CGD Policy Blogs
Climate Disagreement Makes Headlines during Clinton's Asia Trip—But the Good News Should Be Part of the Story, Too
International cooperation on climate change got bad press during Secretary Clinton’s Asia trip this month, when Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh rebuffed Washington's position that advanced developing countries should take on emission caps. The New York Times story “Meeting Shows U.S.-India Split On Emissions” started with a description of a tour of an innovative, energy-efficient office building:
Congress should focus U.S. foreign assistance on human and economic development to buttress vulnerable societies against the inevitable impacts of climate change, CGD senior fellow David Wheeler told members of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment at a congressional hearing last week.
The G8 leaders gathering in L’Aquila, Italy for their annual summit have an opportunity to help developing countries escape the worst impacts of the financial downturn. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s ambitious agenda for the meeting outlines a list of priorities that directly affect short- and long-term development in these countries. The agenda includes climate change, development in Africa, dialogue with developing countries, and the Millennium Goals.
This is a joint post with Matt Hoffman.
Carbon offsets -- granting rights to emit greenhouse gases beyond a stated ceiling in exchange for contributions to cutting emissions elsewhere -- are an important part of the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill now making its way through the U.S. Congress. Offsets have plenty of appeal, but in practice they have a poor track record. And there are less risky, lower cost ways to achieve similar goals.
A Transformational North Africa/Middle East Solar Power Program: Bright Prospect for the Clean Technology Fund
This is a joint post with Joel Meister and Matt Hoffman.
The May 11-12th meeting of the Clean Technology Fund’s Trust Fund Committee will consider a proposed $6-8 billion solar thermal power program for North Africa and the Middle East, according to the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds website. The concept note, Clean Technology Fund: Concept Note for a Concentrated Solar Power Scale-up Program in the Middle East and North Africa Region, cites CGD research on solar radiation potential in the region and is the most encouraging sign yet of CTF stakeholders’ commitment to clean energy development.
My friend Nathalie Johnson is one of my personal heroes. For the better part of two decades, she has worked tirelessly at the World Bank to conserve biodiversity while promoting sustainable livelihoods for the rural people of Africa. Fiercely proud of being a field biologist in an institution dominated by economists, Nathalie has turned out to be one of the finest applied economists I know.
You could be forgiven for thinking that national action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is going nowhere. This article in yesterday’s Washington Post describes the persistent hand-wringing inside the Beltway about the putative cost of cap-and-trade regulation. The argument continues although, as I and many others have argued, the U.S.
Yesterday, the G20 leaders released a statement that commits the World Bank and the other MDB’s to financing low-carbon growth:
We will make the transition towards clean, innovative, resource efficient, low carbon technologies and infrastructure. We encourage the MDBs to contribute fully to the achievement of this objective.
Countries importing Chinese goods should be responsible for the heat-trapping gases released during manufacturing, a top Chinese official said yesterday…. "As one of the developing countries, we are at the low end of the production line for the global economy. We produce products, and these products are consumed by other countries.... This share of emissions should be taken by the consumers, but not the producers."
-Associated Press, March 17, 2009