Wherever Kevin Rudd goes, leadership speculation seems to follow. During his time in Australia, it centred on the stewardship of the Australian Labor Party. Now that he is based in America, it involves an even more disparate, unruly and opaque body, the UN.
According to a front-page report in The
Earlier this month, the secretariats of the Commonwealth and la Francophonie (the French-based equivalent of the Commonwealth) met with G20 representatives in Washington, DC to consult on their respective agendas. A press release was issued in advance of the meeting and interested journalists were
The apparent shift in the global energy market from coal to natural gas has shaken fossil fuel markets. As Australian resource exporters are keenly aware, this tilt has pushed seaborne coal prices down and improved the prospects for ocean-shipped LNG.
This change of fortunes for coal and gas has
The IMF/G20 meetings in Washington last week were not good for the US. And things may get worse.
Instead of focusing on the possibility of additional economic sanctions on Russia, which no doubt would have been the desire of the US, the headlines were 'G20 gives US ultimatum over IMF reforms'.
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report makes for gloomy reading. The world needs 'drastic changes' to reduce carbon emissions and prevent global temperature rises, reports the ABC; investment in renewable energy needs to triple, says the BBC; the emissions problem is
G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meet (yet) again in Washington today under the chairmanship of Joe Hockey and Glenn Stevens. This meeting is not getting as much publicity in Australia as the meeting held in Sydney in late February.
Admittedly it is only seven weeks since the
Leading analysts from influential think tanks from 11 countries across the world provide their interim assessment of the Australian G20 presidency in this report. They all participated in last year’s Think20 meeting in Sydney, organised by the Lowy Institute, and are now discussing whether
The good news is that the odds are clearly in favour of the Brisbane G20 Summit going ahead: Sportsbet is offering $1.05 that the Summit will be held and $8.00 that it won't. The bad news is the fact that odds are being offered at all, even if they are long.
The question mark that has arisen over
As the Nuclear Security Summit meets in The Hague this week, Japanese Prime Minister Abe and US President Obama have jointly announced that Japan will transfer all plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Japan's Fast Critical Assembly (FCA) at Tokai to the US for disposal. This material
G20 engagement partners from Business (B20), Civil Society (C20), Labour (L20), Think Tanks (T20) and Youth (Y20) have each provided a contribution for this issue of the Monitor. Each address how the groups are organising their contribution to the G20 process in 2014, their priorities for the
I'm going to focus on one aspect of Michael Fullilove's National Press Club address, neatly summarised in his conclusion:
Australia has a choice. Do we want to be a little nation, with a small population, a restricted diplomatic network, a modest defence force, and a cramped vision of our future
The way they were. Yanukovich and Strauss Kahn in 2010.
Ukraine faces an economic crisis as well as a political one. Its economy is a mess and it will take a lot of money and time to put it on a sustainable growth path. It may not have enough of either. Caught in the middle is the IMF.
The Lao Government confirmed on Wednesday its intention to go ahead with construction of the controversial Don Sahong dam, commencing in December. Lao government ministers said that all of their actions in doing so would be presented in a transparent fashion.
As I reported in The Interpreter on
One of the many lessons of the 2008 financial crisis is that emergency bailout funding (such as an IMF-orchestrated rescue) seriously distorts the operation of financial markets.
Emergency funding helps both the insolvent country and its foreign creditors, improving their repayment prospects. But
Co-authored by Hugh Jorgensen.
What are the implications of Russia's action in the Ukraine for the G20?
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says she is considering refusing to engage with Russia over the agenda for this year’s G20 summit. As the immediate past chair of the G20, Russia is
Further pushback to the Krugman column that Stephen Grenville quoted in his piece on the TPP yesterday. Gideon Rachman shares Grenville's view that Krugman is too busy looking at the economic trees to see the strategic forest. But unlike Grenville, who wants the TPP to embrace China, Rachman
My previous article showed that there has been an unprecedented level of investment in renewable energy over the last decade. Let's consider the drivers for this in more detail and look to the future.
Policy measures introduced in Europe and North America kick-started the market for wind turbines
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), repeatedly described as the 21st century platinum-standard trade agreement, is in trouble.
The latest round of negotiations has ended in Singapore without agreement, putting yet another deadline for completion beyond reach. Meanwhile, the 'fast track' Trade
This issue of the Monitor contains reflections on Think20 2014. The Think20 involves think tanks and academics from G20 countries, and aims to feed policy ideas into the G20 process. The Monitor contains papers covering the four policy areas discussed at Think20 2014: The G20’s economic and
Finance ministers and central bank governors from countries representing 85% of the world's economic output who gathered in Sydney last weekend agreed to lift their combined five-year GDP forecast by more than 2%. In real terms, the pledge would add US$2 trillion to the world economy.
Get comfortable before you tackle this epic portrait of Julian Assange by his ghost-writer, Andrew O'Hagan.
The author writes more in sadness than in anger because he is clearly inspired by WikiLeaks' mission. But the project to produce an Assange autobiography/manifesto drags on and is
With the Australian Government last week announcing a review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET), it's a good time to look back on how the sector has developed internationally. Depending on your perspective, it's a 'glass half full' or a 'glass half empty' story.
Let's start with the negative
Well, not all G20 finance ministers came to Sydney this weekend. No-shows were from South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and the World Bank president.
The Guardian reported that the number of ministers failing to show up to Sydney was an indication of the G20's fall from grace. This was a bit
Here's part 1 of my interview with author Adam Minter (on the globalisation of the scrap and recycling industry), part 2 on China's role in this industry, and part 3 on India. In this last instalment, I ask Adam about junk and environmentalism:
PB: To finish, let's turn to the future. What do you
Oxford economist Paul Collier has spent much of his career studying the lives of the poorest people on earth. His popular The Bottom Billion considered the causes and possible solutions to extreme poverty. In his new book, Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century, Collier's
Relations between India and Australia have reached a new maturity, based on deepening connections between their societies, economies, education sectors and policy establishments. This positions these two democracies well to work together to advance their interests in a shared Indo-Pacific region.
At the outbreak of the global financial crisis, 2008, the G20 was widely acknowledged as helping prevent an even more serious decline in the global economy. It helped to calm the panic in financial markets and articulate a set of possible policy options to restore global stability and growth.
Journalist Adam Minter has written a fascinating account of the global rubbish and recycling industry. I recommended his book, Junkyard Planet, as one of my top 'development books' of 2013. Here is part 1 of an interview I am conducting with Adam via email, and below the text a couple of captioned
In this Lowy Institute Policy Brief, Director of the G20 Studies Centre Mike Callaghan AM argues that the G20 needs to develop a comprehensive growth strategy to lift global growth and create jobs. Callaghan outlines the steps required to develop such a strategy by the Brisbane G20 Summit
Treasurer Joe Hockey's speech at the Lowy Institute today picked up on, and in some areas expanded upon, many of the issues raised in Prime Minister Abbott's G20 address in Davos.
As Mike Callaghan noted of the Prime Minister's comments in Davos, the Treasurer's speech bore the imprint of its
China is pushing forward with plans to finance and construct new nuclear power plants in Pakistan, in direct violation of its obligations to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Yet barely a whisper of protest has been heard. US officials have appeased their Indian friends by expressing 'concern
After its first few months, the Abbott Government's domestic and international climate credibility is threadbare, as is its commitment to commercialising clean energy alternatives. Threadbare, but not yet in complete tatters. This year will be revealing.
2014 will determine whether the Abbott
The so-called Geneva II conference ended last Friday. The key to any negotiation regarding Syria is to aim low and keep one's expectations realistic. It is fair to say that UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi's (pictured) aim was simply to get two of the sides in a room. His claim that he didn't
This issue of the Monitor addresses the issue of G20 outreach and presents a collection of perspectives from non-G20 member countries on the role and performance of the G20. The contributors have been asked to identify where the G20 process can add value and how it can be improved
On 23 February Prime Minister Abbott delivered a much anticipated speech to World Economic Forum at Davos outlining Australia's vision for the G20. The immediate response on Twitter was largely negative.
Chris Giles from the Financial Times tweeted: 'sign of the times, Rouhani (President of Iran
In its current print edition, the Economist has a fascinating chart that deserves much greater attention than the small section devoted to it. It matches the combined value of listed firms in various emerging markets with global companies that have similar market capitalisation.
Richard Broinowski writes:
In his speculative piece on a regional uranium enrichment plant in Australia, John Carlson gets a few things wrong.
First, it is inaccurate to suggest that but for Labor's opposition, Australia might now be well on the way to establishing a uranium enrichment facility.
As Syria stumbles into its third year of conflict, President Assad continues to bank on his belief that the longer he remains in power, the more likely that the opposition will be seen as a combination of Islamists, carpetbaggers, proxies and miscreants, and that the West will somehow reluctantly
It may seem anomalous that Australia, with a third of the world's uranium reserves, does not have a uranium enrichment industry to value-add on uranium exports. This was seriously considered in the 1970s, when a consortium of four major Australian resource companies conducted an enrichment
In the Sydney Morning Herald, Anthony Bubalo and Michael Fullilove review why the Australian goverment seems to be staggering from crisis to crisis, arguing it has more to do with shifting plates of global power than problems in Canberra.
A thoughtful, wide-ranging essay here from Stewart Patrick on 'good enough' global governance, from which I'll pluck just one extract, because it goes to the pessimism I expressed earlier this week about the chances of getting a global agreement on greenhouse gas emissions. Patrick argues that the
As you have already seen courtesy of a piece by new contributor Robert Kelly on three things that won't happen in Northeast Asia this year, we've decided to invert the January ritual of making predictions about the coming year. So here's my short list of things that won't happen in 2014, for good
If you have been reassured by the claim that intelligence agencies such as the US National Security Agency are 'only' collecting metadata from millions of mobile phone and internet users (for instance, details of whom a user is emailing and when, but not the content of those emails), then this ought
The starter's gun has fired on Australia's G20 presidency. It was a low key start.
The Prime Minister's media release was very brief. This is a positive. The G20 should always be business-like, with the focus on achieving substantive outcomes rather than on the event itself. Start to worry if we
On 1 December 2013, Australia began its twelve-month presidency of the G20, a role that will culminate with the chairing of the Brisbane G20 summit, 15-16 November 2014. The ‘Think20’ is a network of think tanks and academics from G20 countries that are working to provide&
Hugh Jorgensen is a Research Associate in the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre.
Last night in her address to Commonwealth foreign ministers, who are meeting in Sri Lanka for a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Julie Bishop took the opportunity to outline Australia's vision for 'the G20