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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

World Bank Missing Out on India's Next Green Revolution

What is it going to take to get the World Bank to change course on renewable energy? Here at the Center we’ve been trying to help get the bank to be more aggressive on renewables for nearly a year. But inertia is a powerful force, and despite shifts in thinking by individual bank staff, the institution itself is still moving very slowly. But what if a major client and a competitor joined forces on renewables?

Cheap is the New Black

In his first speech since Election Day, President-elect Obama warned yesterday that purse strings would be tight at the start of his term for the nation and its people.
But before Obama begins, Inauguration Day celebrations are causing those in DC to consider whether last year's purse strings are suitable attire for the upcoming balls and celebrations.

ABC's New Candid Camera Shows Challenge for Development-Friendly Migration Policy

Last night, ABC's "What Would You Do?" featured an intriguing hidden camera experiment on attitudes towards migrant workers. The set up was simple: in a New Jersey deli, actors portrayed a cashier hurling insults and refusing to serve a pair of Latino day laborers because they did not speak English and carried "illegal alien money." The point was to capture the responses of unknowing customers who were asked for help.

Where There Is No Vision, the People Will Refuse to Perish--But Do-Nothing Institutions Very Well Might

It's been a busy year for citizen action on carbon emissions. On September 11, a UK jury considered charges against six Greenpeace activists who tried to shut down the Kingsnorth power station in Kent, UK. Kingsnorth emits 12.8 million tons of CO2 annually -- among the top 150 of over 50,000 plants worldwide in our CARMA database. It will vault much higher in the rankings after its planned expansion increases its emissions to 24.8 million tons.

Poznan Redux: The True Climate Cost

This is a joint posting with Kevin Ummel
Q: What can we do to save the earth?
Wendell Berry: "Stay put."
Economists are always irritating their colleagues by harping about opportunity cost, but the concept can be useful nonetheless. For example, consider the “carbon account” announced for the Poznan climate change meeting. According to the sponsors, travel and other logistics for the 8,000 conference participants will generate 13,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Participants have duly announced the purchase of “carbon offsets” as atonement for their logistical sins (which begins to sound like the sale of indulgences by the medieval Church, but that’s another story). The whole thing projects a reassuring aura: By purchasing offsets, the participants can cover the “climate cost” of the meeting.

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