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UN Says Global Carbon Neutrality Should be Reached by Second Half of Century, Demonstrates Pathways to Stay Under 2°C Limit

November 21, 2014 Comments off

UN Says Global Carbon Neutrality Should be Reached by Second Half of Century, Demonstrates Pathways to Stay Under 2°C Limit
Source: United Nations Environmental Programme

In order to limit global temperature rise to 2°C and head off the worst impacts of climate change, global carbon neutrality should be attained by mid-to-late century. This would also keep in check the maximum amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that can be emitted into the atmosphere while staying within safe temperature limits beyond 2020, says a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Exceeding an estimated budget of just 1,000 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (Gt CO2) would increase the risk of severe, pervasive, and in some cases irreversible climate change impacts.

Released days ahead of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Lima, Peru, UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report 2014 is the fifth in a series that examines whether the pledges made by countries are on track to meet the internationally agreed under 2°C target. It is produced by 38 leading scientists from 22 research groups across 14 countries.

Building on the findings of the Fifth Assessment Report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report shows the global emission guardrails that would give a likely chance of staying within the 2°C limit, including a peaking of emissions within the next ten years, a halving of all greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century; and in the second half of the century, carbon neutrality followed by net zero total greenhouse gas emissions.Released days ahead of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Lima, Peru, UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report 2014 is the fifth in a series that examines whether the pledges made by countries are on track to meet the internationally agreed under 2°C target. It is produced by 38 leading scientists from 22 research groups across 14 countries.

Building on the findings of the Fifth Assessment Report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report shows the global emission guardrails that would give a likely chance of staying within the 2°C limit, including a peaking of emissions within the next ten years, a halving of all greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century; and in the second half of the century, carbon neutrality followed by net zero total greenhouse gas emissions.

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Skills Beyond Schools Synthesis Report

November 17, 2014 Comments off

Skills Beyond Schools Synthesis Report
Source: OECD

Higher level vocational education and training (VET) programmes are facing rapid change and intensifying challenges. What type of training is needed to meet the needs of changing economies? How should the programmes be funded? How should they be linked to academic and university programmes? How can employers and unions be engaged? This report synthesises the findings of the series of country reports done on skills beyond school.

Chapter 1. The hidden world of professional education and training
Chapter 2. Enhancing the profile of professional education and training
Chapter 3. Three key elements of high-quality post-secondary programmes
Chapter 4. Transparency in learning outcomes
Chapter 5. Clearer pathways for learners
Chapter 6. Key characteristics of effective vocational systems

Drivers of Corruption : A Brief Review

November 13, 2014 Comments off

Drivers of Corruption : A Brief Review
Source: World Bank

Corruption is motivated by the possibility of securing something of value for oneself and one’s allies. The desire to secure benefits is a human trait and generally positive for development; various forms of rewards drive humans to get up in the morning, do a good job, and act responsibly. The discussion now turns to the opportunity to secure more benefits than are entitled to within the existing rules of the game ; specifically, the opportunity to grab at the expense of society. A decision maker has the authority to influence an outcome that matters to the briber. For steering a decision in the briber s direction, the decision maker is compensated with a bribe. The steered decision and the bribe now become assets that usually exceed what at least one of the players would have obtained without the corrupt act. The opportunity to seize assets through some form of power misuse differs across sectors, organizations, and decision-making situations. This chapter describes the circumstances in which the risk of corruption is particularly high in other words, where the drivers of corruption can be found.

Categories: ethics, governance, World Bank

International Trade Statistics 2014

November 10, 2014 Comments off

International Trade Statistics 2014
Source: World Trade Organization

International Trade Statistics 2014 provides a detailed overview of the latest developments in world trade, covering both merchandise and services trade as well as trade measured in value-added terms.

A key developments section at the start of each chapter uses charts and maps to illustrate the most important trends. More detailed data are provided in a variety of tables covering specific aspects of world trade up to the end of 2013. A chapter on methodology explains how the data are compiled.

World Bank: End of Boom Doesn’t Have to Mean a Bust for the Poor in Latin America

November 5, 2014 Comments off

World Bank: End of Boom Doesn’t Have to Mean a Bust for the Poor in Latin America
Source: World Bank

During the recent commodity boom, Latin America and the Caribbean proved that growth could be pro-poor and help fuel tremendous social progress. Now as growth slows regionally and beyond, it is critical to consider what will shore up economic activity while ensuring the poor won’t stay behind.

In its latest semiannual report, Inequality in a Lower Growth Latin America, the World Bank´s Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean forecasts an average 1.2 percent rate of growth for 2014 with a rebound to 2.2 percent in 2015. This deceleration comes with a difference.

“In terms of equity, the simple fact that Latin America today is not the Latin America of the 1980s or 1990s, is already a good news story,” said Augusto de la Torre, World Bank Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean. “For the first time in recent history, the region is no longer following a boom-bust cycle of the type that used to set the economy back for many years, hurting the poor the most.”

Concluding instalment of the Fifth Assessment Report: Climate change threatens irreversible and dangerous impacts, but options exist to limit its effects

November 3, 2014 Comments off

Concluding instalment of the Fifth Assessment Report: Climate change threatens irreversible and dangerous impacts, but options exist to limit its effects (PDF)
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed on all continents. If left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. However, options are available to adapt to climate change and implementing stringent mitigations activities can ensure that the impacts of climate change remain within a manageable range, creating a brighter and more sustainable future.

These are among the key findings of the Synthesis Report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Sunday. The Synthesis Report distils and integrates the findings of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report produced by over 800 scientists and released over the past 13 months – the most comprehensive assessment of climate change ever undertaken.

+ Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report (PDF)

New WHO guidelines for mammography screening and referral

October 31, 2014 Comments off

New WHO guidelines for mammography screening and referral
Source: World Health Organization

A new WHO position paper examines the balance of benefits and harms in offering mammography screening to women after the age of 40 in a variety of settings. WHO is also issuing new guidelines for the referral of suspected breast cancer cases in low-resources settings, applicable to primary care.

These two guidelines are part of a broader set of comprehensive breast cancer guidance that will be developed in the coming years.

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