World’s Underdeveloped Nations Pledge 100% Renewable Energy


World’s Underdeveloped Nations Pledge 100% Renewable Energy

Africa is extremely vulnerable to climate change. Image credits: Oxfam.
Africa is extremely vulnerable to climate change. Image credits: Oxfam.

At the last Climate Summit in Marrakech in Morroco, 47 of the poorest and most disadvantaged nations of the world pledged to generate 100% of all their energy needs via renewable sources, and thus, bypass the whole fossil fuel industry. Countries like Bangladesh, Ethiopia, the Philippines, and Costa Rica among others have said that they’ll transform their infrastructure accordingly since these countries are the most at risk from climate change.

Termed, the Marrakech Vision, the 47 countries will: “strive to meet 100% domestic renewable energy production as rapidly as possible, while working to end energy poverty and protect water and food security, taking into consideration national circumstances”.

But since all of these countries combined, don’t make nearly as much of a difference, either way, they ask the rest of us to follow suit, even individually to the best of our abilities, otherwise all of it would be in vain.

“We are pioneering the transformation towards 100% renewable energy, but we want other countries to follow in our footsteps in order to evade catastrophic impacts we are experiencing through hurricanes, flooding and droughts,” said Mr Mattlan Zackhras, a minister from the Marshall Islands which are also a part of the pledge.

“We don’t know what countries are still waiting for to move towards net carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy,” said Edgar Gutierrez, Costa Rica’s minister for the environment.

“All parties should start the transition, otherwise we will all suffer.”

These countries, having a very limited infrastructure, want to bypass the whole fossil-fueled energy industry and go straight  for renewable sources. In most ways, it’s easier and far cheaper to begin construction of a sustainable infrastructure from scratch than to change an already existing one. And smartly, these underdeveloped nations are taking this advantage. This situation can mimic what happened with phone lines. As technology evolved into mobile phones being more useful and reliable, some underdeveloped nations completely skipped on landlines and went straight to this new form of technology.

However, developed countries shouldn’t lie on one’s oars, as it were, since the reason for the changing climate falls mostly on them. What’s more, they have far more material means to change their fossil-fuel based industry into a renewable one.

In order to achieve this dream, developed countries have pledged to mobilise $100 billion per year by 2020. The United States government came forward and said it will do its part with $3 billion. However, just half a billion was sent, and what’s more, the new president-elect said that he’ll stop all other such fundings.

“$2.5bn dollars was supposed to be in the mail, but now that the mailman has changed that might be a bit of an issue,” said Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, from the DRC, who is also the chair of the group of Underdeveloped neations in these talks.

Whatever these talks turn out to be, there is one thing everyone needs to understand above all else. Pollution, unlike many other of the world’s problems, is not something which can be contained in within any country’s borders. So, it’s not so much the problem of how much CO2 emissions each country is generating, but rather, each individual.