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Making aid efficient and coherent

The European Court of Auditors recently published a series of reports analysing different schemes of aid and development cooperation, and demonstrating the need for modifications affecting the EU’s future commitments.

Such tragedies as that of the Haitian earthquake tend to stimulate massively generous impulses, but longer-term questioning about how efficient is the international response. Coincidentally the European Court of Auditors has recently released three reports that focus on different dimensions of the European commitment to aid and development.

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Is alternative energy the silver lining from the Gulf oil spill?

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill may transpire to be one of the biggest man-made disasters of all time, but in a strange twist of irony, the destruction off the US coast and surrounding environment by the gushing riser oil pipe could relight the cause for alternative energy and a cleaner environment.

It seems morbid to consider anything as bad as 70,000 barrels of crude oil pumping into one of the world’s richest oceans as having a silver-lining, but in some instances it takes a thumping blow from a heavy object – in this case an oil slick the size of Delaware, and growing – for the masses to champion alternative, cleaner means. And that doesn’t just mean within the US, but across the entire world.

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Picking up the pieces, regaining momentum after Copenhagen

The United Nations Framework on Climate Change will resume meetings after the failure of the Copenhagen Conference. The two major issues, besides the financial instruments, are the need to conclude a legally binding agreement and to agree transparent rules to assess compliance.

Although a large majority of commentators consider the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference to have been a failure, certain influential voices have stressed the value of the Conference’s agreements. Lord Stern, professor at the London School of Economics and author of a key report on the economic and social assessment of climate change, has affirmed that “this process has itself been a key part of countries stating what their intentions on emissions reductions are – countries that had not stated them before, including China and the US”.

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Climate Change Debate Rises with Pakistan Floods

“If this is not God’s wrath, what is?” 40-year-old taxi driver Bakht Zada said of the massive floods in Pakistan that have swept away his life earnings.

Speaking to IPS from Madyan city in Swat district in north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Zada might pin the blame for Pakistan’s worst floods in 80 years on forces beyond humankind, but environment experts are debating whether they are linked to a much more earthly phenomenon – climate change.

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Creation at the Heart of Mission

Two hundred and forty persons from 82 religious institutes, 57 countries and five continents gathered in Assisi from 12-16 May 2009. “Creation at the Heart of Mission” was jointly sponsored by SEDOS and the JPIC Commission of the USIG/USG where both religious and lay collaborators were led by theologians Séan McDonagh and Denis Edwards in considering ecology and our Christian life.

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Gulf Oil Spill

As the Gulf oil spill of April 20, 2010, continues unabated (as of May 31), the spill is a massive, unimagined, and unprecedented environmental disaster. Although scientists debate the exact amount of oil leaking at the base of the accident site and are uncertain about the exact depth and width of the spill, the spread of the spill threatens damage to the coasts of Louisiana—where it is already beginning to hit—as well as Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

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