Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

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.

 

Can We At Least Contain Ethanol’s Damage?

“Corn ethanol is a done deal…. There’s no stopping it.”

Princeton University scholar, Tim Searchinger, on The Grist blog in 2009

In response to this year’s severe drought and surging corn prices, the governors of North Carolina and Arkansas asked the Environmental Protection Agency to waive the mandate for blending ethanol into gasoline. Governor Perry of Texas filed a similar request during the price spikes of 2008 that the EPA rejected. After that, global debate over the implications of crop-based renewable fuels for food prices and climate change escalated. Some policymakers responded, but only by tinkering around the margins: the US Congress allowed $6 billion in subsidies to expire last year in the face of intense budget pressures, and the European Commission recently proposed halving its mandate for food-based biofuels.

Post 2015: Pruning the Spruce

Harping on about holiday decorations before the Thanksgiving Turkey is even stuffed should be the preserve of Macy’s design teams and tinsel factories.  But a recent event at CGD had me thinking about Christmas trees.

CGD’s Understanding India Initiative Launches in New Delhi

The audience in New Delhi, India clung to their seats well past the scheduled end of the program at the recent launch of CGD’s Understanding India Initiative. India’s minister for rural development (and former minister for the environment) Jairam Ramesh, presided over the event, which was organized and hosted by Pratap Mehta (president of the Center for Policy Research and non-resident CGD fellow CGD). Among participants was Nandan Nilekani, head of the Unique Identification Authority of India (who we look forward to welcoming to Washington when he delivers the 2013 Sabot Lecture); prominent academics, and the India-based representatives of foreign development assistance institutions.

Pakistan’s “Pocket of Productivity”: Empowerment through Identification

This is a joint post with Julia Clark.

Pakistan’s ahead of the pack.

Why? It’s National Database and Registration Authority—NADRA, the agency in charge of national identification—recently announced that it will begin issuing identity cards to orphans with unknown parentage; those without birth certificates or other documentation. This move effectively ensures citizenship rights for children who would otherwise have been excluded under regulations that require proof of nationality and parental lineage to obtain an ID card.

Development-Friendly Immigration Reform in the USA

Not surprisingly, development issues played no role in the recent US presidential election.  Perhaps surprisingly, immigration reform is now a major second term agenda.  CGD has been promoting migration as not just a domestic but also a development issue for some time, with my Let Their People Come, the Place Premium, new empirical research that shows the massive gains to unskilled labor mobility, the inclusion of mig

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