Ecological debt

14 May 2005
Making the headlines on BBC online today, Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation accuses the British government of being slow in contributing to two United Nations funds which are intended to help poor countries adapt to climate change.

Britains' Department for International Development says the first payment is being made in June.

Tomorrow, Simms makes the case on openDemocracy for living "within ecological means" and honouring "ecological debts" - of the rich North to the poor South.

On the evidence so far, he says, we may be more stupid than frogs, which - contrary to popular myth - are actually smart enough to jump out of water before it gets too hot.

DFID papers on poverty and climate change can be found here

Under what conditions can aid, including that for climate adapation, work? It depends on the quality of both the donor and the recipient, says Ngaire Woods (Prospect, May).

Caspar Henderson

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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