What’s New April 2012

This page lists changes to this site for April 2012.

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The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) recently published new preliminary figures for aid in 2011.

It showed official development assistance (ODA) aid from wealthy governments had increased to $133.5 billion in 2011 (at constant 2010 prices). This is roughly 0.31% of GNI (Gross National Income) of the donor nations. But this was also a drop of nearly 3% from the previous year. It was to be expected that the effects of the financial crisis would eventually affect aid. In some respects, the decline is not as bad as it could have been given the conditions in many donor countries.

Net ODA in dollars: the US provided the most in dollar terms. As a percent of their GNI, Sweden provided the most

Yet, over 40 years ago nations promised to reach 0.7% of their GNI by the mid-1970s. While each year the amount of aid falls quite short of that 0.7% target (less than half of that target), the quality and effectiveness of that aid is often questionable, sometimes benefiting the donor more than the recipient due to the types of conditions attached to this aid.

This update includes a number of new and updated charts and graphs.

40 years ago, rich country governments agreed to give 0.7% of their GNI (Gross National Income) as official aid to poor countries for development assistance.

The average aid delivered each year has actually been between 0.2 to 0.4%. The shortfall has therefore accumulated to $4.37 trillion dollars at 2010 prices, while total aid delivered in that same time frame has reached $3.19 trillion.

Year after year, the accumulated shortfall increases at almost a steady rate

This update includes updated charts and graphs that look into this further.

Flexibility mechanisms were defined in the Kyoto Protocol as different ways to achieve emissions reduction as part of the effort to address climate change issues. These fall into the following categories: Emissions Trading, Joint Implementation and Clean Development Mechanism.

However, these have been highly controversial as they were mainly included on strong US insistence and to keep the US in the treaty (even though the US eventually pulled out). Some of the mechanisms face criticism for not actually leading to a reduction in emissions, for example.

The updates to this article includes a couple of videos summarizing some concerns about cap and trade.

Cartoon Depicts politics in global warming negotiations where an emissions-producing Uncle Sam (representing the rich nations, including the US) is twisting the arms of a poor person (representing poor nations) to sell emissions quotas at dirt cheap prices

Image ©: Centre for Science and Environment

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