How would you rate global progress in this past year on climate change – good or bad, pass or fail? What about progress on economic cooperation between nations, or on trade, financial regulation or development – heart-warming or dismal?

If you’re pessimistic, you have good company. In a new survey put out by CIGI, experts in international affairs ranked economic progress in these areas and the results are less than positive.

Sadly, the 2013 scores are almost universally low, suggesting consensus among leading policy thinkers that we are seeing little or no progress in important areas affecting the prosperity, well-being and future prospects for billions of people worldwide.

Over all, CIGI experts ranked progress across the spectrum of issues at only 30% (on a scale of 0–100%), which translates as “some regression.” In other words, we’re going backwards, not forwards.

The surveyed experts feel that progress on economic coordination is “insufficient to be confident that future crises could be avoided, or quarantined, consistent with potentially dramatic vulnerability of the world economy when confronted by shocks. New trade issues are sidelined. Progression on emission targets and climate finance is negligible.”

Agreement was not universal, and some experts differed in their opinions.  For example, several experts rated progress on international cooperation in financial regulation as “minimal” or even getting worse. But in offering a higher score of 60%, CIGI Distinguished Fellow Paul Jenkins argued that “significant progress” had been made in the past year. “While the issues are technically difficult, a lot of good work has been done,” and the bigger challenge would be in future implementation, he wrote.

The first annual CIGI Survey on the Progress of International Economic Governance is now available online.

A total of 15 CIGI experts were polled, with some limiting their scores to only some of the five facets of the survey.

The lowest score given by an expert was “0%,” or “major regression”– the rating on progress in climate change, as assigned by both Senior Fellow Harold James and Senior Fellow Richard Gitlin. As Gitlin wrote in his accompanying remarks, international governance on climate change has been “an ongoing disaster. The framework for discussion needs to be fundamentally changed.”

As the survey continues over the coming years, CIGI website visitors will be able to see trends – up or down – in the scores. The results are presented in an interactive format, allowing the user to click on the different facets of governance and explore the underlying scores and comments of the 15 experts.

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The opinions expressed in this article/multimedia are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of CIGI or its Board of Directors.