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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.

 

What the EC’s 17-Point Refugee Action Plan Ignores

At last, a glimmer of hope in Europe’s refugee crisis: on Sunday 25 October, the European Commission released a 17-point plan to manage refugee flows along the Western Balkans route. The agreement is a welcome sign of political progress. However, the policy prescriptions fall far short of the wide-ranging, creative, long-term plan necessary. An effective refugee strategy requires a more holistic approach on three dimensions: space, institutions and time.

Eight Reasons for California to Lead on Climate and Tropical Forests

When it comes to fighting climate change, California is already a world leader on pricing carbon, transitioning to renewable energy, and decarbonizing the world’s eighth largest economy.  California has yet another golden opportunity to lead on climate, by green-lighting finance to protect tropical forests. 

There’s No Magic Bullet, But We Have the Tools to Reduce Inequality

Reducing inequality is front and center of the current economic policy agenda. Multilateral institutions like the IMF and the World Bank have accepted that high inequality leads to macroeconomic instability and lowers growth and that lower inequality helps make growth sustainable in the long run. But there is no magic bullet.

Obama’s Meeting with Jokowi Yields Disappointing Results for Forest and Peatland Protection

Last Friday, I wrote about how President Obama should hail Indonesian President Joko ("Jokowi") Widodo’s dramatic announcement last week to halt further development of peatlands and to initiate a major program to restore peatlands that have already been disturbed. While the Joint Statement out of the meeting does mention peatland, the US response to Jokowi’s potentially game-changing new course of action appears to fall short.

Why Is DfID Pushing Solar-Only When Africans Say They Want On-Grid Electricity?

Yesterday the UK government formally launched its much-awaited Energy Africa campaign, which aims to accelerate electricity access for rural Africans. In a surprise move, DfID’s new plans include only support for small-scale solar power solutions. Typically these systems provide just enough power for a LED light bulb or two and a cellphone charger (see here and here for a few DfID favorites).

Obama Should Hail Indonesia’s Plans to Protect and Restore Peatlands in Monday’s Bilateral Meeting

When Indonesian President Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) meets with President Obama on October 26, climate change will certainly be on the agenda, with the Paris 2015 summit only a month away. Obama should use the opportunity to praise and offer support for the steps Jokowi announced earlier today to address the underlying causes of fires currently consuming vast areas of Indonesia’s forests and peatlands. In particular, Obama should hail Jokowi’s plans to end the opening of peatlands for cultivation and to promote community-based restoration of those already disturbed. Neither head of state should allow his vision to be clouded by spurious claims that proposed solutions will hurt small farmers or infringe on Indonesia’s national sovereignty.

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