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COP 22: Paris Agreement To Be Put Into Action Following Trillions In Finance




A plan laid out by the head of $8.3 billion Climate Investment Funds outlines how to make large-scale climate projects accessible to developing world.

The entry into force of the Paris Climate Agreement underscores the global efforts to embrace a low-carbon, climate-resilient world. Decision-makers gathering in Morocco for the UN’s Climate summit (COP 22) next week need to act with the urgency commensurate with recent climate-related events—from Hurricane Andrew to record-breaking carbon emissions — which are causing significant human, economic and environmental harm.

The Paris Agreement compels political and financial leaders to move from the intention of global agreements to the implementation of sustainable development plans and commit financing for a climate-smart groundswell. The funds needed amount to trillions, not billions.

The private sector – many of whom are already factoring climate change into their business models, investment decisions and disclosure statements – will play a crucial role in driving climate-smart investments. Private sector capital can be attracted by targeted concessional or de-risking public financing which lowers costs and crowds in new partners.

Despite progress, current climate financing available falls far short of national climate plans (or NDCs) laid out by countries as part of the Paris Climate Agreement. Over the next 15 years, based on preliminary NDC analysis, Sub-Sahara Africa alone will need about $1.8 trillion for mitigation, including clean energy access, and another 500 billion for adaption investments.

The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is the largest source of below-market-rates and de-risking climate finance to Africa, with $2.8 billion allocated to the region. This funding is essential to unlock climate-smart investments in renewable energy, forestry and adaptation. In Africa, for every CIF dollar, another $9 is being invested by others.

In Morocco, the CIF is supporting the Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) complex—the world’s largest and so big it can be seen from space – to achieve over 500 megawatts (MW) installed capacity, reduce carbon emissions by 760,000 tons per year and provide clean energy to 1.1 million households. The CIF has channeled $435 million towards the plant, alongside about $3 billion from other multilateral and private investors.

Also, the CIF is providing $90 million for renewable energy mini-grid projects in Mali, Kenya, Tanzania, Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Ghana, allowing energy access to hundreds of thousands of people. With $110 million in CIF backing, Niger has developed a climate-resilient economic growth plan which supports, among others, community-led projects such as rehabilitating 60 hectares of pastoral land.

Financing needs are much larger than available public resources and therefore trillions of private capital should be unlocked with innovative green financial products. Based on the value added of the CIF model, the fund is currently exploring options for a new financing vehicle that will bring a unique value proposition to the capital markets for investments in resilient, low-carbon growth in developing economies.

Commitment and investments are key to avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable.


Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness



Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move



Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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