Analysis06 March

Adiós Chávez

Sergio Abranches

Hugo Chávez passes away at a critical moment of Venezuela’s history. He has come to power at another critical moment of his country’s history. After leading a failed coup d’état, he became the Constitutional president by winning a regular presidential election. Venezuela faced, then, a deep political crisis due to the loss of legitimacy and credibility of the traditional political parties which dominated the country for more than four decades. Chávez dies when his country faces a deep political division at the social level, without firm leadership both on the opposition, and among the “chavistas” to lead the way forward. More »

Analysis14 December

Internet governance or Internet control?

Sérgio Abranches

A maneuver to introduce a clause about Internet governance on the International Telecommunications Treaty led to protest and several democratic countries declined to sign the document. They have strong reasons to refuse. The Internet was born to be self-governed. Not to become the subject of some organization’s dominance, be it multilateral or domestic. More »

Analysis03 October

Climate talks in Panama unlikely to end the logjam

Sergio Abranches

The last official preparatory meeting to the Climate Change Convention in Durban is taking place in Panama, since last Saturday. Negotiators will attempt to arrive at feasible drafts to be tabled at the next session of the Climate Convention, COP17, in Durban, South Africa. The signs are that an agreement on the core issues deadlocking conversations is unlikely to happen. More »

The Future Is Low Carbon

Sergio Abranches

Moving from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy entails replacing the global energy and industrial high-carbon infrastructure over the next decades. UN’s recent Economic and Social Survey 2011 – The Great Green Technological Transformation estimates replacement costs at $15-$20 trillion, or between one quarter and one third of global income. More »

Analysis, COP1707 June

Bonn signals a dismal outcome for COP17

Sergio Abranches

The last official preparatory meeting before COP17, in Durban, South Africa, has started yesterday in Bonn pointing to more problems than solutions. Christiana Figueres, top UN climate official, warned the parties about the risk of inaction, but realistically acknowledged that there will likely be very few substantial decisions in Durban. She finally admitted that there is not enough time left to approve the text for a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. A regulatory gap is already unavoidable. More »

Analysis25 February

Back to a global green recovery plan?

A scenario of sustained high oil prices can no longer be discarded. If the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East continue to spread to other countries over the next months, it is quite likely that oil prices will keep high, and may even reach new record heights. Not an unlikely development, particularly if protesters in Libya succeed in overthrowing Gaddafi. But instability will hardly stop with the overthrow of dictatorial rulers. Governance-building is a long process, with likely surges of instability. Attending the demands for jobs and income will not be easy. The global economy has not fully recovered yet, and the region’s troubled local economies need sweeping reforms before they can yield satisfactory results. Frustration of demands can refuel discontent and lead to new waves of instability. More »