India’s indigenous Adivasi tribes are among the most disadvantaged people south of the Himalayan mountains. To improve their lot, some have begun to set up community-based organisations.

The Adaptation Fund was established to fund specific projects that developing countries undertake in order to adapt to climate change. The Fund is now fully operational, and a number of projects are underway. In many ways, the Adaptation Fund is a model for other climate funds. Its own future is cast in doubt nonetheless. By Sven Harmeling and Alpha Oumar Kaloga.

At international climate conferences, diplomats agree that the private sector must come up with a large share of the funding needed for climate protection. Indeed, the growth of renewable energy technologies offers institutional investors quite interesting opportunities. Nonetheless, the business environment must improve.

From 2020 on, an annual $ 100 billion is to be made available to developing countries so they can adapt to climate change and mitigate the phenomenon. The long-term commitments of donor governments are fuzzy, however. So far, there are no coherent pledges for the next seven years. Saleemul Huq of the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development assessed matters in an interview with Hans Dembowski.

For two decades, the club of rich nations has failed to reduce carbon emissions in a meaningful way. It did not grant emerging markets the atmospheric space they need to develop, and has begun to blame them for slow progress in the multilateral arena instead.

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Untreated waste water is a health hazard. Nonetheless, it should be considered a resource. Unless it is recycled and re-used, it will be impossible to provide all people in the cities of developing countries with safe drinking water. The example of India shows that agglomerations cannot get ever more fresh water from ever farther away.

A village in northern Jordan depends on polluted water from a spring, as four German and Arab students discovered. Their final report shows how matters could be improved.

To prevent trees from being cut down for firewood, attempts have been underway to introduce fuel-efficient cooking stoves in Nigeria for decades. Today, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) provides an opportunity to lower the purchase price of such stoves. Bureaucratic challenges are tough, however, and it remains unclear whether stove projects really help to reduce Nigeria’s carbon emissions.

To fight climate change, it is not enough to generate electricity from renewable sources. The grid infrastructure must be enhanced too.

For many disadvantaged communities in developing countries, ecological issues are not a matter of luxury, but a matter of survival. In India, protests and social movements are expressing these worries.