Kevin Watkins (Continuación)

Thomas Malthus, the 18th-century cleric, must be chuckling in his grave. As world leaders gather in Rome for the UN summit on hunger, his grim prediction that humanity faced a future of rising food prices and mounting malnutrition has finally arrived at the centre of the international agenda. Unfortunately, the summit itself has all the hallmarks of a sideshow to the real crisis in malnutrition.

Maize and rice have almost doubled in price over the past year. In Britain, higher food prices cause pain on the high street. For the roughly 1 billion people living on less than $1 a day, many of whom spend 80% or more of their income on food, they threaten malnutrition and ill-health.…  Seguir leyendo »

As governments meeting in Bali reach the end of UN climate change negotiations today, one question remains unanswered. Will the world's richest nations underpin any agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a plan for transferring low-carbon technology and finance to developing countries? If not, any deal to replace the Kyoto protocol is destined for failure.If we are to avoid the catastrophic reversals in human development that will follow in the wake of climate change, we need to more than halve emissions of greenhouse gases. That will not happen without a global accord that decarbonises growth and extends access to affordable energy in the developing world: a shake-up in energy policy backed by a programme similar to the post-second world war Marshall plan.…  Seguir leyendo »

If talking could cut greenhouse gas emissions, then this would be a good week for international action on climate change. It opened with more than 80 speeches from governments at a special session on the issue at the UN, and will close with a two-day "summit" in the White House bringing together all the world's major emitters. The bad news is that we are still heading steadfastly in the direction of an avoidable climate catastrophe.

The special session was a bold effort by the secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, to instill urgency into climate negotiations. His aim: to prepare the ground for an international treaty with real, enforceable limits on greenhouse gas emissions.…  Seguir leyendo »