As Europe moves to put the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) into action, alarming reports on global warming, desertification, water shortages and environmental migration continue.
The head of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has told global leaders at the UN Climate Summit that women must take a greater leadership role in fighting climate change because its effects fall hardest on them. Taking a seat in policy discussions is much needed first step.
Luckily a lot of promising initiatives and calls for action are focusing on the issue. Find here a short overview of European and member initiatives.
T-Rain project: nowcasting rainfall data
The T-Rain project, coordinated by Climate-KIC, aims at launching a platform for nowcasting* rainfall data, building on a telephone network-sourced data.
With industrial actors needing climate services, i.e. data and consultancy on how meteorological data can impact their business models and daily operations, this is a key service as the climate is changing. Read more here.
AGADAPT: adapting water use in the agriculture sector
Global warming puts high pressure on fresh water availability and is changing the components of the fresh water system. Access to fresh water is a crucial issue for many societies: Mediterranean territories already face water scarcity and Northern European territories are increasingly exposed.
AGADAPT develops and deploys methods to reduce and optimise the water usage of rainfed and irrigated agriculture by combining knowledge-based innovative technologies, modelling and transfer of technologies and innovative practices. Read more here. <>
Climate-KIC has some great other projects in this area, check them out here.
Ashoka: sustainable agriculture and rainforest protection
EVPA member Ashoka supports a number of fellows working on sustainable agriculture and mitigating climate change.
In Brazil, Lilian Silva founded Acreditar, a youth-run microfinance organization. Young entrepreneurs can apply for loans by presenting business plans that focus on low-environmental impact agriculture rather than sugar cane monocultures. The organization has supported over 600 small businesses in seven cities.
In Thailand, Poonsap Suanmuang works with women in rural communities to create economic opportunities and prevent forest destruction. Over 500 people in more than 20 villages work with Poonsap, providing women with additional income rather than relying only on remittances from relatives in urban areas.
For more projects, see here.
Water.org: empowering access to safe water
With climate change putting increasing pressure on communities to access water, Water.org is empowering millions of individuals around the world with access to safe water. They currently work in twelve countries.
In order to help the people, the organisation created WaterCredit, a new space at the intersection of water and sanitation and microfinance. By catalysing small loans to individuals, entrepreneurs and communities in developing countries who do not have access to traditional credit markets, WaterCredit empowers people to immediately address their own water needs.
As of June 2015, WaterCredit has empowered more than 2.6 million people in nine countries with access to safe water and sanitation. Once a high-risk experiment, WaterCredit is now changing the face of the water crisis. Read more about this project here.
Rare: improving local watershed management
Rare is an NGO that empowers local communities in over 50 countries to shift from being resource users to environmental stewards.
One of the projects focuses on Colombia and sees Rare Fellows from the valley’s regional environmental authority begin a two-year journey to empower communities to learn more about the forest-water link and change local watershed management for the better. Over two years, seven campaigns directly reached 43,153 local residents and landed 32 reciprocal water agreements, securing conservation results that rocketed past the Fellows’ initial campaign targets. Read more here.
SI2 Fund and Circle: eco-friendly home delivery service
Belgium based SI² Fund invested €250,000 to finance the scale-up of Cirkle, a Brussels-based social enterprise that combines an online home delivery service for artisan and organic produce, with convenient reverse logistic services including collection of recyclables, environmentally friendly dry cleaning, and charity collections
Renewable energy initiatives
This year Canopus organised the second edition of ‘Solar for All’ contest that aims to identify and support solar village grid technologies and their highly recognised potential for rural development. The winner will be awarded a 150,000€ investment. Read more here.
Recently joined GLS bank supports a host of ecological projects, and is especially focused on renewable energy. Find the projects here (in German).
HERi Madagascar has opened its 50th solar energy kiosk in the village of Kiranomena, Bongolava region. These kiosks offer sustainable, reliable and affordable electricity products and services to communities in 160 rural off-grid villages in Ethiopia, Kenya and Madagascar. The project helps reduce their dependence on biomass and bio-fuels, decrease air pollution in homes, promote new types of commerce and improve social conditions relating to health and education. Read more here.
OPES Impact Fund
OPES joined a group of distinguished emerging market clean technology and social impact investors in supporting the growth of Devergy, a social energy service company that provides low-income, rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa with access to modern and affordable electricity. Read more here.
Oxfam called this week on rich countries to make good on the pledges made at the Paris conference to provide the funding to help developing countries adapt to the effects of global warming. See here.
The total issued in green bonds exploded from $3billion in 2012 to $42billion last year. The bonds, which are popular at the local level, are bonds in which the money is earmarked for projects with a positive environmental impact. The huge interest in green financing has allowed authorities to attract a new tranche of investors. Read more about why this excites investors.
Interested in more? Here are 7 twitter accounts to follow ahead of Cop22.
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