Erika Lo Lind

Should rich nations pay poor ones to protect tropical forests?


One of the facts of conservation is that the more prosperous a society is, the more likely it is to protect its natural environment. Conversely, less developed nations are prone to exploit and destroy theirs in their drive for more prosperity. The problem, of course, is that much, if not most, of the world’s most biodiverse forests are in developing nations which can often ill afford to protect them against deforestation by loggers, farmers and land developers. What to do?

One solution, proposed by a professor of environmental economics at the University of Oslo in Norway, is this: Let rich nations pay poorer ones for protecting their forests. By doing so, rich nations can ensure that poorer countries will develop sustainably, which is in the interest of everyone, rich or poor, around the planet because that will help reduce our collective carbon footprints. Deforestation continues apace in some of the world’s most biodiverse yet least economically developed countries like Myanmar. (photo: IUCN) The scheme introduces the concept of “conservation goods,” whereby rich nations effectively function as “buyers” who purchase forests from poorer nation “sellers.”

However, unlike in traditional buyer-seller arrangements, these buyers will not consume “the goods” (i.e. forests) but buy them so as to stop the sellers from consuming them themselves. It would be a win-win for rich and poor nations alike because we would all benefit far more from preserving those forests than from clearing them, the researcher, Bard Harstad, believes. Deforestation in countries like Brazil, Indonesia and Myanmar with their large swathes of tropical forests leads both to the loss of biodiversity with unique ecosystems and to climate change through diminishing natural “carbon sinks” (trees and other vegetation, that is).

The idea relies on the environmentalist concept of “global commons,” whereby rich and irreplaceable natural resources are treated as the collective property, as well as the collective responsibility, of people around the planet, not just of their host nations. Yet ironically rich nations currently often fail to help poor nations financially in the latter’s conservation efforts until their unique natural resources, like rainforests, come to be at visible risk. “We’ve reached stalemate,” Harstad said. “This fundamental contradiction means the market for conservation is not efficient and that a forest must be logged gradually to secure the funding needed to protect it.” Yet even if the scheme is implemented on a large enough scale, there could be some hurdles along the way.

Many of the developing nations that boast most of the world’s tropical forest cover also have some of the highest rates of corruption. Coupled with a culture of official impunity and weak law enforcement, endemic corruption could undermine money-for-forest-conservation efforts. To avoid that from happening, rigorous oversight will be needed. Rich nations must also follow through with payments in a timely manner to gain trust from poorer nations.

Governments in some countries might also view this type of quid pro quo as an interference into their countries’ internal affairs. In the wake of devastating forest fires, which were likely set deliberately, in the Amazon region of Brazil, the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has lashed out at foreign conservationists over their criticisms of his government’s handling of the crisis. He’s even accused foreign NGOs of starting the fires themselves so as to make him look bad. At the same time he’s downplayed the extent of the fires and refused any responsibility for them, although some opposition politicians in the country have laid the blame squarely on Bolsonaro.



As a result, in August Norway, which has already paid Brazil some $1.2 billion over the past decade for protecting the Amazon’s forests, suspended its expected payment of $33 million to Brazil’s Amazon Fund, arguing that Brazil’s government broke the terms of the deal. In tandem, Germany likewise refused to sign off on another $39 million in a similar payment. Bolsonaro, who sees the exploitation of the Amazon’s resources as a way to riches for Brazil, was unfazed. “Isn’t Norway that country that kills whales up there in the north pole?” the Brazilian president noted sarcastically. “Take that money and help Angela Merkel reforest Germany,” he added.

Despite squabbles like this the world’s remaining forests will clearly need to be protected from further degradation, especially in tropical countries where conservation efforts tend to be ad hoc and inefficient. More than 30% of the planet is still forested, yet an estimated 8.7 million acres of forests is lost each year to clearing, logging, fires and other forms of degradation, or the equivalent of 27 football fields every minute, according to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF). “Deforestation is a particular concern in tropical rain forests because these forests are home to much of the world’s biodiversity. For example, in the Amazon around 17% of the forest has been lost in the last 50 years, mostly due to forest conversion for cattle ranching,” WWF explains. “Deforestation in this region is particularly rampant near more populated areas, roads and rivers, but even remote areas have been encroached upon when valuable mahogany, gold, and oil are discovered.”

Almost a fourth of the planet’s human inhabitants, or around 1.6 billion people, rely on forests in one way or another. So do most land animals. “Eighty percent of the world’s land-based species, such as elephants and rhinos, live in forests,” WWF says. “Forests also play a critical role in mitigating climate change because they act as a carbon sink — soaking up carbon dioxide that would otherwise be free in the atmosphere and contribute to ongoing changes in climate patterns.” To save those forests, rich nations should indeed consider paying poorer nations in the so-called global South regularly in order to keep those forests intact. International mechanisms with binding treaties should be put in place to ensure that payments are duly made and forests are duly protected from clearing.

There will be setbacks, yes, as the case of Brazil indicates, but solutions can always be found. “For conservation to work, it is not important that the payment happens today, but the commitment to future compensation must be established already now,” Harstad stressed.







With maritime transports emitting millions tons of CO2  annually, there is an increased pressure for the shipping industry to deploy means of reducing harmful pollutants. Marine shipping is also well-known for its significant high CO2 emission due the traditional low grade “bunker fuel” used in ships engines, which generate high emissions.

With so many different types of vessels on the water, the marine industry needs a true zero-emission solution that can be applied across different vessel types. Batteries are a zero-emission power solution for smaller vessels that operate with short duty cycles, for example, small passenger and service boats. However, lower power density and greater weight limit the usage of batteries for many applications.  

For marine vessels, fuel cells are a viable, true zero-emission option. Just like batteries, fuel cells produce electricity with high efficiency through an electro-chemical process. The difference is, with a fuel cell, energy is stored separately in the form of hydrogen fuel. As long as fuel is available, the fuel cell power systems will produce electricity as a generator. The only emissions from a fuel cell are water vapour and heat. Additionally, hydrogen fuel can be produced from renewable sources, including solar, wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal energy. Fuelled by renewable hydrogen, a fuel cell power system is therefore a true zero-emission power source.



Hydrogen fuel cells have proven their performance in a variety of applications, including buses, trucks, cars, forklifts and even passenger trains. Thanks to their success in heavy-duty land vehicles, fuel cells are now being integrated into marine vessels and will play a key role in helping marine industries address greenhouse gas emissions on the water and in ports. New proton exchange membrane fuel cells are also modular in order to provide the power and redundancy needed by a vessel, from 100kW to 1MW or more. They can be deployed in parallel, dispatchable configurations to meet the variable power requirements of hybrid electric propulsion, and auxiliary power systems.


- ”Hydrogen is a practical, viable zero-emissions energy solution for marine vessels in Tanganyika and fuel cells are a deliverable propulsion solution for mid-sized vessels carrying more than 100 passengers or the equivalent freight volumes”, says Janvier Nsengiumva, Commercial chief Port of Bujumbura and board member of Power One AB.


In a fuel cell system, the power generation and fuel storage elements are separate, which offers the ship architect more flexibility than batteries. For additional efficiencies, surplus heat generated by the fuel cells could be used to heat water for HVAC, laundry and other purposes. The pure water that is produced by the fuel cell can also be recovered if needed.

Powered by renewable hydrogen, fuel cell systems are the most practical, viable zero-emission solution. Implementing this technology is a critical step in reducing emissions from marine vessels and cleaning up the air for a more liveable world.


- Lake Tanganyika is still clean and clear, it is a treasure of biodiversity and we want to keep it that way. For this reason, Power One is assessing the operational impact of the switch to hydrogen as a fuel for Lake Tanganyika”, says Peter Rinaldo, CEO Power One and Blockhomes Burundi.



Is Lagarde on the challenge of leading the bank in a climat awakening Europe?

My personal view is that any institution has to actually have climate change risk and protection of the environment at the core of their understanding of their mission,” Ms. Lagarde said.

Lagarde is pledging to make the European Central Bank more conscious of the environment as she now is confirmed as its new president. Lagarde has urged the European Parliament to start a project to create a unified classification system on what may be considered environmentally sustainable investments.
The European Central Bank could be open to channeling more of its bond purchases toward economic sectors that meet such criteria, she said. The European Central Bank has increased it´s scrutiny. The bank recently warned that “more frequent and severe disasters” would hit the banking and insurance industries, including the erosion of the value of collateral and assets held by banks, and insurance liabilities related to weather-linked catastrophes. An unexpectedly rapid shift by investors away from fossil fuels could also weaken bank balance sheets and destabilize the financial system, the bank added.
But the bank itself has also faced criticism. Environmental organizations have accused the European Central Bank of buying so-called dirty bonds from companies in industries that are said to be polluting, including cement makers and auto manufacturers, as part of its program to increase liquidity in the eurozone economy.

My personal view is that any institution has to actually have climate change risk and protection of the environment at the core of their understanding of their mission,” Ms. Lagarde said.

She will take over one of the world’s most powerful monetary institutions in November.
Members of the European Parliament — where political parties with an environmental platform made significant gains in elections this summer — also peppered her repeatedly with queries about the need to more effectively integrate fighting climate change into the bank’s mandate.

“The primary mandate is price stability,” she said, answering to members of the economic and monetary affairs committee. “But it has to be embedded that climate change and environmental risk are mission critical.” Asked whether she would shift the European Central Bank’s strategy to focus on buying bonds of nonpolluting companies, Ms. Lagarde was noncommittal but promised to review the situation.
Lagarde added that the bank had already been buying so-called green bonds that are earmarked for climate and environmental projects, but that there weren’t many available because the market was still being developed. Still, she said, if the central bank signals an interest in those assets, it could encourage a more rapid expansion of the market.
A few years ago bankers barely mentioned a warming climate in their assessments of the economy or of the global financial system. Today over 30 central banks and regulators not including those in the United States and Brazil have joined forces in a group called the Network for Greening the Financial System to focus on the potential financial consequences of global warming.
Founded by the Bank of England governor Mark Carney who first warned of the economic damage of climate change in a stark 2015 speech. And many of the world’s biggest companies, including Silicon Valley tech firms and large European banks, are preparing for the possibility that climate change could substantially hit their profitability within the next five years, according to a recent analysis of corporate disclosures.
“Lagarde could make the E.C.B. greener,” Sven Giegold, a German and co-leader of the Green Party members in the European Parliament, said in a statement after the hearing. “Lagarde will put climate risks at the center of financial stability. Lagarde has understood, that economics and ecology must go together.”

SOURCE: NY TIMES 4 September 2019

Oil and gas industry feels the climate heat

The UK's oil and gas industry wants to create the first Net Zero Basin

Oil and Money conference renames itself the Energy Intelligence Forum after New York Times drops sponsorship, while the UK's Oil and Gas Technology Centre announces Net Zero Solution Centre


The oil and gas industry around the world is rapidly pivoting its focus - and communiciations strategies - as concern over climate change continues to mount.

Today the Oil & Money conference, a major gathering for the oil industry now in its fortieth year, announced a name change that will from next year see it branded the Energy Intelligence Forum.

The decision follows major protests by climate campaigners at the last summit in February in London, and a decision by the New York Times last week to drop its sponsorship of the event after protests by Extinction Rebellion outside its offices.

New York Times spokeswoman told the Guardian the paper had "decided to end its relationship with the Oil and Money conference" because its subject matter "gives us cause for concern".

Mark Lewis, head of research at Carbon Tracker, the think tank which pioneered the so-called "carbon bubble" hypothesis, said on Twitter the name change was a "fascinating development".


Meanwhile, the UK's Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) today announced a plan to create a £50m "Net Zero Solution Centre" in partnership with industry including BP, Total, Siemens, Equinor, and Shell.

The centre aims to "accelerate the development and deployment of technologies to decarbonise offshore operations" in a bid to turn the UK's continental shelf into the first "net zero oil and gas basin globally".

To do this, it will work with government and industry to cut the carbon footprint of UK oil and gas, as well as working on using oil and gas infrastructure to scale hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage (CCS) - both of which the government's climate watchdog,  the Committee on Climate Change, says are essential for reaching net zero emissions.

A spokesperson for the OGTC confirmed the Centre will primarily focus on decarbonising the exploration and production of oil and gas, not the emissions associated with the burning of fossil fuels, which account for the large majority of the industry's climate impact.

But if a commercial carbon capture and storage industry could be built in the UK, oil and gas experts argue it could pave the way for the oil and gas sector to fully decarbonise while "maximising" economic recovery of fuels.

"Our focus will be on developing technologies to reduce operational carbon emissions, working with other parts of the energy sector to create integrated solutions and repurposing infrastructure to accelerate carbon capture usage and storage, hydrogen production and gas-to-wire capacity," said OGTC CEO Colette Cohen.

"With the backing of industry and government, and strong track of delivery, the OGTC is committed to moving the dial on carbon reduction and enabling the UK Continental Shelf to become the first net zero hydrocarbon basin in the world."


Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK's Energy and Clean Growth Minister, welcomed the announcement, adding the UK's oil and gas sector has a "pivotal role" to play in the UK's journey to net zero. "The UK government warmly welcomes this initiative to find innovative technological solutions to decarbonising the offshore production of gas and oil from the North Sea and wider UK Continental Shelf."



SOURCE: Green Business 3 September 2019




Africa can rise – if our leaders end extreme inequality

Africa is ready to rise. This is what we will keep repeating as Africa’s government and business leaders meet in Cape Town this week at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Meeting.

Rarely have we felt such fiery potential on Africa’s horizon. Consider how Africa’s best-educated generation ever is coming of age – by 2025, half of our continent’s population will be under 25. These young women and men are by far Africa’s best natural resource, more valuable than all the gold, copper, oil and gas that lies under African soil – though we have a lot of that too!

Consider how Africa is readily seizing renewable energy – the speed at which off-grid solar is expanding is exhilarating, for example. Consider how our people are pioneering technologies to solve problems. Or indeed the opportunity of the new Africa continental free trade are, set to be the world’s largest.

This is reason to hope. And yet we must sound caution. There is no avoiding one inescapable truth: that Africa is not really rising yet. Oxfam arrives in Cape Town with new data that tells a story of:

• A divided Africa – in which inequality is spiralling. That is now home to the world’s four most unequal countries.

• An Africa for the ultra-rich. Where three African billionaires – all men – now hold more wealth than the poorest half of Africa, or 650 million people on our continent.

• An Africa racing to the bottom. Despite having some of the fastest growing economies on the planet – the latest World Bank data shows us that extreme poverty is once again rising in Africa. Hundreds of millions more Africans are just a medical bill or a crop failure away from falling into extreme poverty.

Two Africas

Welcome to a Tale of Two Continents, an Africa that’s tailored for the super-rich, while hundreds of millions of people are stuck in poverty without a chance of a dignified future. Even the great new opportunities of digital technologies and continental trade risk being captured by the old entrenched wealthy interests.

We can do far better. It’s a broken and rigged economic system that must change.

We can start by investing in public services like health and education: the clearest path to reducing inequality and investing in Africa’s people, our most important asset. Ethiopia is a standout example here: Though a poor country, Ethiopia has committed to social spending and has raised its education spending to 23% of the budget – the sixth highest in the world. In a decade, it brought 15 million more children into school. That is leadership.

Mostly girls have benefited from this. The opposite is true when education, health and social protection system are underfunded and of poor quality. In Kenya, a boy from a rich family has a one in three chance of continuing his studies beyond secondary school. A girl from a poor family has a one in 250 chance of doing so. And when healthcare systems fail, women and girls are left with the task of caring for loved ones, diminishing their opportunities.

This will get worse unless governments rise to the challenge of a new continental debt crisis. African and world leaders must play their part in pushing for an early solution to restructure debt – one that prevents a cascade of countries falling into default and economic depression and carving down essential public services. We’re already seeing spiralling debt repayments putting social spending at risk in countries from Angola to Ghana.

Yet let us be in no doubt: Africa has the wealth to invest. We can fund Africa’s rise by taxing the rich so they pay their fair share – not squeezing the poor woman fruit-seller through indirect taxes like VAT. Challenging global tax rules would also help tackle the theft of wealth from the continent: Super-rich Africans are holding 75% of their wealth in offshore accounts, denying Africa $14 billion annually in tax revenues.

A recent Oxfam and Tax Justice Network Australia report exposed how one foreign mining power was costing the continent around $300m in lost tax revenue. That’s enough money to fund malaria control – an essential part of health programmes in the nine sub-Saharan countries in which Australian mines operate, almost seven times over.

With some imagination and courage, African leaders can fight this crisis. We can look to countries like Namibia, which has reduced inequality since 1993. Or Sierra Leone, now increasing the minimum wage and personal income tax. Or how South Africa ensures everyone over 60 years old receives a pension, except the very richest. All can do more – but they prove action is possible.

African political and business leaders must feel the heat about the choices they are making. They can stay on the path of ever-spiralling inequality and poverty. Or they can start building another path, to a more prosperous, equal Africa built for the many and not just for the few. Surely, there is no other way.


SOURCE: WEFORUM 3 September 2019





Sustainability and corporate responsibility

“Companies that appear to be working together to find solutions for the future of the planet consolidate their reputation and become less vulnerable.”
A conversation with Rossella Sobrero, the heart of the Milan Csr Show and new president of Ferpi, on the most innovative trends.

She’s the heart and creator of the CSR Social Innovation Show, the most important event in Italy dedicated to sustainability, held at The Bocconi University in Milan, and president of Koinètica, the first company in Italy, founded in 2002, devoted exclusively to corporate social responsibility. And recently, Rossella Sobrero has been called to the presidency of the Italian Public Relations Federation “The market is changing and, as a consequence, communication needs to be renewed in terms of language and tools. Thanks to platforms which are easier to use, it is possible not only to communicate with different audiences but also to engage them. Technological evolution must be at the heart of our efforts.

Rossella Sobrero Morning Future

Rossella Sobrero

What is the role of business communicators today? 
The Public Speaker’s job is to help organizations manage relationships with internal and external stakeholders in an increasingly effective way. A key role that touches on several, sometimes very complex aspects. In an increasingly fragmented world, being able to manage relationships with the public is fundamental to any organization: strengthening relational capital improves reputation, generates consensus, allows important alliances to be made. An activity that must always be transparent, correct, mutual.

Does sustainability also play an important role from a communication point of view? 
There's no doubt about it. All organizations today need to be aware that we are undergoing a major transformation which calls for a change of course. Organizations that have made sustainability a strategic driver have started a process to produce better and with fewer resources, to improve the well-being of employees, to help solve community issues. I’m convinced that companies today must not only act responsibly but also communicate transparently. The statement that organisations are glass houses exposed to the judgment of stakeholders is very true: transparency and accountability are fundamental. Sustainable policies are not enough: you need to share them with stakeholders if you want to strengthen relational capital.

"Being able to manage relationships with the relevant audience is essential for any organization"

Rossella Sobrero, President of Ferpi



Innovation and communication. What are, in your opinion, the most significant trends? 
The market is changing and, consequently, communication must also be renewed in terms of language and tools. For example, technology allows a dialogue and a comparison with stakeholders which was unfathomable until a few years ago: thanks to platforms that are increasingly easy to use, it is possible not only to communicate with different audiences but also to engage them. We should think about the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence: although it is not yet clear what the impact will be on our work, we must be careful and study the technological evolution taking place. If in some activities a computer can simulate mental processes typical of humans, I do not believe, for the moment, that a robot can manage relationships.

At the end of June, you were chosen to be president of FERPI: what are the most qualifying aspects of your program? 
The most important challenges that lie ahead in the coming months are the enhancement of the profession of the Public Speaker and the renewal of Ferpi. Society is experiencing a moment of “metamorphosis” and our job must therefore also change; it has become increasingly urgent to rethink both the role of the communicator and that of Ferpi as a representative organization. The goal is to recognise the strategic role of our profession in the decision-making processes of organisations. It is an association with an important history: we want to start again from this in the process of renewal. The goal is to make Ferpi more dynamic, lively and flexible, to meet the new needs of members but also to face a rapidly changing market. Together with the new National Board of Directors, we are organising a steering commitee that will be tasked with rethinking membership rules and some work groups that will have to put forward concrete initiatives on different topics.


"Businesses must not only act responsibly but also communicate transparently."

Rossella Sobrero

SOURCE: Morning Future 23 Augusti 2019

Is our bankingsystem threatened?

The battle lines have been drawn and the troops assembled. On the one side stands the combined might of the banking cartels, centuries of deeply entrenched financial infrastructure supporting them. And on the other side stands a handful of crypto companies armed with little more than a passionate plea: “Ditch the legacy system and come join us. Where we’re going, you won’t need banks.”

It’s an enticing call – but is anyone heeding it? Every couple of months, a new trend comes along that captures column inches and crypto Twitter chatter, before everyone moves on to the next new thing. Last month it was defi, before that IEOs, and before that exchange tokens. Right now, the hot topic is crypto lending, and it comes bearing an intriguing question: are crypto lending platforms a solution to a common problem, or a solution in search of a problem to wrap itself around?

Crypto Lending Platforms Prepare to Assail the Banking System?

Before we attempt to answer that, some basic facts: getting a bank loan for personal or business use is extremely hard, verging on the impossible these days. Unless you have property you can collateralize against, you’ll struggle to get a loan, and even if you do, the interest will likely be exorbitant. Gone are the days when you could walk into your bank, have a sit down with the manager and thrash out the terms of a loan with which to start your own business. Attempt that today, casually dropping into the conversation that you were planning your own crypto startup, and not only would you be refused credit, but you’d be liable to have your account closed. Such is the suspicion with which the legacy financial system views crypto. They’ll be proven wrong eventually, around the same time as the last of their venerable banking houses are being converted into nightclubs and apartments.

Crypto Lending Platforms Prepare to Assail the Banking System?

From Bricks and Mortar to Binary Code Bartlomiej Wasilewski is the founder of Marshal Lion Group, a tokenized lending market that provides non-bank loans for businesses and individuals. He told “The digitization of finance is inevitable, not just within the crypto sector, but also more broadly, as shown by the rise of microloan platforms that enable individuals to lend capital to businesses, while retaining oversight over how it is deployed, and the ability to witness the benefits of their investment in action and be remunerated for their services.” He added: Within the crypto space, lending is about more than simply attempting to mirror the products to be found in the traditional financial system.

A lot of crypto businesses struggle to obtain banking facilities, and for these entities, having access to alternative sources of capital, be it as a bridging loan or to support long-term growth, is vital. Wasilewski’s vision is slowly materializing, but the wounded banking system is not yet in its death throes. It will likely take a decade or more before digital currencies render it obsolete. In the meantime, those who have been refused credit by financial institutions are being urged to turn to crypto lending. But are crypto lending protocols and platforms enterprise-ready?
And if so, what do they have to offer entities that have been turned away by the banking system?


Source: Bitcoin News 29 August 2019

Hydrogen-carbon low-for the future?

Hydrogen is the new kid on the block of low-carbon alternatives, with applications in mobility, industrial processing and heavy transport. It also can be used to provide electricity and heat, and can be blended with natural gas to help decarbonize existing natural gas grids. But even with these opportunities, across the globe — from corporate offices to industry roadshows — one hears a frequent refrain: it is too expensive and it won’t scale. (Interestingly enough, this is the same reputation solar PV had a decade ago.)

As misconceptions about hydrogen abound, there is an opportunity to dispel some common myths about this emerging technology.

This is not winner-take-all.
The energy transition will be a blend of alternative fuels and electrification.

When it comes to technology change, most people think of it as a roulette game where the winner takes all. The debate around green options for low-carbon mobility, as well as freight, heavy industry and materials movement, is no different. The general thinking is that the payoff will come from either electrification or innovative fuels, but not both. 
This is not an either-or situation. Instead, it’s like being stranded on a desert island and choosing between water or food when the only survivable option is to find both. The ultimate solution for low-carbon transport most likely will be a blend of electricity-based and fuel-based options.

Among the fuel-based options, hydrogen dominates the conversation. As generally happens when you’re popular, the haters are expressing doubt over the development of hydrogen resources, fearing that it competes with electrification and battery technology, but this concern doesn’t reflect reality. While electrification and fuels such as hydrogen both come with their own set of challenges, they both have important roles to play. 

When electricity from low-carbon generation is substituted for fossil fuels, we can achieve significant reductions in CO2 emissions. With its zero-carbon potential and the role it can play in increasing demand for renewable energy, hydrogen has an important role in our energy transition and is a key complement to electrification.

Hydrogen is already in high demand and the industry will only continue to grow.

New interest in hydrogen has come from the mobility, freight, shipping, power and industrial processing sectors as they strive to move toward a decarbonized future. There is, however, a large preexisting demand linked to refining and ammonia production and as a feedstock for industrial chemical processes. The development of the hydrogen market reflects the potential for distributed production and the need for flexibility in our transport mix. For example, hydrogen fuel cell buses typically have a range of about 310 miles versus 124 miles for electric buses. With this range, hydrogen has both the potential to decarbonize rural transport and to offer a solution for uninterrupted services.

Source: Greenbiz, 31 Aug -19


Once upon a time there was this guy with a vision. The vision was about beeing able to create a sustainable community in a place untouched by 20th century industrialization. What might be possible if the canvas was all about nature and the humans and animals living in it?

A documentary filmmaker and investigating journalist, Peter Rinaldo has travelled the world and seen a variety of scenes.
His heart eventually brought him into the business of sustainable energy, a practical way of caring for the world and for humanity. As a journalist, Peter spent a lot of time in Africa, and in Burundi in particular. Here, in this little country in central Africa, doors gradually opened up for him. After a meeting with the energy minister of Burundi last year, Peter realized that an energy provider was more than welcome in the country. But there was no way of financing such a project within Burundi. 
The only means of funding would have to be from a source outside of Burundi.

Peter knew an experienced, open minded Swedish financier and a few skilled energy advisers were also singled out, then things developed quickly. With the government minister as reference, Peter started a company in Burundi called Blockhomes Burundi. The company board consists of three Burundians and two Swedish citizens, and this is the parent company of Power One AB, the Swedish company that is now launching this first electrification project in Burundi.


Seraphine Barigenera, COO and Peter Rinaldo, CEO 

The first area that will be electrified is the beautiful Kabonga region in southern Burundi. The project will initially be able to support about 5 000 households with renewable energy, but a well thought-through scaling process makes it possible for Power One to service more customers as needs arise.

Peter explains that there are plans along with the project that encompasses so much more than delivering renewable electricity to the area. In a not too distant future a private university will be established in the Kabonga area that will focus on sustainability and new economics. As most other countries, Burundi lack an education in modern economics and sustainable entrepreneurship. The education facility will specialise in modern blockchain technology, win-win economics, sustainable entrepreneurship and biochemical research. The mission is to find different solutions for a sustainable future and to be an open source of knowledge and an inspiring example for both individuals in the country aswell as for international education systems.

It is Peter´s experience that Burundians are naturally environment-conscious people, with high-level questions on the sustainability of affairs. People are generally very well motivated to contribute to a sustainable future and to thrive in a sustainable manner. This which makes the atmosfare even more inspiring and positive and the project is highly interesting to a assossiation like EAC (East African Congress) and could function well as a roll model for not previously electrified parts of Africa.  

The energy plant in Kabonga is exclusively renewable, including storage. No CO2 compensation is therefore necessary for the energy production in and of itself. However, as the electrification will lead to jobs and economic growth in the area and therefore to increased consumption and emissions associated with higher economic activity, Blockhomes Burundi will seek to compensate for this through its TREE4LIFE campaign. This campain means that for every 100 USD invested, 10 USD will go into planting a tree. It will also be possible to invest in trees only. Such investors will be offered a GPS position on Google Earth from which they can literally watch their trees growing online.
Blockhomes Burundi will manage the cultivation of trees for Power One and the selection in this region will be fruit trees like avocado and mango plants – a delicious investment in sustainability!


A full grown Mango Tree

Press Release: Two Days Left To Get a Stake in Sweden's Next Significant Export

The international investment community has appreciated the issuing in Swedish based Fintech company Sprinkle. The issuing period is ending on June 30th, 2019; however, a lot of investors have been catching up on the Swedish based company's expansion of its blockchain eco-system.

Yesterday, Sprinkle announced the concept of the "Fluent Digital Presence", and the interest from international blockchain investors has been massive. This concept essentially means that Sprinkle is implementing an AI-module in which all content and functionalities are constantly adjusting and updating to the latest trends and technology. Within this range of fluency, all platforms will integrate blockchain technology for smooth investing and a unique widget that allows automated newsfeeds and digital profiles.

With this development, this fast-growing Fintech company could become the next significant Swedish export. The issuing is soon ending, but investors still have two more days to get their share of this innovative company.

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