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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.

 

Carbon Fund Pioneering Multilateral Payments for Forest Carbon in a Bottom-Up Climate World

Here’s what was supposed to happen at the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen: Rich, industrialized nations like the US and Australia would commit to deep reductions in their greenhouse gas pollution, joined by rapidly industrializing countries like China and India. Part of these commitments would be met by paying for emission reductions from reduced deforestation by tropical forest countries like Brazil and Indonesia.

A Big Deal for Tropical Forests

This month Wilmar International – Asia’s leading agribusiness group and the world’s largest trader of palm oil – announced a “No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation” policy that is good news for the communities and wildlife that live in fast-shrinking rainforests across the tropics and for everybody else who depends on a stable climate.  While the announcement was

Message from Oslo REDD Exchange: Let’s Get On With It!

Last week I had the pleasure of chairing the 2013 Oslo REDD Exchange, a conference hosted by the Government of Norway’s International Climate and Forests Initiative.  The conference drew some 500 policy-makers and practitioners working on reducing deforestation around the world -- through strategies ranging from international negotiations to community-level projects – to assess the state of play on REDD+ and to chart a way forward. 

Separated at Birth? COD Aid and REDD+

Over the last few months, in the context of my new affiliation with CGD, I’ve been making a transition from “Forestry World” — which I inhabited for six years at the Center for International Forestry Research in Indonesia — to “Development Finance World,” headquartered here in Washington with the World Bank, the IMF, and myriad think tanks and advocacy groups interested in development.

How to Spend Climate Finance (If We Had It)

Imagine for a moment a world in which rich countries followed through on their rather vague promise at the 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their emissions and cope with climate change. How should that money be spent?

From the Mountains to the Forests

On my summer vacation in Montana this year, I made my much-anticipated first trip to Glacier National Park.  The scenery was indeed stunning, but the famed glaciers less so.  A hike up to the Grinnell Glacier revealed a weeping patch of snow and ice, greatly diminished from the formidable structure depicted in the century-old photos in the lodge.  According to the park ranger, all of the glaciers in the park may be completely gone by 2030.

Twelve Takeaways from the IPCC Report

On Friday in Stockholm the IPCC released the first of a series of four reports comprising its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), documenting the “physical science basis” of climate change. 

OECD Dispute with Oslo Has a Bad ODA

In Norway last year I met with the impressive staff of one of the world’s largest and smartest NGOs. They were unhappy that Norwegian aid money was being used to discourage deforestation in Brazil instead of to immunize children and educate girls in low-income Africa—in other words, to deal with climate change rather than “development.”  I countered that minimizing climate change is a crucial piece of development, and urged them to rethink the issue. 

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