Stories written by Matthew O. Berger
Matthew O. Berger has covered global issues, with a focus on environment and climate, from the IPS Washington, D.C. bureau.

Trade, Clean Energy Top Obama’s Asia Agenda

Just days after his party suffered defeat in the U.S. congressional elections, President Barack Obama is finally taking a twice-postponed trip to Asia.

World Bank Extends Food Crisis Fund

Amidst fears of a recurring food crisis, the World Bank has reactivated its Global Food Crisis Response Programme (GFRP), dedicating up to 760 million dollars to countries at risk of food price volatility.

Scrambling for a Solution on IMF Governance Reform

Among the topics expected to be discussed at the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) that started this week and will continue through the weekend is the reform of the IMF’s governance.

GE Salmon an Ambiguous Milestone for Aquaculture

The march toward domesticating the last wild food source may be about to take a major step forward in Washington - for better or worse.

Tighter Budgets Threaten HIV/AIDS Gains

Although the world will miss the 2010 deadline for universal access to HIV treatment, some countries, notably in sub- Saharan Africa, have made real strides forward, three United Nations agencies reported Tuesday.

Rising Energy Demand Hits Water Scarcity ‘Choke Point’

Meeting the growing demand for energy in the U.S., even through sustainable means, could entail greater threats to the environment, new research shows.

Hunger Drops Mere Half a Percent over Last Decade

Ten years after setting the goal of halving the proportion of people suffering from poverty and hunger by 2015, only mixed success can be found for the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the degree of success is dependent not only on what country is examined but which evaluation is used.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill’s 30-Year Legacy

A surprisingly small number of scientists have studied the impacts of the oil spill resulting from the 1979 blowout at the Ixtoc I oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Wes Tunnell, who first studied the spill’s effects in July and August of 1980 and has returned many times since, is one of the few exceptions.

Flood-Ridden Pakistan Ineligible For Emergency Debt Relief

A loan deal between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and flood-stricken Pakistan announced Thursday has drawn the ire of several NGOs that claim the deal represents an "inadequate" and "cynical" response to the disaster that is estimated to have affected the lives of millions.

COLOMBIA: US Military Aid Contingent on Reversal of Rights Record

As a new administration takes over in Bogotá, some groups are hoping for change in the human rights record of Colombia - and that the U.S. will use its clout in the country to ensure that change occurs.

U.N. Steps Up Pressure to Raise Funds for Pakistan

The U.N. General Assembly met Thursday to express the world community's solidarity with the people of Pakistan and to urge member states to step up their aid commitment to the flood stricken country.

Sustainable Aquaculture Picks Up Steam

As farmed fish consumption catches up on wild, a search for sustainable aquaculture picks up steam.

The Ixtoc I oil well blowout lasted from June 1979 to March 1980. Credit: NOAA

Ixtoc Disaster Holds Clues to Evolution of an Oil Spill

On a spring day in the Gulf of Mexico, a pipe issuing from the sea floor ruptured, sending an explosion rippling up to the drilling platform above and spewing oil into the surrounding waters. Experts scrambled to seal off the ever-increasing mass of oil by capping the pipe, clogging it or covering it. Nothing worked.

Child Mortality Rates Falling Faster than Expected

With only five years left to meet the Millennium Development Goals' 2015 deadline for reducing child mortality, progress toward that goal may be coming faster than was previously thought.

Changing Face of U.S. Cities a Harbinger of the Future

The majority of youth in U.S. cities are no longer white, but there is also a growing disparity in the educational background and incomes of those cities' populations, says a new report from the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

The crew aboard the motor vessel Poppa John train to deploy fire-resistant oil-containment boom off the coast of Venice, Louisiana, May 3, 2010. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley.

U.S.: Offshore Drilling Badly Tarnished by Gulf Oil Leak

As oil seeps into the environmentally and economically critical Gulf of Mexico following an explosion on a rig there two weeks ago, some groups are saying this catastrophe should mark the end of offshore drilling for oil - and be a "clarion call" for moving away from fossil fuels.

Climate Concerns Spur Changes in U.S. Military

Though some conservative politicians and activists in Washington remain unconvinced of the need for action, the U.S. military is taking the effects of climate change increasingly seriously.

Civil Society Calls on World Bank to Reform its Energy Lending

Against the backdrop of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund's spring meetings this weekend, numerous groups have chimed in on the need for and direction of a new World Bank energy strategy.

Developing Nations Gain Clout at World Bank – Depending on Your Math

Developing countries will have a slightly larger say at the World Bank under an agreement reached at the institution's spring meetings this weekend. But some groups are challenging whether the shift in voting shares is as large as it should be - or as large as the bank says it is.

GM Crops Go to US High Court, Environmental Laws on the Line

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in its first-ever case involving genetically modified crops. The decision in this case may have a significant impact on both the future of genetically modified foods and government oversight of that and other environmental issues.

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. Credit: Eli Clifton/IPS

POLITICS: Nuclear Security Summit Boosts Disarmament Agenda

On the second and last day of the largest gathering of world leaders ever in Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama connected the commitments made here on securing vulnerable nuclear materials to the broader goal of a "nuclear-free world".

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