17 March 2010

CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION POLICIES IN SELECTED OECD COUNTRIES: TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT IMPLICATIONS FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. By Diarmuid Torney and Moustapha Kamal Gueye. ICTSD, December 2009. Activity to date in the attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been patchy and slow, and many governments are failing to live up to past commitments. Nonetheless, policies to mitigate climate change are becoming increasingly widespread and progressively more demanding, especially among countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Many developing country trade policy-makers and negotiators remain on the fringe of the climate change debate. This issue paper seeks to provide trade negotiators and policy-makers with an overview of the current state of play of domestic climate change measures being implemented or considered in selected OECD countries - Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan, and the US - that may have trade and development implications for developing countries. This paper focuses on five key issues as they relate to the trade and development concerns of developing countries: border measures, renewables, standards and labels, fiscal stimulus packages and Kyoto Protocol measures. This publication can be accessed at:

THE NEW ECONOMICS: A BIGGER PICTURE. By David Boyle and Andrew Simms. Earthscan, 2009. The authors argue that economics sometimes seems to be stacked against social, environmental and individual well-being, but that it does not have to be like this. Rather, they write about a new approach to economics - deriving as much from Ruskin and Schumacher as from Keynes or Smith - which is beginning to emerge. Sceptical about money as a measure of success, this ‘new economics' questions assumptions about wealth and poverty. It measures wealth by increased well-being and environmental sustainability rather than only possession and consumption. An accessible and straightforward guide to the new economics, it describes the problems and contradictions of ‘conventional economics' as well as the principles of the emerging new economics, and it tells real-world stories of how new economics is being successfully put into practice around the world. For more information or to purchase the book, please visit:

ASSESSING THE FINANCIAL VULNERABILITY TO CLIMATE-RELATED NATURAL HAZARDS. By Reinhard Mechler, Stefan Hochrainer, Georg Pflug, Alexander Lotsch and Keith Williges. World Bank, March 2010.  National governments are key actors in managing the impacts of extreme weather events, yet many highly exposed developing countries have been unable to raise sufficient and timely capital to replace or repair damaged infrastructure and restore livelihoods after major disasters, hampering development and exacerbating poverty. Based on the past 30 years, this working paper finds many developing countries, in particular small island states, to be highly financially vulnerable and experiencing a ‘resource gap' where net disaster losses exceed all available financing. This has three main implications. First, efforts to reduce risk need to be ramped-up to lessen the serious human and financial burdens. Second, there is a case for country risk aversion - calamity funds, regional insurance pools, contingent credit arrangements - implying that disaster risks faced by some governments cannot be absorbed without major difficulty. Third, financially vulnerable countries are unlikely to be able to implement pre-disaster risk financing instruments themselves and require technical and financial assistance from the donor community. This publication can be viewed here.

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