Recent extreme weather events in the US, Canada, Europe and beyond have shown the high-income countries how vulnerable it is to climate change—a feeling that lower- and middle-income countries have known for years. Germany’s actions over the past decade on climate finance have established it as a leader with climate negotiations and commitments on climate finance at a critical moment.
CGD Policy Blogs
The new foreign secretary, Liz Truss, will meet with the chancellor in the coming weeks to determine her department’s budget over the coming three years. If the chancellor maintains his current stance on counting aid spend even where it has no fiscal cost, and also treating the aid target as a ceiling rather than a floor, it would be like the tail wagging the dog,* with the Chancellor’s stance on the aid target (the tail in this case) directing the UK’s international approach (the much-weightier dog) instead of vice versa, as one would hope. And it could also mean the foreign secretary would have to implement a third round of cuts in UK aid in spring 2022.
In the UK’s recent comprehensive foreign policy review, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to resume spending 0.7 percent of gross national income on official development assistance (ODA) “when the fiscal situation allows.” This begs the question: when will the fiscal situation allow?
As the possibility of a new Cold War between the US and China gains traction in some foreign policy circles, the scale of Chinese development finance has taken center stage. A closer examination suggests the cost to China of this lending is distinctly underwhelming. It would be cheap for the US and Europe to match China’s lending numbers –and in the interest of global development if it was done right.
In new research released today, we show that the UK’s (non-aid) overseas spending via the EU—that helped support lower-income EU countries—is a substantial but often overlooked resource.
China’s policy commitment to development ranks 35th of the 40 countries in the CDI. Some of the results may seem counterintuitive: Most people know that China provides major levels of finance to Africa, and that it’s a big producer of greenhouse gases. However, after we take account of country size to enable comparisons between countries, our index ranks China last on development finance but well above the US and in the top ten on limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
The UK’s 2015 National Aid Strategy committed all departments to be “Very Good” or “Good” on Publish What You Fund’s Aid Transparency Index (“the Index”). We look at a leading indicator of transparency and conclude that, beyond DFID, progress has been almost non-existent. With a spending review to set budgets to 2022 expected next year, departments should take the last chance to step-up their performance and HM Treasury should not renew their spending if they don’t.
As the global trade powerhouses lurch towards protectionism, CGD’s Commitment to Development Index, released today, reveals which advanced economies have trade policies that support—or fail to support—lower-income countries.
Prime Minister Theresa May's recent speech in Cape Town may herald an inspiring new Africa-UK development partnership—but only if she can put that vision into action. Ian Mitchell and Hannah Timmis offer lessons from China, France, and the EU.