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Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

Ethiopia: One of The Greenest Countries

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on October 20, 2014

SemienTerarra6According to the newest edition of the Global Green Economy Index (GGEI), Ethiopia is viewed as having significant opportunities for improved green country branding

The report, released on Monday, compares how 60 different countries and 70 cities perform in the green economy.

In the country comparisons, Sweden and Germany took top honors for country performance and perception, respectively. Ethiopia had the 37th-highest perception rank and was number 26 in performance. GGEI survey respondents ranked the nation among the top markets for green investments.

The results from the 2014 Global Green Economy Index reveal a wide range of insights relevant to policy makers in the governments being measured, as well as international organizations, civil society and private actors interacting with them. This new edition of the GGEI confirms what had already been established in previous editions: Germany and a block of Nordic countries continue to dominate this Global Green Economy Index, both in terms of performance and perceptions of that performance by expert practitioners.

Beyond these impressive results, some compelling findings emerge through this latest edition, in part due to the greater diversity of countries covered and an updated methodology and data structure providing greater sector focus and integration of environment & natural capital. Covered for the first time, Costa Rica records an impressive result, ranking 3rd behind Sweden and Norway on performance and in the top 15 for perceptions overall, a notable accomplishment for such a small country. Other Latin American countries – including Colombia, Peru and Chile – also perform well in their first time being covered on the GGEI, although this performance is not yet recognized in a meaningful way through the perception survey.

These new results also reveal some vivid examples of countries where performance clearly exceeds perceptions of it, signaling significant opportunities for improved green country branding and strategic communications. Five European countries – Austria, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal and Spain – clearly fall in this category.

A similar observation emerges for a variety of other countries – most notably the African states of Ethiopia, Mauritius, Rwanda and Zambia – all covered for the first time on this year’s GGEI. In these cases, global audiences simply aren’t registering the green merits of these states or country competitors are overshadowing them with a more strategic approach to communications and information exchange.

A red flag from this year’s GGEI results is that few of the fastest growing economies in the world rank very well in the GGEI performance measure or on the perception survey, reinforcing the importance of mainstreaming the green economy concept further so it can be better integrated to policy formulation in these markets. While doing quite well in terms of perception, China ranks near the bottom of the performance measure, driven by its poor performance on Efficiency Sectors and Environment & Natural Capital. But this problem extends beyond China: rapidly growing countries in Africa (Ghana), the Gulf (Qatar, United Arab Emirates), and Asia (Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam) rank poorly on the GGEI performance measure.

These overall findings only tell part of the story, and the following pages present a brief snapshot of the results for the 60 nations covered on the GGEI as they play out on the four main dimensions: Leadership & Climate Change, Efficiency Sectors, Markets & Investment and Environment & Natural Capital. Our goal is to become the leading benchmark for countries to track their performance in the green economy over time and how experts assess it. The following pages serve as an entry point for deeper engagement with the GGEI data and associated consulting services to address more country or firm-specific challenges.

Ethiopia’s overall performance on the GGEI exceeds how experts perceive it, suggesting an opportunity for more targeted communications from leadership there. Ethiopia tops the performance rankings on the Leadership & Climate Change dimension, driven by the relatively low carbon intensity of its economy and national efforts to promote green measures through its Climate-Resilient Green Economy Strategy. Given its high GDP growth rate at the moment, Ethiopia should work on its performance in the Markets & Investment dimension and better articulate to investors the green investment opportunities there. It will also be critical to ensure that its carbon intensity remains low as development proceeds in efficiency sectors like buildings.

PERCEPTION-RANK

The full report can be viewed here

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Rich Nations Destroying Planet Earth

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on November 28, 2012

Happy is the man whose wish and care a few paternal acres bound, content to breathe his native air in his own ground while arising in the morning, thinking of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.

My note: Rich nations are the cause of many things which are destroying our planet. The natural world, the earth itself; the air, the trees, the vast realms of animals, plants, oceans, deserts and mountains are increasingly losing meaning and value in the self-hypnotized, narcissistic lives of greedy nations. It’s sad indeed when we ignore the real thing around us which is our natural surrounding environment, including the spiritual nature of our being, and instead remain culled to a collective mechanical-vision of the artificial man-made life. Christianity teaches that, of all the creatures and life-forms upon this planet, only human beings have souls that can be saved, yet, those rich nations that abandoned the Christian faith are allying themselves with evil Arab states like Saudi Arabia and its tiny Wahhabi satellite nation of Qatar. These nation were willing to sell their souls in their quest “to inherit this earth”, and ultimately destroy it mercilessly.

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Matthew 16:26

Doha, Qatar is hosting the latest round of United Nations talks on climate change. But can a major oil and gas hub with the highest carbon footprint per person in the world and inhospitable climate lead the way on a switch to a green economy?

According to the World Wildlife Fund’s latest report, Qatar still has the world’s largest carbon footprint

It’s been a couple of years since Qatar was awarded the ‘largest carbon footprint in the world‘ title (relative to the size of its population), but it appears little has changed since then. Despite various green initiative such as supporting local farms and ensuring that all new mosques were eco, they are still spewing record amounts of carbon for such a tiny nation. And once again, the nations next on the list were Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. It seems that old habits die hard and no more so than in the Gulf.

The fact that these countries are amongst the richest nations in the Middle East is clearly part of the problem – well, it’s part of the explanation anyhow. According to the WWF Living Planet report, high-income countries have an ecological footprint on average five times higher than that of low-income nations.

Carbon

Doha has the largest carbon footprint per person in the world. Qataris use five times the amount of carbon than the average Briton, at 44 metric tonnes per person per year in 2009. This is largely because of energy intensive air conditioning and desalination plants for water. Because water and electricity is free, there is little incentive to cut usage.

Gas

The UK spends more on gas from Qatar than any other country. In 2011 the UK spent £4.25bn on Qatari gas, 70 per cent more than our next largest import partner, Norway.

This is not because the UK imports more gas from Qatar than Norway but because it is much more expensive.

The tiny emirate has more than 15 per cent of the world’s proven gas reserves and has talked about using “unconventional sources” in future, opening the possibility of deepwater drilling or shale.

Human rights

Migrant workers, including workers on gas rigs, make up more than 80 per cent of Qatar’s population and come mostly from south and south-east Asia.

Continue reading: Modern Slavery: The Plight of Foreign Workers in Qatar

Climate reputation

As a developing country Qatar does not have fixed emission reduction targets, nor has it made any voluntary pledge to cut emissions.

There will be pressure on Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries to announce targets during the UN meeting.

Source: WWF; Telegraph

List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions

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The Future of Electric Vehicles

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on July 17, 2012

1.) Ford thinks hybrids will beat electric cars. Electric cars are clean and high-tech and seem like they should be the future, many say. But while visionaries and gadget-geeks alike clamor for more automotive electrification, the big global auto manufacturers continue to hedge their bets, with Ford the latest to join the chorus of concern.

2.) As battery prices drop, will electric cars finally catch on? At the moment, Americans aren’t exactly dashing out to dealerships to buy electric cars. The plug-in Nissan Leaf, which runs 75 miles on a single charge, has seen sales plummet since June 2011.

3.) Group aims to develop electric cars for Singapore. A Singapore-based investment holding firm led by a Chinese entrepreneur announced an ambitious plan on Saturday to develop and market electric vehicles from the city state.

4.) 10 electric cars you can buy this year. [Gallery]

5.) The extra mile: Solar car charger panel tracks sun. The summer of 2012 has been scorching hot. The heat at times has been practically unbearable. There is one advantage to the rays emitting from the sun these days: free energy for electric vehicles.

Source: smartplanet.com

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Parasite Gulf States Abuse Mother Nature Worst

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 22, 2012

The three tiny Gulf states – Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates – hold among the not so prestigious top places in a recent listing of the world’s nations’ Ecological Footprints.

According to the 2012 edition of WWF’s Living Planet Report, if everyone lived like an average resident of Qatar, more than six Earths would be required to regenerate humanity’s annual demand on nature.

We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal. We are using 50 per cent more resources that the Earth can sustainably produce and unless we change course, that number will grow fast – by 2030 even two planets will not be enough,” said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International.

Unsurprisingly, the massive Ecological Footprints of Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE are the result of very large carbon footprints.

The report also notes that the residents of these countries are very dependent on the resources of other nations to meet their needs, which is highly likely to have strong geopolitical implications as resources become more strained in the future.

Using ever more nature, while having less is a dangerous strategy, yet most countries continue to pursue this path. Until countries begin tracking and managing their biocapacity deficits, they not only put the planet at risk, but more importantly, themselves,” said Mathis Wackernagel, President of Global Footprint Network.

NATURE-ABUSER states ranked higher:

Rank

Countries

Amount

1

United Arab Emirates

15.99

1

Qatar

15.99

2

United States

12.22

3

Kuwait

10.31

4

Denmark

9.88

5

New Zealand

9.54

6

Ireland

9.43

7

Australia

8.49

8

Finland

8.45

9

Canada

7.66

10

Sweden

7.53

11

France

7.27

12

Estonia

7.12

13

Switzerland

6.63

14

Germany

6.31

15

Czech Republic

6.3

16

United Kingdom

6.29

17

Saudi Arabia

6.15

18

Norway

6.13

19

Iceland

6.02

20

Japan

5.94

21

Belgium

5.88

22

Netherlands

5.75

23

Korea, South

5.6

24

Greece

5.58

25

Italy

5.51

26

Spain

5.5

27

Austria

5.45

28

Slovenia

5.4

28

Poland

5.4

28

Israel

5.4

31

Russia

5.36

32

Belarus

5.27

33

Hungary

5.01

34

Portugal

4.99

35

Uruguay

4.91

36

Lithuania

4.76

36

Ukraine

4.76

38

Kazakhstan

4.45

39

Libya

4.36

40

Mongolia

4.3

41

South Africa

4.04

42

Slovakia

3.94

43

Bulgaria

3.81

44

Argentina

3.79

45

Latvia

3.74

46

Malaysia

3.68

47

Turkmenistan

3.62

48

Romania

3.49

49

Oman

3.39

49

Chile

3.39

51

Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of

3.24

52

Lebanon

3.19

53

Venezuela

2.88

54

Paraguay

2.84

55

Costa Rica

2.77

56

Turkey

2.73

57

Thailand

2.7

58

Mexico

2.69

59

Jamaica

2.68

60

Uzbekistan

2.65

61

Brazil

2.6

62

Syria

2.56

63

Iran

2.47

63

Moldova

2.47

65

Trinidad and Tobago

2.43

66

Croatia

2.35

66

Panama

2.35

68

Tunisia

2.27

69

Ecuador

2.26

70

Azerbaijan

2.18

71

Cuba

2.1

72

Gabon

2.06

73

Korea, North

1.92

74

Colombia

1.9

75

Kyrgyzstan

1.87

76

Albania

1.86

77

China

1.84

78

Algeria

1.79

79

Iraq

1.73

80

Jordan

1.71

81

Egypt

1.7

82

Botswana

1.68

83

Morocco

1.56

84

El Salvador

1.55

85

Indonesia

1.48

86

Zimbabwe

1.45

87

Honduras

1.43

88

Philippines

1.42

89

Papua New Guinea

1.4

89

Guatemala

1.4

91

Dominica

1.37

92

Peru

1.33

93

Nigeria

1.31

94

Bosnia and Herzegovina

1.29

94

Bolivia

1.29

96

Nicaragua

1.26

97

Mauritania

1.22

98

Zambia

1.21

99

Liberia

1.16

99

Armenia

1.16

101

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

1.15

101

Kenya

1.15

103

Sudan

1.14

104

Ghana

1.12

104

Central African Republic

1.12

106

Pakistan

1.09

107

Burma

1.07

108

Senegal

1.06

108

India

1.06

110

Tanzania

1.02

111

Nepal

1.01

112

Gambia, The

0.99

113

Somalia

0.97

113

Niger

0.97

113

Benin

0.97

116

Cote d’Ivoire

0.95

116

Sri Lanka

0.95

116

Vietnam

0.95

119

Madagascar

0.93

120

Laos

0.91

121

Tajikistan

0.9

121

Rwanda

0.9

121

Burkina Faso

0.9

124

Cameroon

0.89

125

Uganda

0.88

126

Malawi

0.87

127

Mali

0.86

128

Ethiopia

0.85

128

Guinea

0.85

130

Cambodia

0.83

131

Angola

0.82

131

Togo

0.82

133

Guinea-Bissau

0.8

134

Bhutan

0.79

135

Haiti

0.78

136

Mozambique

0.76

137

Burundi

0.75

137

Chad

0.75

139

Sierra Leone

0.73

140

Namibia

0.66

SOURCE: World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

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Africa‘s Huge Hidden Ground Water Resources

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 21, 2012

 

Another reason for Ethiopia to tell Egypt to drill a well in the desert, or digg down into its pockets to pay for the precious Nile Water

 

Solutions to resolve the world’s water crisis may lay hidden underground. More than half the world’s population already depends on groundwater that is pumped from the pore spaces of rock formations, known as aquifers, which lie hidden below the Earth’s surface.

Scientists now say that Africa is sitting on a vast reservoir of groundwater.

Researchers from the British Geological Survey and University College London argue that the total volume of water in aquifers underground is 100 times the amount found on the surface.

The team have produced the most detailed map yet of the scale and potential of this hidden resource.

 

Continue reading…

 

Quantitative maps of groundwater resources in Africa

 

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The Water Footprint of Humanity

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on February 15, 2012



A fascinating study from the University of Twente (Netherlands) , UNESCO-IHE 

by Arjen Hoekstra and Mesfin Mekonnen

Background

Since the Dublin Conference in 1992, there is consensus that the river basin is the appropriate unit for analyzing freshwater availability and use. An underlying hypothesis of the research programme at the University of Twente is that it is becoming increasingly important to put freshwater issues in a global context. Although other authors have already argued thus, we add a new dimension to the argument. Local water depletion and pollution are often closely tied to the structure of the global economy. With increasing trade between nations and continents, water is more frequently used to produce exported goods. International trade in commodities implies long-distance transfers of water in virtual form, where virtual water is understood as the volume of water that has been used to produce a commodity and that is thus virtually embedded in it. Knowledge about the virtual-water flows entering and leaving a country can cast a completely new light on the actual water scarcity of a country. For example, Jordan imports about 5 to 7 billion m3 of virtual water per year, which is in sharp contrast with the 1 billion m3 of water withdrawn annually from domestic water sources. This means that people in Jordan apparently survive owing to the import of water-intensive commodities from elsewhere, for example the USA.

A second hypothesis of the research programme is that it becomes increasingly relevant to consider the linkages between consumption of people and impacts on freshwater systems. This can improve our understanding of the processes that drive changes imposed on freshwater systems and help to develop policies of wise water governance. In 2002 Hoekstra introduced the water-footprint concept as an indicator that maps the impact of human consumption on global freshwater resources. The water footprint of an individual or community is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual or community. A water footprint can be calculated for any well-defined group of consumers, including a family, business, village, city, province, state or nation. The water footprint of a nation for example shows water use related to consumption within a nation. Traditionally, national water use has been measured as the total freshwater withdrawal for the various sectors of the economy. By contrast, the water footprint shows not only freshwater use within the country considered, but also freshwater use outside the country’s borders. It refers to all forms of freshwater use that contribute to the production of goods and services consumed by the inhabitants of a certain country. The water footprint of the Dutch community, for example, also refers to the use of water for rice production in Thailand (insofar as the rice is exported to the Netherlands for consumption there). Conversely, the water footprint of a nation excludes water that is used within the national territory for producing commodities for export, which are consumed elsewhere.

Objective of the programme

The objective of the research programme is to examine the critical links between water management and international trade and between consumption and freshwater impacts. Questions posed are: Can trade enhance global water use efficiency, or does it simply shift the environmental burden to a distant location? Does import of water in virtual form offer a solution to water-scarce nations or does this result is undesired ‘water dependency’? How can quantitative analysis of expected or desirable trends in international or inter-regional virtual water flows contribute to water policy development at different levels of spatial scale? How can water footprint accounting become part of the regular practice of governments and businesses and how can it feed into better water policy making? How can water security of communities can be guaranteed by a combination of policies to bring along changes at local, basin and global level? How will the growing demand for bio-energy increase the global water footprint of humanity? Questions like these and others are being addressed in various sub-projects, involving MSc and PhD students from various parts of the world.

Continue reading…

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