Every single day, 200,000 people around the world move to cities – that’s as many as the entire population of the German city of Kassel. They need jobs, places to live, and transport networks. For this reason, an incredible amount of infrastructure needs to be built in urban areas around the world. At the same time, cities are already the main drivers of climate change, emitting over 70% of all global greenhouse gases. This makes it even more important that construction activities are done in environmentally friendly ways, using different methods and materials.
On the occasion of World Cities Day on 31 October, “Development in Brief” discusses why sustainable construction is an important aspect of climate protection and what materials are particularly suitable.
In recent weeks, the forest fires in the Amazon region have once again become the focus of public attention, highlighting the problem of forest loss. Not only in the tropical countries of Latin America forest loss has increased in the last 3 years, but also in other tropical regions the phenomenon still persists at a high level. The international community considers the protection of forests, whose degradation and destruction account for 11% of annual greenhouse gas emissions, as an essential element in achieving the "well below" 2°C or 1.5°C target set in the Paris Climate Convention. To this end, it has agreed on the establishment of the REDD+ instrument.
The current Covid-19 crisis has a firm grip on all of us. In response to the economic consequences, states are mobilising financial resources on an unprecedented scale. But to what extent are economic support programmes compatible with our climate goals? Is climate protection now losing momentum in the wake of short-term support? One thing is certain: current investments play a decisive role as to the development of our emissions in the coming years.
The current edition of "Development in Brief" explains how, against this background, the "Green Recovery" approach can be seen as both a historical opportunity and an imperative.
Even though a substantial portion of the effects of climate change still lie ahead of us, we are already starting to feel the changes all over the world: droughts, floods, heat waves. Developing countries are the most hard-hit by these effects, even though these nations have contributed least to climate change up to now. So we need to take swift and definitive countermeasures in all areas of life. Organising development in a manner that is climate-friendly is not just a matter of responsibility and equity – it also makes sense economically.
Energy efficiency is one of our most underestimated resources. The International Energy Agency (IEA) goes even further, describing it as our most important source of energy ("the world‘s first fuel"). And its potential is far from being exhausted. Well over half of the primary energy used around the world is lost during the production, transportation and consumption process. These losses, which are unnecessary in many cases, provide a huge opportunity for saving energy and using it more effectively. This is particularly but not only true for the emerging and developing countries. A backlog of investment, outdated technology and practices when dealing with energy resources and a lack of expertise offer significant potential to improve efficiency. In light of the growing overall demand for energy, energy efficiency must therefore play a much bigger role than it has before, particularly in the poorer regions of the world. That‘s because this is a crucial factor for making the supply of energy more affordable and more reliable, and - last but not least - protecting the climate.
Sitting at the intersection of environment and development, the question of how to address climate change is increasingly being framed as a problem requiring transformational solutions. This paper assesses the opportunity of financing transformational change for climate change mitigation as a practical question of development finance.
Climate finance is one crucial issue and is needed to support mitigation and adaptation in developing countries and emerging economies. EU Blending Facilities are instruments set up by the European Commission. They describe facilities that have the possibility of blending and cover a specific region.