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The Energy Progress Report 2023

Image by: teresa cotrim from Pixabay   Now in its ninth edition, The EPR on SDG7 presents updated statistics for each of the SDG 7 indicators and offers policy insights on priorities and actions needed to accelerate progress towards achieving the 2030 targets. As highlighted by the UNSG report recently, all the SDGs are currently behind schedule at this half-way point. Some plus points include an extra billion people getting electricity since 2010, representing 91% of the world’s population connected. Nearly 30% of global electricity now comes from renewables. And the amount of renewables coming online each year is increasing. However, funding is available only to a small number of countries, with 19 countries receiving 80% of the commitments in 2021 and international public financial flows in support of clean energy in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) declining. A good illustration of how many threads need to pull together to get this SDG implemented. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

World Refugee Day 20 June

Image by: David Mark from Pixabay   There are over 100 million forcibly displaced people across the world. Of these over 35 million are refugees, defined by the UN as “someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion”. In 2023, over 50% of them come from just 3 countries – Syria, Ukraine, and Afghanistan. This shows not just the impact of large-scale conflict but also the longevity of the refugee situation. Once you have become a refugee, it is hard to return home. World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. It is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives. Sadly, we see growing resistance to helping refugees driven by the hardline, us . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Image by: Jason Goh from Pixabay   ‘Historic moment’: First climate action case goes on trial in US (Aljazeera) Greenhouse gas emissions at 'an all-time high' -- and it is causing an unprecedented rate of global warming, say scientists (ScienceDaily) In China's lithium hub, mining boom comes at a cost (reuters) The Overshoot Commission is talking about solar geoengineering. Not everyone thinks it should (CHN) World Bank set to take on risk of insuring carbon credits amid market upheaval (CHN) 10 Myths About the Plant-Based Diet Debunked By a Cardiologist (greenqueen) 7 Big Signals That Prove The End Of Fossil Fuels Is On The Horizon (greenqueen) Is the world making real progress towards net zero emissions? (Eco-business) The materials used by humans now weigh more than all life on Earth – here’s four graphs that reveal our staggering impact on the planet (The Conversation) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

We are on the same side!!!

Image by: Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay   A great example of one of the biggest impediments to making progress on sustainability issues was played out in the UK Guardian media group last week. On 3 June the Guardian published a piece by well-known actor Rowan Atkinson entitled I love electric vehicles – and was an early adopter. But increasingly I feel duped. His argument was that the current environmental cost of batteries is very high and that there may be more to be gained from using cars with ICEs to the end of their natural lives. On 7 June, the same outlet published an article by Ben Lane, The die is cast: petrol and diesel engines are dying. The electric age is inevitable directly contradicting Atkinson’s thoughts. Then on 8 June they published Fact check: why Rowan Atkinson is wrong about electric vehicles by Simon Evans. Lane is co-founder and CTO at Zapmap, a UK-wide map of electric car charging points. Evans is the deputy editor and senior policy edit . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

YAAPP 2023 announced

The ITS Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of its 2023 Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific Programme, co-run with UNITAR. This year the theme will be “Young Changemakers: Unleashing the Power of Social Entrepreneurship for the SDGs.” A core emphasis this year will be on youth aligning themselves with projects that can help accelerate progress towards the SDGs after the slowdown caused by covid (which put the breaks on efforts which were already slipping behind). This will take momentum from the second SDG Summit to be held 18-19 Sept in New York by the United Nations which itself will be reacting to the latest SDG Progress Report from the Secretary General. Seven of the 2022 graduates (pictured) are taking their graduating ideas into reality and some of them have already launched events and initiatives and started having impact. We are thoroughly looking forward to seeing another fantastic cohort go even further. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Image by: Stefan Kellar  from Pixabay   Greenhouse gas emissions are at an all-time high and Earth is warming faster than ever (The Conversation) How understanding plant body clocks could help transform how food is grown (The Conversation) How much plastic is in our oceans? (Aljazeera) Fungi stores a third of carbon from fossil fuel emissions and could be essential to reaching net zero, new study reveals (ScienceDaily) Uber says green rides will enable customers to track CO2 savings (Reuters) Real estate is facing a climate crisis, but there might be a way through (TechCrunch) “Green” funds destroy Indonesia’s forests  (Climate Weekly) 10 Trends Shaping Eco Travel: Exploration Meets Ethics (greenqueen) Put Asia’s children at centre of climate action: UNICEF (Eco-business) Amendment to India's electricity rules seen to bring green energy to more small consumers (Eco-business) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Time for Degrowth?

Image by: Kamiel Choi from Pixabay   A great article in The Conversation by Katharina Richeter outlining “degrowth” as an alternative set og goals for economic planning and policy. GDP has stubbornly hung around as a default measure, driven by uninformed media and possibly those with an ideological/political reason to support it. But for over 50 years, prominent politicians and economists have been calling for the end of this poor tool which only considers output, not impact. A simple example would be to ask just how helpful is it for a country to increase its GDP by producing lots of bombs? Degrowth essentially asks us to start prioritizing the things that actually matter to us and properly reflect whether our economies are working for us. And it is egalitarian, democratic and fits with environmental sustainability targets. Perhaps it’s time we all started taking the lead from Bhutan and its Gross National Happiness index. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Turning off the Tap

Image by: UNEP   A new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report, called ‘Turning off the Tap: How the World Can End Plastic Pollution and Create a Circular Economy,’ argues that plastic pollution could be reduced by 80% by 2040 if countries and companies adopt concrete practices, market shifts, and policies that can inform government thinking and business action. It makes interesting reading as it highlights the complexities of shifting away from plastic which is so integrated into modern ways of behaving and producing and is of course linked into the powerful oil lobby. The report emphasizes the need to reuse, recycle, and reorient and diversify and to eliminate unnecessary plastic uses, as well as deal with plastics already in the environment that cannot be eliminated, reused, recycled, or replaced. Alongside this are the various social impacts for example in those places where plastic waste has become part of the informal economy. It should also be read alongsid . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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