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Energy

Carbon: think global, act local

So how do you follow up on the on-line carbon market debate we hosted last week? Or how does Al Gore demonstrate his own commitment as he flies around the world promoting An Inconvenient Truth? By doing your own carbon offset - and the fact that today is World Environment Day only increases the incentive.

Subsidizing inefficiency

...a large part of that [Indian fiscal] deficit goes to financing the losses of the electric companies. Two and a half percent of GNP goes into power subsidies [emphasis added]; only half the electricity that's generated actually gets paid for. Some of the other half goes in unfortunate (we economists think) programs to give free power to the farmers. Unfortunately, the farmers who qualify for free power are the ones who are rich enough to be able to afford power in the first place. But having gotten free power, they let their neighbors tap into it.

Africa’s economic outlook

The OECD has released their African Economic Outlook 2005/2006. See the press release:

The African economy is expected to grow by 5.8 per cent this year and another 5.5 per cent next year. Oil-exporting countries are outpacing others by a substantial margin while other countries continue to face serious problems.

SUV driver, ease your conscience

Michael Jarvis's picture

Feeling guilty about the damage your Ford Taurus does to shrinking ice caps? Ford has teamed up with TerraPass to create a Greener Miles program where you can calculate your CO2 emissions and pay the equivalent to support renewable energies and become carbon neutral. This is one of a growing number of schemes out there to help those concerned at climate change offset the impact of using planes, trains and automobiles.

Investment climate facility for Africa

The IFC has announced a $30 million grant to the Investment Climate Facility for Africa - a new public-private partnership for improving the continent's business environment.

Update: more on the Investment Climate Facility for Africa.

Afrobarometer

Over the past half decade though, the folks at Afrobarometer, which is run by Michigan State University, the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, and the Centre for Democratic Development in Ghana, have done a series of fascinating surveys on what Africans feel about some of the biggest issues they face.

A tape measure for microfinance funds

Microfinance... took another step toward becoming a distinct asset class with the advent of a mechanism for objectively rating microfinance funds. MicroRate, an independent company that already rates microfinance institutions (MFIs), has been working to develop a microfinance fund-rating tool for several years.

Aceh Diary: The staffing challenge

Staffing is one of the most serious challenges facing donors and aid agencies ramping up in Aceh. There’s no shortage of overqualified foreigners running around Aceh or the rest of Indonesia with the requisite passion to slave away for this worthy cause. The problem is, however, now that the volunteer/recovery phase is largely over and longer-term commitment becomes necessary to engage in the reconstruction effort, their services and dedication come with a very high price-tag.


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