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Burning Energy

Featured in this Big Picture
  1. Jeffrey FrankelJeffrey Frankel,
  2. Daniel GrosDaniel Gros,
  3. Jules KortenhorstJules Kortenhorst,
  4. Jayati GhoshJayati Ghosh,
  5. Jim O'NeillJim O'Neill

The recent surge in oil, gas, and electricity prices is forcing governments to confront a policy and political challenge that is further complicating the green transition. Advocates of a rapid shift to renewables need to face an uncomfortable fact: when demand spikes, the world needs all the energy it can get.

  1. biden xi summit Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

    Broken Engagement

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Daniel Russel,
    2. Joseph S. Nye, Jr.,
    3. Anne O. Krueger,
    4. Zhang Jun,
    5. Dani Rodrik

    Optimists hope that the recent virtual summit between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrested the alarming slide in Sino-American relations, at least for now. But even if the superpowers’ rivalry stops short of conflict, is substantive cooperation on pressing global challenges possible?

  2. Powell worry Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

    Off with the Fed’s Head?

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. J. Bradford DeLong,
    2. Simon Johnson,
    3. John B. Taylor,
    4. Joseph E. Stiglitz,
    5. Willem H. Buiter

    US President Joe Biden must soon decide whether to reappoint Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to another four-year term. With inflation at a 30-year high, the debate over Biden’s choice is understandably focusing on the Fed’s policy priorities as well as its leadership.

  3. climate betrayal Peter Summers/Getty Images

    The Great COP-Out?

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Kenneth Rogoff,
    2. Jean Pisani-Ferry,
    3. Mark Leonard,
    4. Maureen Santos,
    5. Linda Schneider,
    6. Kaushik Basu

    Many are calling for a major rethink about how to tackle the climate crisis, but doubt whether the world has the time or the inclination. With the crucial United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow now well underway, governments have only one week left to prove the skeptics wrong.

  4. glasgow bridge Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

    The Green Lights of Glasgow

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Patricia Espinosa,
    2. Laurence Tubiana,
    3. Connie Hedegaard,
    4. John Kampfner,
    5. V. Shankar

    The upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is a crucial credibility test for global governance, but expectations for progress are low. Will world leaders nevertheless rise to the occasion and adopt the ambitious measures needed to avert disaster, or will political short-termism and great-power rivalry condemn the gathering to failure?

  5. container stack Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

    Supply-Shock Therapy

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Diane Coyle,
    2. Dalia Marin,
    3. Richard Haass,
    4. Jonathan Woetzel,
    5. Mekala Krishnan,
    6. Keun Lee

    Even if today’s fears of a global production meltdown prove to be exaggerated, COVID-19 has exposed the myriad vulnerabilities of cross-border value chains. The key issue, beyond the immediate priority of easing input shortages, is whether firms will need state help to protect themselves against future supply disruptions.

  6. bitcoin board da-kuk/Getty Images

    Deciphering the Crypto Crackdown

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Aleh Tsyvinski,
    2. Ashley Alder,
    3. Jon Cunliffe,
    4. Sheila Warren,
    5. Elmira Bayrasli,
    6. Daron Acemoglu,
    7. Jeffrey Frankel

    Unfettered innovation may sound attractive in theory, but can be problematic in practice – not least when it comes to money and payment systems. Can regulators find a way to protect users and the stability of the global monetary system without killing off private digital money before it comes of age?

  7. wb phone Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

    The Undoing of Doing Business

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Anne O. Krueger,
    2. Joseph E. Stiglitz,
    3. Jayati Ghosh,
    4. Kaushik Basu,
    5. Mauricio Cárdenas

    The recent data-manipulation scandal involving the World Bank’s annual flagship report, and the role of the International Monetary Fund’s current managing director, has shaken public confidence in the Bretton Woods institutions. Will procedural tweaks alone be enough to rebuild their reputation, or do the problems run deeper?

  8. center flag Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images

    A Reckoning for the China Dream

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Shang-Jin Wei,
    2. Kenneth Rogoff,
    3. Stephen S. Roach,
    4. Raghuram G. Rajan,
    5. Yuen Yuen Ang,
    6. Nancy Qian

    Many investors remain focused on whether the Chinese government will succeed in ring-fencing the problems at the heavily indebted property developer Evergrande. But the bigger issue is what President Xi Jinping’s increasing regulatory crackdown and “common prosperity” agenda mean for China’s long-term growth.

  9. russia apples Erik Romanenko\TASS via Getty Images

    The Coming Food Fight

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Sandrine Dixson-Declève,
    2. José Antonio Ocampo,
    3. Felia Salim,
    4. Gloria Abraham Peralta,
    5. Hilal Elver,
    6. Barbara Unmüßig,
    7. Simon Zadek,
    8. Agnes Kalibata,
    9. Kristina Skierka

    The COVID-19 pandemic has caused hunger to spike, highlighting the need for radical reforms of the global food system to ensure its long-term resilience. But many fear that the United Nations Food Systems Summit on September 23 will entrench the current inequitable status quo instead of delivering real change.

  10. Germany billboard Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Germany’s Post-Merkel Era Begins

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Jan-Werner Mueller,
    2. Melvyn B. Krauss,
    3. Harold James,
    4. Sigmar Gabriel,
    5. Joschka Fischer,
    6. Ana Palacio,
    7. Mark Leonard,
    8. Constanze Stelzenmüller,
    9. Elmira Bayrasli

    For the first time in 16 years, Germany will have a government not led by Angela Merkel. Although it remains to be seen which parties will make up the new ruling coalition following the tightly contested federal election, the end of the Merkel era will offer the country a new opportunity to tackle the many challenges left unaddressed by the departing chancellor.

  11. AI hand VCG/VCG via Getty Images

    AI Wars

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Eric Schmidt,
    2. Kai-fu Lee,
    3. Frank-Jürgen Richter,
    4. Stan Matwin,
    5. Aida Ponce Del Castillo,
    6. Stefaan G. Verhulst,
    7. Mona Sloane

    While recent advances in artificial intelligence may not justify either excessive optimism or dystopian visions, the technology will significantly reshape economies and societies. But will geopolitical competition and a surfeit of hype hamper progress toward setting standards for this critical technology’s responsible development and use?

  1. hclark14_GENT SHKULLAKUAFP via Getty Images_fishing GENT SHKULLAKUAFP via Getty Images

    Reeling in a Deal to Save the Ocean

    Helen Clark, et al.

    Governments have long promised to reduce destructive fisheries subsidies in order to curb unsustainable and unprofitable fishing activity. The World Trade Organization’s upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference in Geneva will test the credibility of that pledge.

    call on governments to end harmful fisheries subsidies at the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference.
  2. op_nye1 pic
    Subscriber Exclusive

    Our AI Odyssey

    Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

    No longer the stuff of science fiction, artificial intelligence is already threatening to upend politics, war, and wide swaths of the economy. Henry Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and MIT’s Daniel Huttenlocher offer a primer on what to expect next.

    reviews a highly anticipated new book on artificial intelligence by Henry Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Huttenlocher.

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