Archive for December 7th, 2012

07/12/2012

Changes in Asia Alter Global Energy Map

Human Wrongs Watch

Asia is at the centre of the changes that will alter the global map of energy trade over the next five years, particularly as Asia’s economic surge alters regional gas and power sectors, says a news report*. 

**Windmills in India, which began liberalising its energy sector two decades ago. Photo: © Shutterstock.com

**Windmills in India, which began liberalising its energy sector two decades ago. Photo: © Shutterstock.com

To adapt securely and sustainably, as Maria van der Hoeven,  Executive Director  of the International Energy Agency (IEA) explained during a visit to Singapore this autumn, Asia must pursue further reforms to liberalise its markets and mobilise capital for sufficient investment.

“That is why the IEA is stepping up cooperation with IEA partner countries in Asia,” she told the Singapore International Energy Week forum in October.

Demand is shifting to the East while production is rising in the West.

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07/12/2012

Invest in Farmers Now! – UN

Human Wrongs Watch

A new United Nations report calls for greater investments in agriculture, stressing that it is one of the most effective ways to reduce hunger and poverty while safeguarding the environment, and for creating more favourable investment climates for farmers*.

A scientist at a greenhouse of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, doing research on a particular variety of wheat. Photo: FAO/Jon Spaull

A scientist at a greenhouse of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, doing research on a particular variety of wheat. Photo: FAO/Jon Spaull

The State of Food and Agriculture 2012,’ the annual flagship report of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), says that the world’s more than one billion farmers must be central to any agricultural investment strategy, given that they are the biggest investors in this sector.

“A new investment strategy is needed that puts agricultural producers at its centre,” said FAO’s Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, in a news release on the report.

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07/12/2012

Arabs Building Fridges to Live in an Oven?

Human Wrongs Watch

By IRIN*, Doha – In the last three decades, 50 million people in the Arab world have been affected by natural disasters, many of them extreme climate events, according to a new report by the World Bank. The report projects the horrific scenario of temperatures regularly rising to over 50 degrees Celsius by the turn of the century, which experts fear could lead to countless more disasters.

**Photo: IRIN. Flash floods are also on the rise.

**Photo: IRIN. Flash floods are also on the rise.

The disasters of the last three decades have cost at least US$12 billion, according to the report.

“This number does not really account for other enormous losses which unfold over a period of time,” said Junaid Kamal Ahmad, the World Bank’s sustainable development head.

And even this could be a gross underestimate. “The costs of damages are reported for only 17 percent of disasters and rarely capture the suffering that follows the loss of lives and livelihoods,” Ahmad said.

Drought and flood victims account for 98 percent of all people affected by climate-related disasters in the region, according to the report.

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