Friday, December 18, 2009

【BNA】Asian Development Bank Expands Programs to Foster Region's Clean Energy Development

http://climate.bna.com/climate/document_newsarchive.aspx?ID=128892

December 18, 2009Renewable Energy

Asian Development Bank Expands Programs to Foster Region's Clean Energy Development

TAIPEI, Taiwan The Asian Development Bankhas announced several clean energy initiatives to help the region transition to a low-carbon economy.
The Manila-based bank has committed to investing at least $2 billion per year in the clean energy sector by 2013.
The bank said Dec. 18 that the Philippines will receive $250 million through the Clean Technology Fund, one of two Climate Investment Funds approved by the World Bank in 2008. Aid from the funds is channeled through multilateral development banks such as ADB.
The Philippines will use the funds for energy efficiency programs and renewable energy development, including solar power and smart electricity grids.
These are projects that help us mitigate and adjust to climate change, Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said in a statement issued by the bank. In the last few years, the country has experienced devastating typhoons and floods.
The investment should benefit tens of millions of Filipinos by simultaneously bringing down energy costs and contributing to lower greenhouse gas emissions, ADB Vice President Ursula Schaefer-Preuss said in the statement.
Thailand and Vietnam also will receive assistance from the Clean Technology Fund, the bank said.
The money is part of $700 million that the bank announced Dec. 3 it will channel to its developing member countries to help them deal with climate change. (See related story; 231 WCCR, 12/4/09.)
Greater Mekong Area Targeted
The bank also announced Dec. 17 that it will invest $15 million to support clean energy projects in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and South Asia through the Mekong Brahmaputra Clean Development Fund. The fund will invest in companies engaged in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water conservation and waste recycling projects. At least 10 clean energy projects will be launched by 2014, the bank said.
The bank said development of clean energy is critical in Asia and the Pacific region, where about 1 billion people have no access to electricity. The bank said that in 2008, 83 percent of households in Cambodia, 80 percent in Laos, and more than 50 percent in Vietnam relied on wood fuel. In addition, strong economic growth throughout Asia has already created substantial pressure on the environment.
The Mekong Brahmaputra Clean Development Fund has a target size of $100 million and will be managed by Dragon Capital Clean Development Investments Ltd., a subsidiary of the Dragon Capital Group, which has long-standing experience in asset management in Vietnam. Other investors in the fund include the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation, and the Netherlands Development Finance Co.
Technical Assistance Grants
Also on Dec. 18, the Asian Development Bank announced technical assistance grants totaling $3.87 million to lay the groundwork for bringing wind-generated electricity to poor rural communities, including many not served by electrical grids.
The bank said the grants will help in the development of financing mechanisms to boost the viability of small wind power systems. The work also will include consideration of public-private partnerships and build-operate-transfer models, along with ways of utilizing carbon credits, to boost the feasibility and sustainability of wind power. All the assistance activities will be carried out between January 2010 and June 2012.
The bank estimates that by 2020, small wind power systems will serve 2.5 million poor people in Asia and the Pacific and avoid 1.25 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

Friday, December 04, 2009

氣候災民 眼淚流不完

文/邱育慈義大利維特波報導

 隨著聯合國「氣候變化綱要公約」(UNFCCC)哥本哈根會議腳步的逼近,氣候變遷相關話題在全球持續發燒,從政治利益角力到科學研究論證,無不充滿了複雜艱澀的語彙與針鋒相對的算計。但對升斗小民而言,全球暖化現象並非遠在天邊,而是近在眼前。世界自然基金會(WWF)帶領了全球不同區域的氣候變化見證者在國際會議中大聲疾呼:各國該更積極展開行動去對抗暖化現象,因為氣候變化已經影響了他們的生計!

乾旱與瘧疾 正肆虐非洲
 義大利非營利組織「綠諧(Greenaccord)」11月底在維特波主辦了為期五天的「氣候正在改變(Climate is changing)」國際媒體會議。會中,來自非洲肯亞(Kenya)51 歲的切普科斯凱(Nelly Damaris Chepkoskei)說,過去二三十年中,她所居住的 Kerichi 區域裡,由於氣溫逐年攀升,草地樹叢以及原始雨林地變成了農場與人類聚落。她說,以往整年有雨的現象也不復見,過去人們習慣於滂沱大雨中歡慶聖誕節,「但這些年來,聖誕節變得好乾燥。」同樣地,旱季時乾燥的程度也逐年遽增, 青草地不再綠意盎然。「甚至有些地方的草都乾枯了,牲畜沒了足夠糧草,牛奶產量也降低了,我們的收入當然也大減。」

 來自東非烏干達(Uganda)高齡71的庫司巴哈撒(Mbiwo Constantine Kusebahasa)說,他十八歲起就在魯文佐里山脈(Rwenzori Mountains)務農,種玉蜀黍、甜馬鈴薯、樹薯(cassava)還有各種蔬菜。在一九七0年代之前,日子還過得去。但後來三十年間 ,氣溫上升導致種植季節大亂,原本七八月就可開始耕種,現在卻延到九月才開始,同時還得誠心祈禱雨水降臨。「以前知道白色山頂(冰河)是我們這些山腳下居民的水源,現在山頂再也不白,雨水也少了!」他還擔心著新出現的疾病。他說,以前冬季需要厚毛毯,現在倒是不用了。但是平均氣溫上升之後,蚊蟲大增,當地居民開始受到瘧疾之苦。

冰河融水 威脅南亞居民
 同樣擔心著冰河溶解快速的還有南亞山國尼泊爾的雪巴(Sherpa)父子: 49歲的阿帕雪巴(Apa Sherpa)及25歲的達瓦雪巴(Dawa Steven Sherpa)。阿帕雪巴住在丹邁(Thame)小鎮,是前往喜馬拉雅山的珠穆朗瑪峰的步道入口之一。這亞洲最高峰,他再也熟悉不過,至今登頂過十九次,卻對近年來所觀察到的環境變化現象深感憂心。他說,現在雪季裡十二月到二月早已不下雪,逐漸溶解的冰河,擴大了附近冰磧湖面積,甚至導致潰決。在1985年,他與太太在遭遇 Dig Tsho 冰湖崩潰時倉皇逃命,失去了所有財產。「現在要是Imja Tsho湖潰決的話,不只鄰近居民受害,下游的村落也難以倖免。」Imja Tsho湖是在一九六零年代才因為冰川溶解而形成,至今被地質科學家指為世界上最具威脅性的冰湖之一。

 達瓦雪巴說,他們村落分佈於海拔兩千五百公尺到五千公尺不等的山上,所以冰河有著重要的文化意義。人們熟悉冰河各種樣貌,並依照各冰河外形為之命名,尊敬地與之共存。可惜,全球暖化所導致的環境巨變,讓冰湖潰決成為現在族人的潛在夢魘。他傷感地表示:「在我祖父的時代,村人可以跨越過冰川,直接翻閱山嶺抵達西藏。但現在整條冰川都不見了,山坡脆弱落石多,再也沒人敢走同樣的路線。」

亞洲大陸 同受乾旱衝擊
 但是在蒙古,湖泊卻因為全球暖化而面臨了被蒸發的危機。對許多游牧族來說,蒙古第二大湖Khar Us湖是一直是放牧牛群的重要水源。67歲納朗庫(Marush Narankhuu)說,放牧了大半輩子都靠Khar Us湖存活。沒想到,在過去五年間,湖水蒸發得特別厲害,而附近所鑿的小蓄水池更是全都乾涸了。近兩年,附近草地也銳減,蒙古包竟還可直接搭建在過去的沼澤地。

 蒙古近十年以來未曾削減的旱象,使得牛隻糧草大幅減少,而納朗庫的一百多頭牛也適應不良而死亡。剩下的六百多頭牛,在環境巨變的威脅下,她自認無力照料所有,只得分出當中的一半讓兩個兒子幫忙飼養。透過翻譯者強調自己教育程度低的納朗庫說,其實她並不明白是什麼導致氣候變化,「但我可以見證,過去綠草如茵,有過美好時日。好幾代以來都這樣靠老天與環境過活,現在的我們其實並不想改變。」可惜現實不如人意,納朗庫因為放牧生計受損,收入減少,目前也得和社群中的其他女性想辦法經營手工副業。

 地球愈來愈熱,許多與世無爭只在故鄉祈求存活的人們,卻開始像熱鍋上的螞蟻,著急不已,卻無處可逃。達瓦雪巴表示,尼泊爾也有其他團體致力於環境保護議題,但是喜馬拉雅山冰河溶解的問題根源,並非該國可獨力解決。「所以我們一定要去哥本哈根,那些主導開發的大國應該聽聽各地廣大民眾在存亡之秋發出的哀嚎求救聲。」(完)


【低碳生活部落格】
http://lowestc.blogspot.com/2009/12/blog-post_04.html

【BNA】Asian Bank to Spend $700 Million to Help Developing Nations Combat Climate Change

http://climate.bna.com/climate/document_newsarchive.aspx?ID=128710



December 4, 2009

Financing

Asian Bank to Spend $700 Million to Help Developing Nations Combat Climate Change

TAIPEI The Manila-based Asian Development Bank announced Dec. 3 that it plans to channel $700 million from two new investment funds to its developing member countries to help them deal with climate change.
ADB said a group of developed countries had pledged over $6.1 billion in 2008 for the Clean Technology Fund and Strategic Climate Fund, managed by the World Bank. Donors included Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.
The two climate investment funds are being made available to multilateral development banks, including ADB, for climate change-related investments.
The funds will allow the Asian bank to work together with developing member countries to transform to a low-carbon growth trajectory and strengthen their resilience to threats posed by climate change, Xianbin Yao, director general of ADB's Regional and Sustainable Development Department, was quoted as saying in the bank's Dec. 3 statement.
ADB said the Clean Technology Fund will support the adoption of low-carbon renewable energy technologies, such as wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal power, as well as energy efficiency measures for industry, commercial buildings, and municipalities. Activities supported by this fund will receive co-financing from the bank's regular operations, which is expected to mobilize additional financing from both the public and private sectors.
Concessional Loans
ADB said the Strategic Climate Fund will support pilot programs on climate resilience and forest investment, as well as expansion of renewable energy for low-income countries. The financial support will target climate mitigation and adaptation interventions that can be expanded and replicated elsewhere.
The bank said the money from the Strategic Climate Fund will be given as grants, while the Clean Technology Fund will issue concessional loans with interest as low at 0.25 percent for up to 40 years. Meanwhile, risk mitigation instruments such as guarantees and equity will also be available. The money can be tapped for both public and private sector initiatives.
The comprehensive range of financing instruments available under the Strategic Climate Fund and the Clean Technology Fund will provide a solid platform for partnerships with ADB's developing member countries in the area of climate change, Teresa Kho, director of the bank's Office of Cofinancing Operations, said in the same statement.
According to ADB, the two funds are designed to be interim financing tools and will be discontinued once the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change completes deliberations on a new global program for addressing climate change and the financial mechanisms needed to support it.