February 16, 2012
By Sung Lee
Secretary Clinton launched the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, aimed at reducing production of short-lived pollutants that contribute to climate change. Studies have shown that short-lived pollutants such as methane, black carbon or soot, hydroflourocarbons are responsible for one-third of current climate change, which is one of the most serious and complex problems facing today's world, according to Clinton. "Eliminating these pollutants can “protect health, improve agricultural productivity, and strengthen energy security."
The United States will commit $12 million of new funding. The coalition will develop a targeted global campaign to spread solutions to the short-lived pollutants. The full speech is available here.
Farmers are ready to do their part on climate change, Opinion, Kanayo F. Kwanze, Huffington Post, February 15
Creating an enabling environment for them to manage their risks, access markets, and get the technical know-how they need to succeed in their businesses are all essential to driving them toward a climate-smart, more productive agriculture. We must all recognize that, farming is a business, even for the poorest farmers on the planet. Today's focus needs to show small farmers not only how to increase their yields through sustainable approaches, but also how to make money and improve their lives when they implement such approaches.
As Xi Charms Iowa, China Hedges Corn Ties With U.S., Wall Street Journal, February 16
It’s in China’s interests to diversify its suppliers. Unlike most other sectors, it’s running a trade deficit in agricultural trade with the U.S., an issue that rankle some Chinese officials. As the world’s biggest buyer of most commodities, China understands that a good bargain is better if there are more sellers. So even as Vice President Xi put a personal touch on China’s growing relationship with the world’s largest corn exporter, it’s paving the way for deals with the world’s second largest.
East Africa crisis response was effective but not fast enough, report says, Guardian, February 16
The response to the crisis in east Africa by members of the Disasters Emergency Committee was effective, but not quick enough to prevent the suffering of thousands of people, according to a report published. The report acknowledged that a shortage of outside funding and red tape, including restrictions caused by the centralized control of the aid effort by the Ethiopian government, had delayed members' response there.
Congress gives some love to the World Bank, Foreign Policy, February 14
With relatively little public attention, Congress approved all the funds the administration had asked for to boost the World Bank's lending power -- about $800 million over five years -- and agreed to top up the Bank's fund for the poorest countries, the International Development Association. Congress also threw in most of the requested funds for the Inter-American Development Bank, the African Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, and a climate and environmental fund administered by the World Bank.
The next World Bank president: Bill Clinton?, Opinion, Richard Adams, Guardian, February 15
Lael Brainard, under-secretary for international affairs at the US Treasury, has been responsible for drawing up the White House's shortlist of candidates to replace Zoellick. Alongside names such as Larry Summers and Tim Geithner, speculation in Washington has been rampant if unsourced that Bill Clinton's name is in the frame, and the constant rumours that Hillary Clinton was interested in the job – repeatedly denied by her – were in fact a misunderstanding over which Clinton was a candidate.