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Decarbonizing the economy: a view from the South

Rim Berahab | Posted : November 02, 2021

This article was initially published on in EnglishFrench and Spanish.

How can the world achieve higher levels of decarbonization without compromising economic development? This column explores the case of Morocco, a developing country committed to contributing to the global effort against climate change. Assessment of possible decarbonization pathways suggests that particular attention should be paid to expanded penetration of renewable energy to meet future electricity demand. Financial and non-financial incentives will be needed to reduce the economic cost of the transition.

Supply Chain Disruptions and Bottlenecks Dampen the Global Economic Recovery

Otaviano Canuto | Posted : November 02, 2021

Scarcity of inputs and goods has been felt all over the world because of disruptions to global value chains since the beginning of the pandemic. Factory closures in China at the beginning of 2020, lockdowns in many countries and, subsequently, congestion in logistics networks for transporting goods, capacity constraints in the face of sudden increases in demand, and labor shortages, have combined to negatively affect the availability of inputs and products worldwide.

Largely inadequate to manage the challenges we face

Helmut Sorge | Posted : November 02, 2021

How close are we to the apocalypse, human culture, democracy, wisdom, thrown back in time and reduced to the mind of Neanderthals? Remember them, 40 000 years ago? Or back to the days of the dinosaurs, 233 million years gone by, yet unforgotten, thanks to Hollywood.

The World’s Most Famous Political Prisoner

Helmut Sorge | Posted : November 01, 2021

Some of the golden Buddhas seemed to smile; many of the 2200 pagodas and temples surviving in the ancient city were fighting the damage of time and earthquakes. The road we took from historic Bagan to Mandalay, 178 kilometers away had more holes than a Swiss cheese, and the driver was as reluctant as a Trappist monk to answer my questions. When I noticed a group of destitute, drawn looking men, pale faces and hollow cheeks, cutting trees and moving giant rocks by hand towards trucks on the side of the narrow road, I asked the driver a rather naïve question: “Are these men criminal or political prisoners?”

Le plaidoyer de l’Afrique pour le gaz naturel

Francis Perrin | Posted : November 01, 2021

Quelques jours avant le début de la COP 26 à Glasgow, en Ecosse, la Commission africaine de l’énergie (AFREC) (a) a voulu souligner que le gaz naturel pouvait jouer un rôle important dans le paysage énergétique africain. Le 25 octobre, l’AFREC a publié un communiqué de presse pour mettre en valeur une ‘’note d’orientation politique sur l’énergie’’ qui avait été achevée en juillet 2021.

This is a coup d’etat

Helmut Sorge | Posted : October 29, 2021

« ItalyGate », that was it, the key to unravel the conspiracy, « the greatest scandal in the history of the United States », as Donald Trump declared on Twitter. A computer specialist of the Italian aerospace and Defence giant “Leonardo” had interfered in the Presidential elections of the Unites States to secure Joe Biden’s victory. Shared online with the hashtags “ItalyDidIt” and “ ItalyGate”, reported the global Reuter news service (January 15, 2021), the claims are part of a conspiracy theory, “intended to sow doubt in the US electoral system and bolster allegations by Trump and his allies that the election was rigged.”

The World is on Fire

Helmut Sorge | Posted : October 27, 2021

Catastrophic Consequences

Increasing wildfires, a sign of climate change, are reducing forests to ashes. This year alone, 43 billion metric tons of CO2 will be emitted into the atmosphere from forest fires. The world lost about 10 million hectares of forests per year between 2015 and 2020, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), in its 2021 report Ecosystem Restoration for people, nature and climate. Each year an average of 122 million hectares of forests are affected by fires, pests, diseases, invasive species, drought, and adverse weather events. “The past decade was the hottest in human history”, confirmed UNEP scientists, adding that “the planet is on pace for an excess of 3 degrees Celsius in warming”, a figure which could have “catastrophic consequences”.

The Alarm Bells are Deafening

Helmut Sorge | Posted : October 26, 2021

Minus 50 degrees Celsius is a challenge for human beings who were not raised in the Arctic, becoming familiar with polar bears and dog sleds. Plus 50 degrees Celsius is part of a nomadic reality, of survival in the desert, short of water and shadow, but rich in stars above and vicious vipers in the sand. Eskimos, known as Inuit and Yupik, and Bedouins and Tuaregs, indigenous people, survive by trusting instinct and their embrace of nature, strengthened throughout childhood by cod liver oil or camel milk. More than half a century ago, in January 1968, I experienced for the first time the dark winter of the Arctic, and temperatures between minus 30 and minus 50 degrees Celsius, made worse by 94 mile per hour winds in Greenland: Danish territory, unending ice, three kilometers thick, glaciers, snow. An American military station, named Thule Air Base. It was a forward observation post of the Cold War, operating early warning systems for a feared nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union, assisted from the air by nuclear armed B-52s that were on watch 24/24.

Angela Merkel: il était une fois une femme leader sur la scène internationale

Patricia Ahanda* | Posted : October 26, 2021

Le mandat d’Angela Merkel est arrivé à son terme, après 16 ans au pouvoir en tant que chancelière de l’Allemagne. Au cours de sa carrière, Angela Merkel, femme politique issue des rangs du parti conservateur, s’est hissée en tant que dirigeante de la quatrième puissance mondiale et première économie de l'Union européenne. Angela Merkel a réussi à dominer les scènes politiques européenne et internationale en s’imposant comme l'une des femmes les plus puissantes et influentes du monde. Lorsque l’on pense aux femmes politiques leaders, Angela Merkel est plus qu’un nom, c’est une image de marque appartenant désormais à la culture mainstream.

Permanent Output Losses From the Pandemic

Otaviano Canuto | Posted : October 21, 2021

In the World Economic Outlook, published October 12, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) slightly lowered its forecast for global economic growth this year to 5.9%, while maintaining a forecast of 4.9% for 2022. It also emphasized the “divergence” in the pace and extent of economic recovery in different countries.