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CIGI Commentaries

Climate Change Solidarity and Resolve: Post-Paris Strategy, Policy and Law to Translate Ambition into Action

November 27, 2015
The twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), being held in Paris from November 30 to December 11, is expected to articulate guiding principles and set the level of global ambition around climate change. The real work, however, will come afterward, in translating general ideas into strategies, policies and laws that actually change behaviour. This will have to be done at international, transnational, national and subnational levels, using a holistic approach that integrates and supports the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September of this year. This commentary outlines how senior fellows and researchers within CIGI’s ILRP will contribute to creating effective climate change strategies, policies and laws consistent with and supportive of global SDGs.

The G20 Should Elevate Gender Balance to the Top of Its Agenda

November 6, 2015
They gathered because they want to be permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. But the show of unity in New York by the leaders of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan in September stood out because it was a rare image of what geopolitical affairs should look like. The meeting of the “Group of Four” (G4) had an equal number of men and women, just as one would expect in a world where the proportion of males and females is roughly equal.

Toward A Global Investment Governance Framework: An Opportunity for the Chinese Presidency of the G20

November 5, 2015
Cross-border investment is an increasingly important part of the global economy. In the last two decades, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow has grown from about 10 percent to 35 percent of the global GDP (see Figure 1). However, the governance of international investment remains highly fragmented and contested. Unlike international trade, which has been governed by a global framework since the end of World War II — first under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and then the World Trade Organization (WTO) — FDI has been governed by nearly 3,000 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and over 300 other international investment agreements.

Should Climate Finance Be Integrated Into the G20 Agenda?

November 4, 2015
The Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney recently delivered a well-received speech in London, United Kingdom, to a community of financial sector representatives emphasizing the impact that climate change could have on financial sector stability. The impact could be threefold. The first type of risk is direct — the increasing frequency of extreme weather events such as floods could have impacts on the insurance sector in particular, which will have to pay for the damage to insured property caused by these events. A second type of risk will be the liability risk for insurance firms from claims made by parties suffering damage due to climate change caused by others. If such claims are successful, they could be passed to insurance firms that would then have to pay.

Where Are the Emperor's Clothes?

November 3, 2015
At their 2014 summit in Brisbane, Australia, G20 leaders adopted the Brisbane Action Plan, which was intended to raise potential world growth by two percent over the subsequent five years. Australia’s G20 presidency worked mightily for this result, recognizing that the credibility of the G20 to deliver was being questioned by many who saw the G20 increasingly as little more than a talk shop.

Strengthening the Multilateral Institutions: A G20 Priority

November 2, 2015
The Right Honourable Paul Martin
Just as the Korean summit in 2010 was the first time the G20 leaders were hosted by an Asian country, and the 2012 Mexican summit the first time they were hosted by a Latin American nation, this year’s summit in Turkey will be the first held by a Muslim majority country, which reinforces the fact that the greatest opportunity and challenge the G20 faces with its many cultures, religions and political systems is how to make globalization work in a world of differences.

North America Defaults the Great Game in the Arctic

October 19, 2015
The United States and Canada have been remarkably slow to recognize the potential geopolitical consequences of a warming Arctic at a time that may be a tipping point in the global balance of power.

The US Clean Power Plan and NAFTA

October 13, 2015
CIGI Commentary
Canadian and US power networks are integrated, regional and cross-border in nature. But recent US regulations proposed under the US Clean Power Plan may trigger bilateral trade issues, given that large-scale hydroelectric facilities (read "Canadian") are denied "renewable" energy status in the plan's compliance formula and in some states' Renewable Portfolio Standards, and therefore may be underutilized — to the detriment of the environmental goals at the heart of each country's carbon emissions reduction regulations.

Power Plant Emissions Regulations in the United States and Canada: Looking Behind the Headlines

October 13, 2015
CIGI Commentary
Recently announced US regulations to reduce carbon pollution emitted by thermal power plants have garnered praise from supporters calling them “tough,” “ambitious” and “historic." But those who compare the new measures of the US Clean Power Plan to Canada's regulations of 2012 may be surprised by a closer look at the numbers and the net effect of each country's efforts.

Two Key Words in China’s Currency Policy: Control and Balance

August 31, 2015
The past few weeks have been turbulent for China’s economy, to say the least, with its currency, the renminbi (RMB) — also known as the yuan — declining sharply, nearly two percent against the dollar on August 11, the biggest one-day change in the currency in 20 years. In total, it experienced a 4.4 percent devaluation from August 11 to August 13, shocking the global financial markets. The world interpreted China's move as a currency war or currency manipulation, prompting the devaluation of currencies in many emerging markets.
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