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De Silva P.N.K.,University College London | Simons S.J.R.,University College London | Stevens P.,Royal Institute of International Affairs
Energy Policy

In the US, the shale gas revolution ensured that the development costs of unconventional natural gas plummeted to thelevels of $ 2-3/Mcf. This success has motivated the development of shale gas in other regions, including Australia and Europe. This study, focussing primarily on aspects of economic impact analysis, estimates the development costs of shale gas extraction in both Australia and Europe, based on both direct and fiscal costs, and also suggests policy initiatives. The increasing liquefied natural gas (LNG) developments in Australia are already straining domestic gas supplies. Hence,the development of more natural gas resources has been given a high priority. However, a majority of the Australian shale resources is non-marine in origin and significantly different to the marine-type shales in the US. In addition, the challenges of high development costs and the lack of infrastructure, service capacity and effective government policy are inhibiting shale gas development. Increasing the attractiveness of low risk investment by new, local, developers is critical forAustralian shale gas success, which will simultaneously increase domestic gas security. In the European context, unconventional gas development will be challenged by direct, rather than fiscal costs. High direct costs will translate into averagoverall gas development costs over $ 13/Mcf, which is well over the existing market price. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Seal A.,University College London | Bailey R.,Royal Institute of International Affairs
Conflict and Health

Background: Famine early warning systems clearly identified the risk of famine in South Central Somalia in 2010-2011 but timely action to prevent the onset of famine was not taken. The result was large scale mortality, morbidity, and population displacement. Discussion. The main factor that turned a drought-related food crisis into a famine was the war that afflicted southern Somalia and the tactics adopted by the various belligerents. These included non-state actors, regional, and international governments. In disasters and complex emergencies, such as this, we posit that five conditions need to be in place to enable humanitarian agencies to provide a timely response to early warnings of famine. These are: presence; access; adequate funding; operational capacity; and legal protection for humanitarian action. In the run up to the Somalia famine each of these presented severe challenges to humanitarian action. The design of the current coordination and funding system contributed to the problems of achieving a neutral, independent, and effective humanitarian response. Summary. The 2011 famine in Somalia was predicted and could have been mitigated or prevented if the humanitarian response had been timely and more effective. To improve responsiveness to early warnings, action is required to better insulate the humanitarian system from political agendas. While overcoming constraints, such as lack of access, may sometimes be beyond the scope of humanitarian actors, more could be done to enhance the perceived neutrality of parts of the humanitarian system. This should include a reappraisal of the cluster coordination system and reforms to donor funding mechanisms. © 2013 Seal and Bailey; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Durodie B.,Royal Institute of International Affairs | Durodie B.,Nanyang Technological University
Journal of Risk Research

Whereas past episodes of rioting in UK cities confronted the state authorities with a conscious and collective political problem - either through opposition to job losses or to institutional racism - in the post-political climate today we witness a shift towards individual action driven more by identity than by ideology. The one element that united the otherwise disaggregated rioters across the UK recently was more their taste in expensive sportswear (branded trainers) and electrical goods (plasma television screens) than anything else. Far from being a backlash against the police shooting of a petty, local black criminal in north London, or to the austerity measures introduced by the Liberal-Conservative government to combat the UK state deficit, some commentators suggest that what we now see is the product of a generation brought up on welfare for whom the old allegiances of work, family and community have lost their meaning and who, accordingly, are only able to assert their identity through the expression of their consumer tastes. This article examines what really drove the recent UK riots and explores the twin crises - of authority and of identity that they have exposed. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Outterson K.,Boston University | Outterson K.,Royal Institute of International Affairs | Outterson K.,Preventions Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group | Powers J.H.,George Washington University | And 2 more authors.
Health Affairs

Multidrug-resistant bacterial diseases pose serious and growing threats to human health. While innovation is important to all areas of health research, it is uniquely important in antibiotics. Resistance destroys the fruit of prior research, making it necessary to constantly innovate to avoid falling back into a pre-antibiotic era. But investment is declining in antibiotics, driven by competition from older antibiotics, the cost and uncertainty of the development process, and limited reimbursement incentives. Good public health practices curb inappropriate antibiotic use, making return on investment challenging in payment systems based on sales volume. We assess the impact of recent initiatives to improve antibiotic innovation, reflecting experience with all sixty-seven new molecular entity antibiotics approved by the Food and Drug Administration since 1980. Our analysis incorporates data and insights derived from several multistakeholder initiatives under way involving governments and the private sector on both sides of the Atlantic. We propose three specific reforms that could revitalize innovations that protect public health, while promoting long-term sustainability: increased incentives for antibiotic research and development, surveillance, and stewardship; greater targeting of incentives to high-priority public health needs, including reimbursement that is delinked from volume of drug use; and enhanced global collaboration, including a global treaty. © 2015 Project HOPE-The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc. Source

Grimston M.,Royal Institute of International Affairs
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy

At least before the Fukushima accident of March 2011, global interest in building nuclear power stations stood at a 25-year high. However, the wave of nuclear construction in the 1970s and 1980s proved not to be sustainable. This article seeks to address whether a new wave of nuclear construction now would prove to be any more sustainable than the first wave by analysing security of supply, economic, and environmental and social/political factors. There are striking similarities between the situation in, say 1982 or 1992 and the situation in 2012, including rising construction costs and questions about safety after major nuclear accidents. There are also major differences, such as greatly raised fears over climate change, a need for significant new power generating capacity of some description in developed and developing countries and high fossil fuel prices. Analysing and quantifying the effects of these similarities and differences should allow policymakers some insight into likely futures, but energy policymaking will never be an exact science, requiring considerable degrees of value judgement and interpretation of uncertain data. © IMechE 2012. Source

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