Latin America’s hydrocarbon producers have long considered hydrogen as a good opportunity to render their extractivist models “greener”. There are a range of concerns about blue and grey hydrogen, but even large-scale green hydrogen may have negative social and environmental impacts. This is part one in a series exploring the background of hydrogen and its risks across the region.
All posts tagged: water scarcity
The Energy-Water Nexus in the Middle East: Will water scarcity compromise the Middle East’s green hydrogen future?
The race to become the world leader in hydrogen production has begun—and the Middle East is at the front of the pack. Hydrogen—and in particular—green hydrogen, is often portrayed as the “silver bullet” in decarbonization technology—able to decarbonize even the hardest-to-abate sectors. With some of the best renewable energy sources in the world (both solar and wind), many Middle Eastern countries seek to maintain their position as global energy giants by producing and exporting new energy vectors — namely, hydrogen and its derivatives. Yet Joelle Thomas found herself wondering whether these lofty hydrogen goals will be sustainable in a region with one significant resource constraint: water.
Restoring Africa’s damaged ecosystems is central to a just transition
Africa’s contribution to the global share of the carbon pollution that is destabilising Earth’s climate is relatively small. A just transition for the continent needs, therefore, to lean towards adapting to an unstable climate, ahead of aggressive mitigation efforts. A case study from South Africa shows how a Green New Deal-approach could help restore damaged ecosystems, buffer communities against climate shocks, and boost job opportunities in a country with high unemployment. Leonie Joubert reports.
Is ‘sustainable fracking’ Columbia’s energy future?
Faced with dwindling oil reserves, Columbian politicians are worried about energy security and state funds. The country is looking into whether it will allow fracking if it’s ‘sustainable’ – ignoring the possibility of expanding renewables instead, says Rebecca Bertram.
Is Latin America’s lithium industry sustainable? Environmental costs of the new white gold
The energy transition, and especially the increased electrification of transportation sector, moves forward at great speed. Its new center is Latin America’s lithium triangle, where new batteries of electric vehicles will be sourced. But there is an inevitable conflict coming between water availability and mining, says Rebecca Bertram.
Small city-based businesses hit hard by African drought
The four-year drought which gripped southern and east Africa between 2015 and 2018 hit small businesses in many of the major cities. As we start to count the financial cost of this, it shows up the complex relationship between water and energy, and that a ‘just transition’ here means finding ways to support businesses against the economic fallout of climate-related shocks, writes Leonie Joubert.
Violation of democratic rights at the behest of mining in Colombia
On February 13th, the Colombian Constitutional Court decided to abolish local referendums on land use in Colombia. Kathrin Meyer elaborates on the consequences of this development and whether the international community should act.
How climate change affects the Honduran economy
Honduras is only responsible for a tiny margin of global greenhouse gas emissions – 0.1 percent to be precise. Yet its economy will be destroyed by the impacts of climate change, Rebecca Bertram reports.
Dead lakes, dry holes: RWE’s post-mining plans threatened by climate change
RWE is digging the biggest hole in Europe for dirty lignite – and they don’t have a working plan to deal with the consequences, says L. Michael Buchsbaum.