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News Briefings

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News Briefs (Samples)


Carbon Pricing Investment Response: Insights from Organizational Decision Making Notwithstanding its general success, there are some indications that the European Emissions Trading System is not as efficient as it could be. The reasons for such inefficiencies are found to lie in decision-making patterns in firms that are more complex than captured by traditional economic models. In particular, firms do not treat opportunity costs and actual costs equally; react differently to certificate price risks according to whether they are net buyers or net sellers of certificates; have different organizational structures which in turn affect their reactions to carbon prices; and may shy away from unfamiliar technologies when more familiar technologies exist which are perceived as roughly equally risky. Specific policy recommendations are made on how to overcome these issues. [read more]

Executive Compensation Reform--A Missed Opportunity? Recent news about record bonuses at Goldman Sachs show that little has changed for executive compensation, with the industry eagerly returning to the short-term compensation structures that have caused the excessive risk taking resulting in the crisis. Many fear that the momentum for in-depth reform may already have been lost. [read more]

Germany's pledge to ban GM maize: economic outlook. On Tuesday April 14th the German Minster of Agriculture, Ilse Aigner, announced plans to prohibit the cultivation of MON810 maize, a genetically modified (GM) plant derived from recombinant DNA. Given the scarce scientific evidence on which the ban is based, it is likely to result in damage law-suits and may revive trade disputes. [read more]

Excessive Executive Pay--Towards Effective Regulation. Public outrage continues to mount over the $218m in bonuses paid out at AIG, which had previously received $170 billion of bail-out founds from the US government. Populistic reactions to understandable public outrage over excessive pay however risk to distract attention from effective regulation and focus it instead on short-term measures aimed at appeasing public opinion. [read more]

The World Energy Outlook 2006 and Nuclear Energy. In its recently released World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2006, the International Energy Agency (IEA) calls for an expansion of nuclear power generation to reverse current trends. While such an expansion appears sensible for both environmental and strategic reasons, the call largely ignores resistance in public opinion. Some doubts about economic feasibility also remain. [read more]

The Stern Report and Changing Risk Perceptions on Global Warming. The Stern report is but the last in a line of alarming studies that attract public attention to the dangers of global warming. The gloomy picture it paints for the future may very well be intended to create alarm in the public, which should then put pressure on politicians to take action. While it can be seen as having achieved this aim, other developments will likely be more important for the future of climate policy. [read more]

 The Nobel Peace Prize 2006 and micro-credits. On October 13th, 2006, the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee assigned the 87th Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank “for their efforts to create economic and social development from below”. This constitutes a further recognition of the importance of microfinance institutions (MFIs). [read more]

 The row over GM food after the recent WTO panel ruling. On September 29th 2006 a WTO panel finally produced a decision on the charges brought against the European Communities by the USA, Canada and Argentina (cases WT/DS291, WT/DS292, and WT/DS293 respectively). The report concludes that the measures taken by the EC and some of its member states banning imports of genetically modified (GM) food are illegal under the rules of the world trading system and need therefore be terminated. [read more]