A new report by the Force for Good (F4G) initiative has found that technology could cut the cost of delivering the sustainable development goals by 40%. The estimated cost of achieving the SDGs has risen to $195tn, most recently as a result of pressures including the war in Ukraine.
However, the report finds some hope in technologies that improve connectivity – which could reduce the cost by up to 20% – or $30tn. Strategic deployment of technologies including the so-called internet of things could improve the monitoring of farms and forests, provide better early warning systems for extreme weather events and create smart cities, the report suggests.
In the short-term, technology can drive inclusion and equality of opportunity, raise productivity, and increase access to education, finance, and healthcare. It can also offer opportunities for longer-term development in energy innovation, biology and materials sciences beyond 2030.
Shell’s €15m compensation for Nigerian oil leaks
Shell has announced that it will pay €15m to communities in Nigeria that were impacted by four oil pipeline leaks in the Niger Delta, between 2004 and 2007. This compensation is the result of a Dutch court case brought by four farmers and the environmental group Friends of the Earth in 2008.
In 2021, the court found Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary, SPDC, responsible for the oil spills, and ordered it to pay damages, as well as building warning systems to detect future leaks. Despite Shell’s claims that the spills were caused by sabotage, The Hague’s Court of Appeal said in its ruling that Shell had not proven this as the cause beyond reasonable doubt, above poor maintenance.
The money will benefit the three villages of Oruma, Goi and Ikot Ada Udo in Nigeria, where farmlands and fishponds were polluted by the oil spillages.
World Bank to expand climate lending capacity
The World Bank is looking to significantly expand its lending capacity to address climate change, amongst other global crises. A recently published “evolution roadmap” marks the beginning of a negotiation process with shareholders and stakeholder governments. The World Bank will negotiate with shareholders on proposals including a capital increase and new lending tools. It aims to shift away from the lending model established for the bank at the Bretton Woods talks in the mid 1940s.
Given the host of current crises disproportionately impacting developing countries – inflation, energy and food shortages, and climate shocks, to name a few – there has been a great deal of debate in recent months about the ability of multilateral development banks to cope, with their current structure.
The evolution roadmap also states the World Bank’s aim to propose specifically worded changes to its mission, operating model, and financial capacity for approval by the joint World Bank and International Monetary Fund Development Committee in October 2023.
Recycled EV batteries
Mercedes-Benz Energy (MBE) has partnered with lithium-ion battery recycler Lohum Cleantech for a multi-year supply contract agreement for second-life electric vehicle batteries. The agreement will allow Lohum to obtain high volumes of second-use battery modules, to be developed for second-life applications.
Currently, Lohum focuses on stationary applications such as small 6kwh batteries, and low power mobility applications including electric rickshaws. In a circular approach, Lohum runs a buy-back guarantee to recycle them once its second life modules reach end of life.
MBE’s CEO, Gordon Gassman, said: “Lohum is developing expertise and applications across multiple module variants to create a long-term supply funnel. This flexibility and model unlock value for both parties and defines the innovation and reliability we seek in strategic partnerships.”