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Pacific Alliance 2.0: Next Steps in Integration

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Pacific Alliance–an innovative pact among Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru–has unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on political changes in Brazil and Argentina and move the region into a new era of regional integration. A new publication by the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and the Bertelsmann Foundation, released just weeks ahead of the Alliance’s Sixth Presidential Summit in Chile, says that now is the moment for the Alliance to deepen engagement with Mercosur and build on efforts to strengthen financial market, energy, trade, and foreign policy coordination.
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27
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Reviewing the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - “Early Movers” Can Help Maintain Momentum

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Abstract in English: 
At the Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015 the heads of state and government of all the UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Several countries, including Germany, committed to move rapidly on implementation. During the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2016, twentytwo countries volunteered to conduct national reviews of their implementation. Moreover, UN member states plan to adopt a resolution on the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda before that meeting. What initiatives would be most helpful for maintaining the momentum and making ambitious progress on implementing and reviewing the Agenda?
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4
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An Arctic Redesign: Recommendations to Rejuvenate the Arctic Council

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, March 14, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Arctic Council was launched in 1996 as an informal, consensual, and cooperative mechanism without either legal personality or operational mandate. It was designed to enhance measures to collectively protect the Arctic’s environment and to explore sustainable development opportunities. The Arctic Council turns 20 years old in 2016, and it has grown larger and more complex - welcoming new observer states such as China and India, initiating two legally binding agreements on search and rescue and oil spill response, and creating a permanent Secretariat. As the increasingly dynamic Arctic environment undergoes vast physical and geopolitical transformations, is the 20-year old Arctic Council’s organizational structure adequate and fit for its purpose? Can the Council remain at the center of Arctic-related activities under its current mandate? Is a substantial rethink of the Council’s governance structure necessary to ensure its productivity and longevity for the next 20 years? This report considers these questions and outlines four possible scenarios and strategies for Arctic Council reform and repair, as well as the implications for the Arctic Council in the future.
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28
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State of the World's Plants

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has released the first annual report on the State of the World’s Plants.
The report provides a baseline assessment of current knowledge on the diversity of plants on earth, the global threats plants face, the policies in place and their effectiveness in dealing with threats. The report has taken a year to produce and involved more than 80 scientists.
This is the first ever global assessment on the state of the world’s plants.
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84
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Security and Public Order Report

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The security situation facing the Middle East is grave and appears to be trending toward greater violence and instability. The Middle East Strategy Task Force's Security and Public Order report, published in cooperation with the Brookings Institution, demonstrates that states of the region have tended to focus on traditional, external threats but the internal threats they face—from domestic unrest, state failure, and civil war—have become both more common and dangerous.

It is highly unlikely that these security problems will solve themselves or that regional states will be able to resolve them on their own. Given the ongoing importance of Middle Eastern energy resources to the international economy, the region’s central geographic location, its multiplicity of terrorist groups, and the extent of regional anger at numerous other countries for their predicament, it would be a mistake to assume that these security problems will not affect the wider world. Already the problems of terrorism and refugees generated by Middle Eastern upheaval have made many Americans, Europeans, Russians, and Middle Easterners want to take action themselves.
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48
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Strategic Foresight: How to Enhance the Implementation of 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in Developing Countries

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, January 18, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This publication is the third in a series of newsletters dedicated to raising awareness of global trends analysis and how future scenarios may affect Latin America. It summarizes a report by the UN Economic and Social Council on the importance of strengthening strategic predictive capabilities for policy makers, particularly in developing countries.

The report, Strategic foresight for the post-2015 development agenda, delineates the priorities of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development.

The summary accompanies a presentation by Dialogue senior fellow Sergio Bitar to the commission in May 2015 in Geneva, designed to complement the main ideas and proposals in their report. We are also pleased to include an essay by Amy Zalman, CEO and president of the World Future Society, on governance as it relates to anticipating global trends.
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10
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The Costs of Meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal Targets on Drinking Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

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Publication date: 
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Abstract in English: 
A dedicated goal for water has recently been endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly as part of the sustainable development goal (SDG) framework. This study provides an assessment of the global costs of meeting the WASH-related targets of Goal #6. The targets assessed include achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all (target 6.1), achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and ending open defecation (target 6.2). The estimates include 140 countries, or 85% of the world's population, focusing on developing countries. Costs estimated cover those of capital investment, program delivery, operations, and major capital maintenance.
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64
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Achieving Zero Hunger

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
This paper provides estimates of investment costs, both public and private, required to eliminate chronic dietary energy deficits, or to achieve zero hunger by 2030. This target is consistent with achieving both the Sustainable Development Goal 2, to eliminate hunger by 2030, and the Sustainable Development Goal 1, to eradicate poverty. The study adopts a reference 'baseline' scenario, reflecting a “business as usual” situation, to estimate the additional investment requirements. In this scenario, around 650 million people will still suffer from hunger in 2030. We then estimate the investment requirements to eliminate hunger by 2030. Hunger is eliminated through a combination of social protection and targeted “pro-poor” rural investments. The first component aims to bring the poor immediately to the US$1.25/day poverty line income in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms through social protection for a “Transfer to cover the Poverty Gap” (PGT). The second component requires additional investment to accelerate pro-poor rural growth of incomes and employment particularly in rural areas, where most of the poor live, than in the business as usual scenario. Targeted pro-poor rural, including rural and agricultural, investments are required to raise the earned incomes of the poor. This would, in turn, reduce the need for social protection to cover the PGT. The analysis is complemented by looking at alternative ways to achieve such pro-poor rural growth.
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39
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Circular economy in Europe — Developing the knowledge base

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, January 18, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The report describes the concept of the circular economy and outlines its key characteristics. It draws attention to both the benefits and challenges in transitioning to such an economy and highlights possible ways to measure progress.

Europe is bound to the rest of the world through multiple systems that enable two-way flows of materials, financial resources, ideas and innovation. As a result, Europe's economic, ecological and societal resilience is and will continue to be significantly affected by a variety of global and interdependent social, economic, political, environmental and technological trends.

Global material resource use in 2030, for example, is expected to be twice that of 2010 (SERI, 2013), while the most recent United Nations forecast suggests that the global population is likely to exceed 11 billion by the end of the 21st century (UN DESA, 2015). With 7.2 billion people today, however, the planet is already struggling to meet humanity's demands for land, food and other natural resources, and to absorb its wastes. Indeed, there is evidence that some planetary boundaries, which define a safe operating space for human development, may already have been transgressed. These include the biosphere's integrity, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, climate change and land system changes
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42
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Surging Liquefied Natural Gas Trade

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Abstract in English: 
A surge in new supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is about to hit the global market over the next several years. LNG export projects already under construction worldwide will add up to 175 billion cubic meters (bcm) of LNG capacity by 2020, mainly from Australia and the United States, and additional projects will move ahead as developers line up more customers.
The rise in LNG supplies will encounter substantially lower gas prices than in recent years and a slowdown in global gas demand, raising questions about the economics of LNG projects. For US exporters, liquefaction and tanker transport will add about $5.30 per million British thermal units (mbtu) in costs for LNG sent to Japan. The cost is similar to liquefy, transport, and regasify LNG sent to Europe, where the cost of regasifying LNG needs to be included to compare its price with pipeline gas.1 With average prices for LNG falling below $8 per mbtu in Japan and even lower in Europe, there is little margin for profit even with Henry Hub prices currently at about $2.40 per mbtu.2 However, LNG exporters are likely to continue selling as long as their variable costs can be covered.
For US exporters, the outlook is more favorable for companies who have concluded a final investment decision to go ahead with an LNG export project. Most of these projects are under construction and have much of their planned output already contracted to sell over twenty years. Most of the US sales will not begin until after the next two years, when demand may be stronger.
The majority of Australia’s projects will already be up and running by 2018 and therefore pose less competition for US exporters seeking to acquire new LNG customers. US projects are also ahead of proposed projects offshore East Africa and in the Eastern Mediterranean, which may not come online until after 2020.
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