Climate change and the future of sustainability: the impact on renewable resources

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Wooden buildings are stable, durable and safe, Adams says. Wood is not nearly as flammable as you might imagine — and working with other materials helps encapsulate fire risks. And there other advantages: "There's nothing so pleasant as walking barefoot over a nice, warm wooden floor. It also smells nice," Roth says happily.

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Critics point out that wood is only as sustainable as its harvesting process. Then, there's only so much secondary forest that can be harvested and replanted. So what happens when demand exceeds supply? So, no clear-cutting of old-growth forests. One possibility would be to plant more trees, which would also help the climate. They also protect water sources and sustain soils.

While the world still produces a lot of its energy from fossil fuels, nature produces plenty of renewable resources constantly. Although plant lovers enjoy sunflowers for their splendour and chefs use the oil for cooking, industry uses the tall yellow flower to produce lubricants or in biodiesel.

The sunflower is a renewable resource that is grown on about , hectares of farmland in Germany. Forests supply a resource mankind has been using for a very long time: wood.

To whittle spears or to kindle a fire - wood was indispensable for our ancestors. It is still a popular building material: About 15 percent of new buildings in Germany are constructed out of wood. Wood is a renewable resource that also supplies energy. Over the past decade, wood pellets have become increasingly popular to heat stoves - a good example for how renewables as an energy source can reduce mineral oil consumption.

Rapeseed is a member of the cabbage family. Humans have been using the plant for many centuries. The seed has been a source for oil since the Middle Ages, used for instance in lamps.

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In the 19th century, rapeseed oil was used as a lubricant for steam engines. Using renewable resources as an energy supplier has given rise to quite some criticism. Huge fields of corn and rapeseed are planted to run biogas plants. As a result, the landscape in regions like northeastern Germany has radically changed, and many wild plants and animals have lost their habitat.

Corn, originally from Latin America, is one of the most widely cultivated crops in the world. It is not just planted on vast fields for renewable energy purposes: its main use is animal feed and food for humans. Industry has also discovered corn as an ingredient for glue and adhesives. Plastic made of corn, potatoes or sugar cane: nowadays, many products are made of bioplastics, including garbage bags and joghurt containers, but also products such as disposable razors.

Environmental activists support improving and consistently recycling bioplastics to ensure they are really environmentally friendly. Palm fruit is pressed to win palm oil, an edible vegetable oil. It is an ingredient in many different types of food, including margarine, pizza and biscuits. Palm oil is used as a raw material in candles, cosmetics and washing powder. The product is also increasingly used for biodiesel production.

Glorious and useful

Palm oil is the one renewable resource that is most strongly criticized. Oil palms grow well in hot, humid climates, just like rainforests, rich in species and home to rare animals such as orangutans. Over the past years, rainforests have been felled extensively in Malaysia and Indonesia to make way for palm oil plantations.

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Many people know hemp only as a recreational drug. But there is a form of hemp for industrial use that has no intoxicating effect. It is grown, for instance, in France, where the fibers are used to make special paper and clothing, like hemp jeans. Insulating material can also be made of hemp fiber. The blocks here can't be used on the outside of a house because they don't tolerate moisture, but the hemp is well-suited to insulate walls, ceilings or the roof of a house from the inside. Hemp fibers also help keep the house cool in the summer. To meet the EU's renewable energy target, countries have rediscovered wood as a fuel.

We know that water is a precious taonga that we all share and need to maintain for current and future generations. The growing range of competing demands on water means that everyone needs to do their bit to look after this shared resource. That includes us. The bioreactor turns hydrogen sulphide, which is harmful to freshwater ecosystems in high concentrations, into harmless dissolved sulphate particles using natural enzymes. This was an innovation developed by our team right here in New Zealand. Find out more. We have more than 66, shareholders and 3, bondholders around the world including many Kiwi families, investment firms, professional investors and superannuation funds.

Each of them rely on us to deliver sustainable financial returns now and into the future. Increasingly investors are focusing on climate change and its potential impact on the environment, people and business. This enables lenders and investors the opportunity to invest in certified Green Debt Instruments. Market-based policy instruments have been created to mitigate climate change without sustainable development objectives always being met. Even though rural development projects have been included within the CDM, there is a need to create a clear set of guidelines to effectively incorporate sustainable development objectives into the projects.

The use of DRE is the only cost-effective and environmentally sound option to provide access to electricity to many rural populations. Only recently has energy access been viewed as a necessary, though not sufficient, enabler for development, including the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals MDGs and now of the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs. How well are RE projects meeting their goals of sustainable development, climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation?

What are the relative roles of local historical background and physical characteristics, type of community governance, and funding source and project implementation process in the success of projects in meeting adaptation, mitigation and development goals? What are the challenges in integrating development and climate change adaptation policies in rural Central America? How might the evolving international climate regime contribute to this integration? I also look at how the climate change mitigation , climate change adaptation and sustainable development mainstreaming and integration can take place.

For this research, and as defined by Sperling, mainstreaming indicates that climate issues are being used for planning and budgeting decision making while integration is used when specific adaptation measures are added to design and implementation strategies Sperling That is, mainstreaming includes climate change considerations, that go beyond adaptation, from the outset during project planning. I used the political ecology approach to assess the importance of, and relationships between, political economy, social and community structures, local historical backgrounds and the use of natural resources.

The approach provides a useful framework for evaluating rural renewable energy projects, focusing on institutions such as common property resources , markets, local response to development interventions and to the material effects of development on the physical environment for example, water, soil, and carbon. Political ecology studies of Latin America are mostly related to the relationship between poverty and environmental degradation: poverty and conservation efforts in protected areas, development, land degradation, wildlife and livelihoods, land use change, land use and food security, shrimp mariculture and fisheries, and irrigation and water resources.

The energy sector has also been an area of study for political ecology and political economy, including the use of wood fuel, the wind turbine industry and U. Key ways that political ecology influences research design are through the attention to material carbon reductions, climate impacts, renewable energy in the structures of markets and policies and their and responses to changes.

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  6. Common Property Resources CPR were analyzed as an institution under political ecology, since all the development projects evaluated were community owned. I also used the Pressure and Release PAR model for the analysis of renewable energy systems meeting climate change adaptation goals. Research on CPR has covered topics surrounding natural resources and their uses, including aquaculture, trade, forestry, neoliberalism, ecotourism and coastal livelihoods.

    Energy use, including renewable energy, has also been studied through a CPR approach, mainly focusing on the optimal use of finite sources. Relationship between the theories of common property resources and political ecology. Political and economic structures that secure property rights; access to resources; equitable benefits; communal ownership and local management of the renewable energy system; taking into account the role and impact of local institutions and the influence of government and foreign and international donor agencies.

    The agency of individuals in a community and project managers who seek the success of a project and work towards it.

    Constraints and opportunities afforded by the physical environment, historical background, and cultural and religious diversity. The evaluation for potential for adaptive capacity and adaptation to climate hazards was carried out using the Pressure And Release PAR model. For this research, the analysis included the role of DRE systems in improving the dynamic pressures and unsafe conditions that decrease vulnerability as well as how DRE systems can be more robust in order to decrease t impact of the hazards on them, and reducing the overall risk of the disaster.

    I assessed 15 community-owned renewable energy projects in Guatemala and Nicaragua, which were selected based on general and project type specific criteria.


    Renewable energy solar photovoltaic, wind energy, run of the river hydroelectric, biogas. The projects were evaluated on economic, developmental and climate change indicators, which included indicators focusing on sustainable development, poverty alleviation, emissions reductions, and climate vulnerability. I examined how the type of common property governance, local historical and environmental background and project implementation process influenced the project success in meeting multiple objectives of climate adaptation, mitigation and development. Data collection methods included participatory poverty assessment techniques, semi-structured interviews, stakeholder analysis, and a combination of rapid and participatory methods.

    The analysis of sustainable development and vulnerability used Sustainable Livelihoods Approach methodologies and emissions reductions were calculated using carbon reduction methodologies of the IPCC. Policy objectives achieved including National Action Plans Adopted.

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    These policy objectives should have explicitly defined goals that can be measured. Survey question to government officials and donor program managers.

    Official publications from governments and donor institutions. Survey question to government officials, donor program managers, and community members. Survey question to government officials, donor program managers and community members. Improvement in livelihoods natural, physical, financial, social and human capitals.