From a warning about the climate crisis to the US’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement

More than 11,000 scientists have signed a statement warning the world faces ‘untold suffering due to the climate crisis’ unless there are major transformations to global society.

Related: Sea levels set to keep rising for centuries even if emissions targets met

 

The Trump Administration has formally begun the process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Agreement in 2017, but the US could not officially begin the process till now due to the accord’s various rules on withdrawal.

Related: Trump Isn’t a Climate Denier. He’s Worse.

 

The US has launched a new certification scheme for large infrastructure projects in what as seen as an effort to capitalise on growing unease about the risks and costs of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The Blue Dot Network will vet and certify projects to promote “market-driven, transparent, and financially sustainable” infrastructure development in Asia and around the world, according to organisers.

Related: Opinion: The new US development agency could be a game-changer for health innovation

 

The Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) have approved a USD $115 billion capital increase for the Bank, the largest increase in the history of the AfDB.

 

Voting for the next president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has officially begun. Masatsugu Asakawa, a special advisor to Japan’s prime minister and minister of finance, is the sole nominee.

Related: ADB, KfW Expand Cofinancing Partnership with Additional $2 Billion

 

Madrid will host this year’s COP25 Climate Conference after the Chilean government decided to cancel the conference due to the ongoing unrest in the country. While the conference has been relocated to the Spanish capital Chile will continue to hold the rotating presidency of the climate talks.

Related: The Paris climate agreement is at risk of falling apart in the 2020s

 

Officials at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) say Vice President Mike Pence’s office has been interfering in the decision-making process for the allocation of foreign aid to favour Christian groups, something officials warned could be unconstitutional and inflame religious tensions.

Related: Trump’s Ukraine defense sparks questions about mixing aid with politics

 

Conservative MP Heather Wheeler has renewed concerns a Tory government would abolish the UK Department for International Development (DFID) after she refused to confirm the Conservatives would keep DFID as a ‘stand-alone’ department if they win a majority in December’s general election.

 

Only 11 of the 61 countries in the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement are on track to meet World Health Assembly stunting-reduction targets by 2025 according to a new report released at the SUN Global Gathering 2019 in Kathmandu this week.

Related: Opinion: The tension in global nutrition that no one is talking about

 

World Bank staff say the Bank’s board of executive directors is failing to live up to its own standards on gender equality. Just 5 of the 25 executive directors are women, and staff say this lack of diversity is preventing the Bank from hitting international diversity and inclusion targets and undermines the Bank’s gender diversity advocacy efforts.

 

Cristiana Pasça Palmer, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, has resigned. Internal documents obtained by reporters describe a ‘chaotic work environment’ at the secretariat and allegations Pasça Palmer had discriminated against African staff members on the basis of their race.

 

Maria Shaw-Barragan, director of the global partners department at the European Investment Bank (EIB), described the ‘Wise Persons Group’ conclusion that the EIB and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have ‘“little or no experience working with low-income countries and countries with fragilities’ as ‘fake news’. The Wise Persons Group made the comment on the EIB and EBRD’s experience in its report for EU leaders on how EIB, EBRD, national development finance institutions, and the European Commission can better coordinate their investments abroad, particularly in Africa.

 

The International Water Association (IWA) has elected Tom Mollenkopf as its next President. Mollenkopf has spent the past 25 years in the Water sector and has been a member of the IWA board of directors for the past five years.

Related: 5 myths drowning out progress on WASH

 

The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) is starting to drum-up support ahead of its first replenishment event in Berlin next June. The GAFSP is targeting USD $1.5 billion in funding but with the US, the fund’s largest contributor in the past, looking to reduce its development spend under President Trump, GAFSP will likely need to either broaden its donor pool or persuade existing donors to raise their contributions if it is to meet this goal.

 

Rob Reich, director of Stanford’s McCoy Center for Ethics in Society and codirector of its Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, explains why he believes the current system of philanthropy is undemocratic and unaccountable, and what needs to change to resolve this issue.