OPINION: Rich Countries Should Fund Renewable Energy Development in Third World


Brian Atuheire.
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By Brian Atuheire

Renewable energy is derived from natural processes that can be replenished within a short time scale and can be derived directly or indirectly from the sun and from other natural mechanisms.

Renewable energy sources include hydropower, bio energy, thermal, geothermal, wind, photochemical, photoelectric, tidal, wave, and solar energy. It excludes energy from fossil fuel sources (oil, coal and natural gas).

The energy sector is about the largest source of (Green House Gas) GHG emissions and it has been estimated that globally, energy-related emissions would increase by about 16% by 2040. Considering the environmental degradation and release of harmful gases to the atmosphere emanating from the exploitation and use of fossil energy sources, there is a need to diversify its energy needs.

Most countries currently have a strong dependence on fossil fuel. There is the need to increase renewable energy uptake such as hydro, solar, biogas and wind resources into rural and urban energy planning mostly in the 3rd world

Emissions from fossil fuels are harmful to the environment and are responsible for the enhanced global warming that has led to climate change. Hence, the world’s attention should be drawn to the need for a sustainable development agenda that demands the use of cleaner forms energy such as renewable that can promote human wellbeing, economic development and environmental protection

It is established that developed countries have greatly contributed to current climate change as a result of the development path taken in the past and present times. For example, the twenty-one Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) which include such economies as Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam collectively consume about 60% of world energy. Most of this energy is fossil energy and therefore these countries should contribute heavily to funds to mitigate climate change needs and its better that they adopt clean energy.

In addition, the United States, Australia and Canada have been identified as being among the world’s highest per capita carbon emitters as a result of high energy consumption made possible by government supports

However, developed countries have greater financial and institutional capacity to tackle climate change issues and largely for this reason, they have been in the forefront championing the cause for reduction of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions and requesting respective countries to return their emissions to 1990 levels. Therefore, based on equity consideration, it becomes appropriate that the richer developed countries should partly fund the cost of implementing mitigation and adaptation strategies of developing countries to climate change.

Such a measure would in part help developing economies to improve on their infrastructural needs at low carbon emissions mostly through introduction of clean energy.

The writer is a co-director at the African Initiative On Food security and Environment

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