Pascale Palmer's blog

Sacrifice and courage in Libya

Sacrifice and courage in Libya

A friend of mine was on that delayed plane out of Tripoli. You remember the one? We saw images of it stuck on the runway at Gatwick, some technical problems making take-off impossible.

Trickle down needs trickle up

Trickle down needs trickle up

Seventeen miles outside the Mozambique capital of Maputo sprawls the Mozal aluminium smelter - a huge industrial complex that cuts into the red earth and scrub woodland of the Boane district.

It's a crisis! We're running out of chocolate digestives

It's a crisis! We're running out of chocolate digestives

Food prices are rocketing but apparently we're going to be able to avoid hungry rioters because "rice is stable".

The morals of Morales

The morals of Morales

The Bolivians are always tainted with the melodrama brush at the climate change talks. Either openly or in cables (as revealed by yet another WikiLeaks allegation) Bolivia is seen as a loose cannon: a nation that won’t play the international political long game. There is a very strong argument for being inside the tent in order to bring about the change you want to see, yet even within an institution as plural as the UN that tent is still marshalled by the most powerful nations in the world. So when Bolivia walks in with its brand of all-or-nothing brokering, it is very much at odds with the Western-style politicking that holds sway.

UNFCCC: right forum, right process, wrong politics

UNFCCC: right forum, right process, wrong politics

Cancun is a strange place for the Mexican presidency of the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) to hold this round of negotiations..

From what I’ve seen (being shuttled from hotel to conference centres) feels like a long, thin coastal town of sprawling hotels and very little heart – where the sun shines and the sea sparkles, and holiday-makers travel from the US for all-you-can-eat buffets. It makes for a peculiar spectacle in the morning as the hotel foyer fills with suited and booted summit delegates and observers talking policy and political pressure points next to breakfasting families in their swimwear. And it’s not just the temperature that makes it different to Copenhagen and Poznan where the last two years’ COP were held.

Incovenient truth, but truth it is

It's coming to that time of the year again when climate change comes back into the news cycles in a big way. The next United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties, or UNFCCC COP16, kicks off in the Mexican holiday resort of Cancun next week and it's set to be a very different beast to last year's Copenhagen summit.

Small is ignored, but has the capacity to weather a financial crisis

Small is ignored, but has the capacity to weather a financial crisis

The G20 nations are flying in to Seoul in South Korea today for the start of the two-day summit which will see a new development agenda discussed.

Tonight, heads of state will gather for a working dinner before meeting tomorrow around the negotiating table proper. But for many of them it will only have been days since they saw each other last, with the US courting India and Cameron skirting the human rights elephant in the room during trade tête-à-têtes with the Chinese supremo.

Weaving a new fabric for human flourishing

Weaving a new fabric for human flourishing

The present model of economic globalisation, with its emphasis on financial profit and the pursuit of individual, corporate and national self-interest based on market principles, has long assumed that the values of competition, self-interest and unlimited freedom eclipse all else.

Squatting in Brazil

Squatting in Brazil

In the heart of the Brazilian city of São Paulo, a group of 2000 people are starting to make four abandoned buildings their homes. The homeless families are calling on the government to give them somewhere to live. Among the thousands are men and women and children - whole families that have nowhere secure to lay their heads and cook their meals, nowhere to house their belongings and keep them dry or warm. Many others live in extremely precarious conditions, every month having to choose to eat or pay rent.

Time to take a bullish market by the horns

Time to take a bullish market by the horns

So Business Secretary Vince Cable is "shining a harsh light into the murky world of corporate behaviour". Well it does seem an opportune moment, doesn't it?