|What can Mozambique show us about making development choices in a changing climate?Author : Sam Bickersteth read more >>
Sam Bickersteth, Chief Executive of CDKN, asks what Mozambique can show us about making development choices in a changing climate.
The planes from Johannesburg to Mozambique’s airports of Maputo, Tete and Pemba are full of business people these days. My neighbours on the flight from South Africa last week were not heading to Mozambique’s beautiful resorts but there to take up the opportunities from the oil, gas and coal revolution that is transforming parts of the country and potentially the entire economy. As well as oil and mineral firms, associated service industries from supermarkets to telecoms are all part of this energy bonanza. In March, the global energy group CWC hosted its first Mozambique Gas Summit. The gathering brought together more than 550 attendees from over 300 companies, and 55 countries in Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Americas. Mozambique is not alone in its mineral boom; oil and gas has been discovered in recent years in numerous African countries, including Angola, Namibia, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.
Mozambique has reason to celebrate its new mineral wealth: it provides an opportunity to transform the economy and livelihoods of ordinary Mozambicans. The country’s brutal civil war ended in the 1990s but despite being a donor aid ‘darling’ it remains ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world (185 out of 187 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index, 2013).
Economic growth would support the much-needed public health, education, roads and other public services that ordinary Mozambicans need. It is also likely to stress the country’s social, economic and political institutions, particularly if the growth is uneven. As one local colleague told me, “we don’t have the capacity to keep up with the change.” Besides issues of governance, use of resources, impacts on equity and the natural environment, there is a question of what the energy bonanza means for Mozambique’s climate policy. The urgent development needs of Mozambique’s poor and the high-carbon profile of the country’s natural resources raise some tough questions about how ‘climate compatible’ Mozambique’s development path could be.
Energy extraction and use cannot be disassociated from climate change, as we were reminded of this week when global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide exceeded 400 parts per million for the first time in 3-5 million years. Mozambique is on the front line of climate change: its 3,000 km coastline and five major river basins expose the country to flooding and weather extremes. In 2000, flooding killed 800 people and displaced half a million, which led the government to start mainstreaming disaster risk management into development planning. Mozambique has prepared a National Climate Change Policy focused around adaptation and disaster management and is now one of Africa’s most advanced countries in this regard.
Even this determined response has not been enough to prepare for every emergency: this February, severe floods in the Limpopo Basin displaced 150,000 people and caused over 100 deaths. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2012) has shown that climate change is likely to increase the severity and frequency of extreme weather events as well as sea level rise. Mozambicans are particularly vulnerable to climate shocks because of high poverty: they lack the resilience to bounce back after extreme events. Mozambique’s ongoing work to build its climate resilience is essential. Leaders thus face a question: how can Mozambique steer a course that embraces immediate needs for economic growth and the prospect of real poverty reduction – including energy access for all its citizens – but also contribute to a climate-resilient, low carbon future? There are no easy answers, but there are a few places to start.
At national level, a whole-of-government approach is needed, where energy security, economic development and climate resilience need to be considered in a joined-up way. Mozambique’s climate-energy dilemma also calls for several forms of support from international partners: donors, businesses and others.
First, the international community owes Mozambique – and least developed countries like it – an ambitious, equitable global climate deal in 2015 that recognises its low greenhouse gas emissions and its need to develop and pull its citizens out of poverty. Second, the country’s international partners owe Mozambique the opportunity to leap-frog old, polluting technologies and access the cleanest, greenest industrial technologies available to drive economic growth (for example, developing renewable energy options for Mozambique’s dispersed population). Third, they need to work with Mozambique to tap into international climate finance – beyond traditional aid budgets – to fund climate-resilient and low-emissions trajectories.
Fourth, there is an emerging evidence base on countries’ practical experiences in climate compatible development including those policies, programmes and strategies that deliver low carbon, development benefits without undermining climate resilience and economic growth. Mozambican leaders could do worse than to learn from others’ experience, and foster an open, national debate about the options for a sustainable and equitable development path.
This article first appeared on Alertnet.
Introducing Green Growth Knowledge Platform "Insights"Author : Benjamin Simmons read more >>
The Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) was first conceived in recognition of some key challenges. First, because the concepts of green growth and green economy are relatively new and developed quickly, the analysis, data and tools to support a green economy transition are often lacking, or in some cases, non-existent. Second, even in cases where the information has been produced, it is often not organized or presented in a format that is easily accessible to the governments, experts and other professionals that need it most. Finally, although there is increasing demand globally to explore green growth development paths, there is often a lack of practitioners and experts with the knowledge and training to support these efforts.
Generating, managing and sharing knowledge
The GGKP was established to address these concerns by:
- Creating an open and collaborative process to identify and respond to major knowledge gaps in green growth theory and practice;
- Building a knowledge infrastructure that compiles and organizes the most important technical resources, including research, tools and data, so users have easy access to this information; and
- Fostering information sharing and training at global, regional and national levels through peer learning events, conferences and workshops.
The GGKP does this by cultivating and engaging a global network of international organizations, research institutes, and experts committed to the common objectives of generating, managing and sharing knowledge in a collaborative environment.
A short history
The GGKP was incubated in the World Bank as part of an effort to establish knowledge platforms on a few critical global issues by fostering networks of institutions and individuals.
From GGKP’s earliest days, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Global Green Growth Institute joined the World Bank in their efforts to construct the platform. These four institutions set about conceptualizing and developing the platform, which culminated in its formal launch in January 2012.
Although still in its infancy, the platform has enjoyed a number of successes.
The first was the convening in early January 2012 of the GGKP Annual Conference held in Mexico City. The Conference included over 150 participants from 30 countries, including from over 20 developing countries. This initial annual conference was followed by a second GGKP Annual Conference organized in April 2013 at the OECD headquarters in Paris involving over 300 participants.
An expanding partnership and research portfolio
Most importantly, the GGKP partnership has expanded dramatically in the last year with ten leading international organizations and research institutes joining, including the African Development Bank, Climate & Development Knowledge Network, Environment for Development Initiative, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, International Labour Organization, International Trade Centre, Nordic Development Fund, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
The GGKP also welcomed two affiliated programs: the Green Growth Best Practices initiative and the World Bank’s Data and Decision-Making Tools for Green Growth initiative. Both of these independent initiatives have a strategic relationship with the GGKP and will yield analysis and tools linked to the GGKP.
In addition, more than 20 research working papers have been commissioned by the GGKP from world-class economists and other experts to survey the current state of knowledge on green growth across a wide range of topics, including on green innovation, trade, natural resource management, infrastructure and urban development, employment, ecosystem resilience, human behavior, and welfare measurement.
On the basis of this analytical work, the GGKP has initially prioritized three areas on which to build GGKP research programs: 1) technology and innovation; 2) trade and competitiveness; and 3) green growth indicators and measurement. All three are following distinct paths of implementation but reflect the core GGKP mission of undertaking collaborative research and catalyzing a wider community of scholars and practitioners.
The first output from these research programs was the launch of a report, “Moving towards a Common Approach on Green Growth Indicators” produced jointly by the OECD, World Bank, UNEP and GGGI. The report represents an ambitious effort to develop internationally agreed indicators for monitoring progress towards green growth.
GGKP’s future success depends on its ongoing and close relationship with its partners and its ability to capitalize on this partnership to generate new knowledge and share it broadly. We have recently launched a new “Insights” section of our website to further this objective. The Insights section allows our partners, as well as other international organizations, research institutes and experts to reflect on and highlight their latest research, activities and events related to green growth and green economy.
In the third quarter of 2013, the GGKP will follow on this recent development by launching a second generation web platform to further draw the green growth community together and provide information on related research and activities. The web platform will include a number of useful features, including a resource library that features relevant research, policy papers and tools, and a project database that highlights green growth related activities taking place globally.
We are eager to continue building strong links with those interested in furthering green theory and practice. One way to engage in the community is through our recently launched Twitter account (@GGKPlatform) or by joining our LinkedIn Group. And of course, if you or your institution is interested in partnering with the GGKP, please make sure to contact us.
On a mission to scale up green growthAuthor : Ari Huhtala read more >>
CDKN’s Ari Huhtala, Director of Policy and Programme, reports on the Global Green Growth Forum’s progress to get green growth concepts into the mainstream
The Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) was launched to convene governments, businesses, investors and organisations to act together through public-private partnerships (PPPs). There are a good number of best practices and examples of successful private sector involvement in green growth activities, but so far they cannot be considered transformative. The main aim of 3GF is to speed up and bring to scale inclusive green growth initiatives.
The highlight of the 3GF year is the high-level event, held in October, bringing together ministers, CEOs of major companies and heads of multilateral organisations. But that event is the tip of the iceberg and the rest of the year the secretariat is busy developing partnerships and cases for active promotion. As an important part of this process, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark organised a pre-event in Copenhagen last week in preparation for 3GF2013.
The overall theme of the meeting was “Improving resource efficiencies in the value chain”, in sync with one of the key themes of the recent Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) annual conference in Paris. (You can read about this in our story: Measuring green growth comes a step closer.) This year, there was an attempt to dig deeper into sectors such as energy, water and food to develop concrete examples and cases for promotion at the October high-level event.
The cross-cutting thematic day and sectoral PPP workshops provided a lively mix of presentations and discussions on compelling business models under resource constraints and challenges of financing. I was surprised to learn that some developing countries have shown more leadership in promoting green growth in their economies than developed countries. Interestingly, the progress made has not necessarily come about through specialised institutions, but via a process of mainstreaming. Often the tools used have included government budget resources (subsidies and feed-in tariffs, for example) rather than those promoted by financial institutions. 3GF’s partner countries (China, Kenya, Korea, Mexico and Qatar) all had interesting stories to tell.
The private sector is not homogenous; some companies are proactive while others are rather reactive. However, all expect their government’s policy framework to cover the three Ls: Loud (explicit and well-articulated), Long (predictable and stable) and Legal (anchored in clear legislation and regulations). Major momentum can be recorded in driving the green growth PPP agenda through the instrument of public procurement and through sub-national leaders. The work led by mayors through the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of megacities committed to addressing climate change, is a case in point.
3GF’s main goal of getting the private sector fully on board must be achieved if a true transformation to inclusive green growth, or mainstreaming climate compatible development, is to materialise. To speed this up, the Forum fosters innovative, imaginative and unconventional PPPs, which include partnerships to agree on standards, new rules of the game and so on. All this is done with a view to going up in scale in the future.
Two years on from the 3GF’s foundation, the high-level meeting in Copenhagen in October can be a turning point in demonstrating that the PPP nexus can kick off transformational change, or it can be yet another event with lofty and eerily familiar declarations but no tangible outcomes. In the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Villy Søvndal: “It is time to go beyond talk and start to act”. The 3GF team is putting its best efforts and the goodwill of the Danish government into this process, but the final challenge lies with ministers and company leaders worldwide.
Originally posted on the Climate & Development Knowledge Network (www.cdkn.org).