The T20 blog is an initiative of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW). Both institutes have been encouraged by the German government to organise the T20 process during Germany’s G20 Presidency in 2016 and 2017. The T20 organises the collaboration of global think tanks and high-level experts in order to provide analytical depth to ongoing G20 discussions and produce ideas to help the G20 on delivering concrete and sustainable policy measures. The blog intends to bring an additional dimension to the way the T20 engages with members of our own research network, the broader public, and the German G20 presidency in advance of the 2017 G20 Summit in Hamburg.
In the immediate aftermath of President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris agreement, the sixth largest economy of the world, California, signed an agreement with China to fight climate change.
While non-binding, such cooperation represents a “trickle-up” approach to global climate change governance and is part of a wave of initiatives from non-state actors including civil society, the private sector and local authorities.
Two weeks out from the Hamburg Summit, there are plenty of warning signs that this may be the most challenging G20 meeting since G20 leaders first met in Washington in 2008. Then, the global economy stood on the precipice of a dramatic collapse. Staring down the barrel of a long and protracted global economic recession on an unprecedented scale, G20 leaders opted for cooperation via a massive collective global economic stimulus program.
In a potentially ominous sign for this year’s G20 Summit, pieces from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung were played to a sold-out audience in the Elbphilarmonie (Hamburg’s new concert hall, which is also the venue for the G20 Summit starting July 7). Translated into English as ‘the Twilight of the Gods’, the opera is the final episode in the lengthy ring-cycle saga which looks at the rise and fall of rule by the supreme powers, and how infighting among the gods in Valhalla is the cause of their ultimate destruction. Were it not five hours in duration, Angela Merkel could do worse than reminding G20 leaders of the themes Wagner’s opera addresses ahead of their two days of meetings.
In her pursuit for stronger global health governance cooperation under the aegis of the G20, Angela Merkel is showing what can be achieved when leaders are both experienced and driven enough to steer the G20 towards achieving useful and effective outcomes. Although the challenge of finding meaningful consensus between leaders in global governance forums appears to have increased in recent times – the recent G7 leaders meeting at Taormina being a notable example – small wins can and should still be pursued.
This statement is supported by renowned scholars from rising powers of the South as well as Germany. The common position demonstrates our unwavering commitment to the Paris Accord and expresses our determination to deepen joint knowledge creation on existential issues for human survival and sustainable development, for global justice and social integration.