Pope Francis says failure of climate summit would be catastrophic, Guardian 26 Nov 15
Pope meets Muslim and other religious leaders in Nairobi to call for success at the Paris summit and for greater environmental protections in Africa. World leaders must reach a historic agreement to fight climate change and poverty at coming talks in Paris, facing the stark choice to either “improve or destroy the environment”, Pope Francis said in Africa on Thursday.
Francis chose his first visit to the world’s poorest continent to issue a clarion call for the success of the two-week summit, known as COP21, that starts on Monday in the French capital still reeling from attacks that killed 130 people and were claimed by Islamic State.
In a long address in Spanish at the United Nations regional office, Francis said it would be “catastrophic” if particular interests prevailed over the common good of people and the planet or if the conference were manipulated by business interests.
In Kenya, at the start of his three-nation Africa trip, the pope also said dialogue between religions was essential to teach young people that violence in God’s name was unjustified.
Bridging the Muslim-Christian divide and climate issues are major themes of the trip that also takes him to Uganda, which like Kenya has been a victim of extremist attacks, and the Central African Republic, a nation riven by sectarian conflict.
“We are confronted with a choice which cannot be ignored: either to improve or destroy the environment,” the pope said in Nairobi, home to the UN Environment Programme headquarters.
He noted that some scientists consider protection of the Congo basin tropical forest, which spreads over six countries and is the world’s second-largest after the Amazon, essential for the future of the planet because of its biodiversity.
Francis, who took his name from St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of nature, has made protecting “God’s creation” a plank of his pontificate. In June, he issued a landmark encyclical calling for urgent action to save the planet……. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/26/pope-francis-says-failure-of-climate-summit-would-be-catastrophic
Africa’s largest windfarm set to connect remote Kenya to the grid, Guardian, Murithi Mutiga and David Smith , 9 Oct 15 Lake Turkana’s fierce winds have plagued villagers for generations, now they have inspired plans for Kenya’s most ambitious infrastructure project in 50 years – a 310MW windfarm, that they said was an impossible dream “……..Today, a sprawling, mostly-flat, dun-coloured terrain of moody, stumpy thorn bushes in the Sarima village around 40km from the shores of Lake Turkana is home to the most ambitious infrastructure development project carried out in northern Kenya since independence.
Covering 40,000 acres (162km2), the project will entail the installation of 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850kW and is expected to be fully operational in mid 2017.
A 204km road linking the area to the nearest paved road will be built, and the Kenyan electricity transmission company, with funding by both the Kenyan government and a concessional loan from Spain, will construct a 428km transmission line to link it to the national grid……. A $600,000-700,000 community development budget means the contractors have been able to sink boreholes and deliver water to communities while the contractors have promised to light up most of the towns near the area once the power comes online……
Most people don’t worry too much about the energy but are happy that the powerful wind which was seen as a nuisance for generations might open up the region and link it with the rest of the country.” http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/09/africas-largest-windfarm-set-to-connect-remote-kenya-to-the-grid
Solar Power Helps In The Battle Against Malaria http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3711 29 April 13, The Netherland’s Wageningen University is leading a project to install 4,000 solar powered mosquito traps on the Kenyan island of Rusinga. Continue reading
Kenya receives an estimated 4 to 6 kWh per square meter per day of solar insolation, equivalent to about 300 million tonnes of oil according to African Energy Policy Research Network 2004.
Kenya has one of the best wind resources in the world averaging between 3 and 10m/s with northern Kenya recording speeds of up to 11m/s.
Innovation and Diversification Are Key for Kenya’s Renewable Energy Industry, Renewable Energy World, By Peter Kahare, February 20, 2012 KENYA — Decentralizing and diversifying renewable energy power generation technologies could be the panacea to save Kenyans from unreliable and expensive power supplied by hydro and thermal power generation, a recent study has found.
The new study by Christian Aid, an international agency that seeks solutions to chronic poverty in various nations says that empowering communities in rural areas in Kenya to produce power through renewable, cleaner sources could reduce overreliance on hydropower and fully exploit the renewable energy potential while offering opportunity to unlock economic growth. Participation of local communities in renewable energy technology projects such as
small/micro hydro, wind, solar, bagasse cogeneration and improved stoves could increase energy security and mitigate against climate change effects that badly affect the hydro power generation technology,” says Alison Doig, the report’s lead author and senior climate change advisor at Christian aid. Continue reading
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