Pakistan’s prime minister calls for an end to coal power plant construction in that country, plus Britain will stop funding investments in foreign oil and gas exploration. A Canadian Arctic indigenous network shows us how to build resilience in the face of the climate crisis and COVID , and India debuts the world’s fastest growing, sustainable food source.
Britain Stops Foreign Oil Investment, Pakistan’s PM Calls for End of Coal, India’s Fastest-Growing Sustainable Food Source, and Canadian Arctic Indigenous Building COVID Resilience
PAKISTAN PRIME MINISTER SIGNALS HALT TO CHINESE-BACKED COAL POWER BOOM
Pakistan’s prime minister has called a halt to a Chinese-backed coal power boom, in a pivot to renewables that could inspire others in China’s orbit – if put into action. Imran Khan told a virtual gathering of global leaders: “We have decided we will not have any more power based on coal”. The Pakistani Alliance for Climate Justice and Clean Energy (ACJCE) said the announcement was “a step in the right direction”.
In his two-minute speech at the Climate Ambition Summit, Khan said that, by 2030, 60% of all electricity produced in Pakistan will come from clean sources and 30% of all vehicles will be electric. Aslam said this would be achieved using solar, hydro and wind as well as nuclear. Plants under construction are expected to be completed, but the announcement pours cold water on the national grid operator’s projections of a significant expansion of coal power.
In the week before Khan’s announcement, Pakistan’s energy minister met the Chinese ambassador and discussed investment in renewable energy. The Chinese government has suggested it would like to make its investments abroad “greener” and its environment ministry has recently floated blacklisting coal power investments abroad.
ACJCE called on the government to “halt all those coal power plants or coal mining projects which are in their initial stages of development so that these do not become an unsustainable environmental, social and financial burden for the country”.
UK GOVERNMENT WILL STOP FUNDING FOREIGN FOSSIL FUEL PROJECTS
Government, business, and civil society leaders across 75 nations gathered for the recent 2020 Climate Ambition Summit. Co-hosted by the United Kingdom and France and in partnership with Chile and Italy, the virtual summit’s mission was to discuss new goals under the pillars of the Paris Agreement, which include adaptation, mitigation, and finance commitments.
One success to come from the summit was the UK promised to stop funding foreign fossil fuel projects. The European Union also announced a commitment to reduce emissions by 55% over the next 10 years. While major climate policies were not announced during the summit, these smaller victories are still a positive step towards combating climate change around the world.
The United Kingdom’s hosting of the 2020 summit was said to be a stepping stone towards the UK’s larger responsibility to host the 26th annual UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in 2021.
DEEPER DIVE: Climate Ambition Summit 2020
ARCTIC INDIGENOUS NETWORK BUILDS RESILIENCE TO COVID, CLIMATE CRISIS
For the past five years across northern Canada, MakeWay, a philanthropy designed to build “partnerships and solutions to help communities and nature thrive together,” has supported a network of Indigenous communities to hire local inter-generational crews to monitor, manage, and steward their lands and waters.
Since Covid, the Network has pivoted their work to strengthen responses to the pandemic. Members of Inuit and Dene communities in the Network now are bringing their hunting and harvesting expertise to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on insecure rural supply chains.
The way in which Indigenous communities have responded to the pandemic emphasises the importance of Inuit knowledge and culture when planning for adaptation and mitigation of other key issues.
It’s a recognition that the information and knowledge of local people is derived from lived experiences, direct observations, and interactions, but also through collected experiences over countless generations. Covid-19 is not the first crisis response by Arctic Indigenous Stewardship Network members. The other? Climate Change.
Climate change impacts in the Arctic include unpredictable ice conditions limiting social interaction and travelling to hunt for food, among others. As a result, Indigenous peoples are more likely to turn to extractive industries for economic relief and are encouraged to do so by governments and industry and the pursuit of this way out of poverty further accelerates climate change.
The community MakeWay stewardship programs help establish livelihoods based on stewardship of the environment, thus building culturally-appropriate and just economic pathways. The network has been made possible, in part, by a recent $400,000 grant from the Climate Justice Resilience Fund.
WORLD’S FASTEST GROWING SUSTAINABLE FOOD SOURCE
Fast-growing seaweed along India’s shoreline shows a promising potential as a sustainable food source to help combat climate change, transform local economies… and of course cuisines! Reported by the BBC, collecting seaweed along the Indian shores for traditional remedies has been an age-old practice for locals. However, the tradition has now turned into a model of seaweed agriculture, which new reports show is one of the fastest-growing sectors of food production in the world.
Indian shorelines have been reported as having some of the highest seaweed biodiversity with as many as 841 species of seaweed. India’s government has already announced plans to cultivate the growing seaweed economy with $87 million in subsidies for seaweed agriculture initiatives over the next five years.