This year sees the launch of the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon creating a high-level group to mobilize action. We support the goals of this initiative but – like other observers – we feel it requires more ambition and focus. Key priorities should be reducing poverty through access to modern energy services, and ensuring equitable access to electricity and consumption of energy resources (such as gas, oil and biomass).
Business models for sustainable development aim to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits – the three pillars of sustainable development – through core business activities.
IIED's work on business models for sustainable development cuts across several areas of research including forestry, food and agriculture, energy and ICTs. Our research to date has identified a number of factors that contribute to the success of business models for sustainable development.
Mining activities, both large-and small-scale, are highly emotive and the focus of endless debate. Media and academic reports have helped entrench negative views on mining. Small-scale mining is often associated with ‘blood diamonds’, ‘conflict coltan’ and ‘dirty gold’ – hand mined and sold illegally to finance conflict and war. Exploitation, environmental damage and social harm are similarly seen as part and parcel of large-scale mining.
There is room, however, for a nuanced perspective on all this – and more, one that recognises the legitimacy of both forms of mining, and seeks to find solutions in which to bring together small-scale miners and globalised mining capital.