Obama Acts

As I write this, Vienna is seeing another week of record high temperatures; 2015 is likely to be the hottest year on record for this usually cool city, and this is of course only one of many hotspots around the globe. Despite the urgent need to take climate action, I confess that I was sceptical about the possibilities for progress at the Paris Climate Change Conference this December. Perhaps those of us who experienced Copenhagen in 2009 have become overcautious in our hope. But when American President Barack Obama made his climate announcement last week I began to change my mind. His is the latest in a series of ground-breaking announcements, preceded by a clear statement of support by Pope Francis.
 
The announcements are matched by business reality: a host of new ventures and start-ups are appearing in developing countries and are looking for investors. For instance REEEP supports a truly cool company, Station Energy, who provide solar cooling solutions for food storage for small farmers in Uganda. The avoided CO2 emissions are as interesting as the impact on food availability – food losses through heat have a heavy impact on food availability in the country. It is one example of clean energy acting as an enabler for development and prosperity generation.
 
When the UN General Assembly agrees on the first set of truly sustainable global development goals this September, the signal will be clear: carbon emissions can only be cut as part of a strong global development plan that takes into account the needs and wants of the poorer half of humanity. This is not just about doing good – it is about long-term economic, environmental and social viability of business. REEEP is proud to act as pathfinder for low carbon solutions that help to create prosperity, as well as help the environment.  
 
- Martin Hiller