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swine flu

Today: Ask questions to health expert about H1N1 virus

James I Davison's picture

El pronóstico para el cambio climático (i) ha cambiado sin lugar a dudas de la noche a la mañana, con ciertas noticias positivas para el planeta y para el crecimiento económico.

Los presidentes de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, y de China, Xi Jinping, demostraron que, en conjunto, están impulsando la lucha mundial contra el cambio climático. Sus países son las dos economías más grandes del mundo y las mayores emisoras de contaminantes atmosféricos.

Los compromisos de ellos son un primer paso absolutamente esencial para mantener el calentamiento del planeta por debajo de los 2 grados centígrados, y evitar las desastrosas consecuencias de un mundo aún más incierto. China se comprometió a no superar una cifra máxima de emisiones para 2030 y a que el 20 % de su energía provenga de fuentes renovables, y Estados Unidos estuvo de acuerdo en reducir sus emisiones un 26 % a un 28 % por debajo de los niveles de 2005 antes de fines de 2025. Lo que es más importante, ambos acordaron aumentar su colaboración conjunta en programas de  investigación y desarrollo relativos a la energía limpia.

Education and Technology in an Age of Pandemics

Michael Trucano's picture

image used according to the terms of its Creative Commons license; image courtesy of Edgar Antonio Villaseñor González via FlickrFor some people in other parts of the world, it was the picture of two top Mexican futbol teams playing earlier this week in an empty Estadio Azteca (one of the world's largest capacity stadiums) that made clear the severity of the current swine flu outbreak.  While the sporting passions of the 100,000 missing spectators could presumably satisfied by watching the game on TV, it was less clear how to immediately satisfy the learning needs of over seven million students who were sent home after their schools were ordered closed.

Many educational reformers have long held out hope that computers and other information and computer technologies (ICTs) can play crucial and integral roles in bringing about long-needed changes to education systems.  Indeed, many see the introduction of ICTs in schools as a sort of Trojan horse, out of which educational reform and innovation can spring once inside the walls of the traditional (conservative) education establishment. While not denying the potentially transformational impact of ICT use to help meet a wide variety of educational objectives, history has shown that bringing about positive disruptive change isn't achieved by simply flooding schools with computers and related ICTs.

As a result of swine flu, many Mexican schools are experiencing quick, disruptive change of a different sort right now.  How might technology be relevant in cases like this?  Given the status quo, the use of technology in schools isn't enough to bring about systemic change.  But: How might ICTs be useful, even transformational, when this status quo is severely disrupted by some other exogenous factor ... like a pandemic disease outbreak?

Regional Finance Roundup: Updates on Indonesia, China, and the Philippines

James Seward's picture
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Wu Zhiyi / World Bank

China’s high economic growth during the last three decades is well known. But less attention has been paid to the dividends of that growth and the country’s rapid urbanization: China has lifted half a billion people out of poverty in the last 30 years – an historic feat.

But the country’s leadership knows that many challenges remain – some coming as a result of the rapid growth. For 30 years, the World Bank Group has had a strong partnership with the government and we’ve recently completed two landmark joint studies: China 2030 (guided by the leadership of my predecessor, Robert Zoellick), and the Urban China report, released just a few months ago.

Bank to give Mexico $205 million for swine flu

Nina Vucenik's picture

Interaction between trade and climate change regimes has received much attention lately. While I can think of a number of “climate-positive” reasons for exploring synergies between the two regimes and for aligning policies that could stimulate production, trade, and investment in cleaner technology options, much of focus instead has been on using trade measures as weapons in the global climate negotiations.  This stems mainly from competitiveness concerns in countries that are now racing to reduce GHG emissions to meet Kyoto 2012 targets and beyond and in the US primarily to allay domestic fears of a tightening climate regime. These concerns have led to proposals for tariff or border tax adjustments to offset any adverse impact of capping CO2 emissions. This also has roots in the fear of leakage of carbon-intensive industries such as steel and chemicals to non-implementing countries.