, if not trillions, of pounds to implement.

With limited aid budgets, donor governments and global institutions have quickly set their sights on leveraging private sector investment as a way of plugging this finance gap. Aid budgets are increasingly directed towards participating in private sector projects, such as big infrastructure projects like roads, ports and hospitals; service provision such as schools; energy and healthcare.

But if public-private partnerships (PPPs) are to be used effectively to implement both the SDGs and the Paris Agreement, donors need to keep three key rules in mind. (more…)

CAFOD’s hopes for COP21

December 2, 2015

After much anticipation the Paris climate negotiations, or COP21, are finally upon us. It is no exaggeration to say that governments, businlogo-cop21-webesses, charities and faith communities have been working towards this point for years. Failure to secure a meaningful agreement on climate change in Copenhagen in 2009 made many decide to work differently, building political will from the ground up.

Much good work on communicating the urgency of the climate challenge has already been done, from Ban Ki-Moon’s Climate Summit in New York in September 2014 to Pope Francis Encyclical, Laudato Si’. This process will reach its zenith over the next two weeks in Paris. CAFOD, together with sister Catholic development agencies, is now attending the negotiations in Paris to represent the experience of our partners on the ground, advocating for a deal that protects the world’s most vulnerable people. Paris needs to demonstrate the international community working together at its best, delivering a binding agreement which can be assessed and strengthened every few years and ultimately delivers a shift away from fossil fuels to sustainable energy that protects the planet and provides energy for everyone, including the poorest.

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Do we need more coal to end energy poverty?

November 25, 2015
Africa-Kenya-Rose-cooking-dinner

Cooking with bio-mass, Kenya

The climate threat from coal

The past week has seen a flurry of announcements about the future of coal in the run-up to the Paris climate talks.

Stopping support for coal is a priority since planned coal development would singlehandedly exhaust the world’s carbon budget, taking us beyond the 2°C ‘defence line’ against dangerous global warming.

Many organisations participating in the Paris talks advocate phasing out fossil fuels  altogether and switching to 100% renewable energy by 2050 at the latest to have a realistic chance of keeping well below 2°C. Let alone the  1.5°C threshold that Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) want.

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Will Addis Ababa fire the starter gun for a new approach to sustainable development?

July 12, 2015
ban ki moon addressing csos

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon addressing hundreds of civil society organisations

Thousands of delegates have descended on a rainy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the third International Conference on Financing for Development. This is the first in three UN Summits this year that will show how much governments are willing to rise to the current global challenges, including climate change, ongoing poverty, hunger and inequality.

It is the chance to present an ambitious and transformative agenda to tackle structural injustices in the global economic system, to ensure that all development is people-centred for current and future generations and to protect the environment.

Addis presents the starter gun for the journey over the next six months that ends up in Paris in December for the climate change negotiations. AS Ban Ki Moon said to civil society groups today, a successful outcome in Addis is crucial for success in everything else.

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Laudato Si’: the Pope’s call to action on sustainable development

June 22, 2015
Pope Francis in Palo, Philippines,

Pope Francis in Palo, Philippines, January 2015.

Encyclicals are letters to the Catholic Church outlining the thinking of the Pope and in this case of the Bishops of the world. They do not normally generate global media interest and get leaked ahead of time. But like so much done by Pope Francis, this encyclical bucks the trend.

Its chosen theme – on care for our common home – is a direct plea to stop destruction of the planet and protect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people and communities. In a first for a papal encyclical, it calls on everyone – not just Catholics and people of faith – to protect the climate as a common good; a system that it essential for human life.

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The good, the bad and the meaningful – measuring what matters in the Energy SDG

April 1, 2015

Sinteyo at the Community Based Green Energy Project, Isiolo, Kenya

This week’s The Economist bemoans the list of potential Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets under discussion at the UN as “sprawling and misconceived”.

Most people would agree that 169 is a lot of targets. But whether you also agree with The Economist’s view that the SDGs are being “set up to fail” – and whom/what is to blame – the discussion at the UN has moved on.

On the table now are a list of potential indicators to measure progress on the targets compiled by the UN Statistical Commission. While this may seem like one for the technocrats, given the old management adage that “what gets measured gets done“, it is also a crucial discussion for civil society to watch.

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DFID’s approach to economic development: answering David Kennedy’s call to engage

November 27, 2014

On Monday I was the lucky recipient of a last-minute ticket to the PWC International Development Conference when a colleague wasn’t able to attend any more. David Kennedy, the newly appointed Economic Development Director General, gave an impressive-20-minute-no-notes opening address focussing on DFIDs approach to economic development.

David Kennedy speech

David Kennedy speaking at the PWC International Development Conference, 24 November 2014. Source: twitter

He emphasised throughout that DFID are still developing much of their thinking and that they would welcome discussion on this. He ended by saying, “if you have any other questions or thoughts, send me an email, I’d love to engage” – and so, taking this offer at face value, here are my three points:

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The IPCC publishes its synthesis report – but what does it mean for development?

November 2, 2014

“Climate change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger.”

That was the grim message today from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – considered the world’s leading authority on the subject – as it published its synthesis report, pulling together the findings of the three reports it’s published since September 2013.

Join CAFOD in taking action on climate change

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Where will the money come from for sustainable development?

October 10, 2014

Yesterday I attended the presentation of the OECD Development Co-operation Report 2014: “Mobilising Resources for Sustainable Development“. The report can be seen as positioning itself as a key reference for the UN Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa next year and is well worth a read.

It is unashamedly optimistic, arguing that “there is plenty of money in the world that could be used for development”, and that what we need to do is to mobilise these resources and ensure there is the right political environment for them to be used well. There is a certain inevitability that much of the debate around the report will focus on where the money will come from, but that would be to miss some of the more transformative elements.

I will look briefly at where the money for development will come from, but then turn to the more important questions of what the money should be used for, and what else needs to be done to ensure the increased resources make a difference. (more…)

The Climate Summit: Fresh momentum in the climate debate

September 26, 2014

At the invitation of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, 120 world leaders descended on New York for the UN Climate Summit on 23 September 2014. The Summit was a platform for them to reaffirm their commitment to addressing climate change, and renew political will ahead of the UN Summit in Paris 2015, when a new global agreement is due.

Poor communities around the world know only too well the threat from a changing climate to their homes, livelihoods and wellbeing. As new research by CAFOD shows, almost half of those most vulnerable to a changing climate are already living in extreme poverty. Climate change could push them over the edge.

So did the Summit bring us closer to protecting these vulnerable communities, as well as tackling its causes by cutting greenhouse gases emissions?

The 2014 Climate Summit. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The 2014 Climate Summit. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

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