How to use research for influence on climate change and Arab meltdown; why aid donors are losing the plot; green growth v degrowth; Darth Vader on youtube: links I liked

Center for Global Development is great at spotting opportunities for influence, not least by dusting off and recycling previous work in response to events – a key, and often under-used, way of getting research into policy (academics are often too caught up with their next project, and NGOs with their next campaign, to spot opportunities in this way). The Korean government wants an international ‘Climate Vulnerability Index’ to steer allocation of funding for adaptation? Here’s one the CGD’s David Wheeler made earlier. Any views? Upheaval in the Arab world? Off the shelf comes CGD’s Arvind Subramanian’s proposals for turning oil revenues into direct cash transfers. Plus a nice summary of the increasing divorce between geopolitical reality and the assumptions of Western aid donors from CGD’s Todd Moss. Another of my favourite blogs, Political Climate disagrees with the de-growthers at New Economics Foundation (alas, much more politely than in this previous assault) Political Climate also looks at how the UK is running to stand still on carbon emissions: ‘As energy efficiency increases, we use part of the savings we make to consume more energy, and overall the impacts of energy efficiency are much less than we think. Despite the fact that the UK economy is almost two and half times bigger than it was in 1970, the UK now uses almost exactly the same amount of energy in total as it did then.’ Any contradiction between those two posts? Discuss. Finally, it may be entirely irrelevant (at least to international development), but because it’s Friday, a decidedly ‘ah, sweet’ VW ad [h/t Global Dashboard’s Alex Evans, who seems to spend even more time on youtube than I do] It’s not the best Darth Vader youtube though – that honour belongs to the legendary lego version of Eddie Izzard’s Darth Vader in the Death Star canteen sketch. Click here to start the weekend  in a good mood.]]>

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2 Responses to “How to use research for influence on climate change and Arab meltdown; why aid donors are losing the plot; green growth v degrowth; Darth Vader on youtube: links I liked”
  1. No contradiction whatsoever. Matthew’s point is that the rebound effect isn’t necessarily as significant as it is sometimes argued, so while the UK economy has grown significantly since 1970, energy use hasn’t. This suggests that growth, energy use and emissions can be delinked. Entirely consistent with my polite (I’m not as rude as Lockwood) arguments on growth.

  2. Hi Duncan
    Actually the post on energy efficiency isn’t about running to stand still on carbon emissions, but about running fast on economic growth and standing still on energy use (this is actually quite impressive if you think about it). But the key point is that energy use is not the same thing as carbon emissions. In fact one of the points that Andrew makes in his Chinadialogue piece on the growth/degrowth debate is that there is, in principle, limitless energy available form the sun, and energy use is not a long term constraint on growth (although carbon emissions are). There is a relationship between energy use and carbon emissions, but that relationship is determined by the state of technology, which is something that we can (and must) do something about.I don’t actually see there is any contradiction between the two posts at all.