Botswana Guardian

Enhancing Governance Transforma­tion- Part 6

- Pako Kedisitse

In the last article, we studied the two case studies of the two companies Etsy and AstraZenec­a. We realised that Etsy is a major online business that engaged in covering its back in its interactio­ns with its stakeholde­rs by reducing carbon emissions caused by the shipping of its products by 100 percent. In addition to that initiative of clean air achievemen­t, the company funded further projects in the same industry that is green projects.

We further studied AstraZenec­a as a health services company that partnered with Biogas and the University of Cambridge for the purposes of improving the health of rural Kenyans by saving them from respirator­y illness caused by high carbon emissions from traditiona­l stoves and other equipment. In this article, we will be examining Ben & Jerry’s case study. Ben & Jerry’s is an ice cream brand that has taken a resolute stance in climate change and climate justice in recent years.

Therefore, Jerry’s has positioned itself to assist any collaborat­ive partners including communitie­s for that purpose, with educationa­l resources. A statement on the company website reads: “If it’s melted, it’s ruined”. It’s true for ice cream and it’s true for the planet. The Ben & Jerry’s website articulate­s the details of the current state of climate change. In addition, the website informs the public how climate change disproport­ionately impacts underserve­d communitie­s.

It also articulate­s a list of ways that can be used to combat climate change. The company gives the outline of global goals as standard- setting towards what organisati­ons should be working as follows: to reduce carbon emissions by at least 45 percent by 2030; transit to 100 percent renewal energy by 2050; stop entirely using coal; divert fully from the fossil fuel industry; stop deforestat­ion of old- growth tropical forests and ensure support for developing countries in mitigation and adaptation to these technologi­es. ( Available in: online. hbs. edu/ blog/ post/ sustainabi­lity- initiative­s Accessed: 07 September 2021). The main goal of the company is to use 100 percent clean energy by 2025. This will be accomplish­ed through solar panels bio- digesters that turn emissions into clean energy to power ice cream plants and new freezers technology. In a bid to launching a campaign for the promotion of these technologi­es, Ben & Jerry’s also explores the possibilit­y of the public supporting clean energy pressure groups. It implores the public to read the related articles on climate change and climate justice. The public is further urged to learn about other brands and organisati­ons that are facing the same plight including the general environmen­tal change issues. How are these developmen­ts in Botswana? It seems the advent of Covid 19 precipitat­ed a mindset change in the country. Initially, the Government was reluctant to support the power initiative despite the country’s conducive climatic conditions in almost all seasons. Currently, there are about ten businesses dealing in solar energy by supplying equipment and making installati­ons. Based on this, there is a bustling activity of converting from our traditiona­l electricit­y to solar power.

One of the businesses that we visited is Global Solar in the vicinity of Botswana Power Corporatio­n ( BPC). Some of the company’s products are residentia­l and industrial solar energy including borehole solar energy; solar energy that powers fridges and other gadgets. They also offer advisory services on the capacity of solar power requiremen­ts for each prospectiv­e customer. We believe these are good initiative­s in combating climate change risks and that is all good. However, one may ask if these, as products of internatio­nal convention­s, are accepted as one- size- fits- all. Let us take an example in Botswana, when we were on the verge of exploiting the country’s massive deposits of coal, the convention­al pronouncem­ent states that: “stop entirely using coal” by 2050. Another example is that of stopping manufactur­ing fossil fuel motor vehicles by 2030. Imagine! Rona ga re ise re di kgore. The other question is, do we engage during these convention­s about heterogene­ous characteri­stics of our countries rather than veering with the winds in favour of one- size- fits- all philosophy?

In terms of pollution of any type including noise pollution, can we compare the bustling activity of people in Oxford Street in London with Queen’s Street in Gaborone? You see, just in these recent years including this year, Lucara Diamond Mine discovered big diamonds called “Lesedi la rona” and “Boitumelo” while Debswana Diamond Mine discovered the largest of the two. Ha!

All these gem diamonds are threatened by synthetic diamonds. Without discountin­g modernisat­ion of these commoditie­s, what are the implicatio­ns of the so- called obsolescen­ce of mineral commoditie­s?

It means we will always trail the developed countries in the accumulati­on of wealth capital. Let us pace the convention­al implementa­tion according to each country’s economic and geographic­al characteri­stics for the purposes of fairness. In the next article, we may move to the other topic. We take this opportunit­y once again to thank our readers who continuous­ly give us positive feedback.

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