Author: Imme Scholz

A more ambitious G20 for a sustainable post-pandemic recovery and transformation

Photo: Stairs leading out of a dark wood into the light, Image by wen8707270 on Pixabay

The COVID-19 pandemic submerged the world for more than a year now, and global infection numbers are still rising. There are huge differences in the ability of governments and societies to cope with the pandemic: while Europe and the Americas remain epicentres of the disease, there are signs that infections are now also picking up across the African continent.

In an interesting turn-of-tide in discussion, the IMF calls for more public expenditure and higher taxation of the wealthy. The IMF states that economic recovery is possible in 2021 but dependent on both, access to vaccines and other medical interventions, and continuous effective policy support. Policy support needs to cushion the effects of the economic contraction, to decarbonize energy systems and economies, and for intensified multilateral cooperation to ensure universal access to vaccines and therapeutics and adequate financial liquidity of highly indebted countries.

Beyond vested interests: Reforming international co-operation post COVID-19

 

The world is now in the eighth month of the COVID-19 pandemic. When this was written, the highest daily infection rates were recorded in India, the US and Brazil, while the highest death rates (per 100,000 inhabitants) were registered in Europe and the Americas. Africa so far has not turned into a hotspot of the disease – good news that is attributed to effective public health workers and Africa’s young population. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare weaknesses and blind spots in societies, economies and policies worldwide. Notably that public services the world over take too long to understand their new responsibilities under changed circumstances and as a result act too slowly, at the expense of the most vulnerable. For example, infection and death rates are high in OECD countries despite good health care systems. And insufficient digital infrastructure and access in public administrations, schools and households, exacerbated by social inequalities, affect access to education in Germany or in Latin American countries alike.…

Image: future.agenda; source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/131046472@N07/16429419345/

Can we understand the prospects of development without understanding its environmental dimension?

Development studies aim to understand the root causes of poverty and its reproduction and how social inequalities emerge and are stabilized. This is a broad endeavour with a number of academic disciplines contributing, with quite a few success stories if we look at the economic and the social dimensions. However, while maintaining the focus on…

EU to the rescue: Priorities for a positive multilateralism

Photo: EU FlagsWe are a long way from 2015. That year, the world committed to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate – promising to end extreme poverty, address corrosive inequality, boost peace and prosperity, and stop climate change.

Now in 2018, we already look back at 2015 with nostalgia. This was the high water mark of multilateralism, brought low by the rise of populism and ‘illiberal democracy’. Suddenly, it seems, we are forced to find ways of rescuing the global rules-based order.

Did the G20 Hamburg Summit advance 2030 Agenda implementation?

Series: What remains of the G20 Hamburg Summit?
Image: Munich Security Conference

Not a breakthrough, but some opportunities

One major goal of the German G20 Presidency was to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are essential to addressing the challenges faced by the world.  The outcome of the 2017 Hamburg Summit is not a breakthrough for sustainable development, but it does offer some opportunities for real progress.