Benefitting From Environmentally Friendly Policies

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Benefitting From Environmentally Friendly Policies

  1. 1. Greening in the Face of Crisis Presentation by Cletus I. Springer, Director, Department of Sustainable Development, Organization of American States to Conference on Sustaining Development in Small States in a Turbulent Global Economy Commonwealth Secretariat, London July 6-7, 2009
  2. 2. Outline of Presentation  The Crisis in the Context of Notions of :  Vulnerability,  Resilience  Sustainability  Challenges and Opportunities  Sustainable Energy  Sustainable Transport  Water Security  Risk Management and Climate Change  Land Degradation  Waste management  Towards and International Agenda
  3. 3. Implications and Complications of Global Crisis  consensus on roots and impacts of crisis and its relationship to vulnerability of SIDS  Concern that crisis will:  Deepen vulnerability  Weaken environmental sustainability  Roll back gains achieved under preferential concessionary arrangements conditions that will not return  Combine with return of high oil prices
  4. 4. Implications and Complications of Global Crisis - 2  Tight policy space  Limited fiscal options  Inherent vulnerability features such as thin markets  Capacity constraints  Limited access to technology  Human resource challenges
  5. 5. Key Messages  No room for policy errors so need for ….  Risk analysis  Priority setting  Cost benefit analysis  Quick but thorough EIAs  Integrated development planning  Corruption watch  Win-win options  No retreat from vulnerability reduction and resilience building  Targeted “no regrets” investments in areas that:  Conserve foreign exchange  Are cost effective  Create more and new jobs  Have high multiplier effect  Sustains the health of the environment  Are market-based but not market distorting
  6. 6. Challenges and Opportunities  Energy  Sustainable Transport  Water  Natural Hazards  Land Degradation  Waste Management
  7. 7. Energy  Return of high energy prices - nightmare scenario  Conventional energy sources impede competitiveness  Heavy use of bio-mass energy in some SIDS with human and environmental impacts  Extensive RE options but lack of capacity to evaluate options and understand trade-offs  Myth of low returns from RETs
  8. 8. Energy - 2  Reform laws to support IPPs  Make RET transfer core of bilateral and multilateral negotiation eg in EPAs  Use MBis to promote use of energy efficient appliances in homes and technology in industry  Ramp up investments in RETs using available carbon financing and environment funding (CDM, GEF, etc)  Explore all financially feasible and appropriate options  Solar-ize hospitals, hotels, schools and commercial and public buildings  Retrofit public buildings to make them more energy efficient  Move to high-end solar uses eg: solar-thermal technology (mirrors to concentrate sunlight = heat=steam=electricity  Heat storing and more stable than PVs  24/7 sunlight not necessary  Co-generation possibilities
  9. 9. Energy - 3  More RE options  Wind power (Jamaica)  Cellulosic ethanol (Belize)  Geothermal (St. Kitts, Dominica)  Hydro (Dominica)  Sugar plant (Mauritius)  OTEC (Saga, Japan, Hawaii)  Tidal
  10. 10. Energy - 4  RETs need upgrading of power grid – “smart grids” through digital sensors to:  Make T&D system more responsive and interactive  Better cope with new sources of RE power  Achieve better efficiency and reliability  Better management of demand and supply of electricity  Reduce need for expansion of power plants
  11. 11. Energy - 5  Hurdles  High capital costs but… huge forex and environmental benefits  Costs can be offset through CDM + carbon trading  Fear that reduced consumption will reduce revenues but…  Savings from improved operational efficiencies  Evidence from Europe that RE cost recoverable in 5 years  COMSEC +OAS+UNIDO+ IEA collaborative effort needed.
  12. 12. Sustainable Transport  Issues  Current vehicle fleet inefficient  Drain on foreign exchange (capital and recurrent)  High polluters  Policy response  MBIs for replacement of inefficient fleet  Curbs on importation of high vehicles with high CC capacity  Promote efficient public transport system  Build infrastructure for use of hybrid vehicles  Encourage safe use of bicycles, scooters  Consider car auction permits a la Singapore
  13. 13. Water Resources  Key issues:  Contamination of water resources (chemicals and waste)  Deforestation  Impacts of climate change and variability  Narrow freshwater lenses  Rapid Urbanization  Waste in production (line loss ) and consumption  Challenge to attainment of MDGs
  14. 14. Water Resources - 2  Introduce IWRM  Protect water systems through PES  Curb deforestation and land degradation  Build natural coping systems for floods  Reduce U-A-W through replacement of aging infrastructure  Introduce MBIs to encourage water conservation and investment in rainwater harvesting  Introduce drought-resistant crop varieties  Invest in EWS for drought and floods
  15. 15. Natural Hazards  High inherent susceptibility to natural hazards  High acquired vulnerability to hazard through policy conflicts  Increased vulnerability from CC/CV + SLR  High annual disaster losses  Inadequate treatment of disaster risk  Low research capacity for climate change  Modelling challenges
  16. 16. Natural Hazards - 2  Tackle root causes of vulnerability  Strengthen local and national capacity for DRM  Mainstream DRM in Development Planning  Aggressively pursue available funding for CC adaptation  Make “no regrets” investments in risk reduction  Drainage building and repair programs *  Protect (risk-proof) critical facilities*  Underground cabling of electricity and communications in business districts*  MBIs for retrofitting homes and businesses
  17. 17. Land Degradation (LD)  Issues  Limited options to SIDS to raise productivity of land, intensify land use and raise farm outputs  LD :  affects agricultural productivity and social livelihoods  Threatens food security  Erodes biodiversity on which tourism and agriculture depends  Increases vulnerability to natural disasters
  18. 18. Land Degradation -2  Policy Responses  Aggressively pursue Sustainable Land Management (SLM)  Remove policy barriers to improved land management  Promote PES as option to land acquisition to protect sensitive lands  Strengthen land use planning and development control regimes  Invest in hard and soft SLM project eg: retaining walls, re-afforestation, mangrove rebuilding, artificial reefs, soil-retaining plants etc
  19. 19. Waste Management  Issues  limited land space = limited space for landfills  Increasing Urbanization = high waste volumes from cities = high haulage costs  Increasing consumption = increasing waste  Rapid increase in use of white goods = reduced landfill space = rising costs of collection, haulage and disposal
  20. 20. Waste Management - 2  Responses:  Work with suppliers to reduce waste at source  Promote reuse and recycling  Invest in modern landfill technology eg crushers + compactors  Identify and reserve land for future landfill expansion  Encourage manufacturers to pursue cradle to cradle (C2C) approaches
  21. 21. Elements of An International Agenda  Make international environmental relations centrepiece of foreign policy  Push for Global Green New Deal  Build solid inter-regional partnerships in water, energy, land management and hazard risk management  Include green issues in bilateral and multilateral agreements  Build capacity to access existing financing mechanisms eg. CDM, Carbon markets , WB Forest Carbon Partnership Facility  Use sea carbon sink argument more aggressively  Promote technology transfers through north-south, south-south cooperation  Promote sustained research and development into green technologies at Universities

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