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An image of the seas off the coast of Belize.

Belize’s Big Blue Debt Deal: At Last, A Scalable Model?

Last Friday, the Government of Belize alongside the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the Nature Conservancy (TNC) announced the financial close of the largest blue bond for Ocean Conservation to date. The program enables Belize to convert its existing Eurobond (i.e. foreign currency bonds issued on the international market) into blue debt that it will use to implement its national marine conservation agenda.

A worker stands next to the heliostats at the Cerro Dominador solar power plant in Chile

For Richer Countries, Climate Mitigation Should Begin at Home

The world’s poorest countries—those classified as low- and lower-middle-income—contribute just one seventh of global emissions despite being home to half of the global population. A just solution to these countries’ dual challenges of climate change and development should be a central concern of the COP, and political realities suggest the best thing richer countries could do in that regard is develop cost-competitive low carbon technologies as a byproduct of speeding their own path to decarbonization.

A graphic of an interconnected globe.

The Future of Globalization

Amidst the debate, fears, political polarization, and regrets surrounding globalization, we cannot ignore a central reality: much of it is not reversible or even resistable. As in other periods of human history where new connections are forged between geographies and civilizations—whether driven by empire building, technological change, regime change, or climate change-driven migration—Pandora’s Box, once opened, cannot be closed. We explore the major forces that will shape globalization in the future, and the policy and institutional changes needed globally and across a broad swath of countries.

USAID Administrator Samantha Power speaks at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Power Play: USAID's Administrator Makes the Case for Global Engagement, More Focus on Effectiveness

USAID Administrator Samantha Power appeared before House and Senate authorizing committees late last week to discuss the agency’s FY22 budget. It wasn’t surprising to hear Administrator Power make a case for strong US global engagement—including robust aid investments and continued commitment to humanitarian response. But she also demonstrated—in a number of important ways—a clear-eyed focus on development effectiveness. Below we highlight several issues we were glad to see receive attention.  

A crop of the cover of Your World, Better by Charles Kenny

Your World, Better?

The last eighteen months have shattered any pretense that global development can be taken as given. As ‘impatient optimist’ Bill Gates declared “The COVID-19 pandemic has not only stopped progress — it's pushed it backwards.” Beyond health, the COVID-19 crisis increased global poverty as well as national level inequality and cut into education.

An image showing several gold bars.

The IMF’s Gold: A Global Resource or a Chimera?

The market value of the IMF’s gold—about US$170 billion at end 2020—far exceeds its historic cost on the Fund’s balance sheet of under $5 billion. Not surprisingly, this has led some to see the IMF’s gold as a “free” resource that should be tapped to meet pressing global needs. And these calls have become louder as the demands of meeting new challenges—from climate change to the pandemic—have confronted flat or shrinking aid budgets.

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