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monsanto india

The environmentalism of the poor

Concern for the environment is often described as a luxury, something that emerging middle classes can pick up once more pressing development needs have been met. It’s an argument that some developing countries have used to duck out of climate change negotiations. It’s also used by commentators who say that economic growth is the most […]

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The Seamstress

The three dimensions of energy access

This week I’ve been checking in on Practical Action’s 2014 edition of the Poor People’s Energy Outlook, an important series of reports that has highlighted how and why we should extend cheap energy to everyone. They make a strong case for energy access as a key component of development, freeing people from drudgery, improving health, […]

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food banks

The trouble with food banks

Food banks have been a growing phenomenon in Britain over the last few years. They have become Exhibit A in the argument that our wealth is inequitably shared, the economic recovery isn’t reaching everyone, and that poverty remains real and serious in Britain today. Here’s a example that arrived in my inbox yesterday. That’s from […]

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poor-peoples-energy-outlook

Climate change action for the poor

One of the common arguments against action on climate change is that it is expensive. Both rich and poor countries use that excuse, but when developing countries use it is usually framed along the lines of sustainability as a luxury. Once we reach a certain level of industrialisation, the argument goes, we can start looking […]

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15-GC

15 global challenges for humanity

There are lots of ways you could summarise the most pressing questions of this century and draw up a list of priorities. The UN’s post-2015 agenda is one example, outlining a to-do list to replace the Millennium Development Goals. Here’s another, taken from the State of the Future report by the Millennium Project. They update […]

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fridge

Energy poverty in a single graphic

A couple of weeks ago I posted a striking graphic about energy poverty from the Center for Global Development. Here’s another from the same set of graphics: A third of the world’s population doesn’t have access to cheap energy. Progress is so slow that unless things speed up considerably, there will still be  900 million […]

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energy-poverty

Visualising global energy inequality

A third of the world’s population doesn’t have access to affordable electricity, and that presents us with one of the development conundrums of our era – how to deliver energy for everyone without destroying the climate in the process. Part of that is leapfrogging technologies that will see countries in the global south adopt renewable […]

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gwwclogo.jpg_-_copy

We can afford to end poverty

I wrote about Giving What We Can a couple of years ago, but they got in touch today and I thought I’d mention them again. Giving What We Can is a network of people who have pledged to give away 10% of their incomes to the charities making the biggest difference. The website has details […]

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think-differently

Thinking differently about poverty

There was a little bit of news that you might not have noticed this month. For the first time since the Second World War, the Red Cross will be starting a food aid programme in the UK. It’s not a big initiative, but it’s perhaps a symbolic one, a reminder that poverty in Britain is […]

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water use infographic

How much water do you use?

This is the latest infographic from Practical Action, one of my favourite charities. I’m not posting it to highlight how much water we use, more to remind us how fortunate we are to have clean water in the first place.

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