Doing the hard stuff in tough places: please help us find the ‘seemingly impossible’ stories of success

March 28, 2019
Guest post from Grace Lyn Higdon, Irene Guijt and Ruth Mayne The list of reasons to feel depressed is long and growing. Recent elections ushering in sexist and violent heads of states; climate change even worse than predicted; backlash to #MeToo and, if you’re in the UK, the political swamp known as ‘Brexit’. Depressing – and urgent. When it comes to

Book Review: Peter Frase, Four Futures: Life After Capitalism

October 2, 2018
I’ve never been a big fan of scenario planning. When I’ve done it in the past, it’s usually involved a bunch of former oil and gas planners asking a group of people to identify big trends (which often boil down to what they’ve read in the FT/Economist that week) and then processing them into a set of four plausible, but

What can other cities learn from Mexico City’s bike-sharing scheme?

December 19, 2017
Some smart thinking from one of my LSE students from last year, Naima von Ritter Figueres. Originally published on the LSE International Development blog Most cities over the past few decades have been shaped by the car. Heavy traffic, air pollution, safety hazards, and losses in public space, social cohesion and economic competitiveness are all associated with the ever-increasing unsustainable dependence on

Why election politics don’t work as well for the environment as they do for international development

May 11, 2017
Guest post from Matthew Spencer, who crossed over from the environment sector recently to become Oxfam’s Director of Campaigns and Policy  Before the end of the first week of the UK election campaign, to widespread surprise, Theresa May agreed to the development sector’s main demand to maintain our 0.7% overseas aid commitment. In contrast, the following week the government had

How are different governments performing as global citizens? Time for a new index!

February 23, 2017
Apologies. I get given stuff at meetings, it goes into the reading pile, and often takes months to resurface. So I have just read (and liked) a Country Global Citizenship Report Card handed to me in New York in December. It’s put together by the Global Citizens Initiative, run by Ron Israel. Time to assuage my guilt. The ‘citizens’ in

Will the 2012 Earth Summit be a flop? Guest post from Sarah Best

August 2, 2011

Annual cost of global environmental damage? 11% of world GDP. And investors need to sort it out.

November 3, 2010
Ever wondered how much global environmental damage is caused by human activity? A new study puts it at 11% of global GDP ($6.6 trillion), a third of it caused by the world’s 3,000 largest companies. The study was commissioned by two UN-backed initiatives, Principles for Responsible Investment and the UNEP Finance Initiative with a clear purpose in mind. They are trying

Water, land, air, life: what is a safe environmental operating space for humanity?

October 21, 2009
Sorry guys, sorting out climate change is just the start. Their success in influencing climate change policy (if not practice) seems to have emboldened earth system scientists to initiate a wider debate about the earth’s limits. A recent issue of Nature journal tries to establish the ecological ‘operating space’ for humans, and could spark off some pretty interesting debates over

Peasant activists v King Arthur; future geopolitics; nuclear self-love and an environmental good news story: links I liked

February 13, 2009
Monty Python and Development part 2: peasant activists debate good governance with King Arthur (thanks to Richard Cunliffe for that one) Katharina Pintor sets out some alternative geopolitical orders emerging from the crisis Extreme self promotion from AQ Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, c/o global Dashboard Ngaire Woods and co at Oxford’s Global Economic Governance project  and an

Brazil is top of the world on an environmental issue – recycling

January 21, 2009
I’m mugging up on green jobs as part of the research for a forthcoming paper on the need for a ‘global green new deal’ and came across this great and (to me) unexpected example from Brazil. It’s drawn from UNEP’s ‘Green Jobs’ paper. Brazil is the global leader in aluminium can recycling — some 10.3 billion cans were collected in Brazil