The Social Summit parallel to COP25, the activities and events of the climate negotiations and the Climate March on Friday have one thing in common and it is the need to put human rights at the center of the environmental discussion. The latest reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the World Meteorological Organization state very clearly that we are on a path to increasing the average temperature of the planet by more than 3 degrees unless the countries, especially the most polluting ones, lower emissions drastically. This means that if we want to continue living in a world similar to the one we have, many jobs will be transformed, thousands will be lost and millions of people will be affected throughout the world.
The International Labor Organization conducted a global analysis to see the potential for job creation of green economies. That is, what would happen to work if each country complies with its national emission reduction plan (known as NDC). What they saw is that globally, 24 million new jobs would be created and 6 million would be destroyed, mostly in sectors such as petroleum gas and coal. Developing countries have significant challenges to make their economy renewable but it would also be a great opportunity to reduce costs. Is it possible for developing and vulnerable countries to have 100% renewable energy?
One of the studies developed by Bread for the World states that it cannot only be done but it is viable and sustainable. According to the study Bangladesh could have 100% renewable energy by 2050. The 48 Climate Vulnerable Forum leaders made a declaration at COP22 in Morocco to make their countries reliant on 100% renewable energy by 2050. This represented a challenge for many of them, because for example in 2017 Bangladesh only had a 10% share of its energy renewable. Could they do it and inspire other vulnerable countries? According to Joachim Fünfgelt, political facilitator of Bread for the World (BfdW), normally governments believe that investing in renewable energy is not economically viable or that technically it cannot be done in their countries.
“What we are trying to show them with data and reports is that developing renewable energy is not only not expensive but it can reduce costs, but also that it is possible because technology already exists and is socially beneficial,'' adds Joachim. The study also reveals that for this to happen, there has to be a long-term strategy by governments. Something like a state pact that doesn't change every four years. When implementing this energy change thousands of jobs will change, according to Joachim, and people will need to be trained so that they can develop the activities required for these new jobs.
In addition to training, one of the most important things would be that the implementation should be fair. Adrián Martínez, director of the Costa Rican NGO La Ruta por el Clima, insists on this point: “Transition processes must be fair and democratic. We have to involve all sectors, especially the most vulnerable, it is a matter of climate justice and social justice”.
An important part of this just transition, according to Jahangir Massum, from Coastal Development Partnership Bangladesh (CDP), is that the mode of implementation should be through dialogue between all actors: governments, national companies and communities.
One of the biggest challenges will be technology. According to him, developed countries should provide technology to developing countries, because they are the ones that have caused this climate crisis. For him, renewable energy is a great opportunity for developing countries and adds: “This could be the era in which developing countries may not depend on the Global North''.
The article is written by Andrea A. Gálvez
To strengthen climate journalism around the globe, the FES Media Fellowship cooperates with Climate Tracker and supports four young journalists, Andrea A. Gálvezfrom Spain, Kartik Chandramouli from India, Petr Vodsedalekfrom Czech Republic and Leopold Obi from Kenya who participate in this program. They receive a climate media training, report from COP25 and take part in FES events as well.
More about FES@COP25: www.fes.de/cop25
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