Reframing climate change: how carbon reduction can also reduce poverty and inequality

Duncan Green - January 27, 2017

Given the events of 2016 we may well need to find additional ways of arguing for action on climate change.  Luckily, new evidence highlights additional incentives for action.  Ruth Mayne explores the ‘co-benefits’ of tackling climate change and the practical benefits they can bring to community and national development. We normally understand climate change as a collective action problem. The climate is a global public …

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Africa’s renewable future – the coming energy revolution

Duncan Green - June 5, 2015

Apologies for extra post today, but the guest posts and new papers are coming thick and fast. John Magrath, Oxfam researcher and renewable energy fan, celebrates a new report by Kofi Annan. In Zimbabwe last week I was talking to a nurse at a rural health centre who described how the cost of two candles can be a matter of health or hunger, or even life …

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Fighting inequality one city at a time: reclaiming public water and electricity in Delhi

Duncan Green - February 12, 2014

There’s a political earthquake going on in Delhi right now. Biraj Swain (Exfam India, now campaigning and researching on water) looks at its immediate impact on poor people’s access to water and electricity. Last month marked the first month in office of the anti-corruption movement turned political party, the Aam Admi ‘Common Man’ Party government in Delhi, India. Two days into office, they had made …

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‘Resource Futures': good new report on how to confront resource scarcity and conflict

admin - January 15, 2013

Looks like this is going to be crystal ball week on the blog – must be the time of year. Just read Resource Futures from Chatham House (inventors of the ubiquitous Chatham House Rule). The analysis is pretty good, but it really raises the bar on communication, with great interactive infographics and killer facts. Advocacy wonks everywhere, take note. The paper summarizes the key trends …

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To close the energy poverty gap, we need ideas, investment…and natural gas. Todd Moss responds to Hannah Ryder

admin - October 20, 2012

CGD’s Todd Moss responds to Hannah Ryder’s critique of his ‘let them burn fossil fuels’ line on energy poverty Thanks to Hannah for raising some good questions about my proposal that the US agency OPIC partially exempt the world’s lowest-income, lowest-emitting countries from the greenhouse gas cap. I think we both agree that 1.3 billion people without access to electricity in the 21st Century is inexcusable. …

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Why high carbon energy is the wrong solution for low income countries

admin - October 19, 2012

DFID staff break their duck as guest writers on FP2P with this post from Hannah Ryder (right), a regular blogger on the DFID site and Senior Economist specialising in climate change and low carbon growth Economists have a reputation for being sceptical – there is even a book called “the Skeptical Economist”. This has a lot to do with how it is taught. For instance, …

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Confronting scarcity by managing water, energy and land: the new European Report on Development

admin - June 13, 2012

I have skimmed a few of the curtain raisers for next week’s Earth Summit in Rio, and sure enough, they fall into the familiar pattern of ‘If I ruled (or at least ‘managed’) the world’ documents: a summary of the research evidence, a call to arms (in this case save planet and species, preferably both), and a shopping list of policy recommendations. In such reports, …

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How do we talk about resource limits, fair shares and development?

admin - July 22, 2011

Fascinating morning earlier this week discussing Alex Evans’ new paper for WWF and Oxfam on ‘Resource Scarcity, fair shares and development’. Alex summarizes the paper in the Guardian, so I won’t rehearse his arguments for adding ‘fair shares’ to the more accepted topics of responding to resource scarcity by increasing production and strengthening resilience. Instead, here are some reflections coming out of the discussion + …

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When energy comes to a Senegalese village, do people get more healthy, wealthy and wise?

admin - December 10, 2010

John Magrath is an Oxfam researcher currently working on renewable energy Hats off to Sarah Best for her recent post on energy and in particular, for highlighting the excellent new Practical Action report, Poor People’s Energy Outlook 2010. I’ve been delving into energy issues too lately. I’ve just come back from Senegal, where I was trying to get clearer in my own mind what exactly is …

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What should Oxfam be doing on renewables? Your advice, please

admin - June 16, 2010

Wisdom of crowds time. We’re doing some thinking on renewable energy and energy poverty (which affects about 1.5-2bn people), and thought we’d pick your brains. My colleague John Magrath has written this guest blog as an opener, and I’ll run a few posts on energy-related issues over the next few days. Over to John: As an NGO we’ve never done much work in the field. …

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