‘Going green’ is becoming the theme for every person who cares about the environment. People are talking about going green in their lifestyles; from the way they eat, dress, what they use as cleaning agents to the very décor they use in their homes. The list is endless.
The bottom line is that everyone wants to become greener, especially as they actually realise the importance of the environment. This is what brings me to the issue of Green governance- a state of becoming environmentally friendly as a way of achieving economic freedom.
When President Paul Kagame, yesterday during the Commonwealth Business Council meeting in London advised the G8 leaders to consult African countries and the developing world before they can make economic decisions that affect them, he was taking green.
This message I believe is one that comes in handy for the G8 Summit leaders who are today meeting in L’Aquila, Italy.
As they discuss and focus on issues of the economy in relation to climate change, real and applicable solutions have to be reached.
Not any just any decision is good enough; the only ones that shall hold any water are those that are interdependent and will benefit both the developed and developing countries as well.
Unlike before, where decisions made by the developed world have greatly affected African countries like climate change and the financial crisis, this time the G8 leaders need to be more sensitive and reasonable to our needs as developing nations.
Interestingly the criterion of the G8 summit is that the top eight member countries are from the industrialised world.
However, these countries which are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are the reason for today climate change troubles. We all know they developed because they derived their riches from the industrial revolution.
These troubles, I can say are a result of the developed world’s factories and industries which have continuously discharged the greenhouse gases whose concentrations in the atmosphere are responsible for the greenhouse effect and global warming.
The Group of Eight this time has the sole responsibility of finding ways to urge the various heads of state all over the world to put in place governance policies that will protect the Earth from becoming a ‘dead’ planet.
It is a fact that each year desertification alone claims 5 million hectares of land worldwide, tonnes of sewage is discharged into water bodies without minimal treatmentand an estimated 5 billion tonnes of CO2 is released into the atmosphere every year.
Governments have come to understand that they are interdependent and left with no choice but to implement policies that will combat the drastic effects of climate change.
Britain, for example, has just pledged to institute an annual global fund worth US$100 billion for developing countries – with the aim of tackling climate change issues. This comes at a time when various nations including Rwanda, that are signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, are preparing for the Copenhagen Climate Change conference later in December.
While in Copenhagen, they will attempt to agree on ways of seriously slowing global warming.
In reality, this is very much easier said than done. A number of these policies work but sometimes many fail.
Some achieve minor results in which the efforts used zero down as compared to the benefits that are scanty or worse still never seen.
This I believe happens because people just keep transferring one green problem from one place to another because they cannot make money according to their set business goals.
Despite all these negative possibilities, Rwanda has chosen and has for long shown its commitment towards walking on a green growth path through a number of programs and development strategies.
Proof of this is actually visible in Rwanda as strategies are focused on the development of renewable energies like hydropower, geothermal, solar, wind, methane gas and the sustainable use of biomass. This in my own view is a determined target of becoming a stable green and clean energy economy.