Focus on G20 in Germany

Focus on G20 and the G20 Summit in Germany

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The G20 Hamburg Summit in July 2017 will be about nothing less than how globalization should be governed in the future. The G20 countries will have to respond to the key question of our times: How should a globalized world economy be coordinated for the benefit of all humanity against the backdrop of economic uncertainty, higher levels of inequality, climate change, refugees and migration?

What in the World is the Group of 20?

G20 – The Fundamentals

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The Group of Seven (G7) and the Group of Twenty (G20) are informal governance clubs, which hold annual Summits of Heads of State to discuss issues of global importance.

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On 1 December 2016, Germany became the host and President of the G20 and began to work within the so-called G20 Troika, which in addition to itself consists of the previous 2016 G20 President (China) and the subsequent 2018 President (Argentina).

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The Group of 20 (G20) is a “club” of nations with significant influence. There is a significant democratic deficit in the G20 since its decisions and actions are not governed by international law and it is not accountable to representative bodies.

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Seven “Engagement Groups” circle around the G20 and attempt to influence its decisions. However, their relative power to influence outcomes differs greatly.

How to navigate the G20 special

In the section Fundamentals you can learn about how the G20 works. Then, there are Interactive Maps and Graphics based on important comparative data for all G20 members. In the section Themes, we introduce the thematic areas of the G20 agenda. In Country Profiles further below, you find infographics providing important information about each G20 member. More comprehensive, in-depth studies can be found at the end of the portal.

All texts in Fundamentals and Themes are also available in a layouted PDF for print, all graphics are licenced under CC-BY-SA.

G20 – Country comparison

Interactive Map: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by CIA – The World Factbook (2015)Interactive Map: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by CIA – The World Factbook (2015).
Chart: Trend in Income Distribution over the last DecadeInfographics: Trend in Income Distribution over the last Decade (Gini Index).
Interactive Map: Corruption Perception Index by Transparency InternationalInteractive Map: Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International.
Interactive Map: Subsidies - Fossils vs. Green EnergyInteractive Map: Subsidies - Fossils vs. Green Energy.
Interactive Map: Share of Renewables in Electricity GenerationInteractive Map: Share of Renewables in Electricity Generation.
Infographics: Gender Pay Gap and Women in Labor in the G20Infographics: Gender Pay Gap and Women in Labor in the G20.
Infographics: Global Consensus for Decent Work – ILO Core ConventionsInfographics: Global Consensus for Decent Work – ILO Core Conventions.

G20 - Themes

Themes

This section provides insights into the most important thematic areas of the G20 agenda. The authors provide a critical assessment of the G20 work done to date in the respective policy area, elaborate on the positioning of some civil society organizations, and make recommendations.

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When a government takes on more public debt than it can service, there are serious consequences. Besides cuts in public budgets one country’s over-indebtedness can have spillover effects on regional or even global markets, as we saw in the recent Greek financial crisis.

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The G20 uses the term “Green Finance” as a broad umbrella term that refers to the major shift in financial flows required to support projects that benefit the environment and society by reducing pollution or tackling climate change.

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The endorsement of the Paris Agreement at the Chinese G20 was clearly a step forward for energy sustainability in the face of climate change. Still the indications of how it might be achieved is limited in scope.

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The Ebola crisis prooved, that the G20 aims to ensure infectious agents to not cross borders rather than acting in disease prevention. This is why there is a serious concern that public health needs of poorer countries will be ignored.

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Heads of state and government of all UN member states negotiated in the most comprehensive consultation process of the UN’s history so far, about the most urgent questions concerning the future. 17 goals of the "Agenda 2030" shall be implemented by 2030.

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Tackling corruption is crucial to the G20’s goal of generating inclusive growth and establishing a cleaner, safer, more sustainable economic framework. The cross-border nature of the problem requires global solutions, ones that the G20 must lead on.

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G20 governments are spending $444 billion every year to support fossil fuel production. These financial flows are limiting the expansion of renewable energies that could curb global warming and meet a variety of sustainable development goals.

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Trade has contributed to inequalities in many countries. Therefore the G20 should ensure that its trade agenda does not conflict with that of the WTO or the United Nations. Many processes need to be revised to reduce so inequalities can be reduced.

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The scale of the infrastructure and PPP initiative championed by the G20’s national and multilateral banks could privatize gains and socialize losses on a massive scale. The G20 should take steps to ensure that this scenario does not unfold.

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The G20 is promoting a new investment paradigm for itself and inviting the world to follow suit. What are the stated G20 goals and commitments in relation to this topic? What does “investment” mean? What is the progress so far and what are the challenges in relation to this topic? What is the desired future direction of the G20 with respect to the topic?

G20 - Country Profiles

In the interactive profiles of the G20 countries, there are three categories of information relating to:

  1. the economy of the respective country, e.g. debt level, trade balance and foreign direct investment;
  2. people, gender and development and
  3. essential aspects of climate and energy policy, such as fossil fuel subsidies, investment into renewables or "intended nationally determined contributions" to reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) that accelerate global warming. 

To get started choose a country. You can then slide through the three information sections by clicking on the "arrow" symbol. On each infographic, you can click on points in the drop down menu to get more information. There is also an option to zoom in and out.