Climate Change

30 Ways in 30 Days

The UN Environment Program (UNEP) has launched a “30 ways in 30 days” program, in which successful climate change prevention case studies will be presented that can be copied around the world.

solar energyUNEP’s projects include green passports for sustainable tourism, successful reforestation in Panama, greening East African tea plantations, and carbon financing in Africa, reports News Blaze. From community-based programs to large entrepreneurial endeavors, the solutions that UNEP is presenting embody innovation and creativity, and provide benefits to the people they serve as well as help to reduce global emissions, writes UNEP.

We agree with UNEP that clean and renewable energy sources and improved energy efficiency must lie at the heart of nationally appropriate climate change mitigation actions. This can range from creating mass markets for solar water heaters to improving vehicle efficiency to using waste for energy or installing energy-efficient cooking stoves.

Kenya tea farmOne example of these case studies is in the power of a cup of tea. Growing tea is energy intensive, and given the unreliable power sources of East Africa many growers have installed diesel generators. However, the tea farms are in hilly areas with high annual rainfall and all-season river flows, which makes them ideal sites for small hydropower projects. Up to 6 small hydropower stations will be built as demonstration projects that will provide energy to the farms with any surplus providing electricity for nearby villages that currently have no grid connection. I’m not sure what the villages are currently using, but in some parts of Africa they use energy from wood burning. The hydropower would be an improvement.

UNEP’s 30 case studies prove that solutions to combat climate change are available, accessible and replicable. The program is part of the lead up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change scheduled from November 29 to December 10 in Cancun, Mexico.

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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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