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CGD Policy Blogs

 

Coal or No Coal? A Burning Question for the World Bank

Over the past few months, quite a bit of high-level rhetoric has surrounded World Bank funding of coal projects in developing countries. On one side, Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, stated that “it is no longer necessary [for the World Bank to invest in coal projects] because we have many other technologies that can come forward.” On the other side, World Bank president Jim Kim stated that “we will look for everything we can possibly do to avoid [coal projects] but look, poor people should not pay the price with their lives of mistakes that people have been making in the developed world for a very long time.”

Seeing Africa as Business Partner, Not Charity: Todd Moss and Scott Morris on Obama’s Trip to Africa

To get a sense of what this trip means for Obama’s African legacy and the expectations of his hosts, I invited CGD vice president Todd Moss and visiting fellow Scott Morris to be my guests on this week’s Wonkcast. Todd and Scott served as deputy assistant secretaries in the George Walker Bush and Obama administrations, respectively, Todd in the State Department (where he was oversaw US relations with west Africa) and Scott at Treasury (where he was responsible for the US role in multilateral institutions, including the African Development Bank). I’m eager to hear whether or not their views differ on how Obama can best build a stronger relationship with Africa.

Don’t Count the IMF Out on the Hill

As expected, the president’s budget includes a request for Congress to approve US participation in the 2010 IMF quota reform agreement.  There’s a very strong case for approving the request, and I’ll simply point you herehere, and here to read it in detail.  Suffice it to say, the IMF is a bargain for US taxpayers, promoting growth and stability globally in ways that directly benefit the US economy and often working in support of US strategic interests around the world. 

Will the United States Be Able to Go Big on the African Development Fund This Year?

Will donors be able to “go big” on the African Development Fund (AfDF) this year, even if they want to?  Here in the United States, budget austerity and restrictive funding rules stack the deck against any bold moves when it comes to multilateral contributions.  But I think boldness in support of smart multilateral investments like AfDF may still be possible, and the United Kingdom’s multilateral aid review just might offer some clues on how to get there.   

Smoke Signals from Manila?

Morris, a newly arrived CGD visiting policy fellow, was previously the deputy assistant secretary for development finance and debt at the U.S. Treasury Department, where he led US engagement with the multilateral development banks.

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