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  • Author: Simon Bolwig, Peter Gibbon
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Carbon labelling or 'footprinting' of products poses several challenges for developing countries including costs, the availability of relevant data, and the implicit bias of Northern standards against labour-intensive manufacturing. Donors can help alleviate these problems through supporting Southern research institutions in calculating footprints for locally-produced products, by helping to develop comprehensive and user-friendly open access databases, and by insisting that emerging standards in the area are non-discriminatory
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Sudan is sliding towards violent breakup. The main mechanisms to end conflicts between the central government and the peripheries – the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the Darfur Peace Agreement and the East Sudan Peace Agreement – all suffer from lack of implementation, largely due to the intransigence of the National Congress Party (NCP). Less than thirteen months remain to ensure that national elections and the South Sudan self-determination referendum lead to democratic transformation and resolution of all the country's conflicts. Unless the international community, notably the U.S., the UN, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council and the Horn of Africa Inter-Government Authority on Development (IGAD), cooperate to support both CPA implementation and vital additional negotiations, return to North-South war and escalation of conflict in Darfur are likely.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, South Sudan
  • Author: Helle Munk Ravnborg, Henrik Egelyng, Mikkel Funder, Jacob Fjalland
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Development cooperation between the North and the Least Developed Countries should not just focus on adaptation to climate change. There are real and sustained benefits to be had for Least Developed Countries from engaging in approaches and practices that mitigate future emissions and at the same time support poverty alleviation and economic development. However, not all low-carbon development is pro-poor, and some options offer far better benefits for the poor than others.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Globalization
  • Author: Uri Dadush, Lauren Falcao
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: More than 200 million people reside in a country that is not their birthplace. This “diaspora nation” of migrants outranks all but four of the world's countries in population. These migrants make an immense economic contribution both to their host country and to their home country, primarily through transfers of money they earn back to their home country, which are known as “remittances.” About 82 percent of migrants originate in developing countries, and their remittances, which amounted to an estimated $305 billion in 2008, represent an essential source of foreign exchange for these countries, as well as a major instrument in the fight against poverty.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Migration, Immigration, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Dubai
  • Author: Michael Pettis
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In September, the Obama administration imposed tariffs on Chinese tires. In October, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it would launch an investigation into imports of seamless steel pipes from China. That same month, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.–China Business Council, two groups that in the past have defended Chinese policies, testified to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative that Chinese contracting rules, technical standards, and licensing requirements were protectionist.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Marina Ottaway
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The U.S. administration is under pressure to revive democracy promotion efforts in the Middle East, but momentum toward political reform has stalled in most of the region. Opposition parties are at low ebb, and governments are more firmly in control than ever. While new forms of activism, such as labor protests and a growing volume of blogging critical of government and opposition parties have become widespread, they have yet to prove effective as means of influencing leaders to change long-standing policies.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: India's Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, will come to Washington on November 24, 2009, for the first state visit hosted by President Barack Obama. This event will be widely viewed as evidence of the importance attached to maintaining the upward trajectory in U.S.–Indian relations. By all accounts, the two leaders have already established a good working relationship—something skeptics feared was impossible given the prime minister's warm regard for President George W. Bush and the differences between Bush and Obama on many issues involving India. The global economic crisis, however, appears to have enhanced the personal collaboration between the two leaders, as many of Singh's ideas for stimulating the global revival have been backed by Obama in various forums, including most recently at the Group of Twenty's summit in Pittsburgh.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Climate Change, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, India
  • Author: Randal O'Toole
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Sometime in 2010 or 2011, Congress expects to decide how to spend the $250 billion or more of federal gas taxes and other highway user fees that will be collected over the next six years. The process of doing so is called surface transportation reauthorization. A major point of contention in this law is how much of our transportation system should be centrally planned and how much should be built and operated in response to the needs of actual transportation users.
  • Topic: Economics, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Melissa L. Finucane
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The Pacific Islands are extraordinarily vulnerable to the effects of climate change. And although policymakers are turning to science to answer questions of how communities should deal with climate challenges, scientific knowledge is only one element of an effective risk-management process. The people of the Pacific Islands hold diverse beliefs about climate change and these beliefs inform their decisions. In addition, a dynamic social context influences the extent to which people are able to respond meaningfully to climate impacts. To solve the climate crisis, policymakers need to set a risk-management agenda that integrates sound science with an understanding of how that science is interpreted and translated into action in society. They will need to work not only with scientists, but also with cultural leaders, theologians, philosophers, and community groups. Lessons learned in the Pacific region, along with broader knowledge about factors affecting human decisionmaking, illustrate how policymakers can bridge the gap between climate science and society to facilitate adaptation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin, Peter Wilcoxen, Adele Morris
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)'s 2007 Bali Plan of Action calls for the next agreement to ensure the "comparability of efforts" across developed countries while "taking into account differences in their national circumstances." Trends in national emissions and economic growth vary widely between countries, as do yearto-year fluctuations around those trends. This means that achieving similar reductions relative to historical base years can require very different levels of efforts in different countries. These differences have greatly hampered climate cooperation because it means that commitments that are similar in effort look inequitable. Further, divergent underlying trends make it difficult to know the effort that any particular commitment will require. The failure of the G-8 to set a base year for its agreed 80 percent reduction of emissions by 2050 illustrates the contention in formulating even collective targets.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements