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How waste can save lives and create jobs

On Tuesday I dropped in on the launch event for the Virtuous Circle report, hosted by Tearfund and the Institute for Development Studies. The report is all about how the circular economy can deliver economic growth, create quality jobs, and save lives in developing countries, while improving the environment at the same time. It’s one […]

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Guest post: Leapfrogging in Ethiopia – myth or reality?

A couple of weeks ago I heard Steve Baines present some findings from his MA on low carbon development in Ethiopia. That’s a country I’ve had my eye on, and I asked Steve if he’d share his work in a guest post. It addresses one of the most pressing questions in development: Leapfrogging – Myth […]

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How many people still live in poverty?

When the Millennium Development Goals reached their formal conclusion in 2015, there was a full review of the goals and whether or not they were achieved. Goal 1.A was one of the success stories. Not only did the world halve the number of people living on less $1.25 a day, it did so five years […]

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A map of the countries with the most renewable energy

One of the more popular posts on this blog over the past few years has been the one on countries with 100% renewable energy. It’s a list that surprises people, as there are plenty of unexpected countries on there. Here’s a map that makes the same point. It shows the countries that generate over 80% […]

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Global inequality is an opportunity too

It’s 2016, and after decades of growth, the global economy stands at over $70 trillion. If that was divided evenly and distributed to every working person in the world, you’d get an income just short of $32,000. But of course that’s not how it works. In reality, half the world’s population gets by on less […]

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Building of the week: the half-house

Architecture is often the preserve of the elite. Many of the world’s leading architects work on flagship developments for the richest in society, and RIBA’s house of the year was built for Lord Rothschild, after all. Most of the rest of us make do with off-the-shelf boxes, so I’m always interested in architects that want […]

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Kiva celebrates ten years

I’m a big fan of Kiva, the peer-to-peer micro-lending platform, which is marking ten years since its founding. Kiva’s innovation was to bring two major trends together into one – crowd-funding and microfinance. Their website allows ordinary people to chip in towards a small business loan for an entrepreneur in a low income country. Since […]

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Can you help to pilot the basic income?

I write about the basic income (or citizen’s income) from time to time on this blog. It’s an idea that is being discussed quite seriously in a number of places at the moment, but we’re a long way from seeing it implemented in Britain. You can support the idea elsewhere, however. If you’re an advocate […]

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The cost of water

Something to think about next time you get your water bill. Here’s how our water prices compare to those in developing countries: That’s not the cost people are paying every day, but the cost for 50 litres, which is what the World Health Organisation considers an adequate level of consumption for health and hygiene. It’s […]

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Making plastic too valuable to throw away

As we saw a few weeks ago, world plastic usage has soared in the last couple of decades, but only 14% of plastic is recycled. 40% of it goes to landfill, and a depressing 32% leaks into the natural environment. The solutions to this include reducing plastic use, finding biodegradeable alternatives, and of course increasing […]

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