Showing posts for "Sustainable Development"
By continuing to spew greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, humanity is conducting the largest uncontrolled scientific experiment in the Earth’s 4.5 billion year history. The most recent assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change paints a dire portrait. Under a “business as usual” scenario, average global temperatures are predicted to rise by between 4.5 degrees and 14 degrees Fahrenheit—and temperatures at the earth’s poles are predicted to rise by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit over several decades. Even under the most optimistic scenario, which presumes unprecedented mitigation efforts, average global temperatures will almost certainly rise above the 2 degrees Celsius. The catastrophic implications will include melting polar icecaps, dramatic sea rise, mass extinction events, more extreme weather events, and the death of the world’s coral reefs from ocean acidification. Unfortunately for humanity, in the words of UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, “There is No Planet B.” Read more »
Below is a guest post by Alexandra Kerr, program coordinator in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.
Ahead of the G8 summit this June, economist Paul Collier remarked that “instead of preaching to poor countries or promising to double aid, which we never did anyway, the idea now is… to put [our] own house in order, in ways that are good for us and also good for Africa.” Prefacing the summit’s strong focus on transparency, Collier’s statement touches on a recent series of international actions that shift the approach to solving the problem of corruption in the extractives industry. Where countries with natural resource abundance have often been scrutinized for failure to turn their endowments into sustained wealth for their populations, the onus is now on the companies that partner with these states to extract natural resources, to instigate change. Consequently, a new paradigm is emerging wherein the extractives industry is increasingly accountable for its financial transactions—which, in remaining largely ungoverned, have contributed significantly to the “resource curse.” At the heart of this shift, transparency is taking center stage. Read more »
Last week the UN’s latest “High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons” released a long-awaited report on global development. The resulting document—A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development—is not only a good read, it’s also a compelling blueprint for extending prosperity to the world’s poor. Read more »
What world traveler hasn’t declined at least one local “delicacy”? A decade ago in Oaxaca, Mexico, I turned up my nose at chapulines, a steaming plate of toasted grasshoppers. “Tastes like chicken,” my waiter smiled unconvincingly. But overcoming disgust for “edible insects” may be the easiest way to meet global food needs, according to a fascinating, if occasionally stomach-churning, report from the UN’s Food and Agricultural Agency (FAO), based, of all places, in Rome. Read more »
Not long ago, concerns about environmental degradation were marginal in U.S. national security deliberations. What a difference climate change has made. Foreign policy officials and experts are starting to recognize profound linkages between planetary health, economic prosperity, and international security. These connections were on full view Wednesday, when the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) teamed up with Conservation International (CI) to convene a symposim,“Global Resources, the U.S. Economy, and National Security.” The livestreamed event (available here) assembled intelligence officials, development economists, defense experts, conservation biologists, and corporate executives to discuss the rapid degradation of the earth’s natural endowments and its dire implications for long term prosperity and stability. The provocative conversation ranged far beyond global warming to assess the implications of deforestation and desertification, collapsing fisheries, habitat destruction, and water scarcity. That these topics were broached at CFR—an august institution traditionally concerned with issues like Middle East peace, nuclear proliferation, or China’s rise—shows how central the subject of sustainability has become for foreign policy professionals. Read more »
For more than a decade, the global conversation about development has been dominated by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Established at the United Nations’ Millennium Summit of 2000, these eight objectives focused on what the international community could do to meet basic human needs in the developing world. Read more »
Next week, Obama will deliver his fourth (and perhaps last) speech from the podium in the Great Hall of the United Nations General Assembly. Given elections on November 6, the intended audience will, of course, be as much domestic as international.
The overall message of his address will be that “engagement” has paid off in spades, that the United States has restored its standing and good working relationships in New York, and that the hard work of retail diplomacy—of rolling up your sleeves and negotiating—has paid off. Read more »
This week, foreign policy took center stage in the presidential campaign, and it appears that it may stay in the conversation for Candidate Romney and President Obama next week as well. Listen to The World Next Week podcast, where Bob McMahon and I discuss the attack in Libya that killed four U.S. embassy personnel, the opening session of the sixty-seventh UN General Assembly, and the improvements of the Human Rights Council: Read more »
The Internationalist explores how new threats and rising powers are altering world politics and how multilateral institutions can adapt.
The IIGG program identifies the institutional requirements for effective multilateral cooperation in the twenty-first century.
The Global Governance Monitor tracks, maps, and evaluates multilateral efforts to address today's global challenges, including armed conflict, public health, climate change, ocean governance, financial coordination, and nuclear proliferation.