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Wednesday, February 7, 2024

How Is Our Biometric Facial Data Protected?

How is biometric facial data stored, and who has access to it?


Face ID: Is our biometric facial data being safeguarded?


By Fabricio Rodríguez


Who has access to your Biometric Facial Data
In a world where facial recognition technology (FRT) is rapidly expanding, its use has been increasingly applied in daily situations such as accessing a bank account through a mobile, registering attendance at the office, or authenticating our identity in airports.  Along with this widespread implementation, it also raises significant concerns about the safeguards of the biometric facial data that we provide (or not) to access different services or for other applications.  So, if our biometric facial data is increasingly being used, how is it being protected?

Similar to other biometric data like fingerprints, eye retina or iris, finger veins, or even ear canal recognition, facial recognition is a mechanism that can be used to identify a person, and together with fingerprint recognition, it is currently one of the most commonly used mechanisms of identification.  Facial recognition has experienced rapid growth in its applications and according to Deloitte, the market value of this technology is expected to increase from US$ 3.8 billion in 2020 to 8.5 billion in 2025.

How is biometric facial data captured?

As part of the process that uses facial recognition to authenticate whether we are who we say we are, there is an onboarding process that includes an enrollment phase.  For example, setting up facial identification in your phone.  During the initial setup process, it registers your biometrics, capturing in this case your facial data.  This data is subsequently used for future authentications, providing access not only to the phone but also to apps that might use this feature.

However, facial recognition is not only based on voluntarily provided data for identification.  Years ago, significant controversy arose around a company that collected billions of photos of people based on posts shared on social media to create a database later sold for identification purposes.  According to the New York Times, “Dozens of databases of people’s faces are being compiled without their knowledge”, and this data seems to be collected not only from social media and other websites but also from cameras placed in different places, such as restaurants, for example.

Nevertheless, this same technology has become very important in areas like citizen security, being an increasingly used tool not only by police departments but also in the justice sector by public defenders

How is biometric facial data stored, and who has access to it?

As mentioned before, facial recognition has become widely popular for accessing and unlocking mobile devices.  For instance, the iOS face identification system ensures that “Face ID data — including mathematical representations of your face — is encrypted and protected by the Secure Enclave.”  The Secure Enclave is a subsystem integrated into Apple System on chips (SoCs) and is isolated from the main processor to provide an extra layer of security for sensitive data.  iOS explicitly states that “Face ID data doesn’t leave your device and is never backed up to iCloud or anywhere else.”  Essentially, only the user owner of the phone is supposed to have access and can manage their biometric data use and permits.

However, in other cases where biometric facial data is collected (sometimes without prior knowledge), users may not be able to access information on how their biometrics are being stored and its potential uses.

In 2020, during one of the controversies regarding the sale of facial datasets and its impact on people’s privacy rights, Senator Edward J. Markey from the United States mentioned:

If your password gets breached, you can change your password.  If your credit card number gets breached, you can cancel your card.  But you can’t change biometric information like your facial characteristics…

Therefore, to protect the personal biometric data of citizens, including their “faceprint” from other images or videos captured with or without their consent, is not only important but absolutely necessary to ensure correct treatment of data and set limits to its use.  Protocols must be established to guarantee the appropriate handling of this very sensitive information, which, in the wrong hands, could lead to significant harm.

Is there legislation around biometric facial data protection?

While there is still a lack of legislation in many countries specifically addressing the protection of biometric data, some initiatives do exist aimed at defining rules for the treatment of this kind of data.  One of the most important laws in this space is the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which establishes a set of rules in this field.

The GDPR classifies biometric information (including facial data) as a “special category” of personal data.  Therefore, compliance with Article 9 is required, which, among other things, emphasizes the need for explicit consent from the data subject to process biometric data.  In 2023, the European Data Protection Board published the Guidelines on the Use of Facial Recognition Technology in The Area of Law Enforcement as an effort to provide relevant information to lawmakers and Law Enforcement Authorities for the implementation and use of FRT.

On the other hand, given that the United States has no federal law on data protection, the State of Illinois enacted a biometric privacy law in 2008.  The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) mentions that the subject should be informed in writing that a biometric identifier or biometric information is being collected or stored, and provide authorization.   Similarly, other states like Texas and Washington State have developed biometric privacy statutes.

In 2020, the National Biometric Information Privacy Act was presented to the Senate, as a proposal to regulate this field at a national level in the USA.  According to the US Congress website, this proposal mentions: “A private entity may not obtain an individual’s biometric data unless (1) the entity requires the data to provide a service or for a valid business purpose, and (2) the entity informs the individual in writing of the collection and its purpose and receives a written release.”  In Latin America, various countries have enforced data protection laws, and cases around data protection have arisen.  Some of these countries developed their laws based on the European model, including similar characteristics to those determined by the GDPR.  For instance, the Data Protection Law from Ecuador, adopted in 2021, establishes biometric data as sensitive data.  Therefore, among other rules, it determines that its use and processing are also forbidden without the explicit authorization of the data subject.

What might be done to safeguard people’s rights?

Biometric data, including facial data, will likely continue to expand its applications and use cases.  Therefore, it is necessary for countries worldwide to continue working on specific norms to regulate the way this data is captured, processed, and used.  Even though acts and specific protocols have already been developed in some countries, authorities need to work on strengthening their institutional capacities to guarantee adequate enforcement of these legal frameworks by promoting specialized guidelines, considering the rapid changes in technology, including artificial intelligence that uses facial biometric data as input.

Furthermore, it might be important for authorities to also consider working on FRT-based systems regulations.  This is necessary to prevent bias, discrimination, or other negative effects on citizens as a result of the application of this technology, as seen in various cases around the world.

A robust regulatory framework, coupled with effective enforcement and awareness campaigns, will protect citizens’ biometric data and, eventually, their right to privacy.  It will also establish an adequate environment to promote responsible innovation for the use and applications of FRT, as it can become a very powerful tool for the innovation and economic development when used appropriately.

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Monday, January 22, 2024

A Call on World Governments to Rapidly and Radically Reduce the Gap between the Super-rich and the Rest of Society

Billionaires of the world are $3.3 trillion richer than in 2020, and their wealth has grown three times faster than the rate of inflation 


Oxfam Report

Despite representing just 21 percent of the global population, rich countries in the Global North own 69 percent of global wealth and are home to 74 percent of the world’s billionaire wealth


Rich and Poor Gap



The world’s five richest men have more than doubled their fortunes from $405 billion to $869 billion since 2020 —at a rate of $14 million per hour— while nearly five billion people have been made poorer, reveals a new Oxfam report on inequality and global corporate power.  If current trends continue, the world will have its first trillionaire within a decade but poverty won’t be eradicated for another 229 years.

Inequality Inc.”, published today as business elites gather in the Swiss resort town of Davos, reveals that seven out of ten of the world’s biggest corporations have a billionaire as CEO or principal shareholder. These corporations are worth $10.2 trillion, equivalent to more than the combined GDPs of all countries in Africa and Latin America.

“We’re witnessing the beginnings of a decade of division, with billions of people shouldering the economic shockwaves of pandemic, inflation and war, while billionaires’ fortunes boom.  This inequality is no accident; the billionaire class is ensuring corporations deliver more wealth to them at the expense of everyone else,” said Oxfam International interim Executive Director Amitabh Behar.

“Runaway corporate and monopoly power is an inequality-generating machine: through squeezing workers, dodging tax, privatizing the state, and spurring climate breakdown, corporations are funneling endless wealth to their ultra-rich owners.  But they’re also funneling power, undermining our democracies and our rights.  No corporation or individual should have this much power over our economies and our lives —to be clear, nobody should have a billion dollars”.

The past three years’ supercharged surge in extreme wealth has solidified while global poverty remains mired at pre-pandemic levels.  Billionaires are $3.3 trillion richer than in 2020, and their wealth has grown three times faster than the rate of inflation. 

  • Despite representing just 21 percent of the global population, rich countries in the Global North own 69 percent of global wealth and are home to 74 percent of the world’s billionaire wealth.
     
  • Share ownership overwhelmingly benefits the richest.  The top 1 percent own 43 percent of all global financial assets.  They hold 48 percent of financial wealth in the Middle East, 50 percent in Asia and 47 percent in Europe. 


Mirroring the fortunes of the super-rich, large firms are set to smash their annual profit records in 2023.  148 of the world’s biggest corporations together raked in $1.8 trillion in total net profits in the year to June 2023, a 52 percent jump compared to average net profits in 2018-2021.  Their windfall profits surged to nearly $700 billion.  The report finds that for every $100 of profit made by 96 major corporations between July 2022 and June 2023, $82 was paid out to rich shareholders.

  • Bernard Arnault is the world’s second richest man who presides over luxury goods empire LVMH, which has been fined by France‘s anti-trust body.  He also owns France’s biggest media outlet, Les Échos, as well as Le Parisien.
     
  • Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, holds a “near-monopoly” on cement in Nigeria.  His empire’s expansion into oil has raised concerns about a new private monopoly. 
     
  • Jeff Bezos’s fortune of $167.4 billion increased by $32.7 billion since the beginning of the decade.  The US government has sued Amazon, the source of Bezos’ fortune, for wielding its “monopoly power” to hike prices, degrade service for shoppers and stifle competition.


“Monopolies harm innovation and crush workers and smaller businesses.  The world hasn’t forgotten how pharma monopolies deprived millions of people of COVID-19 vaccines, creating a racist vaccine apartheid, while minting a new club of billionaires,” said Behar.

People worldwide are working harder and longer hours, often for poverty wages in precarious and unsafe jobs.  The wages of nearly 800 million workers have failed to keep up with inflation and they have lost $1.5 trillion over the last two years, equivalent to nearly a month (25 days) of lost wages for each worker. 

New Oxfam analysis of World Benchmarking Alliance data on more than 1,600 of the largest corporations worldwide shows that 0.4 percent of them are publicly committed to paying workers a living wage and support a living wage in their value chains.  It would take 1,200 years for a woman working in the health and social sector to earn what the average CEO in the biggest 100 Fortune companies earns in a year. 

Oxfam's report also shows how a "war on taxation" by corporations has seen the effective corporate tax rate fall by roughly a third in recent decades, while corporations have relentlessly privatized the public sector and segregated services like education and water.

“We have the evidence.  We know the history.  Public power can rein in runaway corporate power and inequality —shaping the market to be fairer and free from billionaire control.  Governments must intervene to break up monopolies, empower workers, tax these massive corporate profits and, crucially, invest in a new era of public goods and services,” said Behar. 

“Every corporation has a responsibility to act but very few are.  Governments must step up.  There is action that lawmakers can learn from, from US anti-monopoly government enforcers suing Amazon in a landmark case, to the European Commission wanting Google to break up its online advertising business, and Africa’s historic fight to reshape international tax rules.”

Oxfam is calling on governments to rapidly and radically reduce the gap between the super-rich and the rest of society by:
 

  • Revitalizing the state.  A dynamic and effective state is the best bulwark against extreme corporate power.  Governments should ensure universal provision of healthcare and education, and explore publicly-delivered goods and public options in sectors from energy to transportation.
     
  • Reining in corporate power, including by breaking up monopolies and democratizing patent rules.  This also means legislating for living wages, capping CEO pay, and new taxes on the super-rich and corporations, including permanent wealth and excess profit taxes.  Oxfam estimates that a wealth tax on the world’s millionaires and billionaires could generate $1.8 trillion a year. 
     
  • Reinventing business. Competitive and profitable businesses don’t have to be shackled by shareholder greed.  Democratically-owned businesses better equalize the proceeds of business.  If just 10 percent of US businesses were employee-owned, this could double the wealth share of the poorest half of the US population, including doubling the average wealth of Black households.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Human Rights Concerns in The Bahamas

The State of Human Rights and Personal Liberties in The Bahamas


UN Report


Human Rights and Liberty
Nassau, The Bahamas - The Bahamas has made improvements on preventing arbitrary detentions, but further efforts are essential to advance legislative initiatives and ensure effective and inclusive implementation of the laws, UN human rights experts said today.

"We recognise and praise the efforts undertaken by the Bahamas to address arbitrary detention, through ratification of international human rights instruments and efforts made to strengthen the legislative framework,” said a delegation of experts from the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in a statement at the end of a visit to the country.

“Regular independent oversight over all places of deprivation of liberty is an effective safeguard against arbitrary detention.  We encourage the prompt enactment of the Ombudsman Bill and establishment of the Ombudsman's Office,” the experts said.

According to the Working Group, there are many areas in which improvement is urgently needed.  In particular, the experts expressed significant concerns regarding the frequent absence of arrest warrants, the widespread practice of arrests based on insufficient grounds or outdated warrants, as well as extended periods spent by persons in police custody without notification of charges and timely judicial oversight.

“We are alarmed at reports of police violence to extract confessions, without effective redress mechanisms,” they said.  The experts also expressed concern over disturbing conditions of detention in some sections of the prison and the mixing of detainees awaiting trial and those serving sentences.

The Working Group commended authorities for upholding the presumption of innocence by utilising electronic monitoring devices, as an alternative to detention.  However, they noted deficiencies in the bail system.

“We urge the authorities to significantly improve access to free legal aid by ensuring free legal representation from the moment of arrest, in alignment with international human rights standards.  The Public Defender’s Office should be considerably strengthened,” the experts said.

Commending the Government for progress made in the area of immigration, the delegation expressed concern about the adequacy of current measures relating to asylum and refoulement matters.  They highlighted barriers to legal representation, a lack of awareness of rights, and effective access to legal safeguards.  “We call for a rights-based and non-discriminatory approach to immigration enforcement,” the experts said.

During the visit, from 27 November to 9 December 2023, the three members of the delegation, Priya Gopalan, Ganna Yudkivska and Mumba Malila, met Government officials, officials from the judiciary, lawyers, civil society representatives and other stakeholders.  They visited 10 different facilities, interviewing 134 people deprived of their liberty.

A final report on the visit will be presented to the Human Rights Council in September 2024.

Source

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Why climate finance matters?

It is critical to address the climate finance issues affecting the countries of the Caribbean and the Americas now..


The Bahamas Prime Minister, Philip Davis’ Remarks at the Climate Finance in The Americas Meeting’s Opening Session


"...let’s not forget that climate finance is ultimately about people, not just numbers on a balance sheet.  It’s about protecting our planet, our communities, and current and future generations from the devastating impacts of climate change.  And, it’s about building a more equitable and inclusive future for everyone, not just the privileged few."


The Bahamas PM, Philip Davis, MP
Dear Friends and colleagues, let’s get right to the point.

Everyone in this room is aware of the urgent need to mobilize trillions of dollars in investment to tackle the climate crisis.  We’ve made some progress in recent years, but we still have a long way to go.

So how do we get there?  What do we need to do, starting right now, to mobilize those trillions of dollars?  And how can we work together to make that happen?

From shifting investor preferences to reforming multilateral development banks to tackling currency risks, there are many factors that will determine our success in this endeavor.

But before we dive into the details, let’s take a step back and consider why climate finance matters.

Put simply, we cannot achieve our climate goals without it.  This is true for the developed world, but it is especially true for developing nations.  Whether we are talking about transitioning to renewable energy, improving energy efficiency, or protecting vulnerable communities from the impacts of climate change, all of these efforts require significant investment.

We hear again and again that meeting the climate change challenge is costly.  Something is costly when it does not contribute to the goals we set ourselves, as individuals or as societies.

Climate finance, though, is ultimately about what we, as societies, value; the world we want to live in and the lives and hardships we can save by channeling our money to build resilience against the ravages of climate change.

We need to reform the international financial architecture, including private finance flows and multilateral development banks.

We need to make the current international financial architecture fit for purpose to enable low emissions and climate-resilient investment globally, in every region and in every country.

At COP27, Parties called for a transformation of the financial system and its structures and processes, engaging governments, central banks, commercial banks, institutional investors and other financial actors.  They also called for significant reforms of multilateral financial institutions in terms of financing models, risk appetites, and non-debt instruments.

We’re also seeing new initiatives from the financial sector that highlight the need for scaled-up climate finance.  We’re seeing central banks form coalitions and networks; we’re seeing financial institutions make net-zero pledges; and we’re seeing a growing number of country investment platforms and just energy transition partnerships.

Additionally, a growing number of complementary efforts on reform are in motion, including through the G20, V20, the IMF and other regional forums.

The number of initiatives alone shows how the reform imperative has garnered increasing momentum, but at the same time, how it has fragmented into disparate efforts.  This reality reinforces more than ever the importance of coordination to ensure the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Reforms must respond to the need to drive progress across three main areas.

First, we need to drive progress on managing risks to investing in climate action in developing countries.  Where risk is real, we need to deploy at scale the risk reduction instruments – such as guarantees, insurance, and local currency hedging and financing – necessary to unlock capital.  Where risk is perceived, we need to address the biases that hinder investment at scale, and the expectation of high financial returns when engaging on climate change.

Second, we need to drive progress on financing a just and equitable transition.  We need to develop transparent transition plans that shift investment portfolios over time, and that enable ramp-ups in climate investments to the same extent as we see a phasing out of harmful investments.

Third, we need to drive progress on managing the debt crisis.  We need to develop a shared understanding of climate-fiscal-debt links and ensure no country builds up excessive debt because of climate action.

My friends, let’s be candid. The clock is ticking.  We needed change and action years ago.  But now we’re really running out of time.

The Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands and numerous cays, spanning thousands of square miles.

Our location means we are highly susceptible each year and in some cases multiple times per year to hurricanes, floods, and rising seas.

When a hurricane devastates the economies of multiple islands at a time, as was the case with Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Joaquin and more recently Hurricane Dorian, we are left with the daunting task of rebuilding each island’s economy, including rebuilding communities, and damaged infrastructure such as communication networks, water supply, school systems, airports and ports.

It takes us years to recover – and consider this – in under ten years, we have been hit by four separate Category 4 or Category 5 storms.

This traps us in a vicious cycle: 

We are vulnerable to a warming climate caused by the emissions of other nations;

- Hurricanes made more intense by that warming climate leave behind extreme devastation and a loss of economic activity;

- We are forced to borrow to repair and rebuild, at high-interest rates which reflects our climate vulnerability and our lack of fiscal space to invest in resilience;

And on and on it goes.

In the meantime, our country is considered a high-income country, limiting our access to concessional financing and development aid.

This is an old formula that makes no sense in a new era.  And this is no inconsequential technicality – the high-income designation means we cannot sufficiently invest in our people, our development, and our resilience.

This has to change.

It is critical to address the climate finance issues affecting the countries of the Caribbean and the Americas now.  Our calls for action are strongly articulated in the Declaration of The Bahamas on Climate Finance in The Americas.  This Declaration was negotiated and formally agreed to by OAS member states, and reflects our joint call for global and hemispheric change to the climate finance architecture.

The Declaration of The Bahamas on Climate Finance in The Americas highlights the four key pillars of climate finance:

1 - Enhancing Access through strengthened efforts and collaboration to expand adequate, and direct access to climate finance at scale for all developing countries in the Americas.  This pillar, among other things, also emphasizes the call to move ‘beyond GDP per capita’ to capture climate vulnerabilities in funding decisions in a manner that supports climate-vulnerable countries.

2 - Improving the Terms and Instruments of Finance

Under this pillar, member states stressed the fundamental role of concessional and non-debt finance for the provision and mobilization of resources for assisting developing countries in the Americas in combating climate change.  We also call for enhanced efforts and collaboration to expand affordability of climate finance in the Americas.

3 - Scaling up Towards Adequacy

Here, we jointly call on the Multilateral Development Banks to boost efforts and collaboration to scale up the provision and mobilization of adequate climate finance in the Americas.

4 - Improving Coordination

Under this final pillar, our countries call for enhanced efforts and collaboration by improving accountability and coordination in respect to climate finance.  We call on the Multilateral Development Banks to collaborate with regional and national development banks, as well as United Nations agencies, the OAS, CARICOM, hemispheric and regional intergovernmental organizations and philanthropies, to improve governance and coherence, efficiency and effectiveness of climate finance architecture.  We also call on member states to take steps to advance the calls in this Declaration in relevant fora.

Friends and colleagues, this brings me to my final point: using the global stocktake and the new collective quantified goal on climate finance as pivotal moments to set reforms in motion.

The global stocktake is a process for countries and stakeholders to see where they’re collectively making progress towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement – and where they’re not.

It’s like taking inventory.  It means looking at everything related to where the world stands on climate action and support, identifying the gaps, and working together to chart a better course forward to accelerate climate action.

The stocktake is a course-correcting moment, an opportunity to provide a roadmap with ‘solutions pathways’ that drive immediate action.

Some of the key finance pathways could include fostering accountability of non-state actor commitments, and innovative financing models to tackle currency risks.

This is the year we need to establish clarity on how governments, multilateral development banks and international financial institutions, private sector finance institutions and industries will deliver the trillions required.

I emphasize again the urgent need for action on climate finance, and the importance of collaboration and innovation in addressing this complex challenge.

But let’s not forget that climate finance is ultimately about people, not just numbers on a balance sheet.

It’s about protecting our planet, our communities, and current and future generations from the devastating impacts of climate change.

And, it’s about building a more equitable and inclusive future for everyone, not just the privileged few.

I can’t think of more important work.  So let’s keep pushing forward together with determination and purpose.

Thank you very much.

Source

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The Listed Entities that Offer Securities Trading/Brokerage Services and/or Digital Asset Exchange Services in The Bahamas are Not Authorized or Regulated by the Securities Commission of The Bahamas

UNREGISTERED/UNLICENSED ENTITIES IN THE BAHAMAS


THE SECURITIES COMMISSION OF THE BAHAMAS NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC


SECURITIES COMMISSION OF THE BAHAMAS PUBLIC NOTICE
No. 3 of 2023
28 August 2023


The Commission hereby advises the public that none of these entities or their agents/representatives are registered with/licensed by the Commission.  Additionally, none of the listed entities have applied to be registered/licensed by the Commission.  Therefore, any registrable/licensable activity conducted, in or from within The Bahamas, by these entities and their agents/representatives is in violation of one or more of the Acts.


COMPANY NAMES/WEBSITES


1- 2V APP LIMITED https://2v.app

2 - ACEPROTRADES PLC https://aceprotrades.com

3 - ASSETS-GROWTH INC https://assets-growth.com

4 - CAPITAL INVEST PLC https://capital-invest.world

5 - CENTAUR500 CORP https://centaur500.com

6 - COIN FIELD FX TRADE https://cfieldfxtrade.com

7 - CRYPFUND PLC https://crypfund.net

8 - CRYPWA PRO PLC https://crypwa-pro.com

9 - ELITE INTEL. NETWORK https://cfieldfxtrade.com

10 - EURO TRADERS CORP https://www.capitaltrade.io

11 - FINTECH MARKET PLC https://fintechmarket.pro

12 - FREEDOM FINANCE PLC https://freedomfinance.capital

13 - HILLTOPFXTRADE INC https://hilltopfxtrade.com

14 - INVEST PRO PLC https://www.invest-prof.com

15 - INVESTEXOR https://kiosakiguide.io

16 - MERVEILLEUX GALAXIE LIMITED https://galaxie.pro

17 - NARISTECH CORP https://naristech.com

18 - NEURTRADE INC https://neurtrade.net

19 - OCULUSTRADE PLC https://oculustrade.io

20 - PRECOINFX INC https://precoinfx.com

21 - PRO MARKETS https://www.promarkets.fm

22 - PROTON INVEST CORP https://protoninvest.org

23 - SLUNDY CORP https://www.slundy.com

24 - STOCK BASE CORP https://www.stockbase.finance

25 - TRADEZEEFX INC https://tradezeefx.online

26 - TRUST TRADE CORP https://www.trust-trade.eu

27 - WIN PROTOCOL https://www.protocolwin.network


Source 

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Renewable Energy is the Key to Securing Humanity’s Survival

Without renewables, there can be no future...


5 ways to power the energy transition


From UN News


The transformation of energy systems to renewable energy
Renewable technologies like wind and solar power are, in most cases, cheaper than the fossil fuels that are driving climate change, but the world needs to prioritize the transformation of energy systems to renewable energy.

The Climate Ambition Summit, scheduled for 20 September at UN Headquarters in New York, will consider how to accelerate this transformation.

Here are five ways that acceleration could happen:

1. Shift energy subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy

Fossil fuel subsidies are one of the biggest financial barriers hampering the world’s shift to renewable energy.

The UN Secretary-General has consistently called for an end to all international public and private funding of fossil fuels, one of the major contributors to global warming, calling any new investments in them “delusional”.

“All actors must come together to accelerate a just and equitable transition from fossil fuels to renewables, as we stop oil and gas expansion and funding and licensing for new coal, oil, and gas,” he said.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) revealed that $5.9 trillion was spent on subsidizing the fossil fuel industry in 2020 alone.  This figure includes subsidies, tax breaks, and health and environmental damages that were not priced into the initial cost of fossil fuels. 

That’s roughly $11 billion a day.

Shifting subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy leads to a reduction in their use and also contributes to sustainable economic growth, job creation, better public health, and more equality, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable communities around the world.

2. Triple investments in renewables

An estimated $4 trillion a year needs to be invested in renewable energy until 2030 in order to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.  Net zero is the term which describes achieving the balance between carbon emitted into the atmosphere and the carbon removed from it.

Investment in renewables will cost significantly less compared to subsidizing fossil fuels.  The reduction of pollution and climate impact alone could save the world up to $4.2 trillion per year by 2030.

The funding is there, but commitment and accountability are needed, particularly from global financial systems.  This includes multilateral development banks and other financial institutions, which must align their lending portfolios towards accelerating the renewable energy transition.

“Renewables are the only path to real energy security, stable power prices and sustainable employment opportunities,” the UN chief said.

He has further urged “all governments to prepare energy transition plans” and encouraged “CEOs of all oil and gas companies to be part of the solution”.

3. Make renewable energy technology a global public good

For renewable energy technology to be a global public good, meaning available to all and not just to the wealthy, efforts must aim to dismantle roadblocks to knowledge-sharing and the transfer of technology, including intellectual property rights barriers.

Essential technologies such as battery storage systems allow energy from renewables to be stored and released when people, communities, and businesses need power.

When paired with renewable generators, battery storage technologies can provide both reliable and cheaper electricity to isolated grids and off-grid communities in remote locations, for example, in IndiaTanzania, and Vanuatu.

4. Improve global access to components and raw materials

A robust supply of renewable energy components and raw materials is a game changer.  More widespread access to all the key components and materials is needed, from the minerals required for building wind turbines and electricity networks to elements for producing electric vehicles.

The UN’s International Seabed Authority is currently working with its Member States on how to exploit such abundant mineral resources in international waters as those crucial for manufacturing batteries while ensuring the effective protection of the marine environment from harmful effects that may arise from deep-seabed-related activities.

It will take significant international coordination to expand and diversify manufacturing capacity globally.  Greater investments are needed, including in people’s skills training, research and innovation, and incentives to build supply chains through sustainable practices that protect ecosystems.

5. Level the playing field for renewable energy technologies

While global cooperation and coordination is critical, domestic policy frameworks must urgently be reformed to streamline and fast-track renewable energy projects and catalyse private sector investments.

Technology, capacity, and funds for renewable energy transition exist, but policies and processes must be introduced to reduce market risks to both enable and incentivise investment, while simultaneously preventing bottlenecks and red tape.

Nationally determined contributions, or countries’ individual action plans to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts, must set renewable energy targets that align with the goal of limiting the increase in global temperatures to 1.5°C (2.7°F) above pre-industrial levels.

To achieve this, it is estimated that the share of renewables in global electricity generation must grow from 29 per cent today to 60 per cent by 2030.

Source