World Bulletin / News Desk
Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a half billion people live without electricity, trails the world in government policies that promote sustainable energy, according to a new World Bank report Wednesday.
Much of the rest of the world, however, has made strides toward making energy broadly available, developing renewable power sources and increasing efficiency, the inaugural Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy report said.
In a survey of 111 countries, the World Bank found that through 2015 nearly 80 percent had begun to adopt policies to expand electrical grids, connecting them to solar and wind generation, and to help make electric utilities creditworthy and financially viable while keeping energy prices down.
More than a third of countries, home to 96 percent of the global population, were at an advanced stage and progress was not limited to rich countries.
Yet the report showed "on the whole that African countries are scoring very poorly on the policy environment for energy access," said Vivien Foster, the World Bank's global lead for energy economics.
"As many as 40 percent of them are in the red zone, meaning they've barely begun to take policy measures to accelerate access to energy."
There were bright spots on the African continent, such as South Africa, Tunisia and Morocco, she noted.
UN member states in 2015 adopted a set of sustainable development goals to reach by 2030, including a guarantee of cheap, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all people.
The report, which will be updated every two years, said local authorities should use its findings to compare their policies to regional and global peers in efforts to meet the development goals.
Riccardo Puliti, head of the bank's energy and extractives global practice, told reporters the global lender currently had a $1.6 billion portfolio to support energy access that was mainly focused in Asia and Latin America.
"But we are moving very strongly in Africa as well," he said.
For the current fiscal year the bank had $260 million in new projects for off-grid power generation, in countries including Kenya, Rwanda, Niger and Zambia, he said.
Polyethylene represents 40 percent of Europe's demand for plastic products, mostly in the form of packaging and shopping bags.
The High Court had demanded ministers come up with a plan to tackle illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution, largely caused by diesel emissions, by 3:00 pm (1400 GMT) on Monday.
PEG-2S promises to tackle superbugs that threaten world health
The change affects grazing conditions for the 146,000 or so semi-domesticated reindeer in Norway who feed on lichen and moss under the snow.
The discovery of the giant shipworm, a species never before studied, marked the first time scientists had live specimens in hand, according to an article published this week in American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
As many as one in 45 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in the United States, according to a recent study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A full 1.6 billion people remain affected by NTDs -- more than 500 million of them children -- but that number is down from more than two billion in 2010, WHO said.
For the first time ever in modern history, a team of scientists Monday documented as what they're describing as large-scale river reorganization as a result of human-caused climate change.
In the next few hours he will receive a healthy kidney thanks to a pioneering system that has made Spain the world leader in organ transplants for the past 25 years.
Japan's corals, the northernmost in the world, could offer important data to bolster knowledge about marine life, as Australia's Great Barrier Reef faces a threat to its survival.
China is the world's largest consumer and producer of tobacco, and the industry provides the government with colossal sums.
During his time leading IAS, Mark Wainberg organised the 13th International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa, and he also co-chaired the same conference in Toronto in 2006.
The UN's health agency said the epidemic had left more than 25,000 people sick, warning that number was likely to double by the end of June.
80 percent of countries acknowledge that their financing is still not enough to meet their nationally-set targets for increasing access to safe water and sanitation, it found.
Study finds a significant decrease in just 3 years after a ban was put in place limiting the inclusion of trans fats in eateries
The illness causes acute inflammation of the outer layers of the brain and spinal cord, with the most common symptoms being fever, headache and neck stiffness.