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Climate change solutions that make money

This is what we need to be working on, according to the top executives of the UK Carbon Trust in today’s Financial Times. They offer five policy principles that they claim would benefit both government and business. For example, their fifth suggestion:

Emerging market sponsors dominate infrastructure investments

Our latest Viewpoint highlights recent trends in private sector participation in infrastructure. All in all, flows increased by a welcome 12% in 2004, though this growth was mostly limited to the telecommunications sector. Greenfield projects also continued to be the main mode of entry. Perhaps the most interesting story is the increasing importance of sponsors from emerging markets.

Updated Asian development outlook

The Asian Development Bank has released an updated version of their 2005 Asian Development Outlook - originally released last April. This new version projects regional GDP to grow by 6.6% this year, slightly up from their original 6.5% prognostication. The highlight is an entire new section dedicated to the challenge of higher oil prices in a region of both energy guzzlers and net exporters.

Deregulating electricity markets

Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith writes in the Wall Street Journal to advocate vertical separation for the US electricity industry, to prevent the monopolistic wires business from sitting on potential competition elsewhere in the supply chain.

From Marginal Revolution. Browse World Bank resources on utility regulation.

From the kind folks at McKinsey Quarterly...

Our gracious colleagues at McKinsey Quarterly have found us and have kindly agreed to provide free guest-passes for our previous post on India. Normally, full-text access to these links is restricted to ‘premium members.’

- Unearthing India's Mineral Wealth

Unearthing India’s mineral wealth

The McKinsey Quarterly reports that burdensome government restrictions are choking the potential of India’s mineral resources:

Regulatory approval for mining projects takes three to seven years in India, compared with about 18 months in Australia. Such delays tie up capital, raise project costs and increase uncertainty among investors…

They also blame poor infrastructure:

Low-cost, high-impact technology: $5 cell phones?

Let's see whether we get beyond the press release from Philips (via NextBillion), who promise a:

...sub-$5 system solution – an integrated hardware and software platform constituting all the electronics needed in a mobile phone – that will drive handset costs below $20... Currently, the lowest cost mobile phones on the market are just below $40.

Announcement: new RSS feed launched

World Bank tech gurus have convinced us to switch to FeedBurner for our RSS feed. The new feed is: The old feed will still work, but we would invite you to please switch over.

This new feed not only gives us better stats, but it also offers SmartFeed. This means that you will see our feed the way you want to whether your reader prefers RSS 0.90, 0.91, 0.92, 0.93, 0.94, 1.0, 2.0, atom or podcasts. This is especially relevant since much of our readership is coming from developing countries.