Earlier this year, I wrote about the ban on the international financing of fossil fuels, proposed by Special Envoy John Kerry and others. I argued that such a ban would be particularly devastating for poor countries that are reliant on institutions such as the World Bank to finance much-needed energy projects. For now, the world’s richest countries (also the largest shareholders in the World Bank) have allowed the financing of natural gas projects when no other alternative is available. But this may not last long,
CGD Policy Blogs
The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is the $60 billion agency that’s supposed to catalyze investment to capital-starved countries, bolster job-creation in emerging markets, and support US foreign policy. The BUILD Act which created the DFC was a bipartisan bill, carefully crafted to overcome long-standing objections from both liberals and conservatives to its beleaguered predecessor agency. Recent actions from the Hill and the White House, each one arguably unobjectionable on its own, all add up to a highly worrying erosion of the DFC’s mandate—that threaten both the political bargain that sustains the agency and US strategic goals across Africa.
Bitcoin has failed to live up to the hype that it would democratize finance by enabling cheap, instantaneous, and secure payments that could be conducted without having to rely on stodgy old financial institutions like banks and credit card companies. And the Bitcoin network’s spiraling energy needs are truly staggering when compared to other potential uses.
We see six major benefits of these investments for both Mozambique and the new US agency that cut across development, economic, and security interests, outlined below.
Providing reliable electricity is complex and expensive: large power plants can be billion-dollar investments. As a result, a growing number of cash-strapped developing countries are signing power purchase agreements with electricity providers to shift investment costs to the private sector.
The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is considering a change to its current ban on financing projects with a nuclear reactor, a relic holdover policy from its predecessor agency OPIC.
Amid the ongoing discussions at COP25, Arthur Baker rekindles “SkyShares"—a CGD idea that would lock in emissions reductions at the lowest possible cost and support developing countries’ poverty reduction efforts. Explore the interactive framework.
For the past 18 months, CGD has incubated the Energy for Growth Hub, a new initiative dedicated to the idea that energy should be an enabler, not a barrier, to human potential. The Hub is now ready to fly on its own.
Mobile phones provide a useful insight for energy: not that you can leapfrog a modern power system, but that most energy use happens out of sight. In fact, less than 1% of the energy needed for a smartphone is used by the phone.