Friday, June 20, 2014

FT: NATO's Rasmussen: "Russia backs anti-fracking groups in Europe to maintain market power"

FT: Russian intelligence agencies are covertly funding and working with European environmental groups to campaign against fracking and maintain EU dependence on Russian gas, the head of Nato has claimed.
The leader of the self-proclaimed state of Donesks was an anti-fracking campaigner in a previous career, and has now banned it, despite an ongoing project of Royal Dutch Shell. The article gives further allegations without hard evidence for Russian influence in Romania and Bulgaria in the support of anti-fracking groups.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Iraq, oil markets, and the US economy

Econbrowser:  Although the consequences for Iraqi oil production of what has happened so far appear to be minimal, all this comes at a time when the earlier and still ongoing conflicts in Libya and Syria have already disrupted nearly 2 mb/d in world oil production. If Iraq’s recent 3 mb/d was also taken out, we would be talking about a significant disruption in world oil supplies, and likely an oil price in excess of $150 a barrel...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

FT: How will Mozambique handle its new gas wealth? Mozambique is one of the world's poorest countries, but the discovery of gas reserves off its coast could change that. Can it avoid the "commodities curse"?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Climate Change, Green Growth and Aid Allocation to Poor Countries

CSAE WP: With serious impacts of climate change looming in a few decades, but current poverty still high in the developing world, we ask how to spend development aid earmarked for the poor. Poverty reduction tends to be strongly linked to economic growth, but growth impacts the environment and increases CO2 emissions. So can greener growth that is more climate-resilient and less environmentally damaging deliver large scale poverty reduction? Can aid be used for effective poverty reduction now without affecting carbon emissions substantially? We argue that there are bound to be tradeoffs between emissions reductions and a greener growth on the one hand, and growth that is most effective in poverty reduction. We argue that development aid, earmarked for the poorest countries, should only selectively pay attention to climate change, and remain focused on fighting current poverty reduction, including via economic growth, not least as future resilience of these countries and their population will depend on their ability to create wealth and build up human capital now. The only use for development aid within the poorest countries for explicit climate-related investment ought to be when the investments also contribute to poverty reduction now, including for increasing resilience to current impacts of environmental shocks, or when the investments done now have serious intertemporal ‘lock-in’ problems so that they have implications also for when climate change bites by 2050. In our conclusions, we offer a series of concrete principles to judge development spending.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

OxCarre Conference: Natural Resources and Instability

It starts tomorrow! Programme here!

Managing the revenue from natural resources—what’s a Finance Minister to do?

IMF: The Finance Minister answers her mobile. On the line is the Minister of Energy, who informs her that the country has struck oil and that he expects revenues from its sale to start flowing into the budget in the coming four years. While excited by the prospects of higher revenues—indeed the average resource-rich country gets more than 15 percent of GDP in resource revenues—she starts to ponder how to use these revenues for her country’s development. She is aware that only in rare cases have natural resources served as a catalyst for development; too often they have led to economic instability, corruption, and conflict or what has been termed as “the resource curse.”

Natural Resource Charter Conference Live

Natural#Resource #Charter2014 conference with @NRGInstituteLive webstream!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A carbon tax could have achieved Obama's new climate goals and raised $24 billion a year

Vox: One frustrating aspect of America's seemingly endemic congressional dysfunction is that we end up with policy results that are worse from all points of view than could be achieve with a more constructive legislature.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Readings for the weekend

From the latest Oxford Economic Papers:
  • Mineral resources and conflicts in DRC: a case of ecological fallacy?
  • Democratizing for peace? The effect of democratization on civil conflicts
  • Disasters and development: natural disasters, credit constraints, and economic growth

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Five More Ways to Fight Global Warming

Bloomberg View: 
  • establish an office for cheaply transferring the benefits of US government-funded fracking and solar research to Chinese companies
  • Pay China to implement these technologies
  • Tax carbon-intensive imports
  • Increase research funding for solar technology in the US 
  • Implement a carbon tax or equivalent here in the US

Monday, June 2, 2014

Readings for the week