The G20 leaders’ communiqué today has provided a vital boost for global trade, but several important trade-related commitments – to developing countries, to sustainable development and to multilateralism – were disappointing or missing. With a further G20 meeting scheduled before the end of the year, leaders must now deepen and expand their trade agenda to address these shortfalls. At the same time, they must acknowledge the democratic deficits of the G20 and explore more inclusive alternatives for global economic decision-making – in particular those that would ensure greater representation of the world’s poorest countries.
Though our work and research on matters of global economic governance continues, our posting here does not. For up-to-date information on the latest GEG news and research, please check the main GEG website and Facebook page.
President Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, is famous for saying that we should “never let a good crisis go to waste”. And let’s make no mistake about it, we are in crisis. While the world’s attention is largely focused on the financial meltdown, with a side order of climate change, we may soon need to face up to the fact that we are living what Australian environmental business expert Paul Gilding calls “The Great Disruption” – the confluence of a major economic breakdown and the unraveling of the global environment. And, while our leaders are busily wheeling out stimulus packages in a desperate attempt to kick-start the faltering economy, the same is not possible for the global environment. In the words of Glen Prickett of Conservation International: “Mother Nature doesn’t do bailouts”.