Posts

Poverty and the Environment: 5 Ways Helping the World’s PoorAddressing issues that concern poverty and the environment are not mutually exclusive, since they both are pervasive human issues with distinctive causes and any number of solutions. Here are just a few ways helping the world’s poor helps our environment.

Solid Waste Management

Better solid waste management reduces air and water pollution caused by open burning and chemical seepage. Open burning in backyards or public spaces is a common method of waste disposal, particularly in developing nations. This is due to a lack of efficient disposal infrastructure. Open burning releases copious amounts of carbon monoxide and dioxide, carcinogens and other air pollutants detrimental to human and environmental health.

Improve Sanitation

Improved sanitation decreases chemical and waste runoff, reduces the risk of disease and creates a better environment for people, plants and animals.

Adequate sanitation is essential to human health, but approximately 2.5 billion people still lack access to it. This is a problem because human waste often leaches into surrounding groundwater when it is not disposed of properly or latrine pits are unlined. Also, if the latrine is lined, when it is emptied, it remains common practice to simply dump its contents into the nearest body of water, or onto the ground. This poses great health risks in terms of disease epidemics, bacterial infection and water pollution.

Water Purification

Water purification helps alleviate water pollution and decrease the risk of bacteria harmful to the habitat and the people who inhabit it.

Nearly 85 percent of the world’s population lives in the driest parts of the planet and 783 million people lack access to a clean water source. Due to inadequate sanitation and practices like open burning, there is a far greater risk to the poorest, most rural segments of the population living in developing nations when it comes to disease outbreak and water contamination. However, water pollution does not just hurt people, it also hurts the plants and animals that draw their source of life from the same body of water. Water purification would decrease the risks to human and environmental health posed by chemical runoff, waste seepage and acid rain.

Ending Harmful Practices

Education spreads awareness that would help reduce the frequency of harmful practices such as open burning, slash-and-burn agriculture or overfishing.

Slash-and-burn agriculture is a common method of food production in which a patch of land is cleared of its forestation, after which the remaining vegetation is burned. This is an agricultural practice that accelerates deforestation. Meanwhile, overfishing hurts future fish populations making it harder to secure food in the future and damaging the marine ecosystem from which the fish came. Education is a simple method to help alleviate the problems that are posed by poverty and the environment by promoting conscientiousness and discouraging unsustainable practices such as these.

Caring about people entails caring about the environment in which they live. Helping one helps the other. Currently, many developing nations are forced to resort to practices that hurt the environment out of sheer necessity or lack of knowledge concerning their effects. Therefore, efforts to reduce problems surrounding poverty and the environment act cyclically to benefit each other.

Jaime Viens

Photo: Flickr

What are Climate Refugees and How Can They be Protected?
At the end of 2015, there were 65.3 million refugees worldwide. The global community is struggling to provide resources for the world’s displaced peoples, and the situation has caused both economic and security issues. Many people are ignorant to the fact that there is another group of people who are extremely vulnerable to losing their homes.

Climate refugees, or environmental migrants, are forced to leave their homes because of climatically induced environmental changes or disasters. Specifically, people may be displaced because of drought, a rise in sea level, ecological changes, desertification or extreme weather patterns. Protecting climate change refugees grows increasingly relevant as the number of displaced peoples across the globe continues to skyrocket.

Since 2008, an average of 27 million people have been classified annually as climate refugees and in 2009, the Environmental Justice Foundation declared that nearly 10 percent of the world’s population were at risk in terms of losing their homes to climate change related issues.

As climate change continues to spread and develop, more and more people fall victim to environmental migration. The existence of environmental migrants proves that climate change is not solely about the environment and that its effects reach into many aspects of society, including politics, health and economics. Protecting climate refugees is important, as sources have suggested there could be as many as 50 to 200 million by the year 2050, most of these people being subsistence farmers and fishermen.

Just this year, the U.S. resettled its first climate refugees. The population is from the Isle de Jean Charles in southeastern Louisiana and they had to leave their homes due to severe flooding. In order to resettle its residents, the U.S. government has put forth a $48 million grant and has realized the harsh reality of this problem.

According to the International Organization for Migration, “Climate refugees often fall through the cracks of asylum law.” Currently, it is very difficult for an environmental migrant to achieve refugee status. The term “climate refugee” is not officially recognized by international law and according to the International Bar Association, “there are no frameworks, no conventions, no protocols and no specific guidelines that can provide protection and assistance for people crossing international borders because of climate change.”

The World Bank estimates that with a 1-meter rise in sea level, Bangladesh would lose close to 20 percent of its land mass. Currently, almost 200,000 Bangladeshi’s lose their homes annually due to river erosion and rising sea levels. The islands of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu are already facing significant migration patterns due to the rising sea.

The lack of international protocol regarding climate refugees, such as the ones from Bangladesh and the small islands in the Central Pacific, means that there is also a lack of resources and pathways that can lead these people to a successful resettlement. Because of this, migration experts have been stressing for several years that at risk countries should first look into improving living conditions for vulnerable populations.

This includes helping them secure a consistent access to food and water, rebuilding infrastructure and establishing efficient emergency warning systems. As countries become more aware of their ecological situations, there is more pressure to provide resources for potential climate refugees.

In order to protect climate refugees, there needs to be a change in the international law that defines a “refugee.” The number of people affected in a negative way climatically grows by the day.

Besides advocating for universal policies regarding climate refugees, there are things that can be done to slow climate change and its negative effects. Supporting clean energy and anti-carbon emission related legislation can make a difference in improving the lives of communities who are vulnerable to environmental migration.

Peyton Jacobsen

Photo: Flickr

 Sustainable Tourism
Tourism brings both advantages and disadvantages to a country. It can bring wealth and jobs to communities that would otherwise remain poor just as much as it can lead to social dislocation, loss of cultural heritage and ecological degradation. UNESCO claims that tourism must be sustainable for the advantages to outweigh the disadvantages.

“Tourism that respects both local people and the traveler, cultural heritage and the environment” is what UNESCO calls sustainable tourism. This form seeks to benefit the host country and local economies so that people in that country may have better lives.

Evidence shows that sustainable tourism is a great tool for development and poverty alleviation in developing countries. These are ten ways in which sustainable tourism alleviates poverty:

  1. “Tourism is one of the most important sources of foreign exchange earnings and job creation in many poor and developing countries with limited options for alternative economic development” according to the U.N.’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
  2. Tourism can be directly taxed creating the necessary funds for improving infrastructure, education and health on the ground.
  3. The tourism industry employs a high proportion of women, which contributes to gender equality and women’s empowerment in poor countries.
  4. Locally owned microenterprises ran by the poor serve as a benefit, as tourists buy a wide variety of goods and services.
  5. Sustainable tourism leads to employment diversification on a local level, which reduces the vulnerability of the poor.
  6. The UNWTO claims, “Wages can often reach $1,000 to $4,000 per worker per year.” This is enough to bring workers and their families above the poverty line.
  7. In 2012, the tourism industry accounted for more than 260 million jobs according to the International Labor Office (ILO). This number is expected to rise given that tourism is one of the fastest growing industries.
  8. The tourism industry employs a high proportion of individuals under 25. As a result, youth gain access to higher earnings and better opportunities through sustainable tourism.
  9. Tourism provides a vast number of jobs to people with little or no formal training.
  10. Working conditions are generally decent within the tourism industry as the industry depends on providing a quality service.

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are many other ways in which tourism can help the poor. As long as tourism is sustainable and wealth from tourism trickles down to the poor, the poorest countries will prosper. Given the increasing popularity of sustainable tourism, prosperity and wealth are a likely prospect for many poor countries.

Christina Egerstrom

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Nauru
Located 4,000 km from Sydney, Australia is the smallest island in the world, expanding out 21 square kilometers — this is Nauru. What was once the wealthiest nation on the planet is now in shambles. The country thrived on agriculture and phosphate mining; however, now that all of the phosphate resources were stripped from the island, what remains is a wasteland.

Because of the staggering descent into poverty in Nauru, which is desperate for money, the nation has traded in the phosphate business for migrants. In 2001, Nauru entered into an agreement with Australia in which Nauru would hold refugees trying to enter Australia in return for foreign aid.

How did the wealthiest nation become desperate for foreign aid? After seizing independence from Britain in 1968, the nation’s inhabitants grew extremely wealthy from exporting phosphate. On top of that, the government revoked taxes and gave its inhabitants monthly stipends.

This way of governing provided the people with no incentive to find jobs, start businesses or provide for the economy. The money that was propagated eroded in corruption and poorly executed distribution of investments. By 1980, all the phosphate was basically depleted from the island. Poverty in Nauru increased from there. Now, 80 percent of the island is covered in limestone pinnacles, making it uninhabitable and utterly useless.

Mining in Nauru not only destroyed the land, but also the coastal waters as it has been contaminated due to phosphate runoff. Not only is there poverty in Nauru, but also a serious health crisis. A nation that had once cultivated the land for fresh crops and fished, is now home to some of the most obese and sick people.

In 2007, the World Health Organization Report recounted 94.5 percent of Nauru’s inhabitants as being overweight and 71.7 as being obese. The life expectancy in Nauru is around 50, and Type II diabetes is more prevalent there than in any other place in the world. Most of the population now lives off of prefabricated food shipped from Australia.

Nauru has become dependent on foreign aid mainly from Australia, New Zealand and Japan. A Sydney University geosciences professor by the name of John Connell expressed his belief that the only long-run solution to this crisis is a complete relocation of Nauru’s inhabitants.

However, as of now, the nation is getting some of its income from selling passports to foreign nationals and taking in refugees other countries refuse. In hopes to help with the poverty in Nauru, in 2001, Australia set up the Nauru detention center and provided many of the nation’s inhabitants with jobs. In 2012, Australia set up a second facility, which sparked hope in hearts of the inhabitants — a hope for a better future.

Now that asylums are in high demand due to the excessive numbers of refugees, Nauru’s facilities have been in full swing; however, poverty in Nauru is still very much prevalent. Although it may seem like a dead end, it appears that Australia still insists on using Nauru’s detention center because it is refusing to admit more refugees. This nation’s unusual and destructive past has steered Nauru into an impasse, but the future of the small island still remains unclear.

Kayla Mehl

Photo: Flickr

environmentally friendly business
A group of friends envisioned an environmentally friendly business. They combined one friend’s knowledge of tree planting with the world’s desire for apparel, which is how Tentree was formed.

For every item purchased from the clothing line, 10 trees are planted. In an article published by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the company measures its success not on profits but by how many trees they have planted.

Tentree’s website includes an interactive map which displays where the trees have been planted all over the world. As of September 2016, the company has planted 9,382,290 trees. The following is a list of countries and its respective number of trees planted:

  • Madagascar – 4,936,830
  • Senegal – 1,395,500
  • Nepal – 1,463,290
  • Ethiopia – 724,140
  • India – 135,800
  • Malawi – 225,000
  • Kenya – 149,540
  • Canada – 57,780
  • Haiti – 278,560
  • Cambodia – 10,290
  • United States – 5,000


The website includes information on what individual consumers’ trees accomplish for the world and community. Some important contributions made by trees that are highlighted include lifting water out of the soil, providing food for the local population, supplying oxygen to breathe and removing carbon dioxide from the air.

A village in Madagascar, Mahabana, has seen the largest number of trees planted and the greatest improvement from the program. Tentree started a project in the village with 40 people working to plant trees.

In an interview with Now This, Kalen Emsley, one of the co-founders of the company reports that the project has grown to over 450 people working full time, completely supported by Tentree.

The restoration of the ecosystem of mangrove trees has lead to a return in wildlife, a rebounding fishing industry and people have been able to start selling fruit.

According to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Tentree planted 7,000 trees in the Lac La Ronge Provincial Park along with the government in the province after forest fires ravaged parts of Saskatchewan.

The forest fires burned parts of the park in 2015. Tentree announced their plans to help replant trees at the Saskatchewan Fashion Week. They shipped donations of clothing people who were evacuated in the Fort McMurray wildfire this summer and are beginning to make plans for replanting in that area.

Tentree hopes their environmentally friendly business goes beyond helping the environment. They work with local and global nonprofit organizations to ensure prime results like WeForest, Canadian Wildlife Federation, Eden Reforestation, American Forests and Trees for the Future. They hire people from the local communities to grow, tend and plant the trees.

As stated on the Tentree website: “Every consumer that purchases a Tentree branded piece of clothing is showing their dedication to the values our team shares: environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and the hope for a brighter future.” Tentree hopes to make a lasting community, both locally and globally, with their environmentally friendly business of clothing and tree planting.

Rhonda Marrone

Photo: Flickr

Poor water quality in Indonesia

Climate change, poor urban infrastructure and pollution resulting from rapid urban development and environmental destruction have led to poor water quality in Indonesia.

Although Indonesia enjoys 21 percent of the total freshwater available in the Asia-Pacific region, nearly one out of two Indonesians lack access to safe water, and more than 70 percent of the population rely on potentially contaminated sources.

Poor water quality in Indonesia is directly related to a life of poverty, as poor individuals are unable to afford clean drinking solutions.

To combat poverty and improve the lives of individuals, USAID has partnered with local governments and civil society organizations to weaken the agents of poor water quality in Indonesia by strengthening biodiversity and climate change resilience.

Climate Change

Climate change threatens to disrupt seasonal variations and thus water quality in Indonesia. The dry season may become more arid which would drive water demand, and the rainy season may condense higher precipitation levels into shorter periods, increasing the possibility of heavy flooding while decreasing the ability to capture and store water.

Increased flood conditions and rainfall facilitate the spread of disease in areas where the population lacks access to clean water and sanitation.

USAID works with the Indonesian government to help the most vulnerable areas of Indonesia become more resilient to climate change effects. The agency builds local government and civil society organizational capacity to understand the effects of climate change and to implement climate change solutions in agriculture, water and natural resources management.

More than 13,000 people have been trained in climate change adaptation strategies and disaster risk reduction. As a result, USAID has worked with more than 360 communities to develop action plans addressing the impacts of climate change, which in effect improves the poor water quality in Indonesia.

Environmental Destruction

Environmental destruction associated with unmanaged development and deforestation has left many parts of Indonesia extremely vulnerable to landslides, tsunamis and floods.

An environmental disaster furthers the cycle of poverty in Indonesia as individuals are left with even fewer resources than before. The country has lost around 72 percent of its forest cover over the last 50 years.

Large barren hillside areas and the underlying soils, both subject to heavy precipitation, greatly increase the likelihood and severity of floods. When flooding does occur, urban infrastructure is quickly overwhelmed which leads to sewage spillover and further contamination.

To combat environmental destruction and improve water quality in Indonesia, USAID works to conserve and strengthen biodiversity in Indonesia. The agency does so by building capacity in national and local government bodies and associated civil society actors, and by entering partnerships, to promote and strengthen sustainable land-use practices and management in four provinces.

Projects developed by USAID focus on conserving large swaths of lowland and peat forest with high concentrations of biodiversity.

Pollution

Indonesia has become a pollution hotspot due to its economic development and rapid urbanization. Waste from commercial and industrial processes is increasingly making its way into both groundwater and surface supplies affecting water quality in Indonesia. Moreover, Indonesia’s urban slums particularly lack wastewater treatment to combat the growing pollution.

The basic sanitation infrastructure necessary to prevent human excrement from contaminating water supplies is virtually nonexistent. Households simply dispose their domestic waste directly to a river body.

Since many Indonesians are poor and have no access to piped water, they use river water for drinking, bathing and washing. Around 53 percent of the population obtains water from sources contaminated by raw sewage, which greatly increases human susceptibility to water-related diseases.

To improve the poor water quality in Indonesia by combating the effects of pollution, USAID has facilitated access to clean water for more than 2 million people and basic sanitation to more than 200,000 people.

These actions have built one more step for individuals in Indonesia to walk out of poverty, as their low income does not inhibit them from enjoying clean drinking water.

Alexis Pierce

Photo: Pixabay

Effects of Poverty on Society Violence
Issues like hunger, illness, and poor sanitation are all causes and effects of poverty. That is to say, that not having food means being poor, but being poor also means being unable to afford food or  clean water. The effects of poverty are often interrelated so that one problem rarely occurs alone. Bad sanitation makes one susceptible to diseases, and hunger and lack of clean water makes one even more vulnerable to diseases. Impoverished countries and communities often suffer from discrimination and end up caught in a cycle of poverty.

 

Effects of Poverty on Society

 

The vicious cycle of poverty means that lifelong barriers and troubles are passed on from one generation to the next. Unemployment and low incomes create an environment where children are unable to attend school. Children must often work to provide an income for their family. As for children who are able to go to school, many fail to see how hard work can improve their lives as they see their parents struggle at every day tasks. Other plagues accompanying poverty include:

  • Crippling accidents as a result of unsafe work environments—consider the recent building collapse in Bangladesh.
  • Poor housing—a long-lasting cause of diseases.
  • Water and food related diseases that occur simply because the poor cannot afford “safe” foods.

Ultimately, poverty is a major cause of social tensions and threatens to divide a nation because of income inequality. This occurs when the wealth of a country is poorly distributed among its citizens—when a tiny minority has a majority of the money. Wealthy or developed countries maintain stability because of the presence of a middle class. However, even Western countries are gradually losing their middle class. As a result there has been an increased number of riots and clashes. For society, poverty is a very dangerous factor that can destabilize an entire country. The Arab Spring is a great example of how revolts can start because of few job opportunities and high poverty levels.

 

Child Poverty

 

The number of children affected by poverty has been increasing since the 1960s. Children are those with the least amount choice and ability to change their circumstances. There is very little they can do to help their families, nor should they have to. Usually by the age of six they can be enrolled in child labor. Nearly all the potential effects of poverty impact the lives of children—poor infrastructure, unemployment, malnutrition, domestic violence, child labor, and disease. Simply analyzing the effects of child poverty on education in developed countries alone reveal some disturbing statistics:

  • Children from poor backgrounds lag behind at all stages of education.
  • By the age of three, poorer children are estimated to be nine months behind children from wealthier backgrounds.
  • By the end of primary school, students receiving free school meals are estimated to be about three terms behind their peers.
  • By 14, this gap increases to over five terms.
  • By 16, children receiving free school meals are about 1.7 grade points below their more affluent peers’ average GPA.

 

Effects of Poverty and Violence

 

The effect of poverty on terrorism is not as straightforward as the media often perceives it to be. Poverty fuels terrorism by creating a state of misery and frustration that pushes people to join terrorist organizations. But more research shows, it is more complicated.

Of course, some terrorists come from poor countries with high unemployment, and terrorist organizations often provide higher salaries than other jobs. But terrorism may not be a direct effect of poverty. So what is the source of frustration and anger?

Studies show that countries with weak governments, fragile institutions, and limited civil rights are a great environment to nurture the production of terrorist activity. Countries undergoing difficult transitions—i.e. from authoritarian to democratic regime—often encounter political instability with the blurring of certain rules and laws.

These periods of profound change come with a transformation of social order, values, and methods of governing that many people may find distressing and unsettling. Therefore, stabilizing and empowering political institutions is a crucial part of fighting against the dangerous consequences of poverty.

– Scarlet Shelton

Sources: Poverties.org, CPAG, UK Government

Poverty_Agriculture Olam International
Agri-business firm Olam International has pledged to help eradicate global poverty and mitigate climate change impacts that threaten food security.

Olam International is a world-leading firm operating in 70 countries, supplying food and raw materials to over 16,200 customers worldwide. Its business model is based on ensuring that profitable growth is achieved in an ethical, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable way.

The agri-business knows its responsibility to the earth, as changing weather patterns are affecting crops and communities. The organization realizes that climate change will threaten food security by creating less than ideal conditions for optimal food production, thus threatening the world’s chances to end global poverty.

According to Olam, “Ensuring we and our 4 million farmer suppliers, the vast majority of whom are smallholders in emerging markets, are implementing mitigation and adaptation measures to achieve the 2°C goal is therefore integral to our strategy.” In addition, the company has adopted four of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations.

“Based on our configuration of assets and our capabilities across the 70 countries that we operate in, we have chosen four of the SDG Goals where we believe we can create a real impact,” said Sunny Verghese, the chief executive of Olam, at the U.N.’s High Level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Olam is prioritizing mitigating climate change through multiple goals: reducing GHG emissions from their farming and processing operations, adapting their own farming operations to build in climate resilience, encouraging farmer suppliers and logistics providers to improve their GHG emissions intensity and collaborating at a sector level to speed up implementation of climate-smart practices.

Olam will accomplish these goals through public, private and plural society partnership. Verghese said at the debate that a U.N.-to-private-sector partnership is key to successfully implementing the SDGs.

Verghese went on to say, “If after all of this hard work and overwhelming effort, if we are not going to be leaving a better place for our children, what is the point of it all?”

Kerri Whelan

Photo: Flickr

CityLinks
USAID has implemented a CityLinks program, which enables officials in developing countries to connect with their U.S. counterparts and collaborate on sustainable solutions for their cities. As part of the program, USAID has partnered La Cieba, Honduras with Somerville, Massachusetts to share practices on adapting to climate change.

The partnership was decided at a conference in Somerville where Oscar Montes, Director of the Municipal Office of Environment in La Cieba and Somerville’s Director of Sustainability and Environment Office Oliver Sellers-Garcia discussed the issues their cities currently face.

During the event, Montes explained that an increase in storms, shrinking coastlines and intensifying floods are impacting an already vulnerable city. He also shared satellite images of La Cieba’s eroded coastline, mothers carrying children on their shoulders through flooded streets, houses crumbling into the ocean and shopkeepers using buckets to empty water out of their markets.

“Oscar says that the hardest hit parts of La Ceiba are those in the urban center, where most of the population lives in the flood zone,” Sellers-Garcia said at the conference, USAID reports. “When there are flash floods from the nearby rivers and streams, the neighborhood groups notify the city. Guys, this is something we can actually learn from La Ceiba and start doing here.”

Somerville’s director of Capital Projects and Planning, Rob King also explained to Montes how Somerville is adapting to the increase in rainfall which causes the sewer systems to be overwhelmed with sewage and results in storm water runoff that gets dumped into local bodies of water.

King suggested that La Cieba put holding tanks underground as they have done in Somerville. While the solution is expensive, it will temporarily capture storm water that would otherwise flood the city’s sewage system. Plant and grass filled mediums in the roadways would also work, but would create less room for pedestrians, King said.

Though both Montes and King know there are no easy answers, this partnering through USAID is helping to increase resilience and prepare communities for climate change.

Kerri Whelan

Sources: USAID, ICMA
Photo: Wikipedia

Breakthrough Energy CoalitionParis hosted the global climate conference with heads of government and businesses in attendance. This was the 21st conference of this kind, and many maintain that it was the most productive thanks to Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Coalition.

At the climate event, known as COP-21, Gates announced his plan to help address climate change. It is a collection of some of the most influential entrepreneurs, and it is known as the Breakthrough Energy Coalition.

The group includes well-known business leaders such as Richard Branson, Jack Ma and Jeff Bezos.

The coalition, led by Gates, pledges to work in tandem with national governments to increase funding for clean energy research. They will also invest in risky clean energy projects that have a long return on investment but a high potential for success.

Many of the ideas coming from existing clean energy research and development are too insecure for traditional investors. They do not want to put money into an idea that might never make it to the market. This difficult journey from innovative idea to commercial product is known as the “valley of death,” and Gates’s coalition plans to bridge it.

The Breakthrough Energy Coalition will invest in those risky ideas and be patient with the returns. Gates cites flow batteries and solar paint as two such existing products that need private sector investment. If successful, solar paint could transform any surface into a solar panel.

A crucial component of this plan is national governments. The research and development for clean energy technology must start with the government because only they have the mandate and resources to do so. Business alone cannot lead the charge.

Furthermore, government-funded programs have successfully created whole new industries that from space, defense and medical research. Gates’s coalition believes governments are key to creating the clean energy industries of the future.

In association with Gates’ announcement, President Obama and leaders around the world pledged to increase public-sector spending for research and development in clean energy. This pledge, in combination with Gates’, will constitute the biggest investment in clean energy in history.

The public sector initiative is known as Mission Innovation, including 20 nations. Each participating country agrees to double its existing funding for clean energy technology within the next five years.

This pledge will increase the budget of the 20 nations to $20 billion for clean energy. These new funds will go to research and development, and the creation of new ideas and technologies.

Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Coalition will then use their business acumen to wisely invest in technology that has the greatest potential. With patient and consistent investment, the products will bypass the “valley of death.”

These historic investments from government and businesses reflect the urgency for action. Both realize the impact climate change can have on their respect areas. It can cause unrest and war for governments, and a loss of profits for businesses.

The developing world, though, has the most to lose. Man-made climate change is primarily caused by industrialization from the developed world, but affects the developed world in a greater magnitude. This harsh irony will be reduced with the teaming up of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition and Mission Innovations.

Clean energy will allow the developing world to grow and avoid the ravages of climate change. Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Coalition will not only address climate change, but also fight poverty.

Andrew Wildes

Sources: Breakthrough Energy Coalition, Mashable, The Guardian
Photo: Here & Now