South Africa follows Sweden, China and India to become the fourth country in the world to launch the Climate Solver program. According to Louise Scholtz at WWF, South Africa has fared poorly on innovation indexes in the past, “We see the Climate Solvers programme as a great tool to support innovation in South Africa because it assists in identifying problems faced by entrepreneurs at the different stages of product development and entry to market.”
The South Africa Climate Solver awards will be presented in March 2014. The call for nominations of inspiring South African entrepreneurs is open at www.wwf.org.za/climatesolver and the closing date for entries is 7 November.
Congratulations South Africa and welcome onboard the Climte Solver train!
During his recent visit to Sweden, President Barak Obama expressed great interest in Solvatten’s technology. The President took the opportunity to congratulate Solvatten on its innovation, and its potential to improve the lives of millions of people around the globe, “Congratulation on a wonderful achievement: it is a great story to tell”.
Safe, clean drinking water is a huge challenge for millions of people around the world. It is a sad fact, that almost 11% of the global population (783 million people) has no access to clean drinking water. The situation is so serious that the UN has categorized this problem in the millennium development goals (MDGs). Fortunately, the scenario is gradually improving due to technological innovation and proper attention by concerned parties. One such technological breakthrough has been offered by Swedish Climate Solver Solvatten, which is improving the daily lives of people across continents.
Solvatten is a well-designed container with a built-in filter that uses sunlight to transform unsafe water into drinking water. The basic science behind this procedure is that it uses heat and ultraviolet (UV) rays to kill bacteria, viruses and parasites, which spread diarrhea & other diseases. As a result, it produces optimum quality drinking water, which satisfies the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for safe water. In addition to a sunny place, which is a must for the device to operate, it requires 2 – 6 hours to transform unsafe water and produces 11- 44 liters of water/day.
Solvatten offers numerous socio-economic benefits including reducing deforestation, minimizing CO2 emissions, improving health, saving time for women and children by providing clean drinking water at home.
WWF selected Solvatten as a Climate Solver in 2009. For more information: http://www.climatesolver.org/innovations/supplying-energy/solvatten
29 Aug in Changsha the 2013 Climate Solvers China was launched. “SMEs are of great importance in developing and promoting climate innovations. Climate Solvers creates a platform for these enterprises to develop and promote their climate innovations, renewable energy in particular.” Lu Lunyan, programme director of C&E (Climate and Energy) in WWF China, said at today’s capacity building workshop on financing and development for low-carbon enterprises. WWF is seeking five Climate Solver-technologies in China this year.
The capacity building workshop in Changsha was jointly hosted by WWF and Hunan Innovative Low Carbon Center (HILCC), and marked the beginning of Climate Sovler 2013 selection in China. Over 70 representatives from Hunan Development and Reform Commission, local industrial parks, Climate Solver innovation partners, and nominated SME candidates participated in this workshop.
Initiated by WWF Sweden, Climate Solver aims to identify and introduce innovations with great emissions reduction potential. China, India, and South Africa have followed Sweden to participate in this project to promote climate innovation across the world. Four enterprises from Nanjing, Wuhan and Baoding were selected as the first batch of Climate Solvers in 2012.
“The Climate Solvers theme of this year is renewable energy. We will attach great importance to the production and utilization of renewable energy, and the technology for smart grids and energy storage.” Lu Lunyan claimed that EU`s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into China`s PV solar panels struck the industry with alarm. “China`s low-carbon industry should divert from depending on cheap production and export to innovation and market-oriented strategy. Climate Solvers aims to promote China`s low-carbon innovation and the development of enterprises with our endeavors.”
“SMEs can benefit from today`s capacity building workshop. They will be updated on the prospects of low-carbon industry, and strengthen their abilities to explore financing channels and transfer innovative technologies.” said Xu Yong, director of HILCC.
WWF will continue collaborating with industrial parks, financial institutions, and research centers to select Climate Solvers technologies according to several key criteria - emissions reduction potential, innovativeness, technology reliability, market potential, and supporting business strategy. SMEs in Hunan, Beijing, Wuhan, Baoding, Nanjing and Zhenjiang can apply after nominated by Climate Solver innovation partners. The 2013 Climate Solvers winners will be announced at an award ceremony in December.
"The renewable energy theme of Climate Solver awards across the world this year is part of a global call to financial institutions to Seize Your Power to invest much more resources in renewable energy while phasing out financial support for fossil coal, oil and gas." Adds Stefan Henningsson, Senior Adviser Climate Innovation at WWF International.
Chinese press release: http://www.wwfchina.org/pressdetail.php?id=1489
By Samantha Smith
For the last two decades, the global environmental movement has focused on an international climate agreement and emissions targets as the main way to avoid dangerous climate change.
Though there have been successes along the way, the UN climate negotiations are stuck: they are not delivering the change we need at anything like the speed at which we need it. Meanwhile, emissions continue to rise and the impacts of climate change continue to mount.
Clearly, we need a new approach. And WWF gave deep consideration to a new approach as we prepared to launch Seize Your Power, our global campaign on renewable energy in June this year.
Together with many other civil society organizations, we considered two things in finding a new approach to tackling climate change. First, we asked what we could do that would give the biggest change in emissions in the shortest period of time?
And second, we asked how could we break up this narrative of deadlock and frozen national and international politics, and engage people more directly in positive change?
We decided to focus on renewable energy, for the following reasons. Energy is key to development and to powering the lives people aspire to live. But over the last few years, the energy sector has emerged as the main culprit – as well as the main solution – for global climate change.
Most climate-changing pollution now comes from burning fossil fuels. Extraction of fossil fuels is also increasingly a driver for direct loss of biodiversity. At the same time, renewable energy provides a straightforward, proven and increasingly affordable solution, with far fewer direct impacts.
Getting a future where our economies are powered by renewable energy is within reach.
A world shift to renewable energy is more possible now than it was just five years ago. New renewable energy electricity investments surpassed oil, coal and gas for the first time in history.
Solar power is quickly becoming competitive with coal in parts of India, while new wind power is cheaper than coal in Australia. Economies around the world have committed to 100% renewable energy.
However, time is very short.
Large amounts of money are being invested in energy now, and those investments will be with us for twenty to fifty years. If those investments go to renewable energy, we can avoid dangerous climate change. If they go to fossil fuels, we are cooked.
To ensure that enough money goes to renewable energy, and not to fossil fuels, all analysts agree that institutional investors and international finance institutions are key. Their investments attract and drive much bigger amounts from other smaller and shorter-term investors.
So the news from the World Bank this week that they have adopted a policy that will limit funding of coal power plants to “only rare circumstances” begins to define the new approach we believe is necessary to combat runaway climate change.
As Justin Guay, leader of the Sierra Club’s international climate programme told ClimateWire this week, the World Bank move “starts an inevitable process of closing the door for good on coal finance from international public sources”.
We believe that this approach should immediately become the norm for all international financial institutions. In our campaign, Seize Your Power, we call on financial institutions to significantly increase their funding of renewable energy and cut funding to fossil fuels.
We are challenging government and financial institutions to commit to an additional US$40 billion for renewable energy by 2017 and not to invest in fossil fuels, particularly coal.
Many other NGOs, movements and coalitions are also calling for divestment from fossil fuels.
The approach has been defined. Now the action must start.
Samantha Smith is head of WWF’s Global Climate & Energy Initiative
In today’s world, access to uninterrupted supply of electricity ensures economic prosperity. However, increasing emissions of carbon dioxide causing climate change, as well as the projected decline in fossil fuel availability by 2030, signals the dire need to promote renewable energy as the only viable source of electricity generation. Pakistan, like many other developing countries, is currently experiencing a period of economic development. However, it is clear that energy poverty is a real threat to the country’s socio-economic development. As a result, it’s industries are moving to other countries where there is more continuous and reliable supply of electricity. Although Pakistan spent an astonishing USD 15 billion on oil imports last year it is still trapped in the spiral of energy scarcity.
So how can Pakistan satisfy its electricity shortfall while completely relying on its available indigenous renewable resources? Several innovative ideas from India and Austria have been considered with regards to how they might be replicated in Pakistan. Mr. Narandra Modi, Chief Minister of Indian State of Gujarat has installed solar panels on Narmada canal in order to generate carbon neutral electricity. In an interview with The Hindu Newspaper in India, the Chief Minister suggested that if 10% of the available potential is utilized properly, it would enable us to generate 2,200 megawatts (MWs) of clean electricity. The total length of canals in Pakistan is 62,648 Kilometers, whereas, no such green plan has been initiated so far. Pictures of the Narmada canal with solar panel installation are available at following link:
Similarly, solar trees have been installed in Vienna, Austria since 2007. These are basically street lamps in shape of trees with several branches and each branch carrying a solar lamp. It stores sunlight during the day which is then used for illumination at night. These lamps can be installed in the rural areas of Pakistan where almost 40,000 villages have no access to electricity according to an article published in Dawn Newspaper on 31 March 2011. Once successfully implemented in rural areas it could then be expanded to urban areas as well. These solar trees are completely off-gird while the ordinary street light operates on fossil fuel.
Another solution is pushed forward by Royal Philips Electronics which plans to install “100 lights centers” across rural Africa by 2015. Once completed, this project will improve energy poor communities’ access to clean electricity. As a result, their day will extend beyond sunlight. Further details are available at the link below:
It may seem insignificant but once implemented at a grass roots level, these and similar initiatives will bring about significant change. Likewise, the effective use of available space along motorways and national highways in Pakistan will provide land area for the installation of solar panels which can then be used for rural electrification. This project could be run in collaboration with China as both countries have timely tested friendship expanding over a period of 6 decades.
The initiatives mentioned above will not only lessen the country’s dependence on imported oil but will also reduce its overall carbon emissions. These strategies are simple and realistic, but strong political will is a pre-requisite for achieving this target. The solutions must also be taken to market using intelligent financial vehicles, such as micro-credits, that can carry a higher up-front cost whilst generating a secure pay back in the transition towards generating good annual revenue.
Ayoub Hameedi, Intern WWF Sweden
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- Sneak peek at the 12 Nordic entrepreneurs that will be honoured in Malmö on Wednesday
- WWF urges Nordics to be a global hub for taking climate innovations to growing global markets
- China's young entrepreneurs is a force of change we should all take seriously
- Chinese Low-carbon Innovation Drives post-Paris Era
- Hot climate for innovation in India
- Reaching China: key success factors for the Nordic Cleantech sector (podcast)
- WWF-India recognizes innovative solutions through Climate Solver Awards
- Innovating the future: 100 sustainable solutions
- Why we need innovative co-operation to tackle climate change
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