While in North America and Europe more hydropower plants are being dismantled than built, many countries in Latin America continue to invest in the controversial renewable energy source. In Colombia, two hydropower plants are to be installed in the Amazon region. Social-ecological and cultural costs of the project are not taken into account. Kathrin Meyer reports about the serious impacts that hydropower could have on the zone.
The Polish Church should join the conversation on ecology. It is not, as many church leaders believe, another threat to Christianity, but one of our greatest civilisational challenges. Michał Olszewski reports
With only 500 megawatts of new onshore wind energy coming on-line through September, Germany’s pioneering onshore sector is suffering through its worst year since the beginning of the Energiewende. But instead of helping, the new Climate Package actually sharply reduces onshore wind targets, endangering the whole industry. L.Michael Buchsbaum reports
Anyone looking for an example of how climate change is driving people to leave their homeland simply needs to look to Central America. Here, hundreds of thousands set out to find a future for themselves and their children in the United States. The effects of climate change are clearly visible not only on the agricultural sector but also on society and the economic development of this whole region. Especially in the countries of the so-called Northern Triangle – Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras – where about one third of the population lives from agriculture, climate change calls all official long-term development goals into question. No wonder people are starting to migrate north. Rebecca Bertram takes a look
A day-long conference in Brussels underscored the urgency of making the EU’s 2021-2027 budget a green one. There’s a window of opportunity to do so — and the game is on. Paul Hockenos reports
Recent reports on the fires in the Amazon have dominated the international news on what’s currently going on in Brazil. The world is witness to the destruction of millions of acres of rainforest – the so-called lungs of the world. Brazil’s new President is widely criticized for rolling back environmental regulations in favor of Brazil’s powerful agricultural lobby. However, little attention has been given to changes in Brazil’s energy policy. So what exactly does Bolsonaro have in store for the country’s energy sector? Rebecca Bertram reports
How can we save the planet from dangerous climate change without severing social coherence? Both large-scale, centralized installations and small-scale community-owned projects offer convincing benefits: Large–scale projects reduce the cost of electricity generation while small-scale projects directly benefit the local community. Rebecca Bertram takes a look at wind farms in Mexico.
South Africa is a kingpin of the Global South: we are the biggest carbon emitter on the African continent, and the 14th biggest globally. Our economy runs on a grid of ageing coal power stations, and our financially-crippled national utility, Eskom, doesn’t have the money to replace them. But a new funding proposal sitting with government could rescue the utility from financial ruin, force the rapid phase-out of coal, and pool funds to catch the workers who will lose their livelihoods as coal energy dwindles. Leonie Joubert reports
How did a billionaire win over coal miners in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to become president? Three words: “Trump digs coal”. By linking deindustrialisation and the decline of working communities in America’s “rust belt” to environmental regulation, Donald Trump could paint his greener rivals as out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Americans. Never mind that climate change and pollution will hit working class people hardest – when it’s “jobs or the planet”, the former will always be a more immediate worry for the precarious and impoverished. Matt Perry reports for The Conversation
After a long time of being either ignored or seen as a Western luxury topic, the state of the environment has begun to occupy a broad space in Polish public debate. From the threat of air pollution to the climate crisis, sustainability is now more visible than ever in the media and the campaign ahead of parliamentary elections on October 13. But will this shift produce a real change in direction for the good of both people and planet?