Climate change

Getting carbon inequality onto the political agenda: the lessons of Brexit

Duncan Green - July 29, 2016

Guest post from Dario Kenner who describes himself as ‘an independent researcher currently exploring the links between policies to reduce inequality and ecological footprints’ In a fascinating post-Brexit blog George Marshall makes comparisons between the Remain campaign and how to/how not to successfully communicate on climate change issues. He says while the Leave campaign had a compelling storyline based on Let’s Take Back Control the …

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Parts of the aid system just don’t work – the dismal cycle of humanitarian response

Duncan Green - July 21, 2016

Every now and then an email stops me in my tracks, reminding me that Oxfam is stuffed full of bright, motivated, altruistic people. Here’s one I got a few weeks ago from Debbie Hillier, one of our Humanitarian Policy Advisers, in response to my request for thoughts on the state of the aid business. Her views are fleshed out in ‘A Preventable Crisis’, a new …

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Desertification is a dangerous Myth – A new book explains why

Duncan Green - July 14, 2016

Oxfam researcher John Magrath reviews an explosive new book I started off life as a newspaper journalist so I appreciate the power of a good story. And that’s what the concept of desertification provides. Since the great Sahelian droughts of the 1970s and 1980s, we’ve become familiar with the idea that humans cause environmental desiccation and destruction on a huge scale; local people, usually, herders …

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Book Review: Eden 2.0: Climate Change and the Search for a 21st Century Myth, by Alex Evans

Duncan Green - July 1, 2016

In his new book, Eden 2.0 (just 68 pages, published today, but currently only available on Kindle, which is bad news for technophobes and tree killers like me, or people who dislike Amazon), Alex Evans asks a question that has been uppermost in every Remainer’s mind in recent days ‘if evidence and rational arguments aren’t enough, then what is?’ He is talking about climate change, …

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Michael Jacobs on how civil society and others achieved the Paris Climate Agreement

Duncan Green - April 20, 2016

A brilliant analysis by Michael Jacobs of the success factors behind last year’s Paris Climate Agreement appeared in Juncture, IPPR’s quarterly journal  recently. Jacobs unpacks the role of civil society (broadly defined) and political leadership. Alas, it’s over 4,000 words long, so as a service to my attention deficit colleagues in aid and development, here’s an abbreviated version (about a third the length, but if …

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Is Paris more like Kyoto or Montreal?

Duncan Green - December 16, 2015

Celine Charveriat, (@MCcharveriat) Oxfam’s Director of Advocacy & Campaigns, looks at what happens next and when/why international agreements actually get implemented. As the ink of the new Paris agreement is not yet dry, many are wondering whether this partly-binding package, which is not a treaty, stands any chance of reaching its target of capping global warming at a maximum 1.5 degree increase. After all, its …

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How on earth can you measure resilience? A wonk Q&A

Duncan Green - December 15, 2015

Resilience is one of today’s omnipresent development fuzzwords, applied to individuals, communities, businesses, countries, ideas and just about everything else. But how can it best be measured? To plug their new paper on the topic, Oxfam’s measurement wonks Jonathan Lain (left) and Rob Fuller (right) argue with their imaginary non-wonk friend…… So they’ve let the beancounters loose on resilience now. Do we really have to …

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China’s rise, Cyclone politics and extreme patronage: Impressions of Vanuatu

Duncan Green - December 10, 2015

As part of their support for the How Change Happens book, the Aussie government is also giving me a crash course in development in the Pacific. Last year, they took me to Papua New Guinea (blogs here), then last week, I headed for Vanuatu (small island archipelago, 270,000 population, best known – at least in the UK – for one island’s baffling reverence for Prince …

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You’re wrong Kate. Degrowth is a compelling word

Duncan Green - December 2, 2015

Giorgos Kallis responds to yesterday’s post on degrowth by Kate Raworth, plus you get a chance to vote My friend Kate Raworth ‘cannot bring herself to use the word’ degrowth. Here are nine reasons why I use it. 1. Clear definition. ‘Degrowth’ is as clear as it gets. Definitely no less clear than ‘equality’; or ‘economic growth’ for that matter (is it growth of welfare or …

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