Lesotho’s Contribution to Net Zero


Submitted by Ivan Yaholnitsky
Published 2 years, 2 months ago

Countries, cities, organizations and corporations around the world are, on a  daily basis, making impressive commitments to decarbonize their economic activities.  Most of these commitments are framed against a deadline, 2030, 2040, 2050, etc. using the term “Net Zero.”  I do not know if the Government of Lesotho has any official word to say on the matter and I will not pretend to speak for it.  Sustainable development is a decision everyone can make immediately, implement and engage.

SOLTRAIN demonstration systems installed at Holy Trinity High School, Quthing, a few months ago

Dr. Julie Pierce on Twitter says:

"Getting to net zero *fast* will require everything from structural changes at the global level to changes in basic household habits. Let’s support and draw attention to people and groups facilitating a switch to climate-friendly living. #ClimateAction"

This caught my eye because I like the reference to people and groups.  While we can think globally, all that anyone can ever do is act locally.  Yes, there are people like the President of the World Bank and Secretary General of the UN, but their power is limited to responding to what is actually working on the ground, and can never be a replacement for it.

If SOLTRAIN Roadmap implementation in Lesotho suddenly gained enormous vigour and momentum, then some large agencies would respond and provide assistance.  Synergies can make a difference.  Universal clean energy in Lesotho is possible using solar technology.  I cannot imagine living without basic amenities like piped water, and appliances such as refrigeration and clothes washing machines.

The majority of people in Lesotho, however, do not have them.  Solar technology can spread rapidly to achieve the SDGs by 2030, but it requires vigorous action by everyone, consumers, innovators, entrepreneurs, marketers, educators and policymakers.  Thermal energy systems can only work within an eco-system of piped water and electrical energy supply.

While solar ovens and cookers do not require much ancillary support, they are less relevant in a context where food security is precarious, as it is throughout much of Lesotho.  The SDGs and Net Zero are a struggle of a lifetime.  The Cat in the Hat stumbled, juggling and doing many things. But as everyone knows, he returned and cleaned up the mess and restored order in the Universe. We can too.