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.


Depressing News on Rich-World Climate Change Attitudes

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.

Attack on The Oil Curse in Nigeria!

Nigeria is proposing to transfer a 10 percent stake in the national oil company to delta communities; citizens of the delta would then be entitled to cash benefits, delivered through a trust-type mechanism. Read about it here.

That would be a real live breakthrough on a good idea proposed in CGD papers for Iraq and Ghana.

To Rebrand America, Unbrand Aid

Bono argues in Sunday’s New York Times that President Obama has already taken major and very welcome steps to “rebrand” America in the eyes of the world. How? By making this statement at the United Nations:

“We will support the Millennium Development Goals, and approach next year’s summit with a global plan to make them a reality. And we will set our sights on the eradication of extreme poverty in our time.”

Graham-Kerry Initiative Boosts Climate Legislation -- But Repeats Threat to Trade

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.

Could Ex Ante Loan Sanctions against the De Facto Honduran Regime Prevent Illegitimate Debt?

This is a joint posting with Cindy Prieto.

Since the coup ousting Honduran president Manuel Zelaya last June, the international community has responded with strong words and a mix of mostly mild actions. The Organization of American States (OAS) unanimously voted to suspend Honduras when the de facto regime ignored its demand for the immediate reinstatement of Zelaya, and the UN General Assembly has also adopted a resolution denouncing the coup. The United States and European Union have halted some forms of non-humanitarian aid. But despite some calls for action , the United States and other major trade partners have yet to adopt trade sanctions or to freeze the coup leaders' assets.


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