Opinions

GREEN INVESTMENTS YIELD GREEN PROFITS

By Guest Writer

Green investment is any economic activity that provides for investment, operation, and risk management in the fields of environmental improvement, climate action, and resource use efficiency.

It is seen that today’s conscious consumers prefer companies that are responsive and responsible for a natural and social environment. To continue their existence and grow profitably companies should meet clients’ changing preferences. In terms of companies, sustainability is, adding value to the natural and social environment by doing the right thing, and in the meantime growing profitably.

Examples of these activities can be in the fields of climate smart agriculture, renewable energy conservation, and green transportation or infrastructure. These can take the form of financing green products and services or green production and business processes that contribute specifically to climate change mitigation or adaptation, broader environmental sustainability, and a low carbon, and climate resilient pathway.

A new study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that global investment in transitional technologies reached $755 billion in 2021. In order to stay on track for reducing net carbon emissions to zero, investment in transitional energy will have to reach over $2 trillion between 2022 and 2025 and $4.1 trillion over 2026-2030.

Uganda is blessed with the huge potential of renewable energy in form of solar, wind power, geothermal and other forms which offer better alternatives to oil while conserving the environment. If we invested in renewable energy as opposed to oil, our country would generate much more revenue than the oil developments.

Agriculture alone can provide jobs to Uganda’s unemployed youth if well harnessed. However, the employment potential of Uganda’s agriculture and agri-food system remains largely untapped, despite providing 70% of the country’s employment opportunities, contributing more than half of all exports, and about one-quarter of gross domestic product (GDP).

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Both the domestic and regional demand for agriculture commodities is on a rapid rise, and an increasing number of urban dwellers demand more processed food and protein-rich diets. By 2050, the World Bank estimates that about 102 million people will live in Uganda, providing massive opportunities for the country’s agriculture sector and wider agri-food system.

Uganda’s oil developments including Tilenga, Kingfisher, and EACOP are projected to generate over 102 million metric tons of greenhouse gases per year which will pose grave implications on environmental, climatic, and social threats and risks, the projects will negatively affect forest reserves, rivers, wetlands, lakes, agricultural land, fisheries, community livelihoods, cultures and others yet over 75% of the population rely on agriculture.

The Advocates Coalition on Development and Environment warns that climate change will have a significant impact on Uganda’s economy, which is heavily reliant on natural resources. Primary sectors such as agriculture, water, energy, and fisheries are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Further, the planned and ongoing oil developments are located in the Albertine graben which is a sensitive ecosystem of national and international importance. The Albertine graben is a home to lake Edward, Queen Elizabeth national park with an important biodiversity hotspot for tourism known for being a habitat for 39% of Africa’s mammal species, 35% of Africa’s insect species, 51% of Africa’s bird species, 19% of Africa’s amphibians, 14% of Africa’s plants and reptile species and also a habitat for 79 threatened terrestrial vertebrates.

Although Ugandans are excited about the expected outcomes for the oil industry, it should be noted that the exploration and production of oil around the world has negatively impacted the local and host communities including women, children, the elderly, and others resulting from the mass displacement of communities from their land, clearance of vegetation which affects agriculture and livelihoods of communities and others. All these activities leave communities worse off than they were before the discovery of oil in their areas which affects their livelihoods.

In conclusion, let us prioritise investment in green sector economies to not only improve Uganda`s economy but also improve livelihoods and protect the environment.

The author is Rachael Amongin {ramongin@afiego.org}, the Assistant Communications Officer at Africa Institute for Energy Governance {AFIEGO}

Disclaimer: We as UG Reports Media LTD we welcome any opinion by any one if it’s of a constructive use to the Development of Uganda. All the expressions and opinions in this write-up are not of UG Reports Media LTD but for the author of the article.

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