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CGD explores the role and impact of climate finance and broader economic policy in assisting developing countries.
The effects of climate change are already being seen throughout the world, and it is clear that a fundamental change in the world’s economy will be needed if the planet is to survive. Lower income countries will be among those most affected by climate change; yet they have contributed least to global emissions, with the poorest 52 countries, home to 1.4bn people contributing less than 2% of global emissions.
As the world adjusts to a new climate reality, CGD experts are exploring the role climate finance and wider economic policy can have in assisting developing countries to adapt to whatever economic order may emerge. How can higher income countries and international financial institutions best support developing countries confronting the challenges of climate change? How can the COVID-19 recovery support the changes needed for long-term resilience and sustainability?
South Africa and many other countries hope to aggressively expand wind and solar power (WSP) in the coming decades. This presents significant challenges for power system planning. Success hinges largely on the question of how and where to deploy WSP technologies. Well-designed deployment strategies can take advantage of natural variability in resources across space and time to help minimize costs, maximize benefits, and ensure reliability.
Forests provide a wealth of public services and private goods, yet forested land is being steadily converted to other uses, including cropland, pasture, mining, and urban areas, which can generate greater private economic returns. Public concern over the benefits of forests lost due to deforestation has led to a variety of deliberate policies intended to slow the rate of deforestation. These efforts benefit from research to understand what factors drive deforestation and what policies can effectively stop it.
Senior fellow David Wheeler quantifies and makes available in this dataset the vulnerability of 233 countries to three major effects of climate change (weather-related disasters, sea-level rise, and reduced agricultural productivity).
At this time of the year, sparkling trees and decorated lawns have taken over. A 2008 study from the US Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that decorative seasonal lights accounted for 6.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity consumption every year in the United States. That’s just 0.2% of the country’s total electricity usage, but it could run 14 million refrigerators. It’s also more than the national electricity consumption of many developing countries, such as El Salvador, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nepal, or Cambodia.