‘Alternative Nobel’ and World Future Council Mourn Egypt’s Sustainable Development Trailblazer

The Right Livelihood Award Foundation and the World Future Council are deeply saddened by the passing of their Egyptian Laureate and founding member Dr Ibrahim Abouleish.

Dr Abouleish, founder of SEKEM, received the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ in 2003 for implementing an innovative business model which combines commercial success with social and cultural development.

Dr Monika Griefahn, Chair of the Foundation’s Board, said: “On behalf of the entire Right Livelihood Award family, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the Abouleish family. Dr Abouleish was a true visionary and trailblazer, and the world is only now starting to catch up with his 40-year-old model of environmentally sustainable, socially just and economically viable development. A joyful and warm-hearted person, he will be greatly missed by all of us and his many colleagues and friends around the world.”

Dr Abouleish founded SEKEM in 1977 as a blueprint for the healthy corporation for the 21st century. Taking its name from the hieroglyphic transcription meaning “vitality of the sun”, SEKEM was the first entity to develop biodynamic farming methods in Egypt and has since broadened its scope to address health, educational and cultural issues. Dr Abouleish also founded the Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development where students study science, technology, arts, engineering and economics with a strong emphasis on sustainability. Over the years, SEKEM and the Heliopolis University played host to meetings of the World Future Council and the Right Livelihood Award Laureates.

“Ibrahim Abouleish’s remarkable initiative SEKEM has brought the desert alive. His Heliopolis University broadens the human mind, challenging modern monocultural thinking. Both show how much more humans can achieve when their work is based on cooperation, solidarity, mutual respect and the common good. His life achievements SEKEM and Heliopolis University are pioneering projects healing people and planet,” said Right Livelihood Award and World Future Council Founder Jakob von Uexkull.

A tireless advocate for sustainable development over five decades, Dr Abouleish has received numerous awards and recognitions in addition to the Right Livelihood Award, including the German Federal Cross of Merit and the United Nations ‘Land for Life’ Award. He was also named a distinguished social entrepreneur by the Schwab Foundation.

According to Islamic traditions, Dr Abouleish will be buried tomorrow, Friday, 16 June at 12:00.

 

More information:

http://www.rightlivelihoodaward.org/laureates/ibrahim-abouleish-sekem

https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/councillors/

 

 

Climate Action – even without the US!

The F20 Platform is looking back to a successful event in Hamburg

The F20 Foundations Platform is an alliance of more than 45 foundations and philanthropic organizations from twelve countries that have joined forces in order to further shape the political discourse on future sustainability measures.

Ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, representatives from participating foundations got together to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the implementation of the Paris Agreement. In a joint statement, they called upon the G20 states to confirm their commitment to the Paris Agreement.

 

 

During the event in the prestigious Hamburg Town Hall, which was mainly organised by the World Future Council, WFC-Councillor Dr. Auma Obama and Honorary Councillor Dr. Michael Otto took part in the press conference. Dr. Otto emphasised the importance of the implementation of the Paris Agreement and urged for more ambitious climate action, also in Germany: He pressed for a German withdrawal from fossile fuel and the promotion of renewable energies and carbon-neutral traffic.

During her speech at the event, Dr. Obama stressed that African people must be included when talking about climate action: They should not be doing the same mistakes as the industrialised countries, and would be able to leapfrog developments. Other speakers included Laurence Tubiana, the architect behind the Paris Agreement, the US-american physicist and environmentalist Amory B. Lovins, as well as the British economist Lord Nicholas Stern. Around 400 people attended the event; the side-events before and after the main event included an energy transition tour through Hamburg and other workshops organised by F20 foundations.

Dr. Michael Otto and Dr. Auma Obama during the F20 press conference. Photo Credits: Jochen Quast | www.jochenquast.de | www.con-text.de

 

At the end of the main event in Hamburg, the German minister for the environment, Barbara Hendricks, received the F20 publication. Climate action and sustainable development must become core duties of the leading industrialised and threshold countries. The Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is “short sighted and irresponsible”, as the F20 members state. We are positive that the event on the 4th of July here in Hamburg was just the start of a success story for common and transnational action towards a zero carbon economy and a successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

For more information on the F20 Platform, please visit www.foundations-20.org

 

100% RE and SDGs

Sustainable development can only be reached by transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy (RE). In fact, 100% RE is more than just replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources in today’s energy system. It can serve as a mean for socioeconomic development and help create a just society for today’s and future generations. Hereby, it supports the implementation of each sustainable development goal. You want to know how? Let´s have a look.

Illustration: Christoph J Kellner / studio animanova

To end poverty in all its forms everywhere (SDG1), reduce vulnerabilities and ensure equal opportunities to economic resources, the access to energy is a prerequisite. Access to modern energy services is regarded as a prerequisite for a life of dignity. This applies to substantive human rights such as access to clean water (SDG6), good nutrition (SDG2), health (SGD3), safe shelter (SDG11) and education (SDG4).

This is why SDG 7 urges us to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. This means nothing less than implementing 100% Renewable Energy. It embraces the necessary paradigm shift and is the fastest, cheapest and indeed only way to “leave no one behind”.

Producing energy from natural powers such as sun and wind is possible everywhere. Their modular and decentralized nature allows for great flexibility. Even the smallest communities can have a small solar system installed or an off-grid mini-grid and gain control over their own energy supply, without the need to abide to large corporations in charge of large, centralized energy distribution. In big cities, renewables can provide basic services such as reliable electricity for vulnerable people living in slums and clean fuel to reduce air pollution (SDG11 & 3). Hereby renewable energies reduce inequalities (SDG 10), especially between urban and rural population. They allow paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations, especially women and children who suffer most from insufficient basic service in their homes (SDG5). A 100% RE approach enables all countries to depend only on the most equitably distributed energy of all: abundant and clean renewable energy, distributed within their own borders, close to their communities and accessible by everyone.

To ensure access to water and sanitation for all (SDG6), “water-friendly” technologies from a life-cycle perspective are essential. Solar PV or wind could withdraw up to 200 times less water than a coal power plant to produce the same amount of electricity. Further, renewables are the most resilient and low cost option to access, treat and pump water especially in hot, dry regions. And here, we haven’t even touched upon the impact of fossil fuel extraction and transportation on the quality of water resources, the health of aquatic ecosystems and climate change. Clean water is also essential to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition as well as promote sustainable agriculture (SDG2).

Transforming our energy system to 100% RE allows the reduction of air pollution and brings down harmful emissions that cause diseases and climate change (SDG 13). Renewables therefore enhance health and well-being for millions of people (SDG3) who need treatment and cooled medication in hospitals and rural health centres, suffer from air pollution caused by the transport sector or coal-fired plants or those women and children who cook on charcoal and suffer from indoor smoke (SDG5). With fossil fuels being a major driver of global warming, reaching 100% RE as soon as possible is a prerequisite to limit it to 1.5C degrees (SDG13).

Illustration: Christoph J Kellner / studio animanova

Already today, renewables are the cheapest option for electricity production in many regions across the world, especially in isolated places. Thanks to falling prices for the equipment, the fact that wind and sun is for free and therefore renewables have practically zero marginal costs but also thanks to fact that renewables have no external costs, renewables are the most competitive source to produce energy. This is crucial to provide energy to all (SDG7), eradicate poverty (SDG1), achieve decent work for all (SDG8) as well as build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation (SDG9).

Renewable Energies can be installed, managed and owned by everybody. Hereby, 100% RE is also an opportunity to enhance procedural rights such as inclusive participation and access to information for of all (SDG1, 4, 5, 10). Further this means that, with the right finance mechanism, every citizen and community can not only benefit from energy services (for SDG 3,4,6 and 7) but also from becoming an energy producer and hereby drive innovative business models (SDG8&9). Implementing 100% RE can therefore unleash opportunities especially for entrepreneurs and build up new industries (SDG9). Thanks to their decentralised character, renewables create diverse and good quality job and income opportunities in every country in urban as well as in rural areas. Therefore they “leave no one behind”. In fact, renewables create more jobs per unit of energy than any other energy source (SDG 8).

As renewables technologies produce energy from abundantly available resources used in efficient and often smart infrastructures, a 100% RE approach ensures sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDG12). Using renewable electricity also for cooking, we could decrease the ecological burden on our ecosystem caused by unsustainable use of biomass. Also expanding use of biogas from organic waste helps achieving the reduction of waste, in particular food waste.

By transitioning to 100% RE, we could mitigate ocean acidification and conserve marine ecosystems as they are heavily impacted by oil and gas exploration and nuclear energy production (SDG14). The same is true for life on land (SDG15). A major and rapid uptake of RE is the only sustainable solution to limit the increasing effects of climate change on the ecosystems and biodiversity, whose delicate equilibrium is greatly disrupted even by the smallest changes in average temperature. Further, ecosystem disturbance and degradation resulting from direct or indirect effects of extraction can be stopped by adopting a 100% RE approach. Renewables have the least life-cycle ecological impact per kWh of energy produced.

Finally, a world powered with 100% RE would be a more peaceful, secure and fair place for all (SDG16). While there are certainly diverse causes for the existence of conflicts, many of them are connected to access to fossil fuel resources and infrastructure. By transitioning to 100% RE, countries, islands cities and communities can improve their energy autonomy and break free from oil, gas, coal and uranium imports which often cause geopolitical tensions or armed conflicts. As many communities across the world show, transitioning to 100% RE can also support better institutions and governance structures through what is known as energy democracy. Renewables provide the chance for all people to engage and benefit from energy as a common good (SDG10). They hereby help to develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions and broaden and strengthen participation (SDG16).

Illustration: Christoph J Kellner / studio animanova

RE development requires strong cross-sectoral, transregional and transnational partnerships as well as a continuous exchange of solutions, best practises and lesson learnt. In fact, the effective and rapid implementation of a 100% RE target depends on a strong collaboration between local actors and other regional, national and international stakeholders and governments. Therefore, strengthening renewable energy partnerships (SDG17) goes hand in hand with improving the partnerships necessary for the implementation of the SDGs.

The wide-range of co-benefits linked to RE development reveal once again the strong interdependency among all aspects of sustainable development. In light of the vast benefits related to RE development and its instrumental role in supporting sustainable development, it becomes essential that policy makers and development organizations embrace the 100% RE message and integrate a 100% strategy into their development plans. The key policy recommendations to achieve this are:

  1. Set a 100% RE target and embed it across policy areas and in SDG processes
  2. Set a “leave no one behind” approach to energy policy
  3. Ensure adequate civil society participation and capacity building
  4. Enhance renewable energy in the cooking sector
  5. Prioritize energy efficiency
  6. Use fossil subsidies for funding
  7. Strengthen change agents and pioneers

 

“100 % Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development “:

a film by Christoph J Kellner / studio animanova

A Roadmap for 100% Renewable Energy in Morocco

The development and promotion of renewable energies have become central topics for Morocco, the host country of COP22.

In 2009, Morocco announced its goal to raise the share of renewable energies to 42% of its total installed capacity by 2020. And during the COP21, the government increased this to 52% by 2030.

Currently, renewable energies are the subject of a diversified portfolio for solar, wind and hydro anchored in a legislative framework, notably Law n. 13-09 on renewable energies to liberalise and develop the renewable energy sector in Morocco.

Morocco can go further and faster. Morocco still imports 95% of domestic consumption. The country faces a growing electricity demand increasing at an annual rate of 6.6% in the last ten years. And forecasts for Morocco see an increase in temperatures of 0.5 to 1°C by 2020 and 1 to 1.5°C by 2050 and 2080. Rainfall could decline by 30% between now and the end of the century.

The progressive liberalisation of the energy sector has been accompanied by the establishment of institutions to take up the challenges of the energy transition, amongst which: MASEN, ADEREE, SIE, IRESEN.

Further, in 2013, the government of Morocco announced the reform of fossil fuel subsidies, which cost 5% of its GDP. Since 1st December 2015, the prices of fuels obey the free play of supply and demand. Only the price of butane continues to be subsidised.

In this RE development, advantages are beginning to be shared by society as a whole. For example in NOOR Ouarzazate, the first project launched by the Moroccan solar energy agency (MASEN), covering 3,000 hectares with a total capacity of 580MW by 2018, Moroccan companies contributed « almost one-third of the value of the plant, supplying metallurgical, cabling, construction and public works components or services ». This generated 2,000 jobs of which 40% in the region.

Nevertheless, Morocco can go further and faster. Morocco still imports 95% of domestic consumption. The country faces a growing electricity demand increasing at an annual rate of 6.6% in the last ten years. And forecasts for Morocco see an increase in temperatures of 0.5 to 1°C by 2020 and 1 to 1.5°C by 2050 and 2080. Rainfall could decline by 30% between now and the end of the century.

Today, there remain a good number of political, economic, technical and cultural obstacles which stand in the way or slow down the transition towards a 100% renewable energy system. Moreover, the majority of actions are concentrated on the electricity sector, neglecting the heating and cooling as well as the transport sector.

To move towards a 100% renewable energy system offers the opportunity to change this reality. The challenge for the country is not so much a lack of energy resources but to fundamentally transform the way in which the energy system is structured.

Today, there remain a good number of political, economic, technical and cultural obstacles which stand in the way or slow down the transition towards a 100% renewable energy system. Moreover, the majority of actions are concentrated on the electricity sector, neglecting the heating and cooling as well as the transport sector.

In order to address the complexity, challenges and opportunities of the energy transition in Morocco, the World Future Council organised a process of reflection for Moroccan actors playing a leading role in this transition: parliamentarians, political actors, academics and civil society.

In this spirit, parliamentary hearings, conversations, and roundtables were organised between 2014 and 2016, guided by the following questions:

  • Morocco’s current energy context: challenges, renewable energies potential and energy strategy
  • Morocco’s leading renewable energy projects: main features, total installed power, production capacity, estimated cost, financing and entry into service dates.
  • Socio-economic benefits of renewable energies in Morocco: challenges being addressed up by renewable energy projects.
  • Guidelines for energy transitions: legislative, institutional and economic reforms.
  • Principal challenges for deployment of renewable energies in Morocco: political, economic, technical and cultural.
  • Recommendations to guarantee a successful energy transition for Morocco.

Overall, the goal has been the to identify the solutions for putting into place a coherent political framework which allows the materialisation of a 100% renewable energy Morocco.



A roadmap for 100% RE in Morocco

Morocco, COP22 host country, has since 2009 prioritised renewable energies and energy efficiency. Aware of the nature of the opportunities and stakes confronting its energy landscape, the nation has mobilised to share the message about the urgency and advisability of changing the pathway.

In order to address the complexity, challenges and opportunities of the energy challenge, the World Future Council organised a process of reflection for Moroccan actors playing a leading role in this transition: parliamentarians, political actors, academics and civil society. The round tables and conversations we organised between 2014 and 2016 are reflected in this report. We also highlight solutions for putting into place a coherent political framework which allows the materialisation of a 100% renewable energy Morocco.

Oxford County’s Plan to realize 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

“How do we get to 100% Renewable Energy by 2050 in the County of Oxford? One of the strategies is to look beyond our borders.” This is why Jay Heaman, Manager of Strategic Initiatives and David Mayberry, Warden of Oxford County travelled to Germany to learn what people from around the world have accomplished. After visiting Rhein-Hunsrueck District, Frankfurt, Wolfhagen and attending the Kassel International Dialogue, Oxford County’s political decision makers laid out a framework for Oxford to become a “100% RE” community. It outlines how community, business, government, academic, national and international partners can work together while the fully developed plan, to be presented in fall this year, will also include specific targets, milestones and actions.

Oxford County is a rural area covering 2,039 km² that encompasses 2 towns, 5 townships, and 1 city, with a population of 111,700. In addition to having long roots in farming, Oxford is rich in entrepreneurship and innovation, is located along highly accessible transportation routes. On June 24, 2015, the Council unanimously committed to 100% renewable energy by 2050. The motion put forward by Woodstock Mayor and County Councillor Trevor Birtch, who was inspired by the Global Learning Forum, placed Oxford as the first municipal government in Ontario to commit to a renewable energy target and only the second in Canada after Vancouver, BC. This commitment is for community-wide use of renewable energy not only for electricity, heating/cooling, and transportation, but also the primary industry, agriculture.

dENet, Exkursion Wolfhagen

“Collectively as a community, I am convinced that we can accomplish renewable energy as we try to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. It won’t be done this year and not next year, but if we set ourselves a goal, I am absolutely convinced, that we can do it.”  David Mayberry, Warden of Oxford County.

 

“Collectively as a community, I am convinced that we can accomplish renewable energy as we try to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. It won’t be done this year and not next year, but if we set ourselves a goal, I am absolutely convinced, that we can do it.” says David Mayberry, Warden of Oxford County. Motivated by the urgency to protect the planet for future generations, Jay Heaman, David Mayberry, Trevor Birtch have worked hard over the past 12 months, building on experiences from their partners including York University’s Sustainable Energy Initiative; the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC), Renewable Cities, World Future Council and the Global 100% RE campaign.

David Mayberry (Warden of Oxford County) and Jay Heaman (Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Oxford County)The Draft Plan uses as its framework 12 internationally endorsed criteria from the Kassel International Dialogue on 100% Renewable Energy report released in November 2015. The criteria are intended to serve as guideposts for local governments in planning to meet their 100% RE goals, from implementation to target setting through to strategies that enable 100% renewable energy. “The magic is how we try and harness those naturally forming energy transformations to adapt our lives.” says Jay Heaman, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Oxford County.

Members of the community can read the Draft Plan and submit their questions, comments and feedback over the next 60 days at www.oxfordcounty.ca/speakup. The final version of the Plan is expected to be released in the fall of 2016. Oxford’s 100% RE goal is a target of the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan. For more information visit smartenergyoxford.ca and watch the series of videos that showcase the concept of 100% renewable energy.

Resources

Driving up Regional Cooperation for Renewables in the European Union

Renewable energy sources (RES) will have to play a predominant role in EU’s future energy mix. However, the current policy and regulatory framework does not entirely facilitate this transition but instead reflects a business-as-usual approach. The current RE target on EU level in the Climate and Energy 2030 Framework lacks ambition with regards to the low goal setting of “at least 27%” and due to its “EU-wide” level approach without member state contributions. In the light of this weak policy framework, there is one mechanism which may still help to increase the share of renewables to the scale and speed needed to counter today’s challenges: The idea of regional cooperations.

 

Regional cooperation can effectively bridge the gap between national renewable energy policies and a Europeanised approach to renewable energy deployment. Additionally, regional action across borders allows for participation of non-state actors, possibly a higher political legitimacy and fitted solutions for local conditions. A common cross-border identity might be facilitated through these projects and the revenue generated by the decentralized energy plants is more likely to stay within the region.

The study “Driving Regional Cooperation Forward in the 2030 Renewable Energy Framework”, written by the consultancy Ecofys on behalf of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s EU Office (HBF EU), explores the potential benefits of regional renewables cooperation and provides policy suggestions on how such cooperation can effectively be enhanced. In addition, findings from the World Future Council`s programme on 100% Renewable Energy in the EU show that there is a window of opportunity for adapting the legislative framework to strengthen regional cooperation on renewable energy. To harvest this potential and develop a strategy for implementation, a comprehensive and inclusive policy dialogue is needed to a) build cross-sectorial and multi-level-governance networks, b) learn from pioneering regions and pilot projects and c) build political momentum for the topic.

In a policy dialogue which included a workshop, a study tour and several consultations with practitioners and legislators, the following policy recommendations were identified to drive up regional cooperation for RE in the EU:

1)         Define Regional Cooperation

2)         Strengthen Territorial Cohesion through specific regulatory provisions

3)         Integrate cross-sectorial cooperation into regional cooperation

4)         Engage local and regional authorities in development of national energy and climate plans

5)         Enable Micro-Level Regional Cooperation

Together with our partner Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF) EU office, we aimed at providing concrete examples and transferable policy solutions by discussing crucial questions with and in frontrunner regions. Therefore it was be organised in the framework of HBF’s #Regions4GreenEconomy series which are organised together with the representatives of different German Länder in Brussels, and the Global 100% RE Campaign #Go100RE.

With this programme, we built on some of the policy recommendations that were outlined in the HBF report “Driving regional cooperation forward in the 2030 renewable energy framework” (2015) as well as the findings from the World Future Council`s programme on 100% Renewable Energy in the EU .

Activities:

27074696870_ea42e42778_zThe kick-off event took place in the form of a stakeholder workshop on 25 and 26 of April 2016 in Brussels. It convened people from initiatives of cross-border cooperation, sharing learnings and examples from around Europe and representatives from EU institutions incl. European Commission, European Parliament, RE interests groups and energy regulators. In a policy dialogue it was explored how to foster RES deployment in the European Union by strengthening regions and regional cooperation. This report as well as this blog article share the insights and recommendation that were discussed. Please find all presentation and photos of the event below.

29344174463_5791ccbdfa_zFollowing up on this, in September 2016, a study-tour to the North Sea Region took place to build on these findings. 13 policy makers and shapers from 9 countries travelled 1.500 kilometers from Denmark via Germany and the Netherlands to Belgium. This 5-day tour served as a platform for in-depth learning about existing and possible future cooperation and provided thoughts, inspiration, opportunities and contacts to the participants. Watch this film to learn more about the tour. In a final meeting in the European Parliament, these insights were shared with representatives from the European Parliament and Commission. Please find all presentations and photos of the tour below.

In January 2017, three Members of the European Parliament Benedek Jávor (Greens/EFA), Jo Leinen (S&D) and Carolina Punset (ALDE) hosted a cross-party Policy Dialogue on this topic. European, national and local policy makers highlighted the role of renewable energy to re-connect the crises-stricken continent.

The debate has been summarized in this blog article.

 

Finally, in June 2017, we hosted a policy debate in the Committee of the Regions to discuss the particular tools and instruments for cross-border cooperation in the renewable energy sector with about 50 policy makers and key energy stakeholders from across Europe. By bringing local, regional and European stakeholders together, the policy debate provided input to the legislative process of the Clean Energy Package for All Europeans. A recording of the discussions can be viewed here. A full summary has been published here.


 

100% renewable energy and poverty reduction in Tanzania

The Project’s Vision

The goal of the project is to develop a coherent strategy on how to implement 100% RE as part of Tanzania’s Sustainable Low Carbon Development and Poverty Reduction Goals.

Through an inclusive and interactive approach engaging local stakeholders and key decision-makers in the energy transformation process in Tanzania, this project intends to:

  1. Inspire stakeholders and build up hands-on knowledge on how 100% RE adds value to local economic development and community sustainability
  2. Strengthen synergies, networks and platforms for multi-stakeholder dialogue and follow up at the national level among government, parliamentary committees, policy-makers, civil society, trade unions, churches and media on LCD, poverty reduction and 100% RE.
  3. Identify necessary legislation and policy reforms.


Policy Roadmap for 100% RE and Poverty Eradication in Tanzania

This report suggests concrete political measures and outlines necessary governmental action to operationalize Tanzania’s 100%RE and poverty eradication target.

Activities

Kick-off workshop / February 2016

On February 25, 2016 The World Future Council, Bread for the World and CAN-Tanzania hosted the kick-off workshop in Dar es Salaam for our 18-month program in Tanzania.

The kick-off workshop brought together 15 Tanzanian thought-leaders from government, academia and civil society to identify opportunities for policy change on the particular topic. Among the confirmed participants was Gertrude Mongella, WFC Councilor and Special Advisor to the ECA Executive Secretary and UNESCO Director General. The workshop helped to build capacity and create ownership among Tanzanian opinion leaders for 100% RE as a tool for poverty reduction, as well as to strengthen synergies, networks and platforms for multi-stakeholder dialogue.

The valuable contributions and expertise of the participants enabled us to compile a solid report which you can find here. It gathers and summarizes the main interventions, perspectives and outputs made by the participants of the workshop. Hereby, this report further provides a description of the current energy policy debate and defines the starting point for discussing how to scale up RE to spur sustainable development and eradicate poverty in Tanzania.

Study Tour to Bangladesh / April 2016

As a major opportunity to bring forward the dialogue which already started during the kick-off workshop in Dar es Salaam, a study tour to Bangladesh was organized from April 17-23, 2016, chaired by Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury Bir Bikram, Bangladesh Ministry of Energy. The study tour brought together a group of 10 representatives from Tanzania national government, parliamentarians and civil society leaders in the renewable energy field in Tanzania. The goal was to learn about the Bangladesh experience in rapidly expanding first time access to electricity among its citizens with 100% renewable energy.

The tour was organized with the support of Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF), a leading renewable energy organization in Bangladesh which has been successfully working with Solar Home System, Solar Irrigation Pump, bio-gas, Improve Cook Stove, and women empowerment since 2010.

“This study tour changed our minds about the potential of Renewable Energy as an effective tool to provide energy access to all people. We need to bring the experience from Bangladesh to Tanzania, especially on developing a comprehensive finance model. It is our hope that this trip has just opened our doors and starts a long journey of collaborations and working together”. This was the conclusion of our Tanzanian delegation visiting WFC Councillor Dipal Barua and his team, learning about solar-home-systems, solar irrigation systems as well as biogas plants for cooking.

Consultation workshop / July 2016

On July 12th, Can Tanzania, The World Future Council and Bread for the World organised a consultation workshop in Dar es Salaam on 100% Renewable Energy for Poverty Reduction in Tanzania. Around 50 stakeholders from the Parliament, Government, Civil Society and Academia participated in the consultation workshop, outlining the determinants of change and policy formulation in the RE sector in Tanzania, the challenges to policy reform, and providing recommendations for the development of RE legislation and implementation.

The development of a more comprehensive legislative framework would not only make a significant contribution to the existing country’s energy production and supply system, but would also move Tanzania quickly towards achieving the goal of becoming a middle income country, as envisioned in the Tanzania National Development Vision 2025.

“We want to tackle the challenges that so many people in our country are facing every day,” says Doto Mashaka Biteko, Member of the Tanzanian Parliament and Chair of the Energy and Minerals Committee. “Therefore, the government is aiming to provide access to 50% of the population by 2020.”

Further, on July 15th, Can Tanzania, The World Future Council and Bread for the World, together with civil society representatives and faith-based organisations visited some examples of Solar Home Systems in Mabwepande, a suburb of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

Regenerative Urban Development: The New Urban Agenda

In 2016, New Urban Agenda will be negotiated at the UN Conference Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador – the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. This conference takes place every 20 years and offers a platform to formulate the international discourse for harnessing the power and forces behind urbanization.

As a member of the Steering Committee in UN Habitat’s World Urban Campaign, we engage in the run up process of this conference. The goal is to steer the discourse towards regenerative urbanisation as cities must follow a development path on which they help improve the productive capacity of ecosystems and regenerate the resources they absorb. 

Regenerative Urban Development in China

Transforming cities into regenerative systems is a big challenge. This is especially true in China, where most of the world’s biggest cities are faced with severe pollution problems and the issues of urbanisation, sustainable resource use and environmental protection are at the top of the political agenda. The 4th Future of Cities Forum in Munich in 2014 showed that the concept of regenerative cities can be a path-breaking solution for China considering its rapid urbanisation. In June 2015 the WFC Commission on Climate and Energy launched a 5-year programme on Regenerative Urban Development in China with an office in Beijing.