Category: Events-reports

Flattening Curves & Lifting Lockdowns in EUROPE – A better method for estimating infection rates

This paper presents a comparative analysis of the COVID-19 outbreak across ten major European countries. It identifies the best and worst performing countries in flattening the curve and promotes a new statistical method for estimating the ‘reproduction rate’ (known as ‘R0’) to analyse individual countries and specific regions, to better target lock-down or easing of lock-down policies and explore the best, fastest and most secure policies, as we prepare for a possible second wave.

The most important criteria for successfully flattening the curve have been early lockdowns. This has had a determining effect on the “epidemic reproduction rate” R0. There remains a significant divergence between the R0s which European governments are reportedly basing their policy decisions on, and the figures presented in this paper. This means that several European countries may under-estimate the extent to which their infection rates are being curtailed and their outbreaks are under control.

Download the report by clicking here.

FLATTENING THE CURVE – A pan-European comparative analysis of the COVID-19 outbreak

new report published by the Bridge Tank compares the outbreak of COVID-19 across ten major European countries.

This ground-breaking analysis identifies the best and worst performing countries in Europe, and the reasons behind their respective performance in flattening the curve.

Italy, Spain, France, UK, The Netherlands and Belgium are the most severely hit by the outbreak and have struggled to flatten the curve efficiently.

This is mostly explained by the delay in implementing proper lockdown and social distancing measures.

France could soon overtake Italy, and UK is still witnessing an increase of the number of confirmed cases and deaths.

Greece is the best performing country in Europe, followed by Czechia (The Czech Republic) and Romania.

Thanks to early and strict containment measures, they have successfully managed to flatten the curve and slow down the spread of the virus

The contrast between Greece – which suspended public events and closed schools even before the first 100 cases were detected, and Spain – which took similar decisions at a much later stage of the epidemic – is particularly striking.

Germany seems to be an outlier. Though its lockdown measures have been implemented relatively later and not fully, the number of deaths has not reached the levels met by its neighbours but is still progressing quickly in relative terms.

Joel Ruet, Chairman of the Bridge Tank, stated: “In the sea of data about Covid-19, one indicator stands out: the doubling rate of deaths and confirmed cases. It allows to measure how well countries are flattening the curve. With the exception of Germany, we see a strong correlation between an early lockdown and subsequent success in controlling the spread of the virus.

Read and download the report here.

MULTIMEDIA

The Bridge Tank, an independent economic think-tank, is an active member of the T20, the think tank group of the G20. Since the COVID-19 outbreak in China, the members of the Bridge Tank have regularly published on the epidemic and advised numerous governments. The Bridge Tank also mobilised a working group on the future of global health governance to provide recommendations to the UN.

Joel Ruet, Founder and Chairman of The Bridge Tank, is a French economist at CNRS and Ecole Polytechnique. He studied and worked in France, China, India, Senegal and UK. He is a regular commentator on global affairs in international media and speaker at major conferences.

For any media enquiry, please contact: administration@thebridgetank.org

Innovation lunch by The Bridge Tank in Davos

The Bridge Tank organized on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos an international workshop on the theme: “Accelerating the smart city – financing solutions and project governance for emerging markets. “

The bridge tank organised an industry conversation on « accelerating the smart city – financing solutions & project governance for emerging markets », convened by Joel Ruet & our Board Member Pranjal Sharma. The event was the opportunity to exchange on how to Kick-start the Smart cities: How to go from ideas to projects, from projects to returns, from returns to smart cities that work. How can entrepreneurs, companies, investors gear into initiatives that are left free to succeed by the city authorities, for smart cities to no longer mean blueprints but develop and operate as a true industry?

 

Our starting point was that « smart cities » have been on the air for long ; had they picked the magnitude we talked them about, we’d see them everywhere by now. We discussed the evolving funding criteria for smart cities; their ever evolving challenges and meeting them for smart cities funding. 

First of all, contributors reminded the definition issue, ranging from mere energy, food or water conservation to smart and widespread use of data, through new cities, real estate with an ecosystem community including schools for talents, etc. 

The second issue was on governance: how to decide, how to fund them? Which strategies between new cities and modifying existing ones? And how not to forget the smart villages? The Indian rural experience was discussed, on strategies to move from thermal diesel to solar, generalise wifis and digital bank accounts, digital crop data management for fertilizers. 

Some participants from emerging countries were on the position that smartness should be tested in villages and then extended to smart cities; the example of Punjab was mentioned, which started from the district level, then with 3 smart cities in Punjab. IFC’s experience in digitalisation in “Invest in Africa” program was also mentioned as a successful pilot. However, cheap internet through mobile systems isn’t per se making a smart city. The issue of space was mentioned: smartness is not just about digitalization but requires space: in already congested cities this raises serious concerns. 

The issue of public governance and private profitability were mentioned, but we dedicated a large space of our conversation to the issue of enabling citizens: as they become smart, so does the city they live in. “Innovation clusters”, with the Ukrainian example this time, were mentioned in such a spirit of rather looking at what brings people together, not necessarily having to involve the government. 

Last, economic practice were mentioned: not just about introducing technology but also co-living, sharing economy, etc., and, at the end, a more segmented approach for circular economy, between premium / mass segments.

The Bridge Tank’s 2020 Davos – Highlights

As each year, Davos is too hectic to come into a post. Here are, beyond our own organized “Innovation Lunch”, some highlights.

We started with a TV interview on this year’s theme on sustainable environment at the 50th World Economic Forum – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwk5r9PJcPE . The Davos forum of course lags behind on the environment but, despite “We will not save the planet only with companies, but we will not save the planet without companies”.

As last year, The Bridge Tank participated in the 4th Davos Forum on the Silk Roads, / Belt and Road Initiative. A discussion on how to move “from the old globalization that benefits some, to a new globalization focused on the belt and the road that benefits everyone and is of high quality”. Who said Davos is not political ?

On more economic found, the idea was to debate “More international public goods (open to all) than private goods (for shareholders)”.

Last but not least glimpse of this year, we enjoyed the Davos “Open” Forum through an amazing keynote speaker and player: Yo Yo MA.

Unlocking Finance: The Key Factor for Investment on Green Projects in Africa

A significant change in how investors approach green projects is underway. The fight against climate change requires and will require increases in the amount of capital being devoted to green projects. This underlines the importance of mobilizing financial actors from the private sector. Their awareness of this need and on the opportunities these investment give into re-defining the business, is already, for some of them, becoming a reality.

We now have the opportunity to move towards a “decarbonization“ of investment portfolios. For investment to match climate change mitigation goals, we will need concrete moves towards decarbonizing portfolios. The good news is that certain tools exist that can help make green projects more attractive to investors. This policy brief argues for renewed emphasis and action on these points to significantly boost investment. In other words, Africa is open for business.

Read More …

Policy Brief : Soil as Natural Capital: a factor for sustainable diversification

The soil is a living ecosystem that is capable of growth and diversification. It is also a productive capital but the conventional methods and technologies of its exploitation could lead to its destruction. Reversing this paradigm is the basis of a green growth strategy: the soil can become a carbon sink again, and the material and energy it produces can fuel genuinely sustainable industries, especially mobility. As a capital, the soil is not irremediably degraded; Sustainable management of soil capital is hence a priority for sustainable diversification and climate.

Read more in french

Energy Transition: An Opportunity to Improve the Industrialisation of Territories

Energy transition towards low-carbon production models, underway at the global level, is appearing to many as a driver of industrial growth. This Policy Brief highlights that this is only possible by combining the innovation and revitalization of industrial sectors historically present in the concerned areas.

To meet the challenge of a successful energy transition, we cannot ignore the specific industrial trajectories of each area. We should actually capitalise on these historical resources in order to benefit from new, ‘clean’, and inexhaustible resources.

This Policy Brief puts forward the systemic factors that appear to be indispensable for the ‘integrated’ success of energy transition. It leans particularly on the Brazilian example and on the potential for cogeneration within the reach of the sugar cane agribusiness and wind energy industries. The French example is also a good prism through which to understand the importance of ethical industrial trajectories that continue to make sense today in the diversification of the national energy mix, reflected by the shipbuilding industry and the role it plays in the development of renewable marine energy. More in french… 

T20/G20 Policy Brief : Innovative Green-Technology SMEs as an Opportunity to Promote Financial De-Risking

By Joël Ruet(The Bridge Tank and CNRS-CEPN), Elena Verdolini(FEEM and CMCC), Céline Bak(CIGI and Analytica Advisors),  Anbumozhi Venkatachalam(ERIA)

“We recommend that the G20 target innovative green-technology SMEs as an opportunity to promote financial de-risking while addressing Paris Agreement commitments and UN Sustainable Development Goals. This should be achieved by creating signals for private investors through: (1) a reporting system that can help monitor the scale-up of green-technology SMEs; (2) the use of public funds to signal innovative green-technology SMEs to investors; and (3) the inclusion of SMEs in the design of green finance platforms. By implementing these recommendations, the G20 will ensure that innovative, low- carbon SMEs become attractive, low(er)-risk investment opportunities for the private sector.” Read more …

Research Paper: One Belt One Road and the Reconfiguration of EU-China Relations

At the 2017 Davos Economic Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized the merits of globalization and called for more effective measures and structural reforms to establish equitable governance and build new growth models. The “One Belt One Road” (OBOR) initiative has been accelerated with the Chinese presidency of the G20 in 2016 and advocates more inclusive regional cooperation and offers ambitious plans to further tighten connections across the Eurasian and North African continents.

This paper highlights the reconfiguration of EU- China relations and explains the evolution of the trading flows between the two actors under the “One Belt One Road” initiative.

Click here to Download the research paper.

Policy Brief: Transfers of Knowledge & Technology : the ultimate Development Challenge and key role of Entreprises

Technology transfer, coupled with the formation of knowledge, has long been an objective targeted by development policies. Issues related to climate and environmental transitions have reinforced the perception of the importance of technology transfer from the North to the South as a means to clean development. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol is the main tool of climate finance. Implemented in 2005, it aims to orchestrate this transfer of clean technologies. Criticized for its ineffectiveness, its mitigated success is above all a reminder of a truth that has been known for a long time: the technological absorption capacities of territories are more important than the technologies themselves. A strategy of development through technological diffusion cannot therefore ignore the support given to local economies and their enterprises – the support for the development of the market and probably also the support for the development of intellectual property regimes that underpin knowledge transfer to developing economies.

These last two points are necessary to articulate a healthy relationship between international technology-providing companies and local recipient companies and in build a framework that aids in appropriating, adapting and disseminating them … a necessary condition for the success of “technological seeding”.

Our recommendations are based on a logic spontaneously implemented by the countries that have been most effective in capturing the CDM “manna”: China, India and Brazil have been able to orchestrate their markets and, through generous offers in kind, to free themselves from the stakes blocking intellectual property elsewhere.

Read more in french. 

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