Climate Change to Determine Economic Growth – Inter Press News Service

A new World Bank report  entitled ‘Turn Down The Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided’, detailing how global warming could affect sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia shows “the likely impacts of present day two-degree and four-degree-Celsius warming on agricultural production, water resources, and coastal vulnerability for affected populations.” []

South Asia with a population expected to at 2.2b by 2050 is at a particularly high risk. Here is one example – ““With a temperature increase of two to 2.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, by the 2050s reduced water availability for agricultural production may result in more than 63 million people no longer being able to meet their caloric demand by production in the river basins (of the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra),”.


Sri Lanka’s electricity price hike sparks interest in solar – Thomson Reuters Foundation

Sri Lanka’s electricity rates were hiked effective May. The revision is already forcing high-end domestic users to look at a much more environmental friendly alternative, solar. However experts say it is too early to predict whether the rate hike will influence mass movement to solar. Of the over 5m households connected to the national grid, only 3% are considered even border-line high-end users. My file for the Thomson Reuters Foundation –

Here’s how the world can get on track with climate goals

The world is driving itself into a future of climate hell, but experts say it’s not too late to take the off-ramp.

Despite declining greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and other developed nations, global emissions broke a new record last year. They were pushed 1.4 percent higher than the year before by rapid growth in China and India, and by Japan turning to fossil fuels instead of nuclear power.

During U.N. climate negotiations held in Copenhagen in 2009, most of the world agreed to aim for a post-Industrial Revolution temperature rise of no more than 2 degrees Celsius. But if the world keeps traveling along its current path, the International Energy Agency warns in a new report that long-term average temperature increases of between 3.6 and 5.3 degrees C are more likely.

Climate negotiations are underway to agree on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which could help stem the tide of rising emissions. But no new agreement is expected to come into force until 2020 — and who knows if it would even be strong enough to make a difference.

So it would be easy to conclude that we’re royally fucked.

But in its new report, the IEA outlines four strategies that countries could pursue during the next seven years to help spare us the “royally fucked” scenario of skyrocketing temperatures — all at zero net economic cost.

Continues at Grist …

World Environment Day-Think Eat Save

Radio feature on Environment Day on Hot FM 105, Pakistan. We’re talking about not wasting resources including food, the easy way! Produced by Desiree Francis

Moving Asian Cities to public transport crucial, difficult – Experts


As Asia’s mega cities grow and grow, so does the traffic. In the Sri Lankan capital commuters set aside 3hrs to travel 10km into the city and back. But experts say that more and more are opting for  private commute if they can afford, because public transport is unsafe, unreliable and sometimes as one commuter told me is akin to travelling in a public restroom. The traffic is not only a drain on energy, but a major emission factor.

The solution according to experts is to shift to bus rapid transport, that hopefully will not
smell bad.

No alternative to alternative energy

The power shortage has increased demand for diesel and Nepal now imports Rs 93 billion worth of petroleum products a year from India: more than its total commodity exports of Rs 74 billion. An estimated 550MW of captive power is generated from diesel plants run by industries, hotels, and factories.

Nepal can cash in on solar power while waiting for hydroelectric projects to come up. Read More

Ujyaalo gets brighter

Ujyaalo radio 90 network (, a nationwide news service provider to 150 local stations across the country, is among the few enterprises to have made the switch to solar power as an answer to the catastrophic power shortage. Aptly named Ujyaalo Ghar (Bright home), the four-story building is powered by 10 KW solar panels which caters to the energy needs of its 60 employees, enabling round the clock media production for both radio and internet. Read more

Coastal village women gifted solar lanterns

Coastal village women gifted solar lanterns

This story depicts the life of communities residing close to the sea, facing cyclones, floods and increasing salinity due to the sea level rise. Sea intrusion has put the people most vulnerable, facing displacement. They being live ion far off areas do not have access to electricity. Each family spends Rs100 for a litre of kerosene oil to light a traditional lamp. In fact the price of kerosene is lower in the urban market, these people spend more cost, equal to petrol.

Recently a group of philanthropists, comprising businessmen from Karachi and some from US came to visit a coastal village Haji Umar Jat, Thatta district to donate 300 solar lanterns among the well skilled embroidery maker women.

It was the first time for these tribes’ women, who attended a programme, different than their traditional gatherings. Otherwise, they usually gather at shrines located at distantly islands, where they travel by boats. The tribal bindings force them to stay at home or work in fields or boats with their family members.

The event was organized by a non-governmental Sindh Coastal Development Organisation in collaboration with UNDP Global Environment Facility (Gef) Small Grants Program, LEDtronics and Shan Technologies Karachi, which attracted more than a dozen philanthropists, who were eager to donate these gifts to the families living in the most neglected areas.

Masood Lohar, Country Director of UNDP Gef SGP said “this unique initiative is like a war against darkness, which we have started a few months back with this group of philanthropists.”

A group of these philanthropists have, so far, donated 3000 solar lanterns to the communities in the different areas with setting up five basketball courts to promote recreational activism among the youth.

Maryam Issa, leading the group of philanthropists, expressed the hope that these solar lanterns will support the skilled women to continue their work at nighttime. We have brought little gifts for 300 women of this area with a separate basketball court, also equipped with solar floodlights for their children.”

“We are seeing the skills, generosity and lifestyle of these people. Let us think how to adopt this village with providing all the basic facilities to it, specially health and education,” said the US-based Pakistani philanthropist woman.

The people in coastal areas are the most vulnerable in terms of tsunamis, cyclones, floods and droughts. The people being frightened whenever receive warning call of tsunami, cyclone or flood they shift their families hurriedly to avoid any loss.