In the aftermath of the pandemic, global demand for infrastructure is booming. National plans around the world show that infrastructure is likely to provide the backbone for a resurgence in public expenditure, and to support growth in economies badly hit by the pandemic.
The MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed insights on the most significant developments in the MENA region, bringing together unique opinions on the topic and reliable foresight on future scenarios. Today, we turn the spotlight on the Nile, where the dispute between Ethiopia and downstream countries over Addis Ababa’s plan to further fill his "Renaissance" dam is increasingly pressuring Arab states to mediate among quarrelling stakeholders.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, energy has been at the centre of the international political and economic history of the globe. For nearly a century now, access to oil and natural gas has been at the heart of the geopolitics of energy, but with renewable energies and related technologies set to increasingly dominate energy supply systems, relations between states will change, while economies and societies will undergo profound structural transformations.
As the world progressively recognizes the need for “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, renewed interest for hydrogen is surging. This need was implicit in the United Nations Framework Climate Change Convention’s ultimate objective, which calls for the stabilization of GHG atmospheric concentrations, though no agenda —and hence no standards— were set. The Paris Accord, by setting the target to limit the global temperature change to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and striving to limit it to 1.5°C, has filled this void.
Hydrogen has been identified as one of the sources that could facilitate the decarbonisation due to its ability to store and supply large quantities of energy without creating CO2 emissions during combustion. In particular, hydrogen can play a decisive role in the decarbonisation of energy-intensive industries, including the air and maritime transport sectors as well as the steel and chemicals industries.
The Paris Agreement (PA) sets an ambitious objective of limiting the global temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with the intention to limit it at 1.5°C. Achieving these targets requires a massive decarbonization of the world economy, which still heavily relies on polluting fossil fuels. Despite 30 years of negotiations under the United Nations – the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was agreed on in 1992 -, global energy related CO2 emissions have increased since then by over 50% (IEA, 2021).
Humanity has made tremendous strides in reducing poverty and food insecurity over the last decades. Agricultural productivity growth and the modernization of food systems have played an important part in this process. Yet there are several structural weaknesses and challenges for global food systems. Our food systems are unequal, unhealthy and unsustainable and the COVID-19 crisis has exposed these problems clearly.
President Biden’s recently announced American Jobs Plan is potentially transformative to the federal government’s role in rebuilding the economy, combating climate change, and reasserting leadership on the world stage. Not surprisingly, much of the attention has been centered on the package’s direct economic costs and impacts – but at the same time, the nearly $2 trillion package, if enacted, would amount to the single most significant climate-related policy intervention in U.S. history.
Climate change - or climate crisis, as some media outlets relabelled it - is increasingly getting attention from governments and civil societies worldwide.
The Soviet era brought heavy industrialization of the agriculture sector in Central Asia (CA), aiming at the expansion of cotton (called “white gold”) cultivation but also at an increase in cereals and other staple crops.
Climate change is affecting the entire South Caucasus region, which includes vast mountain ecosystems and remote coastal areas. The human security implications of climate change are likely to become more pronounced over time.
After the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in September 2013, China underwent major changes in domestic growth objectives. Green growth became a paramount vector of the country’s overall strategy. At the September 2020 United Nations General Assembly, for instance, President Xi Jinping announced the country’s aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.