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When the G20 ministers of finance and central bank governors meet in early June, adoption of the Principles for Debt Transparency recently promulgated by the Institute of International Finance will be on the agenda.
When the finance ministers of the G20 countries set up an Eminent Persons Group 18 months ago, many observers were both hopeful and skeptical about the likely outcome. Now that the EPG’s report is out, what’s the verdict on how transformative its efforts will be?
Why should countries invest in human capital? As emerging technologies impact economies and societies, how can we ensure that the most vulnerable are protected? Who will step up to finance the SDGs? Next week’s Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the IMF will convene 13,000 global policymakers, private sector executives, academics, and civil society members in Bali, Indonesia as they work to address these questions and more.
The Eminent Persons Group (EPG), tasked with making the system of international financial institutions fit for purpose in the 21st century, recently gave the G20 Finance Ministers a preliminary report on its work.The report is a bit long on generalities and short on specifics and, as my colleague Nancy Birdsall blogs, it mostly shies away from suggesting concrete adjustments in the way the multilateral development bank (MDB) system works now. Here are eight ideas that the EPG could propose that can be implemented in the next two years.
CGD is establishing a high-level Working Group, composed of leading experts on Basel III and economic development, that will identify challenges for emerging markets’ financial stability and development derived from the global implementation of Basel III. Effective and appropriate implementation of Basel III’s recommendations could make a huge contribution to global financial resilience with the attendant benefits for development progress. The G20’s commitment on this issue is welcome.
Stay tuned for more on our Working Group’s progress in the coming months.
Each of the G20 summits of the past seven years has suffered in comparison with the London and Pittsburgh Summits of 2009, when the imperative of crisis response motivated leaders, finance ministers, and central bankers to coordinate effectively with each other. Subsequent summits have lacked the same sense of urgency and have failed to deliver any kind of agenda that can be pinpointed as clearly as “saving the global economy.” This week’s summit in Hamburg, Germany promises more of the same, with the real possibility that the G20’s stock could fall even further at the hands of a non-cooperative US delegation.
“Energy Sustainability” is high on the agenda for the G-20 meeting in Antalya, Turkey, next week. In practice, this means the governments of the world’s leading economies will pledge to continue the laudable goals of phasing out inefficient subsides and boosting energy efficiency. But the meatier agenda is two wonkier research items. According to the Turkish presidency priorities communiqué (PDF), the G-20 will “study the reasons behind the high cost of renewable energy investment and examine the deployment of public and private resources to fulfill the need for energy investment.”
I’m clearly not much of a prognosticator. In highlighting, with skepticism, the World Bank’s new Global Infrastructure Facility as a major G-20 Brisbane outcome on infrastructure, I missed far more of the actual agenda than I should have.
Update November 17: As expected, the United States and Japan announced their pledges of $3 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively, to the Green Climate Fund at the G-20 summit in Australia. The United Kingdom is set to announce a £650 million ($1 billion pledge) in Berlin later this week and Canada said it will contribute, although it did not announce how much. Together with pledges from 11 other countries, total pledges amount to $7.5 billion, getting close to the $10 billion target for beginning operations of the Green Climate Fund. Pledges are also expected from Australia (despite the step-back from climate action by the new government), Italy, Norway, and Spain. The agreement reached by the Green Climate Fund board a few weeks ago, which approved a logical framework for REDD+, may spur Norway to pledge given it lays the groundwork for GCF support to forests.