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Education for All Global Monitoring Report launched around the World

April 16, 2015 Comments off

EFA Global Monitoring Report launched around the World
Source: UNESCO

The 2015 EFA Global Monitoring Report: Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges was launched yesterday from three global launch locations: Paris, New Delhi and New York.

The new Report gives the verdict on global progress towards the six Education for All goals set in Dakar at the start of the Millennium. It concludes that only a third of countries have met all of the measurable Education for All goals; only a half have reached the most watched goal of universal primary education.

Taking a fresh look at the future of nuclear power

April 13, 2015 Comments off

Taking a fresh look at the future of nuclear power
Source: International Energy Agency

Nuclear power is a critical element in limiting greenhouse gas emissions, and a new Technology Roadmap co-authored by the IEA and the Nuclear Energy Agency outlines the next steps for growth in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan and the economic crisis and its effect on financing.

The new publication finds that the prospects for nuclear energy remain positive in the medium to long term despite a negative impact in some countries in the aftermath of the accident. While nuclear power’s share of global electricity generation was 10% lower in 2013 than in 2010, principally because of Japan’s 48 operable reactors remaining idle, it is still the second-largest source worldwide of low-carbon electricity. And the 72 reactors under construction at the start of last year were the most in 25 years.

Yet global capacity must more than double, with nuclear supplying 17% of global electricity generation in 2050, to meet the IEA 2 Degree Scenario (2DS) for the most effective and efficient means of limiting global temperature rise to the internationally agreed maximum.

Technology Roadmap: Nuclear Energy 2015 Update offers a vision of the best ways to accomplish that growth, looking at current and new technologies; the need to meet increased safety requirements and improve constructability through optimised design, standardisation and more efficient supply chains; financing options and implementation of waste-management solutions. The Roadmap also addresses the challenge of decommissioning hundreds of reactors that will reach the end of their operating life by the middle of the century as well as building the necessary infrastructure and capacity building in newcomer countries. And it stresses the importance of restoring public confidence in nuclear power.
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Securing Livelihoods for All

April 3, 2015 Comments off

Securing Livelihoods for All
Source: OECD

The world has made good progress in improving global livelihoods. More than two billion people have emerged from extreme poverty over the last four decades. Other notable improvements include real increases in wages for unskilled workers, better life expectancy, greater gender equality and more widespread literacy. However, a number of daunting challenges threaten to undo this progress, particularly on the demographic and environmental fronts. While outlining the status of livelihoods today, this fascinating report enumerates the main emerging trends which will have a significant impact on livelihoods in the near future. It looks at a whole range of issues: economy, technology, demography, environment, security and governance. This book presents five possible future scenarios for livelihoods, whose positive or negative outcomes depend on how several emerging challenges are dealt with. It concludes with ideas for global, national and local action that hold significant promise for securing resilient livelihoods for all.

Telecoms Firms Lead WIPO International Patent Filings

April 1, 2015 Comments off

Telecoms Firms Lead WIPO International Patent Filings
Source: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Three telecoms giants from China and the United States led international patent filing activity via WIPO in 2014, a fifth consecutive record-breaking year amid overall growth in the Organization’s global intellectual property services.

Together, China and the U.S. accounted for 87% of the total growth in filings under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which saw some 215,000 applications in 2014, a 4.5% increase over the previous year. In a significant development, the U.S. became the biggest filer of international trademark applications under WIPO’s Madrid System.

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015

April 1, 2015 Comments off

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015
Source: United Nations Environmental Programme

According to UNEP’s 9th “Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015″, prepared by the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance — the past year brought a rebound of green energy investments worldwide with a surge of a solid 17% to $270 Billion. Brushing aside the challenge of sharply lower crude oil prices this sudden increase reveresed the investment dip of the past two years and was mainly driven by investments in solar and wind energy.

The Liquidation of Government Debt

March 30, 2015 Comments off

The Liquidation of Government Debt
Source: International Monetary Fund

High public debt often produces the drama of default and restructuring. But debt is also reduced through financial repression, a tax on bondholders and savers via negative or belowmarket real interest rates. After WWII, capital controls and regulatory restrictions created a captive audience for government debt, limiting tax-base erosion. Financial repression is most successful in liquidating debt when accompanied by inflation. For the advanced economies, real interest rates were negative ½ of the time during 1945–1980. Average annual interest expense savings for a 12—country sample range from about 1 to 5 percent of GDP for the full 1945–1980 period. We suggest that, once again, financial repression may be part of the toolkit deployed to cope with the most recent surge in public debt in advanced economies.

Asylum applications in industrialized world soar to almost 900,000 in 2014

March 30, 2015 Comments off

Asylum applications in industrialized world soar to almost 900,000 in 2014
Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The UN refugee agency reported on Thursday that the wars in Syria and Iraq, as well as armed conflicts, human rights violations and deteriorating security and humanitarian conditions in other countries, pushed the number of asylum applications in industrialized countries to a 22-year high last year.

The Asylum Trends 2014 report puts the estimated number of new asylum applications lodged in industrialized countries throughout the year at 866,000, a 45 per cent increase from 2013, when 596,600 claims were registered. The 2014 figure is the highest since 1992, at the beginning of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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