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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.


IMF Leadership: OK for Now, but Fixing the Process Shouldn’t Wait

Christine Lagarde is now firmly in place at the IMF, and her competence, political savvy, and good humor bode well for the institution and the global economy.  Indeed, with the crisis in the eurozone upon us, the results of CGD’s spring survey on how a managing director should be chosen at the IMF may feel behind the moment if not the times—but anyone with five minutes to spare should take a look at David Wheeler’s analysis of the results.

Lagarde and the Dragon: The IMF’s New Head Confronts a Rapidly Changing World

Judging from her first public speech since taking office last July, Christine Lagarde is all that her many supporters say she is: tough-minded, articulate, charming.  In a talk hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington’s Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, she deftly laid out key challenges facing the global economy: “an anemic and bumpy recovery with unacceptably high unemployment” in the high-income countries, the debt crisis in Europe, and mounting public debt in the United States.

Obama Set to Lob Canadian Carbon Bomb at India

President Obama is widely expected to approve this year the construction of a massive new oil pipeline from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to Texas refineries along the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting boost in the emissions of heat-trapping gases has been called the world’s biggest carbon bomb. India would be among its primary victims.

The Revelation of Paul: A Perspective on The Great Disruption, by Paul Gilding

As a child of the American South and Midwest, I have more than a passing acquaintance with fundamentalist Christian apocalyptics.  So I was immediately struck by the resemblance when I read The Great Disruption, by Paul Gilding.  His book has stirred considerable excitement in the environmental community, and has recently been lauded by Tom Friedman in a New York Times column.  Its description of an imminent apocalypse is eerily similar to the Biblical

Surprise: Poor Countries Are Shouldering the Costs of Combating Climate Change

Progress toward an international agreement to cut CO2 emissions has been stymied by disputes about burden-sharing between rich and poor countries.  Many participants assume that poor countries will only begin to reduce emissions after an agreement is signed.  This conflict has been shaped by the view that clean energy development is an expensive game that only the rich countries have been playing.  Another view is that developing countries should only join the game if rich countries provide compensation, or when technological advances in the rich countries make clean energy competit

Obama Won’t Say the “C-Word” as Rich Countries Let Poor Countries Do the Heavy Lifting on Climate

A recent report from the Stockholm Environment Institute contains a shocker: developing countries’ pledges to cut the emissions of heat-trapping gases under the Cancun Agreements exceed the pledges of the high-income countries. This is despite the fact that the developed countries have far higher per capita emissions and are responsible for most of the atmospheric load that is driving global weirding.