Following the international Rio+20 Earth Summit that took place in Brazil last month, a large number of sustainability commitments were made by a variety of organizations, countries, communities and businesses globally. To keep track of these commitments and to make following up on them easier, the National Resources Defense Council has created the Cloud of Commitments website which aggregates information on commitments, events and news and allows users to search commitments by country and topic.
The Cloud of Commitments website already lists over 200 commitments and is welcomed following the Rio+20 outcome document, The Future We Want, which has been criticized for its vagueness. According to the website, these commitments “will be the drivers of the “free-market revolution for global sustainability” called for by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. This “Cloud” is version 1.0 of what will become a state-of-the-art Internet platform which would work toward unprecedented transparency, engagement, assessments, and accountability for these commitments. The Cloud could over time make a major contribution to strengthening global sustainability governance”.
Cloud of Commitments: focus on Africa
Of the 217 commitments featured on the site, 8 relate to Africa and 57% of all commitments related to energy, 18% to water, 10% to cities and 5% to oceans. Below are three of the African commitments listed:
- Nuru Energy’s Commitment to Expand Rural Energy Entrepreneurship and Access to Clean Lighting in East Africa: By 2016, Nuru Energy will make its portable, rechargeable LED lights available to up to 1.8 million rural households in East Africa through an expanded network of 10,000 village-level entrepreneurs.
- Government of Norway: Scale Up Access to Sustainable Energy: Norway announced a new commitment of approximately 140 million U.S. dollars over 5 years to scale up access to sustainable energy in Ethiopia’s rural areas, to replace kerosene lamps with solar alternatives in Kenya, and to support Liberia’s development of a strategic energy and climate plan, among other ongoing initiatives.
- Seychelles Coastal Reserve Protection: If the Republic of Seychelles is able to complete a debt for adaptation to climate change swap that created a funding stream of at least $2.5 million (USD) per year, then they would establish 30 percent of their coastal zone as marine protected areas, with half of this area in no take zones. The Seychelles also committed to providing three years of financial support to the Global Islands Partnership and to continue to support the launching of the West Indian Ocean Challenge.