Access to energy is essential to reduce poverty. Globally, over 1.2 billion people still do not have access to electricity. About 2.8 billion use solid fuels — wood, charcoal, coal, and dung — for cooking and heating.
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Washington, March 20, 2012 – Every two seconds, an area of forest the size of a football field is clear-cut by illegal loggers around the globe. A new World Bank report released today shows how c... Show More +ountries can effectively fight illegal logging through the criminal justice system, punish organized crime, and trace and confiscate illegal logging profits. The report, Justice for Forests: Improving Criminal Justice Efforts to Combat Illegal Logging, affirms that to be effective, law enforcement needs to look past low-level criminals and look at where the profits from illegal logging go. By following the money trail, and using tools developed in more than 170 countries to go after ‘dirty money,’ criminal justice can pursue criminal organizations engaged in large-scale illegal logging and confiscate ill-gotten gains. The World Bank estimates that illegal logging in some countries accounts for as much as 90 percent of all logging and generates approximately US$10–15 billion annually in criminal proceeds. Mostly controlled by organized crime, this money is untaxed and is used to pay corrupt government officials at all levels. The new report provides policy and operational recommendations for policy makers and forestry and law enforcement actors to integrate illegal logging into criminal justice strategies, foster international and domestic cooperation among policy makers, law enforcement authorities and other key stakeholders, and make better use of financial intelligence. “We need to fight organized crime in illegal logging the way we go after gangsters selling drugs or racketeering,” said Jean Pesme, Manager of the World Bank Financial Market Integrity team that helps countries implement effective legal and operational frameworks to combat illicit financial flows. Despite compelling evidence showing that illegal logging is a global epidemic, most forest crimes go undetected, unreported, or are ignored. In addition, estimates of criminal proceeds generated by forest crimes do not capture their enormous environmental, economic and societal costs— biodiversity threats, increased carbon emissions and undermined livelihoods of rural peoples, with organized crime profiting at the expense of the poor. “Preventive actions against illegal logging are critical. We also know that they are insufficient,” said Magda Lovei, Sector Manager at the World Bank. “When implemented, the recommendations of this publication can have a strong deterrent effect that has been missing in many actions taken against illegal loggers.” Organized crime networks behind large scale illegal logging have links to corruption at the highest levels of government. The investigation of forest crimes is made even more complex by the international dimension of these operations. Recognizing these challenges, this study calls for law enforcement actions that are focused on the “masterminds” behind these networks—and the corrupt officials who enable and protect them. Show Less -
Durbanite’s Photo and Kenyan’s Rap Video Receive Top Honors Durban, December 5, 2011 – A riveting photo “Solar Panels: The Sunny Energy” by a young Durbanite, Dina Osman, and a catchy rap video “... Show More +Me and My Bike” celebrating bicycle transport by Dickson Oyuki of Kenya won top honors in the Africa-wide Connect4Climate competition announced in Durban today. Robyn Curnow, South African CNN Anchor, announced the winners at the packed Africa Pavilion of the COP 17 meeting. The event celebrated and showcased the creative energies of African youth, ages 13 to 35, who contributed 639 photos and 47 videos to answer key questions such as, How is climate change affecting Africa? Your country? Your community? You, your friends, and your family? “The C4C competition was first and foremost an effort to hear the voices of African youth and engage their creative talents to create climate smart solutions for tomorrow,” said Andrew Steer, World Bank Special Envoy for Climate Change. “The response was enthusiastic with entries from every country on the African continent. The photos and videos we see today are proof positive that even as governments deliberate climate change, people are taking action on the ground and achieving results.” The 54 winners hail from 20 African countries including Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Niger, Rwanda, South Africa, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zambia. Prizes include solar backpacks, digital video and still cameras, and computer tablets. Commenting on the importance of the awards, Monique Barbut, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, a C4C sponsor, said, “C4C is an inspiration for those most often regarded as too young to be heard. Now, young Africans can reach world audiences through this new platform. I am convinced that the search for solutions to today’s climate change challenges must include those who will suffer its consequences the most and have the most to contribute through their daily actions. These are the young stakeholders.” Young people submitted climate change stories related to one of six categories: agriculture, energy, forests, gender, health, and water. The response to the competition was impressive, with entries from budding photographers and filmmakers from every country on the African continent. The winning photographs include powerful images of drought and floods as well as innovative solutions such as solar panels, clean cookstoves, and reforestation projects to name just a few. The C4C campaign unites over 110 partners, including international organizations, social media networks, UN agencies, civil society including academic institutions, as well as youth organizations and private sector representatives. Since launching in September, C4C has built a Facebook community of over 100,000 followers with a weekly online reach of six million. The Italian Ministry of Environment is a core sponsor and founding member of the initiative. In a message, Corrado Clini, Italy’s newly-appointed Minister of Environment said, "Today’s rapidly changing social media environment presents a great opportunity for global discussion, advocacy, and participation. The C4C campaign is amplifying local voices and enabling policymakers to listen and learn from the innovations that are happening throughout Africa and helping to bring together environmentally-engaged citizens from all corners of the globe." Connect4Climate is a global partnership initiative supported by the World Bank and the Italian Ministry of Environment. Connect4Climate Knowledge Partners include:Adamawa State University in Mubi, African Forum on Mobility and Development, Africa Rural Connect-National Peace Corps Association, African Union Commission, African University College of Communication, African Virtual University, African Youth Initiative on Climate Change, Ahfad University for Women, Anlo Awomefia Senior High School, American Renewable Energy Day, Boston University, Brainforest, Center for Girls and Interaction, Centro de Estudos Mocambicans e Internacionais, CISP - International Committee for the Development of Peoples, Cittadinanzattiva Onlus, Children’s Radio Foundation, Coaches Across Continents, Columbia University Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Communication for Sustainable Development Initiative, Conserve Africa, Educate!, Ethiopian Global Initiative, FAO, FOCSIV – Volontari per lo sviluppo, Flickr, George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, Georgetown University Center for Social Impact Communication, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves, Global Unification-The Gambia, Horn Relief, Institute of Tropical Agriculture-Kumasi, Inter Press Service, International Centre for Environmental Research, iYPTDI, Jeunesse Secours, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Liceo Marconi Asmara Madre Terra Chiama Uomou – Africa ’70, Mahatma Gandhi University, Maranyundo School, MILMUN Milan International Model United Nation, Momenta, Mwelu Foundation, MXit, Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition, NR2154, Obafemi Awolowo University, Orbicom, Oshwal Academy Nairobi – Junior High, Pastoral Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa, Plan International, Project Diaspora, Qamar Zaman, Radio FM Liberté, Reuters AlertNet, Rio Conventions Pavilion, RITE FM, Solar Sister, Somali Aid Foundation, Sorgenia, Soundtracker.fm, South East African Climate Consortium Student Forum, Stella Maris Polytechnic, Television Trust for the Environment, Tony Blair International Academy, Trees for the Future Ghana, Uganda Medicinal Plant Growers Ltd., UN Decade on Biodiversity, UN Foundation, UN Women, UN Association – National Capital Area, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNFCCC, UNIC Pretoria, UNICEF, Unite4Climate Zambia, University of Massachusetts Boston Center for Governance and Sustainability, University of The Gambia, World Bank Institute IMAGE Network, Youth Initiatives Kenya, Youthink! Prizes kindly provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Autogrill, and Unicredit. Show Less -
Emerging economies present proposals for domestic mitigation schemes atCarbon Expo Barcelona, June 2, 2011 – Eight countries (Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand,... Show More + and Turkey) have each received an initial grant of $US350,000 to help think through and plan how they will design, pilot, and eventually implement market-based instruments for greenhouse gas mitigation. The grants are the first made under the Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR), a World Bank initiative launched at the UN climate change conference in December 2010. The idea of the Partnership is to build capacity in countries so that they can develop new market-based instruments to fight climate change. Each of the eight recipient countries will now develop a "Market Readiness Proposal" that will detail their plans.The PMR is a multi-million dollar partnership among governments, experts and organizations which aims to provide support to about 15 countries as they build technical and institutional capacities for the use of market instruments, such as domestic emissions trading schemes or new international crediting mechanisms, to scale up mitigation efforts. The fund is supported by ten contributors – Australia, the European Commission, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States – which together have pledged nearly US $70 million. More countries have expressed an interest to join. "Over the past two days here in Barcelona, more than 30 countries have been meeting to talk about new initiatives in emerging economies with regard to market-based instruments”, said Andrew Steer, Special Envoy for Climate Change. “We've heard remarkable plans from China, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand, Turkey and others. These countries are taking a lead in building the capacity and foundation for a future global carbon market with the support of the Partnership for Market Readiness." PMR funding and technical assistance will place particular focus on "readiness" aspects, including shoring up data collection and management, the establishment of baselines, and the creation and strengthening of domestic measurement, reporting and verification systems, as well as support for policy analysis and the development of a regulatory framework. Mexico, for instance, is interested in developing a registry that would incorporate different carbon offset markets in one centralized system. “This will help add quality and transparency to the carbon offsets being sold, independent of the market being utilized,” said Mr. Jose Antonio Urteaga of Mexico’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. China, also a PMR Implementing Country Participant, plans to use the support of the PMR to pursue its ambitions for an emissions trading scheme. "The Government of China will, according to the requirements of the Outline of the 12th Five-Year Plan, gradually establish a market system for carbon emissions trading to promote the achievement of its carbon intensity reduction objective," said Mr. Wang Shu of the National Development Reform Commission of China. “The initial plan is to establish carbon emissions trading schemes in some pilot regions, and try to establish a unified national system in 2015.” In addition to the approval of preparation funding proposals, the PMR Partnership Assembly also confirmed Morocco as an implementing country participant, bringing the total number of Implementing Country Participants to ten. The PMR, launched at the Conference of the Parties in Cancun on December 8, 2010, is targeting a total capitalization of $100 million before end of this year and aims to provide grant support to 15 Implementing Country Participants in total. The preparation grants approved at the Partnership Assembly meeting in Barcelona will be used to prepare full-fledged proposals that will, when approved, also be funded by the PMR. Show Less -
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 15, 2010—In a significant trend to rebalance energy services toward clean technology, twenty developing countries are investing in large-scale renewables, particularly ... Show More +solar, wind and geothermal services, as a robust source of energy access for their citizens. Just weeks before the global climate negotiating session in Cancun, this trend away from high-emissions sources and toward clean energy sounds a positive note for real climate-smart development. With support from the Clean Technology Fund, fourteen middle income countries -- Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vietnam -- plan to radically rebalance their national energy portfolios by investing in renewables at a large scale, the CTF governing body was told in its meetings which concluded here on Friday. The CTF Committee welcomed the trend shown in the project pipeline laid out in the CTF operational report, which detailed a first round of renewables projects for a total of $2.4 billion to implement these plans, expected to finance around 4,255 megawatts with a potential to scale-up around 39,200 megawatts.Of particular note is the ambitious South African wind power and concentrated solar power project, provisionally approved by the Committee pending appraisal for technical and cost specifications, which promises to expand the South African clean energy landscape significantly. Acknowledging his own country’s and others’ path-changing commitments to low-emissions growth, South African Committee member Zaheer Fakir said, “As developing countries, we are on the cusp of an energy revolution, and the CTF offers us the door through which we can go to access the needed support, financially and technologically.” Fakir, who also serves as CTF co-chair, added, “The Committee welcomes the tremendous upsweep of action these countries are demonstrating, and looks forward to beginning to see the results of these ambitious commitments.”During the CTF meeting an additional country, Nigeria, also submitted and received endorsement for an investment plan which contains renewable energy action, which can be implemented when CTF resources sufficient to finance their plan become available.The $4.5 billion CTF, one of two primary funds under the $6.4 billion multilateral Climate Investment Funds channeled through the multilateral development banks, is expected to support an overall portfolio of projects covering renewables, energy efficiency, and clean transport and to leverage up to $40 billion, $8.4 for every CTF dollar invested.In addition, six low income countries – Ethiopia, Honduras, Kenya, Maldives, Mali, and Nepal – intend to invest in renewable energy services as a means to grow their citizens’ often badly-needed energy access and leapfrog into climate-friendly development, with support from the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program in Low Income Countries (SREP). As the six pilot countries gathered in Washington and explored early reflections on possible far-reaching plans they will consider under the SREP, the SREP Sub-Committee opened the door for them to develop their renewable energy plans by agreeing to a set of operational and financial modalities. “Nearly 70 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s people, both urban and rural, lack access to basic energy services like electricity. These country pilots hold a dual promise: both for long-awaited and badly-needed energy access, and for Africa to help take a lead on reshaping the global clean energy map,” said Mafalda Duarte, Principal Climate Change Specialist for the African Development Bank, which will help countries implement three of the six SREP pilots.In addition to the focus on clean energy, the CIF governing bodies took action to operationalize plans for the eight countries running pilots under the Forest Investment Program, and the nine countries and two regions running pilots under the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience. A total of 45 developing countries now have pilot programs under the CIF.“This is a potent commitment to climate action,” stated Andrew Steer, World Bank Climate Change Envoy and co-chair of the $1.9 billion Strategic Climate Fund, the second primary CIF fund. “These countries are creating a badly needed global trend which could reshape national and global markets, policies and institutions. As we turn our eyes toward Cancun, it would serve us well to take careful account of the actions – and the new leadership – emerging in developing countries on climate-smart development.”To conform to the criteria of the CIF funds, all countries with CIF pilots must ensure that their plans engage all relevant stakeholders, create real potential for market and policy transformation, mobilize funds from public and private sector partners, and contribute to a small but growing bank of knowledge about low-emissions and climate-resilient approaches to development.In the margins of the CIF week-long governing body meetings, pilot country representatives from each of the CIF forest, climate resilience, and low income renewable programs also gathered for day-long brainstorming sessions, to compare notes and exchange knowledge as their pilot programs develop. With all of the CIF funds and programs now operationalized, these pilot country dialogues will become an important part of the knowledge sharing component of the CIF, along with the annual Partnership Forum gathering of stakeholders. The 2011 Partnership Forum is scheduled for March 2011 in Tunis, hosted by the African Development Bank.The Climate Investment Funds provides a unique financing instrument designed to support low-emissions and climate-resilient development through scaled-up financing channeled through the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank Group. Show Less -