Helping the Planet
Examples of our efforts to address global challenges.
TGCI is working to enable Liberian citizens and government to work together to prevent and address the problem of child sexual abuse. We make use of simple cell phone based technology that enables citizens to report an incidence of abuse and government to apprehend perpetrators and address the needs of victims. Learn more at https://www.
Watch and share All In This Together: inspiring song to help us deal with the global pandemic.
The Latest Global Development Update is available now. Click on the right to read.
Featured story: Hope for our Climate Future
Other stories include:
- Water Rights During a Pandemic
The Shrinking Global Coal Fleet
- 27 Countries Heading Towards a COVID-19 Food Crisis
- A New Global Standard for Nature-Based Solutions
- The International Humanitarian Response to COVID-19
2020 has been a grim year so far. However, there are still plenty of reasons to be hopeful for the future, especially when it comes to the earth’s climate. There are nine reasons why remaining optimistic about the future is within reach. First, fossil fuels are on the way out. Second, renewable energy sources are mainstream and “cool.” Third, energy efficiency is a growing trend. Fourth, electronic vehicles are gaining traction. Fifth, new ideas and innovations are transforming agriculture.
It’s the 10th anniversary of recognizing human rights to water and sanitation. With the global pandemic devastating populations around the world, it’s more critical than ever to ensure humans have access to these rights. COVID-19 is putting a spotlight on existing inequalities in accessing freshwater and freshwater is the “first line of defense.” An estimated 800 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water near their homes, and nearly two billion people lack water service that is free from contamination.
According to the latest Global Coal Plant Tracker (GCPT) results by Global Energy Monitor (GEM), the world’s fleet of coal-fired power stations has gotten smaller for the first time. “The 2.9 gigawatt (GW) decline in the first half (H1) of 2020 takes the global total down to 2,047GW. The fall was due to a combination of slowed commissioning due to the COVID-19 pandemic and record retirements in the EU from strengthened pollution regulations.” However, to meet global climate goals, there must be a more rapid reduction in coal power use. UN secretary-general António Guterres has called for a global moratorium on new coal plants after 2020.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) recently released new analysis that identifies 27 countries on various continents on track to have a COVID-19 driven food crisis. The global pandemic has exasperated pre-existing drivers of hunger, and now these countries are on the brink of acute hunger. These countries “were already grappling with high levels of food insecurity and acute hunger even before COVID-19 due to pre-existing shocks and stressors.” According to FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, these stressors include economic crisis, instability and insecurity, climate extremes, and plant pests and animal diseases. To address the challenge, the FAO released a revised appeal for $428.5 million under the UN system’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently unveiled new global standards for nature-based solutions to tackle global challenges such as climate change, food and water insecurity, and COVID-19 recovery. The new standards will help governments, businesses, and civil society ensure that nature-based solutions effectively maximize their potential. Until today, there was no consensus or plan for the pathway forward on how to design and implement effective nature-based solutions. Now, there are “eight criteria and associated indicators that allow the user to assess the aptness, scale, economic, environmental and social viability of an intervention; consider its possible trade-offs; ensure transparency and adaptive project management, and explore possible linkages to international targets and commitments.”
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN’s emergency aid coordination body, recently released its revised Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP). The GHRP “aims to respond to the immediate health and multisectoral humanitarian needs in 63 countries,” highlighting local and frontline humanitarian responders’ critical role. The GHRP doesn’t replace other UN country-based humanitarian appeals; instead, it sits alongside it. The total appeals are approximately $30 billion, which creates an “unprecedented humanitarian funding ask this year of US$40 billion.”
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The Global Citizens’ Initiative brings together people and organizations from different countries to combat the global problems that confront all countries—problems such as climate change, poverty, and human rights. Click here to learn more and donate today.
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The series, written by TGCI Director Ron Israel, examples different global issues from the perspective of What would the whole world do? In other words, how could this issue best be addressed if we take the interest of the entire planet into account.
Deepen your understanding
What you need to know about the events, activities, and ideas that are shaping our world.
Different Ways of Looking at the World
Infrastructure connects us and defines us. The roads, pipelines and Internet cables that deliver our services also shape our opportunities, our vulnerabilities, and our identities. Political and geographic maps abound – yet there are few useful, elegant maps of the complex infrastructure that ties us. The Connectivity Atlas invites you to explore the shapes and lines that advance our global connectedness. We believe that great insight lies in these maps.
Our World in Data developed this cartogram for the world population in 2018 to show how living conditions around the world are changing. The cartogram is made up of squares, each of which represents half a million people of a country’s population. The 11.5 million Belgians are represented by 23 squares; the 49.5 million Colombians are represented by 99 squares; the 1.415 billion people in China are represented by 2830 squares; and this year’s entire world population of 7.633 billion people is represented by the total sum of 15,266 squares. Visit the site to learn more about how global living conditions are changing.
The coronavirus pandemic is “just a fire drill” for what is likely to follow from the climate crisis, and the protests over racial injustice around the world show the need to tie together social equality, environmental sustainability and health, the UN’s sustainable business chief has said. “The overall problem is that we are not sustainable in the ways we are living and producing on the planet today,” said Lise Kingo, the executive director of the UN Global Compact. “The only way forward is to create a world that leaves no one behind.”
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