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China recently announced it will reduce the emissions-intensity of its economy (ratio of emissions to GDP) by at least 40-45 percent by 2020. But in Copenhagen it is resisting making that promise an internationally binding commitment. That’s a big problem for the U.S. negotiators, since the Congress is adamant: the U.S. will not commit until and unless the Chinese do too.
U.S. Sen. John Kerry's recent speech at the World Bank hit all the right notes—and may have set World Bank management back on its heels a bit. Sen. Kerry expressed frank views, especially on increasing the voice of developing countries in Bank governance and on the Bank's role in addressing climate change.
Yesterday I sent this letter to CGD contacts who have expressed an interest in our work on development and climate change. But it really should be of interest to all in the development community. If you share my view that climate and development are inextricably intertwined, please read on, take the survey, and tell your friends to take it, too!
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.
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.
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.
One of the few bright spots in the climate negotiations was the news that the governance of climate funding has received some attention in the run-up to the Pittsburgh G-20. Much needs to be settled, but at least the issue is on the table.
Uri Dadush at the Carnegie Endowment provides an excellent reader-friendly summary of the agenda and issues the G-20 leaders will face in Pittsburgh this week. His fourth of four challenges is for the leaders to develop a long-term agenda – and a long-term agenda implies ipso facto a development agenda.