European Briefings on Globalisation, North-South Relations and International Ecology

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Issue 5/Sep-Oct 2008

Article no: EN20090202-Issue-5-2008

Issue 5/Sep-Oct 2008

* New Climate Change Funds: Hurry Leads to Flurry. Lack of cohesion and risks of dysfunction
Northern donor countries in the last 18 months have pledged billions of dollars in new financial commitments to fight climate change. More than a dozen new bilateral and multilateral environmental funding mechanisms have been proposed. While the provision of new financial resources to address the most urgent challenges of climate change is commendable, even if long overdue, the question arises if in the rush to do good the donor governments have really done well, writes Liane Schalatek from Washington, DC.

* A Turning Point for Aid, Yet Which Direction? The Accra meeting on aid effectiveness
Northern and Southern governments meeting in Accra, Ghana on 2-4 September further defined how they intend to improve the effectiveness of aid by 2010. The true depth of reforms to come will reveal whether aid will finally be used as an instrument for justice, or whether more of the same failed aid, simply polished around the edges, will signal the beginning of the end of the international aid system. By Denise Auclair

* From Accra to New York to Doha. 5th 2015-Watch report on Europe?s MDG commitments
Alliance2015 has just published its fifth 2015-Watch. This year?s report addresses the question of whether Europe is on track to fulfil its MDG commitments. It analyses in considerable detail the extent to which the programming of European Commission (EC) aid is directed towards the achievement of the MDGs, and it finds a strong legal and policy framework, but much to be done on programming and implementation, report Birgit Dederichs-Bain and Olive Towey.

* UNCTAD Warns Africa to Overestimate Export Boom
Weak supply capacity - that is, a limited ability to produce the quantity and quality of goods required to respond to global demand for those goods - is the main obstacle to improved export performance in Africa, and explains why the continent has lost market share from 6% of world exports in 1980 to about 3% in 2007, UNCTAD says in its new Economic Development in Africa report (see reference). WDEV summarises the study.

* The Global Dam Industry: Lessons to Learn. Ilisu as the test case - Will Germany pull out?
The high drama over Turkey's Ilisu Dam continues. A new report by the official monitoring team demonstrates that the project continues to violate the conditions under which Austria, Germany and Switzerland agreed to fund the project. Ilisu has become a test case for the dam industry's efforts to strengthen the social and environmental acceptability of its projects, writes Peter Bosshard.

* Using SWFs for Self-Financing Development? A developmental view on sovereign wealth funds
A remarkable feature of the international financial system in the last decade has been the rapid and vast accumulation of foreign-exchange reserves by developing countries. World foreign reserves tripled from $2.1trillion in December 2001 to an unprecedented $6.5trillion in early 2008, according to IMF data. By Stephany Griffith-Jones, José Antonio Ocampo and Pietro Calice

WDEV 5/Sep-Oct 2008