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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.


Road Trip! How to Choose the Greenest Vehicle for Your Growing Family



Greenest Vehicle
Licensed Image by Shutterstock - By Mascha Tace --

When you have a growing family, it often feels like you’re in this weird bubble that exists outside of mainstream society. Whereas everyone else seemingly has stability, your family dynamic is continuously in flux. Having said that, is it even possible to buy an eco-friendly vehicle that’s also practical?

What to Look for in a Green, Family-Friendly Vehicle?

As a single person or young couple without kids, it’s pretty easy to buy a green vehicle. Almost every leading car brand has eco-friendly options these days and you can pick from any number of options. The only problem is that most of these models don’t work if you have kids.

Whether it’s a Prius or Smart car, most green vehicles are impractical for large families. You need to look for options that are spacious, reliable, and comfortable – both for passengers and the driver.

5 Good Options

As you do your research and look for different opportunities, it’s good to have an open mind. Here are some of the greenest options for growing families:

1. 2014 Chrysler Town and Country

Vans are not only popular for the room and comfort they offer growing families, but they’re also becoming known for their fuel efficiency. For example, the 2014 Chrysler Town and Country – which was one of CarMax’s most popular minivans of 2017 – has Flex Fuel compatibility and front wheel drive. With standard features like these, you can’t do much better at this price point.

2. 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

If you’re looking for a newer van and are willing to spend a bit more, you can go with Chrysler’s other model, the Pacifica. One of the coolest features of the 2017 model is the hybrid drivetrain. It allows you to go up to 30 miles on electric, before the vehicle automatically switches over to the V6 gasoline engine. For short trips and errands, there’s nothing more eco-friendly in the minivan category.

3. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Who says you have to buy a minivan when you have a family? Sure, the sliding doors are nice, but there are plenty of other options that are both green and spacious. The new Volkswagen Atlas is a great choice. It’s one of the most fuel-efficient third-row vehicles on the market. The four-cylinder model gets an estimated 26 mpg highway.

4. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

While a minivan or SUV is ideal – and necessary if you have more than two kids – you can get away with a roomy sedan when you still have a small family. And while there are plenty of eco-friendly options in this category, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is arguably the biggest bang for your buck. It gets 38 mpg on the highway and is incredibly affordable.

5. 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel

If money isn’t an object and you’re able to spend any amount to get a good vehicle that’s both comfortable and eco-friendly, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel is your car. Not only does it get 28 mpg highway, but it can also be equipped with a third row of seats and a diesel engine. And did we mention that this car looks sleek?

Putting it All Together

You have a variety of options. Whether you want something new or used, would prefer an SUV or minivan, or want something cheap or luxurious, there are plenty of choices on the market. The key is to do your research, remain patient, and take your time. Don’t get too married to a particular transaction, or you’ll lose your leverage.

You’ll know when the right deal comes along, and you can make a smart choice that’s functional, cost-effective, and eco-friendly.

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How Climate Change Altered this Engineer’s Life



how climate change affect our lives
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Living the life of an engineer likely sounds pretty glamorous: you are educated and highly regarded, typically have high paying gigs, and with the breadth of knowledge and array of fields of specialty, your possibility for jobs is usually immense.  But what if there was something else that needed your attention? Something bigger than just being an engineer, going to work every day and doing the same technical tasks typically associated with the profession?

For Kevin McCroary, that is exactly how it played out.  A successful engineer, gainfully employed in a prosperous job, a simple trip to the Philippines made him see that there was a bigger issue at hand than using his engineer training in a traditional profession.  This bigger issue was that of climate change.  And working as a volunteer for underprivileged children in the Philippines, he saw first-hand the extensive pollution and poverty that existed here and that impacted the livelihood of these kids and their families.

Upon returning home, from his trip to the Philippines he had a new perspective of the impact we as individuals and as humanity have on the earth, and more than that Kevin wanted to know more.  He started to do some research and study these human-environmental interactions, and shortly thereafter ended up in Greenland.  There, he spoke to a man who had lost his home in a tsunami, and, who, through consistent weather tracking could indeed confirm that the current weather trends were “strange:” there was undeniably a general warming tendency happening in the arctic, causing an array of negative effects.

The combination of these observations, as well as his own research, led Kevin to conclude that something had to be done.  With that in mind, he launched his project Legend Bracelet.  The mission is simple: create a reminder of the legacy we are leaving behind.  As individuals and as humanity, we are leaving behind an imprint on the earth, and the magnitude of it is something that needs to be brought to the forefront of public awareness.  The idea is to have a bracelet that can serve as a daily reminder of the impact on the earth that each of us can have every day, regardless of how big or small.  The bracelet has two capsules: the first is filled with sand or earth, and the second is empty.  As the owner, you are to fill the empty one with your own earth, carrying it with you as a reminder and symbol of your connection and commitment to helping look after our environment.

We are all impacted by climate change, and we all have a responsibility to help.  And it can start with something as simple as putting on a bracelet.  Support Kevin on his Kickstarter campaign for Legend Bracelet, tell others about it, or take action in your own way and play your part in slowing down the effects of climate change.  You may think “but I’m just one person!” You are indeed.  But so is he.  Every change starts with one.

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