Greening Aid?: Understanding the Environmental Impact of Development Assistance

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Overview


Every year, billions of dollars of environmental aid flow from the rich governments of the North to the poor governments of the South. Why do donors provide this aid? What do they seek to achieve? How effective is the aid given? And does it always go to the places of greatest environmental need?

From the first Earth Summit in Stockholm in 1972 to the G8 Gleneagles meeting in 2005, the issue of the impact of aid on the global environment has been the subject of vigorous protest and debate. How much progress has there been in improving environmental protection and clean-up in the developing world? What explains the patterns of environmental aid spending and distribution - is it designed to address real problems, achieve geopolitical or commercial gains abroad, or buy political mileage at home? And what are the consequences for the estimated 4 million people that die each year from air pollution, unsafe drinking water, and lack of sanitation?

All of these questions and many more are addressed in this groundbreaking text, which is based on the authors' work compiling the most comprehensive dataset of foreign aid ever assembled. By evaluating the likely environment impact of over 400,000 development projects by more than 50 donors to over 170 recipient nations between 1970 and 2001, Greening Aid represents a unique, state of the art picture of what is happening in foreign assistance, and its impact on the environment. Greening Aid explains major trends and shifts over the last three decades, ranks donors according to their performance, and offers case studies which compare and contrast donors and types of environmental aid.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Greening Aid? reveals surprising patterns in how the greening of aid took place during the last two decades of the 20th century. It is a major work of scholarship, constituting an enormous step forward in our understanding of environmental aid."--Robert O. Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

"Do no harm. That's the minimum we should expect of development assistance. But some aid has caused harm - to the environment if not also to development. Aid policies have changed as a result, but has the 'greening' of aid been successful? The evidence previously has been anecdotal. This careful study offers the most systematic treatment of this important subject yet available - a valuable contribution to the study of aid and its environmental consequences."--Scott Barrett, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

"The authors address whether foreign assistance has over time become more friendly to environmental concerns... To With billions spent on environmental aid each year, this text examines its effectiveness and whether it is actually going to the places with the greatest environmental need classified each project...into one of five categories according to how friendly or unfriendly it was to the environment. Their major finding is that environmental friendly aid projects did indeed grow significantly both in relative terms and in dollar amounts between 1980 and 1999... The authors explore several explanations for the difference in trends, with sometimes surprising conclusions."--Foreign Affairs

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199582792
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/12/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert L. Hicks is Associate Professor of Economics at The College of William and Mary. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University (B.A., 1991) and the University of Maryland (Ph.D., 1997). His research includes econometric approaches for measuring peoples' preferences for environmental goods, environmental valuation, and the optimal management of natural resources.

Bradley C. Parks is a PhD student at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Research Fellow at the College of William and Mary's Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations. He has written and contributed to several books and articles on global environmental politics, international political economy, and development theory and practice. He previously served as an Associate Director of Development Policy in the Department of Policy and International Relations at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). He was also a founding member of MCC's Climate Change Working Group, which is responsible for more effectively integrating climate considerations into the selection, design, and implementation of U.S. foreign assistance projects.

J. Timmons Roberts is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Environmental Studies at Brown University. Professor Roberts received his PhD from the Johns Hopkins University in 1992 and has taught at Tulane University and the College of William and Mary, where he conducted this research. He is author of a number of books and articles and his research interests include Globalization, Development and Social Change, Environmental Sociology, and Climate Change

Michael J. Tierney is Associate Professor of Government at The College of William and Mary. He received a B.A. from William and Mary in 1987 and a Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego in 2003. His research interests include International Relations, International Organization, and Institutional Theory

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Contending Theories on Environmental Aid
3. Which Donor Nations are Giving Aid to Protect the Environment and Why?
4. Outsourcing National Interest: The Puzzle of Why Nations Delegate Environmental Aid to Multilateral Agencies
5. To Areas of Need or Geopolitical Interest? How is Environmental Aid Allocated Among Recipient Countries?
6. The Local and the Global: Case Studies of Four Types of Environmental Aid
7. Conclusion: Two Maps of the World
Appendix: Data Sources, Measures, Methods, and Coding

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