The G20 has been mired in an ongoing crisis for years. After the G20, newly formed ten years ago at the level of heads of state and government, initially overcame the economic and financial crisis more or less successfully, the question quickly arose as to its role beyond reacting to crisis. Instead of taking on a proactive role as a strategic steering committee for the global economy, driving reforms and ensuring the provision of global public goods (such as climate protection and free trade), the G20 proceeded to jump from one issue to the next. The fact that its presidency changes every year has contributed to this ‘issue hopping’.
The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors are meeting this weekend in Fukuoka, Japan, for their final meeting ahead of the G20 Summit at the end of the month. One issue that should feature high on the agenda is the rise of debt levels in many developing countries.
Non-trade issues such as labour standards, political and civil rights and environment protection have become important objectives in the design and implementation of the European Union’s (EU) trade policy. Almost two thirds of the EU trade agreements currently in force feature provisions on human rights and about one third of them covers labour issues. About two thirds also mention the environment, like the recent trade agreement with Japan which includes a novel provision on the implementation of the Paris climate agreement.
Investment Facilitation – A New Governance Approach to Promote Foreign Direct Investment for Sustainable Development
In order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), enormous amounts of investments are needed in areas like health, education, infrastructure, and the adaptation to climate change. To harness the advantages of foreign direct investment (FDI), it is critical that governments have policies and regulations in place that do not only help to attract and retain FDI but also enhance its contribution to sustainable development. In this context, discussions about the establishment of an international framework for investment facilitation have intensified in recent years.
Post Katowice COP 24 – need to go beyond “Business as Usual” to accelerate zero-carbon electricity generation
Geopolitical concerns have taken centre stage pushing back concerns about climate change. There is the nuclear threat in the Korean peninsula, the threat of deepening trade wars between the USA and China and threats over digital warfare and fake news of all kinds.