Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Renewable Energy in Rural Central America. Dr. Debora Ley

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1 Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Renewable Energy in Rural Central America Dr. Debora Ley 2nd International Conference on Evaluating Climate Change and Development Evaluating Linkages Between Energy and Climate Interventions

2 Outline Renewable energy for poverty alleviation, climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation Existing gaps in literature and policy Theories and Methods Results

3 Why is Renewable Energy important for these concepts?

4 What are the existing gaps? Adaptation Failure to look at renewable energy as a means of adaptation Mitigation Lack of criteria for existing rural renewable energy carbon projects to achieve their stated sustainable development goals Failure to look at decentralized renewable energy as an option to achieve the triple objective

5 What are the existing gaps? Renewable energy for poverty alleviation Literature rarely looks at climate or carbon Mainstreaming climate change and sustainable development Lack of case studies showing how this mainstreaming can actually be done Lack of case studies on the role of renewable energy as an option for mainstreaming

6 Political ecology: Why Political Ecology? Relationships Analysis Institutions, markets, local response to development interventions and effects of development on environment Social, economic, institutional and political context under which development and climate change projects take place

7 Why Common Property Resources? Common Property Resources is one of the institutions analyzed through Political Ecology Most off-grid renewable energy systems in Central America are managed by communities. Do the design principles identified by Ostrom (2002) also apply to community-owned renewable energy systems?

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9 Why the Pressure and Release Root Causes (PAR) Model? Dynamic Pressures Unsafe Conditions Disaster Hazard Physical Environment: Lack of: - Dangerous - Earthquake Limited - Local institutions locations access to: - Training - Unprotected - High winds - Power - Appropriate skills buildings and (cyclone, - Structures - Local investments infrastructure hurricane, - Resources - Press freedom Risk typhoon) - Ethical standards Local economy; = in public life - Livelihoods at risk Hazard - Flooding - Low income levels X Ideology: Macro forces: Vulnerability - Volcanic - Political - Rapid population Social relations: eruption system change - Special risk groups - Economic - Rapid urbanization - Lack of local - Landslide system - Deforestation institutions - Decline in - Drought soil productivity Public actions and institutions: - Pathogens - Lack of disaster and pests preparedness - Prevalence of endemic disease

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12 Sub-question 1: How well are the projects meeting their goals of sustainable development, climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation?

13 Sustainable Development Criteria Economic Feasibility Social Acceptance Environmental Responsibility Indicators Economic Sustainability Poverty Alleviation Acceptance Not a source of conflict Environmental Impact Assessment Methods Semistructured interviews Semistructured interviews Semistructured interviews Semistructured interviews Semi-structured interviews Calculations Focus groups Focus groups Inspections Calculations Direct observation

14 Sub-question 2: What are the relative roles of local historical background and physical characteristics, type of community governance, and funding source and project implementation process in the success of projects in meeting adaptation, mitigation and development goals?

15 Project Success Drivers Criteria Historical and Environmental Background Type of Governance Structure Implementation Process of Projects Indicators Language, culture and religion Trust Environmental degradation Access Community involvement Equity Tariff structure Consistency of main drivers Project implementation Project feasibility Project follow-up Methods Literature review Semi-structured interviews Focus groups Semi-structured interviews Literature review

16 This research provided original contributions to academia and policy Academia: Political ecology of renewable energy Common property resources of community-owned renewable energy systems Theoretical approach for mainstreaming of development with climate change Policy: Practical recommendations on how this mainstreaming can be done through renewable energy systems

17 YES, IF: Can the triple objective be met in rural RE projects? Communities have a solid and robust governance structure, or some form of community participation it builds trust and unity. Robust technical designs and proper operation and maintenance designed, built and operated to code

18 YES, IF: Can the triple objective be met in rural RE projects? Cultural, political, economic and social differences are bridged by doing long-term socialization and trust building. Socialization should be a two-way learning process: Follow-up is done in a constant and productive manner.

19 Actions that enable adaptation also enable development Development is enabled, among other aspects, by some degree of participation beyond that of being a user and in which they can have a say and be active participants and stakeholders Participation and governance create unity and trust linkages, helping to build adaptive capacity. ONE PROJECT DID MEET THE TRIPLE OBJECTIVE: NUEVA ALIANZA, GUATEMALA

20 Thank you Questions? Comments? (502)

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