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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.

 

Why Marc Jacobsons Research Matters for the Clean Technology Fund

This post originally appeared on CARMA.org.

The airwaves have recently been filled with advertisements heralding a plethora of clean energy technologies. GE promoted its smart grid technologies in a Wizard of Oz-themed Super Bowl ad. Vestas, the largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world, has branded itself No. 1 in Modern Energy. Various groups have designed commercials touting the potential of "clean coal," including a GE ad featuring models-turned-miners (tagline: "Harnessing the power of coal is looking more beautiful every day."). And environmental groups have struck back against the branding of coal as "clean" with satirical advertisements (tagline: "Clean coal harnesses the awesome power of the word ‘clean!’". In this maelstrom of marketing, who can say which clean energy technology is best?

Another Task Force on Development: Member Nancy Birdsall Reflects on What More and What Next

Last week the German Marshall Fund released the report of a Transatlantic Task Force on Development. Formed in spring of 2008, the Task Force was led by former U.S. Congressman Jim Kolbe and Swedish Minister for International Development Gunilla Carlsson. Its purpose was to formulate a common U.S.-Europe development agenda, as a basis for renewed transatlantic cooperation in tackling global challenges. I was one of 22 European and American task force members.

World Bank Chief Economist Endorses Carbon Charges at GDN Speech in Kuwait

World Bank chief economist Justin Lin endorsed charges for CO2 emissions in a keynote address at the 10th anniversary conference of the Global Development Network being held in Kuwait. Speaking in an ornate marble hall at the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development following an address by Mohammed Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lin said that he recognized that such a call might not be politically correct in the oil-rich state.

Upcoming World Bank Vote Threatens Future of Clean Tech Fund

This is a joint posting with Joel Meister.

Even as President Obama breaks new ground this week on U.S. environmental policy, an upcoming vote by country members of the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund Trust Fund Committee may perpetuate business-as-usual policies that subsidize coal-fired power plants and contribute to global warming. On Friday morning, the committee is scheduled to consider and approve investment criteria that include coal-fired power projects among “clean” technologies that are eligible for billions in MDB financing.

President Obama, the Gang of Ten, and Getting to Yes in Copenhagen

President Obama clearly wants to break with his predecessor on energy and climate policy. But the American political divide has not disappeared, and it still threatens to derail the Copenhagen climate negotiations next December. Three developments during the past week highlight both the promise and the peril: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appointment of Todd Stern to be U.S.

Got a Favorite CGD Research Output in 2008? Tell Eldis!

Eldis, the online aggregator of development policy, practice and research at the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex, is conducting a survey to identify "the most significant new piece of development research of 2008." This strikes me as having roughly the same statistical validity as American Idol does for when it comes to finding new singing talent. Still, as with Idol and other talent shows, the entertainment value of a popularity contest is hard to dispute!

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