This article explores how growth of the finance sector can overtake growth in the "real" economy, including manufacturing or trade, and depress wages as returns to capital are protected or increased. In developing and emerging countries, financialisation deepens the vulnerability of local financial systems when they are subject to the volatility of global capital markets and the interest rate decisions of large countries, particularly the US. Without proper controls, financialization can redirect the development process towards securing the profits of private companies and private finance.
Increasingly, donors and creditors are joining together to mobilize "billions" in public money in order to leverage "trillions" in private investment in development. This month at the G20 meeting in Indonesia, bold system-wide reforms in global financial governance are being approved; some are already being implemented. Nancy Alexander and Rick Rowden describe these system-wide reforms and conclude that, on the current course, the reforms could undermine the public interest in sustainable development and climate goals. It is crucial to ensure that proposed reforms respect democratic practices and promote sustainability.
Meetings of G20 officials during the April 2018 Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank set in motion revolutionary and lasting changes in the mission and organization of global financial governance.
The Investment Plan for Europe, the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa, and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative all seek to promote infrastructure investment - but involve significant risks regarding environmental sustainability, social impacts, and unfavorable technological lock-ins for the next decades.
Infrastructure is essential to the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and to the success of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Our partner IISD presents why governments must invest in sustainable infrastructure and how they can integrate sustainability into infrastructure contracts.
To promote the standardization of contracts for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), the World Bank Group published its 2017 Guidance on PPP Contractual Provisions. How does the Guidance allocate risks to protect the state’s capacity to serve the public interest? These are the key issues in a legal analysis realized by Foley Hoag.
To promote the standardization of contracts for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), the World Bank Group published its 2017 Guidance on PPP Contractual Provisions. Foley Hoag LLP found that the Guidance fails to allocate risks fairly or protect the state’s capacity to serve the public interest.
With legal counsel, the Heinrich Boell Foundation prepared this submission to the World Bank Group's consultation on its draft Report on the 2016 Edition of its "Recommended PPP Contractual Provisions". It cautions that the draft "Contractual Provisions" put an inordinate level of risk on governments (with potential fiscal consequences); obstruct the state's "right to regulate" in the public interest (for instance, to protect the environment and human rights); prefer international (rather than domestic) settlement of disputes; and fail to adequately promote contract transparency.
This article outlines what US hostility towards multilateralism might mean for the G20 Summit in Hamburg. Nancy Alexander points to three areas of concern: a possible shift of geopolitical alliances, disputes over a new course of global economy, and the future of sustainable development worldwide.
The G20 is promoting a new investment paradigm for itself and inviting the world to follow suit. What are the stated G20 goals and commitments in relation to this topic? What does “investment” mean? What is the progress so far and what are the challenges in relation to this topic? What is the desired future direction of the G20 with respect to the topic?
The G20 Hamburg Summit in July 2017 will be about nothing less than how globalization should be governed in the future. The G20 countries will have to respond to the key question of our times: How should a globalized world economy be coordinated for the benefit of all humanity against the backdrop of economic uncertainty, higher levels of inequality, climate change, refugees and migration?
The scale of the infrastructure and PPP initiative championed by the G20’s national and multilateral banks could privatize gains and socialize losses on a massive scale. The G20 should take steps to ensure that this scenario does not unfold.
Trade has contributed to inequalities in many countries. Therefore the G20 should ensure that its trade agenda does not conflict with that of the WTO or the United Nations. Many processes need to be revised to reduce so inequalities can be reduced.
The Ebola crisis prooved, that the G20 aims to ensure infectious agents to not cross borders rather than acting in disease prevention. This is why there is a serious concern that public health needs of poorer countries will be ignored.
The Group of 20 (G20) is a “club” of nations with significant influence. There is a significant democratic deficit in the G20 since its decisions and actions are not governed by international law and it is not accountable to representative bodies.
What in the world is the Group of Twenty (G20)? We have chosen eight indicators to present the most important economic, social, and environmental data and created seven maps and graphics that present this comparison visually and at a glance.
Heads of state and government of all UN member states negotiated in the most comprehensive consultation process of the UN’s history so far, about the most urgent questions concerning the future. 17 goals of the "Agenda 2030" shall be implemented by 2030.
The endorsement of the Paris Agreement at the Chinese G20 was clearly a step forward for energy sustainability in the face of climate change. Still the indications of how it might be achieved is limited in scope.
G20 governments are spending $444 billion every year to support fossil fuel production. These financial flows are limiting the expansion of renewable energies that could curb global warming and meet a variety of sustainable development goals.
Tackling corruption is crucial to the G20’s goal of generating inclusive growth and establishing a cleaner, safer, more sustainable economic framework. The cross-border nature of the problem requires global solutions, ones that the G20 must lead on.
When a government takes on more public debt than it can service, there are serious consequences. Besides cuts in public budgets one country’s over-indebtedness can have spillover effects on regional or even global markets, as we saw in the recent Greek financial crisis.
The G20 uses the term “Green Finance” as a broad umbrella term that refers to the major shift in financial flows required to support projects that benefit the environment and society by reducing pollution or tackling climate change.
On 1 December 2016, Germany became the host and President of the G20 and began to work within the so-called G20 Troika, which in addition to itself consists of the previous 2016 G20 President (China) and the subsequent 2018 President (Argentina).
By Nancy Alexander, Dr. Heike Löschmann, Waleria Schuele
Infrastructure development acts as a gateway to natural resources and markets, powers industry, and provides key services to citizens around the world. However, the OECD’s infrastructure investment advice to the G20 is “out of sync” with recent achievements of the global community, such as the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A Blog by Motoko Aizawa, Institute for Human Rights and Business, and Nancy Alexander, Heinrich Boell Foundation-North America on the new Report: “In Search of Policy Coherence: Aligning OECD Infrastructure Advice with Sustainable Development”
At the request of the G20, staff at the World Bank has prepared a report recommending model language for public-private partnership (PPP) contracts. Unfortunately, the proposals fail to grapple with several of the problems that have plagued many PPP schemes, or contribute in a constructive way to finding solutions to them.
The G20 has fallen behind other international organizations in addressing the challenges of climate change and supporting sustainable energy transformation and electrification. This article lays the foundation for a reflection and discussion on what the G20 can usefully do to support these transformations, and how it must change to achieve this.
Transparency is an important but easily overlooked agenda in the mix of challenges facing Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) that aim to tackle a range of development imperatives, such as provision of infrastructure and other critical social services. The World Bank recently published ‘A Framework for Disclosure in Public-Private Partnership Projects,’ a practical tool intended to help countries set up PPP disclosure frameworks, based on an earlier eleven-jurisdiction study. Here are five things beyond the World Bank’s recommendations that can help promote PPP transparency:
Model PPP contract provisions submitted to the G20 show preoccupation with the rights of private investors, often to the great prejudice of the very communities that are ostensibly the beneficiaries of the projects involved.
Hidden among the maze of more than 400 paragraphs of guidance, there are a number of points that, when viewed collectively, paint quite a disturbing picture, one that would substantially alter the way common citizens may think about infrastructure and their rights as citizens.
While the world is already experiencing the biggest investment boom in human history, Leaders plan to boost economic growth through an explosion of megaprojects. This article examines the risks of megaprojects, including the question of whether they could privatize gain and socialize losses.
The year 2015 could go down in history books as the landmark year for turning around the world’s “business-as-usual” economic and financial system in ways that could lead to a sustainable future. Or, it could be a year of cascading multilateral failures, signaling a further decline of UN-led efforts for sustainable development. When world leaders meet from July 13-16, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the third UN Conference on Financing for Development (FfD-3), the stakes are high. Fear and hope should motivate the outcomes of the conference.
See this Telesur interview with Nancy Alexander, Director of our Economic Governance Program, about the BRICS countries and whether their new structures (the New Development Bank and an international credit rating agency) might function with integrity and take into account risks such as global warming and environmental degradation.
This issue entitled, "Will the New G20 Troika Advance Sustainable Development?" includes feature articles on Public-Private Partnerships (will they help achieve climate and sustainable development goals?); the Turkish Civil 20; and ragged progress on the G20 Anti-Corruption agenda.
The world is running out of time when it comes to limiting global warming to 2°C. In this paper, Nora Rohde examines whether the master plans for energy mega-projects in three regions contributes to that goal.
Some claim that the biggest obstacle to boosting investment levels and reviving the global economy as the absence of regional "pipelines of bankable projects". In this paper, Nora Rohde describes the "solution" --Project Preparation Facilities (PPFs) to accelerate the launch of (mega)projects.
At the 9th G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, all member states presented their individual plans to promote “stronger economic growth and employment outcomes”. As G20 President this year, Turkey may consider its growth strategy and employment plan as models for other G20 countries. Its approach may also shape the G20 agenda. To explore these possibilities, this paper presents and comments on some highlights of the Turkish plans.
The world is experiencing the “biggest investment boom in human history”, with some $6-9 trillion annually (8 per cent of global GDP) devoted to mega, giga and tera (million, billion, and trillion) dollar projects. The G20 sees massive infrastructure investment as one of the ‘silver bullets’ that can achieve its target and, by boosting trade and integration, add $2 trillion to the global economy and create millions of jobs.
The new investment and development model is evolving with breathtaking speed due to not only the strong global consensus in support of it, but also the competition between the West and emerging powers to implement the model.
This paper highlights decisions of the G20 Summit as they relate to: Taxation and Corruption; Labor and Gender Participation in the Workforce; Financial Regulation; Trade; Climate Change, Food, and Energy; Global Governance; and Infrastructure.
Worldwide, the essential role of infrastructure is being rediscovered. However, mega-projects -- including in the energy sector -- need good governance in order to deliver benefits and avoid harm to communities, ecology and the climate. The 20+ authors in this anthology describe the challenge and imperative of achieving democratic and responsible governance of infrastructure. This publication is available in English and Spanish.
This issue of the G20-BRICS Update covers the hopes and fears for the G20 Summit in November 2014; outcomes of the BRICS Summit in July 2014; the G20's Global Infrastructure Initiative; and Korea's experience with public-private partnerships (PPP)s.
Nancy Alexander discusses the role of civil society organizations in global governance, in particular the G20 and the BRICS institutions with the Global Summitry Project. To watch the entire interview, please go to the YouTube playlist here.
Africa emerges as a major “battleground” of what could be called the “economic world war” of suborders—such as the G7 and BRICS—with the World Economic Forum (WEF) networking this competitive terrain in the infrastructural financing “scramble for Africa” and the developing world. How will the infrastructure-financing scramble (and its links to extractive industries) play out?
According to this report, systematic discrimination against women drives patterns of inequality and poverty. It argues that the G20 cannot achieve inclusive growth with gender-blind policies. Therefore, the G20 must reassess its entire agenda and, among other things, promote women's rights in employment, social protection, and fiscal policy.
A panel discussion during the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York focused on ways in which to integrate gender equality, specifically examining care economy considerations and climate change as cross-cutting issues into post-2015 sustainable development approaches.
The February 2014 "G20-BRICS Update" features articles on the Australian G20 Presidency by Senator Christine Milne and Alan Alexandroff; articles on the BRICS by Graciela Rodriguez and Oliver Stuenkel (Brazil) and Vitaliy Kartamyshev (Russia); and reviews of work by Jayati Ghosh and Observer Research Foundation (India).
On 1 December 2013, Australia began its twelve-month presidency of the G20, a role that will culminate with the chairing of the Brisbane G20 summit, 15-16 November 2014. The ‘Think20’ is a network of think tanks and academics from G20 countries that are working to provide an important analytical input into the G20 process.
After Rio+20, the proposed post-2015 framework needs to learn from the shortcomings of the MDG-process and merge care economy and green economy approaches to advance and finance truly gender-equitable sustainable development
Nancy Alexander and seven contributing authors present "Responsible Investment in Infrastructure: Recommendations for the G20," which responds to the G20's efforts to mobilize financial support for public-private partnership (PPPs) in large infrastructure projects in order to promote regional integration.
At the September 2013 G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Leaders faced conflicts relating to the Syrian crisis and decelerating global growth and, particularly, the role of the monetary policies of advanced countries, especially the U.S., in destabilizing developing country ́s economies.
This volume attempts to measure the quality of governance and the impact of the Group of 20 (G20), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the IMF, World Bank, and Tax Rule-Making Bodies. Nancy Alexander gives the body a “poor” rating for its lack of transparency, accountability, inclusiveness and participation and responsibility.
This report, authored by POMED's Executive Director Stephen McInerey and Advocacy Director Cole Bockenfeld, offers a detailed look at U.S. funding and assistance for democracy and governance in the Middle East, the congressional appropriations process, and implications for U.S. policy in the Middle East during a turbulent time.
Gender equality efforts at the World Bank are not new. Several recent World Bank and external reports have taken stock of how successfully gender equality concerns have been mainstreamed in World Bank activities in the past few years. This analysis finds that while there have been some improvements ,persistent weaknesses in implementation remain largely due to a focus on internal process over gender equality impacts in developing countries.