Antalya, Turkey — As the 2015 G20 Leaders Summit comes to a close, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) releases the following quotes from its global economy experts regarding the outcomes, including the final 2015 communiqué and statements released by the G20 Turkish Presidency today:
“The G20 leaders in Antalya have significantly broadened the contours of their conversation – effectively re-interpreting the G20 remit beyond narrowly-defined economic and financial items – to include Internet and digital divide, the refugees crisis, as well as counter-terrorism. Even on narrowly-defined economic and financial items, sovereign debt restructuring and the need to ensure an orderly and predictable management of severe sovereign debt crisis, have finally entered the G20 leaders’ lexicon.
On the global economy, while leaders have acknowledged the immediate challenges, they have fallen short of coming up with a set of enhanced measures to address the increasing uncertainty and downside risks now facing the global economy. Moreover, the tension as to whether the world economy’s overwhelming challenge comes from deficient aggregate demand or supply has not been resolved, with leaders still advocating for a holistic set of measures.
On climate change, the leaders unambiguously set their expectation for a legally-binding agreement from the Paris COP21 conference in December. If such a legally-binding agreement were to materialize, this would set a roadmap that, started in Antalya, would go through Paris, first, and, then, the Hangzhou Summit next September and would mark a significant step up in the international cooperation required to address this overwhelming challenge.” – Domenico Lombardi, Director of CIGI’s Global Economy Program
“While the focus of leaders in Antalya to the barbaric attack in Paris was understandable and appropriate, the economic results of the Summit, which represents work over the last year, can only be described as lacking in ambition and disappointing. While the communique is wide ranging and shows some modest progress on a number of files, progress on the economic growth strategy, as committed to last year in Brisbane, was missing in action. A year ago, leaders committed to achieving 2% additional growth by 2018, to their finance ministers keeping progress under review and to adjusting the strategy as necessary to achieve the stated goal. Since then, growth has been further downgraded by 2% so that a total of 4% additional growth is now required to meet the Brisbane objective. There was no acknowledgement of this in the communique and no additional measures were proposed. It is hard to characterize this as anything else than a failure in policy and accountability.” – Thomas Bernes, CIGI Distinguished Fellow
“The G20 Communique ventures little on the issues facing the IMF. It reiterates the now seemingly endless and futile refrain of encouraging the US Congress to approve the quota increase negotiated in 2010, and repeats the rather vague admonition, present also in other recent communiques, to move ahead with some of the changes under consideration even without US approval.
Unfortunately, reform of IMF governance has come to be synonymous with approving the quota increase (and with it redistribution of voting shares), transparency of selection of management and senior staff positions, and decision on the SDR basket (implicitly whether or when to include the renmimbi). All of these are good initiatives, but at least one other governance issue should be on the list--the IMF's role in severe sovereign debt crises. Commendably, one paragraph is devoted to the recent action to strengthen the pari passu and collective action clauses in bond contracts; these are indeed good steps. But they will not be used optimally unless the IMF also strengthens its framework for determining when private bondholders need to assume some of the burden through restructuring of unsustainable sovereign debt. Again this is an issue where the US has been the most reluctant player, yet it is one that should be taken up in the G20 forum.” – Susan Schadler, CIGI Senior Fellow
"Glass is both half full and half empty. The good news is that in line with the G20 role of strengthening international institutions, the G20 Leaders’ Communiqué continued the tradition of inviting reports from their ministers and various groups of international organizations. The bad news is that, while acknowledging the threat posed by balkanization of the Internet, no concrete steps were taken to address bridging the digital divide while dealing with security concerns. The ugly is that the rote acceptance of the 2 degree climate change target that is already in the rear view window." – Barry Carin, CIGI Senior Fellow
“Asking for outphasing fossil fuel subsidies and channeling research and finance into the renewables in order to tackle climate change is a strong statement. In combination with the statement that G20 asks the Financial Stability Board to analyze how the financial sector can consider climate change risks, G20 emphasizes the inter-relation between climate change risks and financial risks and the need for collective action including the financial sector.” – Olaf Weber, CIGI Senior Fellow
“The G20 seems intent on convincing the general public that it should be ignored. With the world traumatized by the Paris attacks, it had an opportunity to show a way forward. Leaders could have delivered a concise statement on the concrete things they would do — or at least attempt to do — to address the threat posed by Islamic State. Instead, they released a communique of more than 4,300 words and a separate statement on terrorism that contained only platitudes. The G20 often is described as a crisis fighter. That would seem to depend on the crisis.” – Kevin Carmichael, CIGI Senior Fellow
“The Leaders’ Communiqué once again reiterates that the SDR basket composition should continue to reflect the role of currencies in the global trading and financial system, since the Cannes Summit in 2011. This is actually a statement in support of adding the Chinese yuan to the basket, considering that the RMB is the only candidate for the IMF’s assessment at the executive board meeting on November 30, 2015. Consistent with this, Managing Director Christine Lagarde reiterated her support of the proposal to include the yuan in the SDR basket on November 13, 2015. A working group on trade is proposed for the first time and trade ministers are asked to meet on a regular basis in the Communiqué, which will further promote the trade issue in the G20.” – Alex He, CIGI Visiting Scholar
“The meetings I had tonight with the Canadian G20 Sherpa, Finance Minister and Prime Minister Trudeau revealed that the most challenging section of today’s communique was the climate paragraph. Ministers and sherpas were awake until 4:00 a.m. last night deliberating the final wording, and the result is a commitment from leaders to expect something binding to come out of the upcoming Paris COP21 discussions. There was surprisingly small mention of women and youth inclusion, but the specific goal to decrease youth at risk of being left behind in the labour market by 15% by 2025 is a further step towards the goal of an inclusive and sustainable economy.” – Kelsey Shantz, Research Associate
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The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit www.cigionline.org.