Markets - 25/July/2019

Developing countries can leapfrog to a clean energy economy

Fossil fuel subsidies must end for a clean energy transition to take root everywhere, insists Frank Rijsberman, head of the Global Green Growth Institute

All countries must play their part in tackling climate change. Developing countries have the double challenge of pulling their populations out of poverty by giving them access to electricity while at the same time avoiding emissions. The South Korea-based Global Green Growth Institute is supporting poorer countries to go directly to renewables, bypassing fossil fuels

Lack of information: Policy makers in many developing countries are unaware of recent significant changes to energy economics: renewable energy today delivers cheaper electricity than newly built coal power stations

Back to work: Bringing online renewable energy is not just about electricity and emissions, it also creates more jobs than fossil fuel operations in the local economies most in need of them

Key quote: “There are lots of ways renewable energy can create green jobs and do so much more than giving light and charging phones.”

Developing countries are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They are on the front line of climate change and already suffering significantly from reduced rainfall and increased drought. Yet, at the same time, economic growth through industrialisation remains the well-trodden route out of poverty and reliance on small-scale subsistence farming. Development tends to mean more greenhouse gas emissions from more factories and increased urbanisation and transportation.

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