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Can King Henry III’s royal decree governing bakers in 13th-century England teach us how to fight climate change, the greatest global challenge of the 21st century? I’m pretty sure it can. Let me explain...
After two weeks in Indonesia I returned to Washington to discover that fall had turned to winter in my absence. A new CGD Working Paper explains how the prospects of jurisdictional forest offsets have experienced a similar chill in California since first proposed in the late 2000s.
Two synthesis reports on the science of climate change released this week show just how much halting and reversing tropical deforestation could contribute to global efforts to avert global climate change, which threatens citizens of developing countries first and worst.
The results of Sunday’s runoff election in Brazil open a new chapter in the country’s fight against deforestation. Dilma Rousseff will have to overcome skepticism that she’s the right woman for the job, in light of perceptions that she privileged development at the expense of conservation during her first term as president.
On Monday October 20, Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) was inaugurated as president of Indonesia. As I wrote at the time of the election in July, Indonesia’s deforestation rate—now the world’s highest—and its oversized effect on global climate emissions are among the burning issues pressing for the attention of the new administration. But perhaps this is the only one that is literally burning.
Imagine a heavy rainstorm, typical in the wet tropics, falling on an intact hillside forest. The forest’s many levels of leaves and branches act like stacked umbrellas, softening the impact of the intense rain. Trees, shrubs, vines, mosses, and litter shield the soil from the direct impact of the rainfall, while roots act like underground nets holding the soil in place. After the storm has ended, roots and animal burrows transport the fallen water into the earth. At the same time trees pump water back into the sky as clouds, cooling the air and sending moisture downwind. Water also runs off overland feeding streams and rivers.