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Policy Briefs

Vulnerability and Debt in Small States

July 28, 2016
CIGI Policy Brief No. 83
Small states, supported by development partners, need to take several steps to address both long-standing and more recent vulnerabilities: developing the blue economy and diversifying production and exports by expanding and accessing regional value chains; building climate-resilient infrastructure; increasing access to innovative sources of financing for development; and — for a growing number of small states — addressing increasingly unsustainable levels of indebtedness. Otherwise, many small states are likely to fall further behind.

Domestic Politics and Sustainability Reporting

July 27, 2016
CIGI Policy Brief No. 82
Jason Thistlethwaite and Melissa Menzies
This policy brief assesses national variations in the sustainability and climate change risk disclosure as a means of informing the development of an international standard by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

Tapping the Potential of the Silent Majority: The Role of Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs in Building Resilient, Low-carbon Communities

July 26, 2016
CIGI Policy Brief No. 81
Although government is tasked with responding to climate change and other sustainability problems, it is often the private sector that has the innovative approaches and technical skills needed to design effective responses. This policy brief proposes that Canada seek to engage small business in finding collaborative and creative solutions to achieve reductions and develop a more transformative approach to sustainability.

The G20's "Development" Agenda: Fundamental, Not a Sidebar

June 7, 2016
Policy Brief No. 80
This policy brief outlines concrete proposals for addressing three critical issues – climate change, the Internet and sovereign debt — where the G20 could address gaps in governance among selected international institutions.

The Impact of Green Banking Guidelines on the Sustainability Performance of Banks: The Chinese Case

June 3, 2016
CIGI Policy Brief No. 79
The negative environmental impact of many economic activities has been problematic for Chinese economic growth. In 2007, the People’s Bank of China established an internationally recognized program on green finance — the Green Credit Policy, which introduced guidelines and regulations for integrating environmental issues into financial decision making, in particular in commercial lending decisions that focus on banks and other lenders directly. The results of the analysis presented in the policy brief suggest that the environmental and social performance of Chinese banks improved significantly between 2009 and 2013 because the Green Credit Guidelines require banks to become active with regard to integrating environmental risks into their credit risk assessment procedures.

Financing the Blue Economy in Small States

May 16, 2016
CIGI Policy Brief No. 78
The blue economy approach offers small developing states — countries with populations of 1.5 million or less — the opportunity to diversify from a narrow production base; invest in and develop growth and employment opportunities in a wide range of both existing and new sectors and industries; and shift away from predominantly land-based industries toward those that integrate and sustainably develop a broader range of land-based, coastal and ocean-based sectors.

Definitional Issues in the Sustainability Analysis Framework: A Proposal

May 2, 2016
CIGI Policy Brief No. 77
The definition of public debt sustainability in the International Monetary Fund debt sustainability analysis framework refers to fiscal adjustment and primary balance as the central elements of the policy course that is most likely to ensure debt sustainability; the induced policy approach is not contributing to the recovery of economies in distress, and instead it is contributing to delays in sovereign debt restructuring, as well as to insufficient debt relief (when the restructuring occurs) for distressed sovereign debtors. The definition needs to be revised to be in tune with macroeconomic theory that is overwhelmingly supported by evidence.

Does the Level of Public Debt Matter?

April 4, 2016
CIGI Policy Brief No. 76
After years of heated debate, the academic literature has seriously questioned whether the level of public debt matters to economic growth or to early warning indicators of potential crisis. Nevertheless, the International Monetary Fund, in its lending and surveillance activities, has a central, although appropriately nuanced, place for the level of public debt relative to GDP in its analysis.

Developing the Blue Economy in Caribbean and Other Small States

March 21, 2016
CIGI Policy Brief No. 75
Ecosystems and other services provided by oceans are vast, offering opportunities for growth and sustainable development. Small developing states lag behind others in accessing and benefiting from these opportunities. The blue economy approach, combining conservation and growth in the context of oceans, provides a sustainable and integrated development strategy.

Growth, Innovation and COP 21: The Case for New Investment In Innovation Infrastructure

March 2, 2016
Policy Brief No. 73
Forged by private and public sector cooperation, Mission Innovation was announced at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as a commitment to doubling, by 2020, the investment in energy innovation by participating countries. Mission Innovation heralds a new period of active private-public sector engagement on energy, climate and innovation policy.
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