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Last week, the World Bank released the long-awaited report of a high-level commission headed by former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo. The report, which had been requested by World Bank president Robert Zoellick, offers a comprehensive blueprint for modernizing the World Bank to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century.
A few month's ago, Ruth Levine recommended that I read Steve Berkman’s book “The World Bank and the Gods of Lending” and yesterday I had the chance to listen over the phone while he gave an informal talk about it at the Center for Global Development.
For those interested in the ongoing climate change debate, I urge you to look at the recently-released report (and the Roll Call op-ed) from the bipartisan Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests (full disclosure: I sat on this commission).
Development advocates hoping for an equitable as well as efficient global agreement on climate change ought to be deeply depressed about the results of a recent FT/Harris poll. What is depressing is the way the question was framed (and that does matter): “Do you agree that, since China is the biggest carbon emitter, it should cut its emissions the most?” In most G-7 countries including the U.S., more than 60 percent of respondents agreed.
Nigeria is proposing to transfer a 10 percent stake in the national oil company to delta communities; citizens of the delta would then be entitled to cash benefits, delivered through a trust-type mechanism. Read about it here.
That would be a real live breakthrough on a good idea proposed in CGD papers for Iraq and Ghana.
Bono argues in Sunday’s New York Times that President Obama has already taken major and very welcome steps to “rebrand” America in the eyes of the world. How? By making this statement at the United Nations:
“We will support the Millennium Development Goals, and approach next year’s summit with a global plan to make them a reality. And we will set our sights on the eradication of extreme poverty in our time.”
In a surprise New York Times op-ed last weekend, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Kerry (D-MA) announced a joint initiative on climate change.
The proposal mixes the good (I am glad it finally spells out that only carbon capture and storage turns coal into “clean coal”) with the bad. Still, it is welcome news that the Senate may finally be able to “count to sixty” and pass some kind of legislation to reduce emissions.