Monday, August 1, 2011

Greening the African economy

Adopted from Climate XL Volume 1 Issue2

As major African economies such as Nigeria and South Africa (as well as smaller ones, including Rwanda (Energy), Kenya (wind and geothermal energy), Uganda (organic agriculture), and Tunisia (solar energy) to mention a few) adopt low-carbon strategies, the green economy has moved from being a preposition to fast becoming a reality. With the best scientific evidence available showing that Africa, one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to negative anthropogenic climate change, is already experiencing the impacts of a variable and changing climate, apprehension is giving way to action in an effort to try and deal with the most significant challenge of our time.

However as happens with most fads, current interest in 'green economy' has not been without controversy. Concerns have been raised by governments, civil society and social movements. The following are representative:

- Will reliance on new technologies (such as nanotechnology, synthetic biology, 'climate ready crops' and others) put our social and environmental security further at risk rather than assure it?

- Will dropping the social pillar of sustainable development for 'green economy' secure bringing billions out of poverty?

- What social, economic and ecological problems could result from a new 'bio-economy' including the intensified use of biofuels, biomass and other resources?

- Will a rush to this 'green economy' threaten the rights and livelihoods of the world's peasants, pastrolists and fisherfolks who currently provide 70% of global food production?

- Can we accept that in the name of 'a climate emergency' a handful of powerful players will geo-engineer the planet?

In this article Climate XL seeks to shed more light to the debate and contribute to defining a sustainable, greener pathway.

Read the full Climate XL discussion on green economy from here

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