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On World Humanitarian Day: Invest in Climate Adaptation to Reduce Future Humanitarian Need

Every year on August 19, World Humanitarian Day commemorates those humanitarian workers who have lost their lives. This year, the organizers have broadened the scope of commemoration by issuing a call to action on the climate crisis, to pressure world leaders to take meaningful climate action for the world’s most vulnerable people, ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference this November.

A girl points at a blackboard covered in writing. Photo by Chau Doan / World Bank

Five Ways That Education Systems Can Support Girls in the Face of Climate Change, Today

In an accompanying blog we argue that girls’ education is unlikely to reduce future emissions, and that we should not think of girls in low-income countries as ‘assets’ to solve a climate crisis. But there is a link between education and climate change—it’s just the other way around. Here are five ways in which climate events are negatively impacting young people, especially girls, and how education systems can help tackle them.

Students in a classroom in Bangladesh. Photo by Dominic Chavez / World Bank

Fund Girls’ Education. Don’t Greenwash It.

You might think girls' education and climate change are quite different issues. But, with money for and political attention on climate change growing, savvy education donors and advocacy organisations are increasingly making links between the two. The UK’s FCDO, for instance, claims girls in poor countries are “among the greatest assets we have in responding to the climate crisis.” 

We argue this strategy is empirically and morally flawed. There is no need to greenwash education.

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.  

Photo of a farmer harvesting mung beans in Preah Vihear, Cambodia. Photo: Chhor Sokunthea, World Bank

“Two Birds, No Stones”: A Global Initiative to Combine Rural Social Protection with Climate Resilience

COVID-19 has inflicted unequal burdens across countries, across generations, and across the urban-rural divide, deepening existing inequalities. But the COVID economic crisis has also created opportunities for bold, cross-cutting thinking. The need for more robust social protection programs in lower-income countries is clearer than ever, and we have a chance to tackle the other most pressing problem of our time, climate change, in the design of those programs

An image of a coal power plant in South Africa

Three Ways to Ensure COP-26 Delivers for Poor People

Three ways that COP-26 could deliver for those countries are to properly define what counts as “new and additional” climate finance, make sure carbon markets rather than aid pays for the additional costs of mitigation in poorer developing countries, and agree to exempt the poorest countries from carbon tariffs.

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