Kenya switched to green energy and now more people than ever have electricity
Universal access to modern electricity would cost much less than current subsidies to fossil fuel industry
By Stephen Leahy*
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Dec 14, 2010 (IPS)
Development in Africa could falter as climate change grips the continent, increasing the length and severity of droughts and floods by altering precipitation patterns, among other impacts.
The region needs a major shift in its economic development policies and thinking towards decentralised, green economic development, experts now say.
“The world’s big economies are largely living off financial transactions which are unconnected to development,” warns Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary-general of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
“Export growth does not automatically result in green economic growth, we must look at trade for development,” said Panitchpakdi.
In a rejection of failed neoliberal economic policies, Panitchpakdi said strong national policies on investments, taxation, protection of local industries, including subsidies, and changes to less restrictive intellectual property regimes are what is needed to green economies in Africa and elsewhere.
“Green economic development underpins environmental protection, economic growth and development,” he said.