Category: Sub-Saharan Africa

Air-Conditioning Should Be a Human Right in the Climate Crisis 5/10/2022

Air-Conditioning Should Be a Human Right in the Climate Crisis

Rose M. Mutiso, Morgan D. Bazilian, Jacob Kincer, and Brooke Bowser write about how we need to protect vulnerable people from killer heat without destroying the environment.  As the world heats up, billions of people need air-conditioning. This 120-year-old technology used to be considered a luxury, but in the age of climate change, it is a necessity for human survival. Understandably, this has created anxiety over the climate threat of a world overrun with ACs. But the coming boom in air-conditioning is an essential shift toward reducing the enormous gap in cooling availability that exists between rich and poor people and nations—and toward producing a more equitable world.  May 10, 2022.

How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Will Impact Africa’s Energy Transition 4/22/2022

How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Will Impact Africa’s Energy Transition

Katie Auth and Payne Institute Fellow Todd Moss write about how the Russian invasion of Ukraine will shift the geopolitics of decarbonization, with particularly stark implications for energy politics in Africa.  The energy sector impacts of this war will reverberate across every corner of the globe.  April 22, 2022.

A breakdown of how much capital is actually going to fight climate change 3/16/2022

A breakdown of how much capital is actually going to fight climate change

Payne Institute Sustainable Finance Lab Program Manager Brad Handler and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the recent UN COP26 climate negotiations once again revealed how the richest nations in the world are not meeting their commitments to the developing world.  A vastly more important shortcoming of public climate finance is its continued failure to attract the private capital that increasingly appreciates the long-term imperative of climate action and that will be essential if the world is to spend the trillions necessary to fight climate change.  March 16, 2022.

VNF DETECTS OIL CONTAINER EXPLOSION 2/4/2022

VNF DETECTS OIL CONTAINER EXPLOSION

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Tamara Sparks detected the explosion of the Trinity Spirit, a floating oil production, storage, and offloading vessel, which exploded and caught fire off the coast of Nigeria early on Feb 2, 2022. February 4, 2022. 

Does Oil Production Affect Government Effectiveness in Sub-Saharan Africa? 1/31/2022

Payne Institute Commentary – Does Oil Production Affect Government Effectiveness in SSA

Payne Institute Research Associate Baba Freeman writes about how the directional impact of oil revenues on the performance of governments in sub–Saharan African countries. As a proxy for governance/government performance, this study uses scores from publicly available third-party studies for the following measures, Doing Business, Elite Factionalization, State Legitimacy, Public Services, Inequality, Civil Liberties, Political Rights and Group Grievance.  January 31, 2022.

A coal renaissance is not coming to Africa 12/13/2021

A coal renaissance is not coming to Africa

Jacob Kincer, Payne Institute Fellow Todd Moss, and Mark Thurber write about how as the US and much of Europe pursue aggressive plans to decarbonize, in part by replacing coal-fired power stations with cleaner sources, the global focus has shifted to coal in emerging economies, like Africa. Several studies have projected a boom in new coal power generation in Africa, more than 30 GW (GW) of new capacity operational by 2030. Such a scenario has been used to justify proposed prohibitions on all new fossil fuel projects, including gas for cooking, power, fertilizer, or industry. We examined two of the most influential studies projecting steep increases in African coal and we independently collected and analyzed government and media reports on each of the 22 potential projects listed in a widely-used public database. December 13, 2021.

Africa ‘Climate Infrastructure Trap’ in Energy and Transport Sectors 12/7/2021

Africa ‘Climate Infrastructure Trap’ in Energy and Transport Sectors

Payne Institute Fellow Jamal Saghir, Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, and Nitin Jain write about how Africa is particularly vulnerable to these extreme impacts of climate change. It is crucial that African climate adaptation finances increase substantially and investments in infrastructure are sustainable and resilient. This requires a fundamental systemic transformation. December 7, 2021.

Why banning financing for fossil fuel projects in Africa isn’t a climate solution 10/14/2021

Why banning financing for fossil fuel projects in Africa isn’t a climate solution

Payne Institute Fellow Benjamin Attia and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how globally, the top 10% of countries consume 20 times more energy than the bottom 10%. And 1.1 billion sub-Saharan Africans share the same amount of power generation capacity as Germany’s 83 million people. At least half have no access to electricity at all.  These stark energy inequalities are fueling thorny debates around financing Africa’s energy future as world leaders and their negotiators prepare for COP26.  October 14, 2021.

Phytoremediation and phytoextraction in Sub-Saharan Africa Addressing economic and social challenges 10/6/2021

Phytoremediation and phytoextraction in Sub-Saharan Africa: Addressing economic and social challenges

Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee, Faculty Fellow Rennie B. Kaunda, Thomson Sinkala, Payne Scholar Caleb F. Workman, Director Morgan D. Bazilian, and Deputy Director Greg Clough write about how mining and mineral processing continues to be a source of lasting environmental problems in many developing economies. Phytoremediation has proven to be a viable strategy to remediate contaminated lands and limit environmental damage, but it has not been widely implemented partially due to social and economic challenges.  This paper provides a conceptual approach for phytoremediation-based mineral recovery and explores the social and economic challenges related to large-scale deployment.   October 6, 2021.  

The Kenyan Connection: Shedding Light on a Global Hub in the Trade of Illicit Gold and Mercury 9/13/2021

The Kenyan Connection: Shedding Light on a Global Hub in the Trade of Illicit Gold and Mercury

Payne Institute Deputy Director Greg Clough is part of the team of Colorado School of Mines researchers working on the IMPACT project that is transforming natural resource management to empower the artisanal gold mining communities in Nairobi.  IMPACT is exploring ways to disrupt the illicit gold supply chain networks.  September 13, 2021.