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In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
Climate change and development are closely intertwined. Poor people in developing countries will feel the impacts first and worst (and already are) because of vulnerable geography and lesser ability to cope with damage from severe weather and rising sea levels. In short, climate change will be awful for everyone but catastrophic for the poor.
Preventing dangerous climate change is critical for promoting global development. And saving tropical forests is essential to doing both. Frances Seymour and Jonah Busch's new book, Why Forests? Why Now?, illustrates how today—more than ever—saving forests is more feasible, affordable, and urgent.
Historically, the responsibility for climate change, though, rested with the rich countries that emitted greenhouse gases unimpeded from the Industrial Revolution on — and become rich by doing so. Now, some of the most quickly developing countries have become major emitter themselves just as all countries are compelled by the common good to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A major challenge of reaching a global deal on climate change was to find a way for poor countries to continue developing under the planetary carbon limits that rich countries have already pushed too far. That will involve scaling up finance to deploy clean technologies, to adapt to the effects of climate change, and to compensate countries that provide the global public good of reducing emissions, especially by reducing tropical deforestation.
CGD’s research and policy engagement on climate and development has had two aims: to strengthen the intellectual foundation for a viable international accord to come out of the COP 21 in Paris and to provide data, research, and analysis that policymakers and others can act upon even in the absence of an international agreement.
Many poor countries, especially in Africa, will miss the MDGs by a large margin. But neither African inaction nor a lack of aid will necessarily be the reason. Instead, responsibility for near-certain ‘failure’ lies with the overly-ambitious goals themselves and unrealistic expectations placed on aid. While the MDGs may have galvanized activists and encouraged bigger aid budgets, over-reaching brings risks as well. Promising too much leads to disillusionment and can erode the constituency for long-term engagement with the developing world.
CGD hosted Robert Watson, Chief Scientist & Director, Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network, The World Bank, for a seminar entitled "Environmental Degradation and Global Development: Findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment." The event was moderated by Stewart Patrick, Research Fellow, Center for Global Development.
Kevin Morrison, Department of Political Science, Duke University, presented Natural Resources, Aid, and Democratization: A Best-Case Scenario at a CGD seminar. Steve Knack, Research Department, World Bank served as the discussant.
The Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Global Development Network (GDN) convened an experts' research workshop on quantifying the impact of developed countries' policies on developing countries, at CGD in Washington, DC, on October 23rd and 24th, 2003.
The Center for Global Development (CGD) and Foreign Policy Magazine (FP) launched the Commitment to Development Index. The Index rates rich countries' contributions to global development through measures of their aid, trade, migration, investment, peacekeeping, and environmental policies.