Earth Day- Past & Present

The earth day is commemorated on 22nd April world over with several events. Every year, it comes as a reminder of things that have come to be and things that can be with respect to environment, and what can we as earthlings do to protect our earth better. This year’s theme is “protect our species” with the agenda of raising awareness about rate of extinction of species. The earth day celebrations were first initiated in 1970 by a US Senator from Wisconsin Gaylord Nelson. He proposed the initiative after having witnessed the enormous oil spill of Santa Barbara, California in […]

Geopolitical Realities of Resource Rich Africa (Part Two)

One of the salient aspects of the African geopolitics, as discussed in the earlier post, is the covetousness of African natural resources. Both the global powers and the emerging powers are interested in getting access to these African riches (environment resource), which in turn determines the nature of political relations between the countries and individual African States. However, natural resource richness can also lead to disparities within states threatening to hamper any kind of cooperation. As such, there are two factors influencing this fragmentation: Natural distribution of resources, making some countries more affluent than others. For instance, Africa is well […]

Geopolitical Realities of Resource Rich Africa (Part One)

Natural topography shares a complex relationship with the economy, polity and society of a country. Representing the geographical aspect— which includes physical landscape (mountains, waterbodies etc.), human elements and natural resources— it plays a critical role in shaping the international relations of States. This is reflected specially in case of Africa which is well endowed with natural resources, and has significant reserves of minerals and raw materials in comparison to the world; sometimes of minerals unique only to the continent, such as coltan. This has enabled the African nations to build strategic foreign relations and form geopolitical equations with countries […]

India and its Energy Sovereignty

In recent times, India has been pitted to overtake Japan as the third largest economy by 2030 and yet the India’s macro-economy doesn’t seem to be robust as the rupee has continued to slide against downwards, and can be expected to be cheaper than ever by end of the year. Part of the problem lies in India’s dependency on oil imports. Until now India had a smooth ride owing to the oil price crash from $100 to $40. However, now the prices have climbed back to $75 making India vulnerable to factors such as inflation, increasing current account deficit and […]

THE POLITICS OF SUSTAINABLITY

The years 1992 and 2015 are historic for the environment movement, wherein each of the years witnessed important treaties and conferences, redefining plethora of academic and policy initiatives of past, present and future. Be it the Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Climate Treaty, Agenda 21 or Rio Declaration on Environment and Development among others. These signal to a major shift in international commitments to both sustainability and development. Conversely, pinning down the technical, normative or political definitions of sustainability is a difficult prospect. Over the years, especially due to rising incidence of natural catastrophe, it has come to resonate more with […]

Energy & Climate Policy Trends

We are witnessing a dynamic change in the energy sector and the geopolitics around it. With fast stride towards the decarbonizing the economies, to developments such as lowered cost of solar power, electric vehicle era and secured fossil fuel supply— all together are changing demand-supply and production-consumption patterns of energy. Even then, approximately 1.2 billion people lack access to electricity and to clean cooking fuel. While at one end we are preparing for a world of autonomous vehicles, on the other end we are still battling the energy poverty with people lacking basic amenities. Notably, the Agenda 2030 focuses on […]

Africa: Playground for Asian Powers

Importance of Africa has increased manifold in the current geopolitical climate. In particular, the three Asian economies China, Japan and India have adopted a more muscular approach, as the resource rich continent features high on their global agenda. Given the three countries are in competition for influence, both within Asia and beyond, they are keenly investing in Africa’s infrastructure, energy and development sectors, seeking growth as strategic partners and markets. The Asian alignment for Africa comes at a time when the US has adopted a more isolationist approach and the African economies are bearing the brunt of commodity price fluctuations, […]

Energy Policy Making for Optimal Resource Management

The global oil demand is expected to remain healthy for the next few years, especially in the developing countries of Asia and Africa. Though currently suffering from a slowdown due to the US-China trade war and the rise in renewable technological innovation, one cannot simply write-off oil or for that matter any other conventional fuel like coal or gas, as it forms an integral part of the new energy mix of many nations (both developing and the developed) even today, which deploy tools of policy making for the purpose. However, the new energy mix, of the present age, brings the […]

Building an Inclusive Bio-Economy

The global community, in light of increased geopolitical tensions, economic crisis, magnified disparities, global warming and other socio-economic incidents, has realized that the current fossil fuel based-economic model is not a viable one. Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, then, can be viewed as the global response to this problem. There is now a general consensus regarding the introduction of biomass fuels and renewables as part of the economic model, which will enable nations to progress on the path to an inclusive sustainable development- in other words introduce a bio-economy. What is Bio-Economy? Conspicuously, world’s basic commodities are derivatives […]

Integrated Planning is Vital for Sustainability

There is mounting evidence pointing towards the contribution of urban centers in global climate change, extinction of flora and fauna and large scale pollution. They indeed are counted as the main source of green-house gas emissions, especially in light of the economic, social and cultural activities of the human population which have failed on the sustainability parameters. This calls for an integrated planning which entails land management and developing potential means for mitigation of the biodiversity and environmental loss. To begin with, UNDP and UNEP define integrated development planning as an approach that simultaneously advances multiple benefits across the three […]