Africa is leading the push for clean energy policy-making as climate change turns millions of its people into “food refugees,” the head of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) Achim Steiner said. Reuters reports.
“On the African continent, there is sometimes more leadership being shown by countries, by governments, than we see in some of the industrialized nations,” Steiner told Reuters.
Kenya generates most of its energy from hydroelectric dams but water levels have fallen due to recurring drought. It is now investing heavily in geothermal and wind power.
The African Development Bank is financing Africa’s biggest wind farm on the shores of Lake Turkana, one of the windiest places on Earth. The $819-million project aims to produce 300 megawatts (MW) of electricity per year, boosting Kenya’s energy supply by 30 percent.
“We see across the continent both a realization of how threatening climate change really is and also the inevitable necessity that governments have an interest in beginning to put their own development priorities on a different trajectory,” said Steiner.
Investments in renewable energy are hitting record levels. In 2010, $211 billion dollars was invested in renewable energy, the majority of it in the developing world, Steiner said.
As the world’s poorest continent, Africa is also the most vulnerable to the extreme weather conditions and rising sea levels brought by climate change.
“The consequence of global warming for Africa is one of disruption, of greater vulnerability, higher risks and enormous expenditures to cope with these changes,” said Steiner.
Source : http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/43594 and http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/21/us-climate-africa-unep-idUSTRE7AK0IR20111121?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2Fenvironment+%28News+%2F+US+%2F+Environment%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
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