Linking Poverty to Rio+20 and Green Energy
Can Rio+20 really create Green Energy Jobs to alleviate Poverty
Both sides of the energy/poverty equation are sometimes mutually exclusive. When asking a person living in poverty to describe what they need to improve their lives the answer is not surprising! A little more money. Talk about housing sustainability and although their is a recognition that things may not be good on the planet; the cares of the day seem to overtake everything else. And although I have been engaged in the Rio+20 process and have heard of this great promise to create green jobs/decent jobs for everyone, driven mostly by clean energy, it behooves me to see what these 4 billion jobs that are not there today are…This is the great paradox.
Saying that sustainability and clean energy produce jobs is a political aspiration of noble intent. Maybe! Why haven’t the leadership in the countries whose citizens live in poverty addressed the problem in the past? Why wait for green? Why lay claim now to unsustainable cities when the conditions of Poverty have been unsustainable already. Yes, the developed world must clean up consumption and production patterns and improve our environmental impact. Yes, renewable energy is coming and the momentum is building fueled by people who care.
Since we place Energy high on the scale of importance and since many of our low cost homes are for people living in poverty, we have taken great strides to produce one of the world’s most energy efficient homes with wall insulation over R12 and roof values at over R30. We do not like the reality that there are so many people living in Poverty but we will do our best to improve our world by delivering clean homes, that are decent to live in and consume as little energy as possible.