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Policy Briefs

Policy briefs develop information and analysis, followed by recommendations, on policy-oriented topics. They are found useful by policy makers, policy specialists, the media and interested scholars.

Fixing Climate Governance Policy Brief Series

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Climate scientists agree that human activity has been changing our planet’s climate over the long term. Without serious policy changes, scientists expect devastating consequences in many regions. Environmentalists have been campaigning for effective policy changes for more than two decades. The world’s governments have been negotiating since 1995 as parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These talks have not yet produced agreements that are sufficiently effective in curbing greenhouse gas emissions or helping the world adapt to climate impacts. Some effort has shifted to partial measures by national governments, provinces, cities and private companies, which together, also fall far short of the need identified by science so far.

New to the Series:

Policy Options Could Increase Ambition in the 2015 Climate Agreement

April 21, 2015
Fixing Climate Governance Series
Henrik Jepsen
Economy-wide targets for emissions reductions will be an indispensable element of a 2015 agreement, but reaching agreement on ambitious targets is notoriously difficult. The agreement needs to include a mechanism that can facilitate and incentivize increased ambition over time. Such a mechanism should focus on high-potential policy options that contribute to the same general goal: climate change mitigation.

The Asian Infrastructure Development Bank: A New Bretton Woods Moment? A Total Chinese Triumph?

April 21, 2015
CIGI Policy Brief No. 59
In October 2014, the Chinese government and 20 other Asian countries signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a development bank with initial capital of US$100 billion to finance infrastructure in the region. The enthusiastic response by many countries to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), despite the opposition of the United States, has caught the world by surprise.

The IMF’s Ukraine Burden

April 14, 2015
CIGI Policy Brief No. 58
The International Monetary Fund has raised red flags on the risks for its financial position from its latest loan to Ukraine. The significant expansion of the Fund’s exposure to Ukraine approved by the executive board in March begs a central question about the size of the lending operation and the program of policies it supports: is the IMF equipped to take on the risk of such a large commitment of resources with questionable prospects for success to a country in conflict with questionable prospects for economic success?

Canada’s Coming Property Insurance Crisis

March 11, 2015
In many areas across Canada, climate change will erode the conditions necessary for property insurance to remain available and affordable. This policy brief looks at the challenges facing the insurance system and presents policy recommendations aimed at sustaining and maximizing the insurance system and its benefits.

When Central Banks Surprise: Why It Is Important and What Policy Makers Need to Do about It

January 28, 2015
CIGI Policy Brief No. 56
Drawing on CIGI-sponsored research, this policy brief discusses the potential effects of unexpected US news events on global capital flows. It then identifies the countries that are most vulnerable to global financial volatility and discusses the role of the Group of Twenty in facilitating a stronger and more resilient global economy.

The Arctic Council Leadership Merry-go-round: Words of Advice as the United States Assumes the Arctic Council Chairmanship

January 26, 2015
CIGI Policy Brief No. 55
Jennifer Spence
In April 2015, the United States will assume the chairmanship of the Arctic Council, and its focus on climate change must be complemented by efforts to further advance sustainable economic development. The credibility and relevance of the Arctic Council is at stake — leadership is needed to establish a long-term vision, strengthen the council’s governance model and work with all stakeholders to tackle the substantial policy challenges that the region faces.

Further Reform of Sovereign Debt Restructuring: An Agenda for 2015

January 13, 2015
CIGI Policy Brief No. 54
Richard Gitlin and Brett House
In September 2014, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 63/304, which expressed the will of many member states to move toward the development of a multilateral framework for sovereign debt restructuring.

Identifying and Resolving Inter-creditor and Debtor-Creditor Equity Issues in Sovereign Debt Restructuring

January 12, 2015
CIGI Policy Brief No. 53
Skylar Brooks, Martin Guzman, Domenico Lombardi, and Joseph E. Stiglitz
This policy brief draws on a joint workshop with Columbia University on Frameworks for Sovereign Debt Restructuring, held in New York on November 17, 2014. It narrows in on a specific set of salient issues that affect debt restructuring processes and outcomes: those related to inter-creditor and creditor-debtor equity. It also offers a few policy considerations for beginning to resolve these issues in ways that contribute to fairer and more effective debt restructurings.

Bootstrap Immigrants: Assessing the Conservative Transformation of Canada's Immigration Policy

December 15, 2014
CIGI Policy Brief No. 52
Of all the reforms launched by this most conservative of Conservative governments, none surpass the root-and-branch restructuring of Canada’s immigration polices. And what has come before does not equal what is to come. On January 1, 2015, the federal government will replace the points system used to select immigrants for nigh on 50 years with the entirely new Express Entry program. The goal is to better align the abilities of immigrants to the needs of the Canadian economy. Well-educated, fluent in English or French or both, self-reliant, able to fit seamlessly into the workforce without need of government assistance — these “bootstrap immigrants,” as they could be called, might also be inclined to vote Conservative.
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