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IEA: World needs to triple investment in renewable power – NewsDay

Investment in renewable energy needs to triple by the end of the decade if the world hopes to effectively fight climate change and keep volatile energy markets under control, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said.

“The world is not investing enough to meet its future energy needs … transition‐related spending is gradually picking up, but remains far short of what is required to meet rising demand for energy services in a sustainable way,” the IEA said in its annual World Energy Outlook released on Wednesday.

“Clear signals and direction from policy makers are essential. If the road ahead is paved only with good intentions, then it will be a bumpy ride indeed,” it added.

The Paris-based watchdog released its annual World Energy Outlook early this year to guide the United Nations COP26 climate change conference starting later this month.

It called the upcoming meeting in Glasgow, Scotland the “first test of the readiness of countries to submit new and more ambitious commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement” and “an opportunity to provide an ‘unmistakeable signal’ that accelerates the transition to clean energy worldwide”.

Need for a faster energy transition

In recent weeks, power prices surged to record levels as oil and natural gas prices hit multiyear highs and widespread energy shortages engulfed Asia, Europe and the United States. Fossil fuel demand is also recovering as governments ease curbs to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The IEA warned that renewables like solar, wind and hydropower along with bioenergy need to form a far bigger share in the rebound in energy investment after the pandemic.

Renewables will account for more than two-thirds of investment in new power capacity this year, the IEA noted, yet a sizeable gain in coal and oil use has caused the second-largest annual increase in climate change-causing CO2 emissions.

The IEA said a faster energy transition will better shield consumers in the future, because a commodity price shock would drive up costs for households 30 percent less in its most ambitious Net Zero Emissions by 2050 (NZE) scenario versus its more conservative Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS).

Status quo vs net zero

Still, the leap necessary to make good on pledges in the 2015 Paris agreement to cap the rise in temperatures to as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times remains vast.

Fossil fuels – coal, natural gas and oil – made up nearly 80 percent of the world energy supply in 2020 and renewables just 12 percent.

To keep that rise near 1.5C, the IEA’s NZE prediction envisions those fossil fuels shrinking to just below a quarter of the mid-century supply mix and renewables skyrocketing to more than two-thirds.

If the world stays on its current track outlined by the STEPS scenario, temperatures will jump 2.6C (4.7F) by 2100.

The IEA foresees a peak to oil demand in all its scenarios for the first time, in the mid‐2030s in the STEPS forecast with a very gradual decline but in the NZE forecast plateauing within 10 years and dropping further by nearly three-quarters by 2050.

Doubling down on the agency’s starkest warning yet on the future of fossil fuels that it made in a May report, the IEA said its NZE picture envisioned lower demand and a rise in low emissions fuels making new oil and gas fields beyond 2021 unnecessary.

However, it did say new oilfields would be required in its two most conservative scenarios and provided tips on mitigating their climate impact like reducing methane flaring.

“Every data point showing the speed of change in energy can be countered by another showing the stubbornness of the status quo,” the IEA warned.

“Today’s energy system is not capable of meeting these challenges; a low emissions revolution is long overdue.” -Aljezeera

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'Pensioners must collectively engage govt on welfare' – NewsDay

BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE

PENSIONERS have been urged to unite and call for sustainable monthly stipends from government as current payouts have been eroded by inflation.

This was said by the Masvingo Pensioners Forum co-ordinator Charles Gonzi, who told NewsDay that lack of unity was letting pensioners down.

Last year, government adjusted pensions for its former workers to cushion them against the rising cost of living.

National Social Security Authority (Nssa) pensioners get $80 while survivor pensioners get $32. A few pensioners who retired on good salaries get monthly stipends ranging from $500 to $1 500.

“If pensioners are not united in the manner they approach government, they will continue to be on the receiving end,” Gonzi said.

“We also wonder what criterion was used to give pensioners only US$30 COVID-19 allowance considering that the impact of COVID-19 is non-selective,” he said.

Gonzi said pensioners should also demand non-monetary allowances that they were promised by government.

“We were promised that we would be supported for goat rearing projects, as well as to access loans from the National Building Society (NBS).  However, we are yet to see implementation of these promises,” he said.

Recently, nine war veterans were arrested after they allegedly besieged the offices of Finance minister Mthuli Ncube demanding an increase in pensions.

National Social Security Authority (Nssa) deputy director for marketing, Tendayi Mutseyekwa said there were on-going programmes to assist pensioners.

“The issue of loans via NSB was launched in July and is still on-going. We communicated non-monetary benefits for pensioners and our plans are still on-going.  Some of these projects cannot happen overnight, we promised them, but we did not say they are going to be instant.”

Government recently said it was embarking on a biometric life certificate verification exercise of its pensioners to strengthen the pension management system and avoid paying “ghost pensioners”.

Last year, pensioners created a forum that is meant to lobby pension authorities to pay them sustainable payouts given the economic challenges in the country.

  • Follow Praisemore on Twitter @TPraisemore

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LATEST: Violent Harare Teacher Gets Three-Year Suspended Jail Term – New Zimbabwe.com

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By Mary Taruvinga


TALENT Chingwaru, a mathematics teacher at the Harare Einstein Tuition Centre, has been caged for three years for assaulting a student at his school.

However, Chingwaru escaped a custodial sentence after Harare Magistrate Judith Taruvinga suspended 18 months on condition of good behaviour.

Another 18 months were suspended on the condition he performs 630 hours of community service at the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare.

In mitigation, Chingwaru told the court through his lawyer Joshua Chirambwe that he is an engineer and an unqualified Maths teacher.

In her ruling, Taruvinga said Chingwaru had shown remorse, and that he was a first offender, hence the court had to give him a second chance to reform.

However, Taruvinga said the accused should be also punished so that he can control his anger issues.

“You are a first offender, you did not waste the court’s time. You are remorseful. The court also found in aggravation that it’s unfortunate that the complainant did not sustain any visible injuries, but you must face the consequences of your anger,” Taruvinga said.

“Your case had attracted bad publicity. But you have been in custody from Thursday until today and the court will give you another chance. ”

Magistrate Taruvinga said corporal punishment was outlawed and children must be protected against any form of violence.

Chingwaru told the court he had a toothache during the time of the assault, and the tooth was irritating him.

According to the state on October 14, Chingwaru assaulted an 18-year-old student, who later made a report at the Harare Central Police Station.

Court papers show the Lower Sixth student was found in an “O” Level classroom watching movies during lesson time and he was ordered by Chingwaru to go back to his class.

Instead, the student went to a biology classroom where he coincidentally met the same teacher. A harsh exchange of words ensued, resulting in the teacher assaulting the learner.

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