recording to follow soon.
Hosted by the Asia LEDS Partnership and Energy Working Group of the LEDS Global Partnership
Session 2: Assessing Renewable Energy Potential Using the Geospatial Toolkit (GsT): Applications in Vietnam’s Thanh Hoa Province
Date: April 21, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM Indochina Time (ICT)
Jon Duckworth, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Donna Heimiller, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Khanh Nguyen, USAID Low Emission Asian Development (LEAD) Program Country Coordinator
Sandra Khananusit, Asia LEDS Partnership Secretariat
Alexander Ochs, LEDS GP Energy Working Group
Check the time of the webinar according to your location here.
European Union environment ministers are discussing implementation of the Paris Agreement on Friday (04.03.) A timely transition out of fossil fuels is doable, says Alexander Ochs from Worldwatch. That is, if we act now.
Can we switch from fossil fuels to renewables in time to keep temperature rise to 2, ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius?
Not only can we do a transition to truly sustainable systems – financially, economically, socially and environmentally sustainable – we are in the midst of it. There is no one global trend in that direction, but there are many places, municipalities, provinces, whole countries, regions that are transitioning away from fossil fuels toward renewable ways of producing energy, and smarter ways of consuming energy. So it is absolutely doable.
Can you name some examples?
Germany has managed over the last two decades to transition away from fossil fuels. We have seen enormous growth rates of renewable electricity production. Or take Denmark, which has always been seen as a renewable energy champion. But it’s not a trend restricted any more to developed countries.
Look at Costa Rica, look at many places on all continents – you find very dramatic examples, transitions away from fossil fuel energy toward sustainable energy sources – not always at the level of nations, but often sub-federal levels like communities or provinces. We have a lot of really great examples now, best practice examples. We really have to learn from experience and share that experience internationally.
By Ethan Goffman, http://earthtalk.org/interview-alexander-ochs/
For the past 15 years, Alexander Ochs has been an important figure in international efforts to fight climate change and develop green energy, working with United Nations and other international agencies. Among many endeavors, he is President of theForum for Atlantic Climate and Energy Talks, is Founding Chair of the LEDS-GP Energy Working Group, and is an adviser to the German Government’s International Climate Initiative. Ochs’ academic career is also distinguished; he teaches at Johns Hopkins University and has co-edited three books and published dozens of research articles. As Senior Director of Climate and Energy at the Worldwatch Institute, Ochs has developed a series of sustainable energy roadmaps and implementation plans that are helping bring clean energy to Central America and the Caribbean, with plans to expand to new regions. Ochs also participated in the Paris climate summit. EarthTalk’s Ethan Goffman interviewed him via Skype in his Berlin, Germany office…
Or read the full transcript below…
EarthTalk: You’ve worked at the Worldwatch Institute on a series of sustainable energy roadmaps to help countries transition to a clean economy. Why are such roadmaps necessary?
In December global leaders met in Paris to hammer out an agreement to try and hold global warming to a 1.5 Celsius degree rise in temperature. But while we hold our elected officials responsible for greenhouse gas emission reductions, what can we and what do we do ourselves to contribute to that goal? National Observer asked a number of experts for tips on how you can reduce your personal carbon footprint. (…)
Alexander Ochs, senior director of climate and energy for Worldwatch Institute, questions the ideal of the typical North American, two-garage home with a large lawn. “Is it really worth the two hours commute you do every day to get to your workplace?” he rhetorically asks.
Alexander Ochs, published as Worldwatch Institute blog
Many of us still remember the images from the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, which was launched as “Hopenhagen” with great expectations and concluded in the “Flopenhagen” fiasco: the disappointment of freezing environmentalists lining up in front of the Bella Convention Center; the desperate faces of exhausted negotiators; the Danish sherpas trying to argue small successes in the summit’s failure.
But America’s political superstars would not succeed if they didn’t manage to emerge as winners, even in moments of defeat. U.S. president Barack Obama somehow thwarted the image of Europeans marked by the poor results of months of negotiations. Obama flew in to Copenhagen by helicopter, cut through the icy Scandinavian winds toward the conference venue, and assembled those around him whom he decided were the chosen few.
It is this other image that we conjure up when remembering Copenhagen: the U.S. president, with his sleeves rolled up, surrounded by the representatives of Brazil, China, India, and South Africa. The message: “We saved what could be saved.” But to anyone familiar enough with the negotiations to look behind the façade, this image actually showed those who had sabotaged the ambitious plans of Europeans and their coalition of “more willing but less mighty.” The picture was deceptive: What was rescued was not the climate, the environment, or sustainable development, but a minimal consensus to continue talking. After that, the world became relatively silent on climate diplomacy. But the talking did continue, and it led to much more progress than could have been expected shortly after Copenhagen.
Worldwatch will contribute to the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) starting in Paris, France today by advising governmental delegations, participating in high-level consultations, and speaking at conferences for the general public. We invite you to follow these events as they unfold, either with us in Paris or through our blog and Twitter account.
“The Paris climate summit has all the ingredients to make history: an almost universal understanding of the urgency to act, an agreement on the final document within reach, and governments worldwide determined to act,” says Alexander Ochs, Director of Climate and Energy and Worldwatch’s head of delegation.
“A quarter century after the world embarked on protecting the atmosphere, we are closer than ever to making real change happen. Paris can alter the way we generate and consume energy; manufacture goods; produce our food and treat our forests and peatlands; run our transport systems; respond to the ecosystem changes already underway; and, maybe most importantly, work together across borders when confronted with problems of global scale,” says Ochs. “Let’s seize this opportunity!”
Worldwatch will be among the international civil society organizations at the COP21 that will lead in debates and discussions about solutions to climate change. Check out our event lineup below and keep an eye on this critical moment.
From 30 November to 11 December, representatives of over 190 countries gather in Paris to reach a global agreement on how to deal with climate change after the expiry of Kyoto Protocol. The talks take place in a city that has been shaken by the Nov 13 terrorist attacks, under a state of emergency, and high security detail for a COP. (…)
We asked experts from a variety of sectors what they expected to see after COP21. We’ll continue to update this from the conference in the next two weeks. (…)
Alexander Ochs, Director Climate and Energy Program, Worldwatch Institute. Washington – Berlin:
“We will continue helping individual countries and municipalities transform their energy systems, including in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Why the focus on developing countries? Because this is where the development needs are the strongest and the pressure not to embark on a development path dependent on fossil fuels is the greatest. In Haiti, for example, 10% of Gross Domestic Product is squandered on fossil fuels while two thirds of the populations still do not have reliable energy access. In at least four out of five countries worldwide there is now a clear economic argument to move from conventional fuels to renewables and to boost efficiency. There are challenges also in North America and Europe, but the most suffering from today’s unjust, unaffordable, and unsustainable energy system is in the regions less developed.”
Full text [here]
– Negotiators from the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are intent on striking a deal to keep the global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels, but many fear that a 10-year-old agreement to buy cheap petroleum from Venezuela puts their discussions in jeopardy. (…)
While agreeing that PetroCaribe could be a disincentive for investments in domestic renewable energy, Alexander Ochs, Director of Climate and Energy at WorldWatch Institute noted, “Caribbean governments are increasingly aware of the enormous financial, environmental and social costs associated with continued dependence on fossil fuels.” (…)
“Even if the problem of global warming did not exist, and the burning of fossil fuels did not result in extensive local air and water pollution, CARICOM would still have to mandate to transition away from these fuels as swiftly as possible for reasons of social opportunity, economic competitiveness and national security, ”said Ochs, one of the authors of the new Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS) Baseline Report and Assessment, launched on October 28. (…)
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) hosted the fifth CARICOM Energy Week (CEW) under the theme ‘EmPOWERING Our Sustainable Development.’ The annual awareness-raising event highlights the importance of energy for economic development in the region. To mark CEW, the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) was inaugurated, and a baseline report for the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS) was released.
CEW was held 8-14 November 2015, with CARICOM member States hosting events, such as panel discussions, site visits to renewable energy projects, the Electric Mobility Show and Conference, and activities with local schools. The Week also featured contests, such as a radio pop quiz with prizes, kilo-walk, energy app competition, video competition, and photo and art competition.
In conjunction with the Centre’s inauguration, the Worldwatch Institute launched the C-SERMS Baseline Report and Assessment, which analyzes the region’s current energy policy framework, evaluates renewable energy and energy efficiency potential, and suggests regional short-, medium- and long-term targets for the energy sector. Among the recommended targets are achieving 48% of electricity generation from renewable energy by 2027 and a 33% reduction in the region’s energy intensity.
Introduction & Moderation
Alexander Ochs, Worldwatch Institute/EWG Chair
Regional Overview: Low Emission Energy Development in Africa
John Yeboah, ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency/EWG co-Chair
Learning from Cape Verde’s Renewable Energy Plan
Anildo Costa, Consultant to the Government of Cape Verde
Learning from Kenya’s Renewable Energy Plan
Esther Wang’ombe, Government of Kenya
I am excited to announce the next webinar in our series on regional leaders in climate-compatible development and their innovative energy approaches from around the world.
Please join us on January 22 at 2 PM GMTfor an online sessionon Energy Low-Emissions Development Strategies: A Regional Overview of Africa and Experiences from Cape Verde and Kenya. Please register for free at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5131648729578459906.
Our regional leaders series is part of our work within the Low Emission Development Strategies – Global Partnership (LEDS-GP), an international initiative aiming to enhance information exchange and cooperation among countries, international programs and practitioners working to advance climate-compatible growth. Worldwatch, as host of the secretariat of the LEDS Energy Working Group (EWG), facilitates these webinars in cooperation with the LEDS Regional Platforms. Recordings of our previous sessions on Latin America/Caribbean and Asia, as well as other LEDS-EWG webinars, can be found here.
[Here] you can find a flyer. Please help us spread the news about this exciting series. Thank you!
Director, Climate and Energy Program
The region of Latin America and the Caribbean is already a global low-carbon leader in terms of power generation from hydrological and biomass resources, and it recently has made great strides in developing its other renewable energy sources. Declining costs, maturing technologies, and vast untapped potentials for renewables offer an unprecedented opportunity for further development of the renewable energy market in the region. Continuing to invest in renewables will provide Latin America and the Caribbean with the opportunity to address key economic, social, and environmental challenges in the energy sector.
Here is my presentation on the Economic, Social & Environmental Successes of the German Energy Transition which I gave at the Private Sector Prep Meeting for COP 20 in Lima last week. RethinkingTheEnergySystem_Ochs_Lima_140915_final overview
- the trends| Germany’s energy transition
- the enablers | Vision, policies, governance
- the impacts | Busted myths, changed paradigms
- the lessons | Key take-aways
Published in Outreach, 18 November 2013
Over the past twenty years, climate negotiations have been dominated by concerns that addressing global warming is anti-business and onerous to future development. The insufficient progress we have made at the last 18 COPs towards ‘preventing dangerous human interference with the climate system,’ the ultimate goal of the UN Climate Convention, is a consequence of this – and the summit currently underway in Warsaw is not exactly on course to make a change. Working in many places around the world, from Haiti to India to Europe and the United States, I have witnessed little success in convincing people of the importance of sacrifice for the global commons. This approach has proven ineffective.
I wrote in this publication a couple of years ago that ‘new energy for the negotiations’ was needed. The article’s title, of course, was a play on words: More than anything else we need to quickly transition to new energy systems built on efficient consumption and renewable resources, as well as decentralised and smart transmission solutions, in order to decarbonise our societies and help them to adapt to climate change. But we also need new, renewable and sustainable energy for the negotiations. Discussing climate mitigation as what can be won, rather than what must be given up, and a strategy that at its core builds on the experiences that already have been made in many places around the world on the way to building low-emissions economies might not just inspire scale-up and replication of on-the-ground action but also revitalise international partnership and ambition.
Sustainable Energy for Island Economies:
A High Impact Opportunity of SE4ALL – Vision 20/30
This session, moderated by Nasir Khattak, Climate Institute, presented the global programme “Sustainable Energy for Island Economies,” launched in 2000 and included in 2012 as one of the “high impact opportunities” under the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative, with some panelists showcasing projects from their island states.