Skip to comments.Resource-rich Africa well placed to transition to ‘green economy’ – UN official
Posted on 03/28/2011 10:16:47 AM PDT by wheresmyusa
Africa is well poised to take advantage of a host of opportunities on the continent for building a green economy, one that generates decent jobs in an environmentally sustainable way, a senior United Nations official said today.
This continent is in many ways the envy of the 21st century world, Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), told African ministers of finance, planning and economic development gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Africa is rich in the kinds of natural resources that in many parts of the world have been over-exploited and diminished by centuries of unsustainable development, he stated.
This includes not just precious and semi-precious metals, but also nature-based resources such as forests and biodiversity, which support tourism and could also underpin inventions and pharmaceutical breakthroughs.
At the same time, many parts of the continent are rich in so-called natural fuels such as wind, solar and geothermal.
The fundamental question, said Mr. Steiner, is how will all this potential be harvested for the benefit of Africas citizens and in a way that promotes stability in Africa and beyond.
He noted that the green economy is not a substitute for sustainable development, but a way of realizing it. It is as relevant to developing economies and it is to developed ones; it is as central to more state-led economies as it is to more market-led ones. It is not a straitjacket, nor is it prescriptive.
In February UNEP released a report outlining how investing 2 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 10 sectors can catalyze the transition to a green economy.
It also provided a global compilation of case studies from across the globe, including Africa, where forward-looking policies by governments are watering the green shoots of the global green economy.
One example is South Africa, whose Green Economy Plan focuses on investments that create more decent jobs, and where nearly $1 billion is being spent on railways, energy-efficient buildings, and water and waste management.
He also highlighted Kenyas new green energy policy, including a feed-in tariff and 15-year power purchase agreement, which is catalyzing an initial target of 500 megawatts of energy from geothermal, wind and sugar wastes systems.
Later this week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit Kenyas main geothermal sites, located north-west of Nairobi, to learn first-hand how these developments have been achieved, as well as how they are set to generate thousands of new jobs in the clean energy sector while reducing dependency on imported fossil fuels.
The rest of the world can learn from Africa, but Africa can also learn from other continents, said Mr. Steiner.
He added that the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development, set to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 20 years after the Earth Summit of 1992, could prove to be one of the most transformative moments in international affairs.
In 1992, we could only perhaps glimpse the scale some of the challenges emerging on the radar from climate change and the loss of healthy, productive cropland, he noted.
But in the world of the here and now, many of those challenges have become all too real. There is an urgency to swiftly and decisively evolve the sustainable development agenda onto a far more focused and far reaching level.
He said that the question now emerging is not whether a green economy is desirable but how to realize a green economy in practical terms.
Rio+20 offers an opportunity to accelerate and scale-up transitions, already under way across this region and indeed across the world in order to catalyze growth and employment opportunities for around nine billion people by 2050, he stated. But in a way that also maintains and enhances the regional and global planetary services that underpin wealth generation in the first place.
Africas experience on what has worked and what has not worked over the past two decades offers an invaluable foundation upon which a transformational outcome next year can be built.
RIO should be a breeze for the globalists....Zero is 100% in their corner.
Actually it is well placed to provide PRC lebensraum.
Zimbabwe will lead the way..............
Ha! Just wait until China fully exploits Africa, or until the Islamic revolution spreads in Africa.
Then the UN can stop concerning itself with the hateful, greedy capitalist Americans (you know, the ones who consume all the resources and pollute the earth). Never mind that we have poured trillions and trillions in direct public and private aid to help Africa over the last century with little in return.
I love pithy comments and this one was one of the best. I had to look up lebensraum and figure out PRC (People’s Republic of China), but it was well worth it.
The New Colonialism. White Euroliberal trash and a few local corruptocrats building a “green economy” on the backs of starving people in Africa.
In africa, the wind blows, the sun shines and in some places volcanoes erupt.
The natives live in huts with roofs made of leaves and straw, sleep with the animals to stay warm, and have contracted and passed on AIDS from having sex with monkeys.
They are really green, but that green puss that is oozing from their skin can kill you.
Climate Justice: The Challenge for Global Governance
(based on the words and wisdom of the likes of Cass Sunstein, Samantha Power, Agenda 21 itself [*see footnotes*] and others....
Huts heated by burning dried elephant dung - a model for us all.
...except Africa’s a latrine.
Translation: China will be strip mining the entire continent, threatening and paying off the various dupes and tyrants in the UN, while Africans will be kept in environmentally-friendly dark, cold starvation.
Yes, having thrown off “colonialism” and replaced it with rampant domestic corruption, fed by the “international aid” industry, Africa is ripe again for the re-emergence of subsistence living.
This is very much like saying your blind date has a great personality.
Africa has some of the largest open pit mines in the world. Niger and Namibia produce 1000 tons a year of...wait for it...yellow cake, or uranium for those that don’t remember.
Then there are those shiny baubles mined down south.
Always thought open pit mining was considered as raping the planet, I.E. not very green.
Raping the planet!! Well, that sounds like a horrifyingly “unsustainable” course of action! I’m sure they’d never.....