In an unexpected move, European parliamentarians have approved a new biofuel regulation that will take emissions from indirect land use change into account. The new text allows the biofuel sector to expand, sending a clear signal to world food markets and jeopardising food security for the world's poorest.
International donors pledged yesterday to mobilise 3.25 billion Euros to rebuild Mali, a figure that surpassed all expectations. But experts warn that the country does not have the absorption capacity for so much aid, while others say donors should pressure the Malian government to stop ongoing human rights abuses.
After two decades of economic stagnation and serial natural disasters, a growing number of young Japanese believe social entrepreneurship is the best way to rebuild their society.
Funding for reconstruction is beginning to decline after the tsunami almost two years ago - but in large parts of Japan's north-eastern region reconstruction has yet to begin. More and more young Japanese are now moving into this area for reconstruction in a new way.
Despite anti-discrimination laws and a steadily growing number of employed women, Japan is falling behind the rest of the world on gender equality. Widespread discrimination persists, and has only grown more subtle over the past years.
The Arab Spring is far from over. The protracted conflict in Syria continues to swallow lives while the international community, hamstrung by geopolitics, looks on; riots across the Muslim world following the release of a low-budget American movie that is disrespctful of the Prophet Muhammad resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya; Tunisia and Egypt continue to struggle with post-revolutionary economies; and a string of democratically elected Islamist governments has taken root in newly-liberated countries throughout the region.
The European Commission has announced it will limit the amount of crop-based biofuels used in transport, but its newly proposed measures are not nearly enough to curb the disastrous impact of the EU's biofuel policy around the world. Its effects will only worsen, activists say.
By 2020, countries that are signatory to the Kyoto protocol will have accumulated more than 17 billion tonnes of surplus emission reduction permits, a new study shows. This enormous surplus not only drives the carbon price close to zero, but also jeapordises the chances of reaching a new global climate deal.
The Norwegian government has announced it would assess the legitimacy of developing countries' debt to Norway. In effect it will investigate whether its loans have been useful enough to warrant repayment.
Coal has brought its own compulsions for Poland, as it has for many other countries in the call to move to more renewable and cleaner sources of energy.
Despite growing evidence that biofuel production is causing food insecurity around the world, the new European Union policy blueprint on renewable energy ignores the social effects of biofuels. Last week, Guatemalan victims of the food crisis came to Brussels to make European policy makers aware of the problem.
The European Parliament sent a bold message to the world last week with its comprehensive and ambitious resolution to put an end to the illicit global arms trade. But analysts regret the new resolution ignores several key factors, such as the impact of the arms trade on the socio-economic development of recipient countries, and the involvement of civil society in future negotiations.
All 27 foreign ministers of the European Union have strongly spoken out against Israeli demolitions in Area C of the West Bank. Since the beginning of 2011 not less than 60 EU-funded projects have been demolished while 110 others are currently at risk. Several analysts claim the Israeli authorities are specifically targeting EU-funded projects.
In an unprecedented move, all 27 EU development ministers championed budget support Monday as an effective way of reducing poverty in developing countries. At the same time they gave the green light to a new ground-breaking initiative to prevent new humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa.