There are seven months left until the 2017 G20 Summit takes place in Hamburg. With the German Government having released its priorities as the incoming G20 president in December 2016, what can we realistically now hope for in Hamburg? One way to think about this question is to cast our minds forward to July 9, the day after the Hamburg Summit, and consider whether the announced priorities are liable to have helped or hindered G20 negotiations in 2017. However, this raises a further question – what sort of achievements or progress should we be looking for to determine if the Hamburg Summit is a success?
Energy has a big part in at least four of the announced priorities of Germany’s G20 presidency; trade and investment, climate and energy, 2030 Agenda, and the proposed partnership with Africa. This blog post discusses how the summit process can maximise the G20’s effectiveness in the field of energy.
The German G20 presidency will take place in difficult economic times. The outlook for the world economy remains weak: The IMF predicts in its World Economic Outlook that global growth will slow to 3.1 percent in 2016 and rise slowly in 2017. Trade growth has also slowed to annually 3 percent. Only half the growth rate before the financial crisis. The benefits of free trade and globalization are increasingly being questioned. Rising inequalities, and challenges of migration have led to populist and nationalist tendencies in many countries. The G20 summit in Hamburg in July 2017 needs to give a clear signal in favor of globalization and free trade.
Germany has taken over the G20 presidency at a time of increasing economic and political isolationism. In the face of a growing divide between those who benefit from globalization and those left behind, support for populist parties is on the rise in many industrialized countries, while mainstream parties are losing ground. The British vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump in the US are two of the most recent examples. The rising level of isolationism at present poses a risk to growth and employment potential. All in all, international integration has had a positive influence on the prosperity of all countries involved if distributed fairly. Germany should make use of its role at the head of the international forum and take a clear stance against the trend towards protectionism.