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.

 

Bali: Disaster Loomed and Everyone Blinked. Now Let's Get Serious, Fast

The White House finally blinked in the final hours of the UN's Bali Conference on Climate Change. The catalyst may have been the unprecedented boos and hisses directed at the US delegation from the floor, or the peremptory challenge from Kevin Conrad, Papua New Guinea's representative: "If for some reason you are not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us. Please, get out of the way." Confronted by the prospect of pariah status, the US dropped its categorical resistance to emissions reduction targets and permitted their inclusion in a footnote to the final agreement.

Down and Out in Bali: U.N. Climate Change Negotiations So Far Lack Urgency

I'm in one of the world's most beautiful places, and I am seriously bummed. Few people had much in the way of expectations for the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bali -- its purpose is to simply set the terms for negotiations over the next two years -- but I had retained a modicum of hope. I was especially hopeful that, in light of the IPCC's synthesis report and mountains of observational evidence of rapidly changing climate, we would see a new sense of urgency in the talks.

Is Google The Solution To Africa's Energy Needs?

The search engine giant Google (google.com) announced yesterday that it will spend $500 million (or 3 percent of its cash holdings) on developing inexpensive energy alternatives to coal. The goal is to lower the costs of solar, geothermal and wind energy to produce 1 gigawatt of energy at costs that are lower than coal. Google says that it aims to accomplish this task in 10 years and is optimistic that it will take even less time than that.

The Power of Sunlight: Calls for Corporate Transparency and Public Disclosure of Greenhouse Gas Emissions are Growing Louder by the Day

As public demand for a climate-conscious government grows, so does the proposed legislation in Congress. At least half a dozen bills aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions have now been introduced. But even if these bills were passed and entered into law today, many would not take effect for at least three years – perhaps longer given the prospect of legal delays. At the same time, the window for action is quickly closing.

Bangkok Delusions: Why the South Should Act Now on Carbon Emissions

This week, the third working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is meeting in Bangkok to finalize its report on measures to curb global carbon emissions. According to numerous press accounts (see for example, the AFP report in the Hindustani Times: India, China, Brazil Hold Up Climate Change Talks), China, India and Brazil have slowed the proceedings by demanding that the North accept its dominant role in climate change.

Pages