At the One Planet Summit in Paris last week, the World Bank Group announced that, from 2019, it will no longer finance upstream oil and gas. This reflects the Bank’s decision to realign its development assistance with climate commitments. But how does this square with the priorities of those countries that want to use their fossil fuels to drive economic growth and improve access to energy? And can it meaningfully affect CO2 emissions, when alternative sources of investment and assistance are still available for oil and gas development?
Between 2000 and 2015, around $4.8 billion of official development assistance went to upstream oil and gas development, and $22.2 billion to (often-linked) thermal power generation.… Seguir leyendo »
After 21 years of negotiations, the littoral countries of the Caspian Sea – Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan – are apparently close to agreeing the sea’s legal status. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that the text of a convention on delimitation was settled at a December meeting with his four counterparts. According to Lavrov, the Caspian presidents will meet in the first half of 2018 in Astana to finally sign.
Russia has been trying a change of tack. Rather than carrying out unwieldy five-sided negotiations, President Vladimir Putin now seems to be favouring bilateral and trilateral approaches. This may be yielding results beyond mere carving up of the sea: Russia has had more effective and flexible separated dialogue with neighbouring countries, based on common interests with each of them, but which are not necessarily shared by all five countries.… Seguir leyendo »
Seven years after enacting radical new constitutional provisions to tackle the marginalization and under-representation of women, the fight for equality in Kenya remains far from won. Although small but significant gains by women have been made – including the election of Kenya’s first female senators and governors – the constitution still requires that not more than two-thirds of elective or appointed public bodies be of the same gender. This is commonly referred to as the “two-thirds gender rule”.
In 2017, just 23 women were elected to the National Assembly (from 290 contested seats) and three women were to the Senate (from 47 contested seats).… Seguir leyendo »
Interest in the circular economy has grown over the past decade in recognition that current rates of resource consumption are unsustainable. The shift to a more sustainable model of economic growth requires a circular economy in which products are recycled, repaired or reused, and waste from one process is used as an input into others.
In 2015, the Paris climate agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals both highlighted the urgent need for ‘transformative’ approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and resource use. At the same time, a circular economy is being made possible by advances in information technology. Digital eBay-style marketplaces for waste products and materials are, for example, being piloted in the US and ‘trace and return’ software is allowing firms to track products in the economy to optimize use and facilitate repairs and upgrading.… Seguir leyendo »