At least summer 2022 is making climate change tangible even in Germany: Long periods of heat combined with extreme drought, as well as an increase in extreme weather events, have become the norm instead of the exception. For older people in particular, this is increasingly turning into a health hazard, whereas in many countries of the Global South, the negative effects of climate change - also on health - have long been a reality.
The African Climate Week is currently taking place. At the invitation of the United Nations and the government of Gabon, experts are discussing how to counter the climate crisis. On the occasion of this event, the current issue of Development in Brief explains how climate change affects human health and what role the health sector can play in meeting this challenge.
Poor and fragile countries not only often experience high population growth; they are also particularly hard hit by the consequences of global climate change. Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and threaten the livelihoods of those who have contributed least to their occurrence. For example, with an average of 4.6 children per woman, the African continent is responsible for only 3.7% of global CO2 emissions.
The countries that have made the most progress in their demographic transition – that is, their evolution from youthful to aging societies – also have the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions. The current issue of "Development in Brief" explores the questions: Why is that? Why are people in the global South particularly affected by climate change? And, can this in turn have an impact on population figures?
Climate change is among the greatest challenges currently facing humanity. As an international promotional bank, KfW takes responsibility – and takes action.
Even though a substantial portion of the effects of climate change still lies 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 climatefriendly is not just a matter of responsibility and equity – it also makes sense economically.
There is no doubt that current efforts to curb global climate change need to be stepped up further. “Net-zero emissions” is not just what everyone is talking about, it is also a goal that many have committed to in recent years. Given this scenario, increasing consideration is being given to technologies that are not yet in widespread use today, but which could make a relevant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.
The current issue of Development in Brief looks at the role that carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) could play in national and international climate action strategies.
The future belongs to solar energy! Our sun is a nearly inexhaustible source of energy that is predestined for photovoltaic systems to use to generate sustainable and climate-friendly energy. But to be able to extract enough “green” energy and make the world more climate friendly, more areas are needed for solar modules. As competition for land increases around the world, the focus is also shifting to places that have hardly, if ever, been used for energy generation: roofs, industrial plants, farmland and, increasingly, standing bodies of water.
The current issue of Development in Brief explores the question of how the use of these water areas as locations for solar installations affects electricity production and output, but also the surrounding biotope.
At the end of April, Joe Biden sent important signals in the fight against climate change at the "Leaders’ Summit on Climate". On this day, the World Earth Day, many participating countries committed themselves to important goals that could at least be a "virtual turning point" for the climate. But to really tackle climate change, the biodiversity crisis also has to be taken seriously and investments in intact ecosystems are needed.
The current issue of "Development in Brief" highlights the fundamental role of biodiversity in the fight against climate change – showing at the same time how strongly biodiversity itself is affected by climate change.
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.