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Indian Express

12-September-2023

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1) An ambitious declaration at G20 under India’s Presidency:

Context:

  • India’s presidency of the G20 came at a time when the world was undergoing a geo-political churn.
  • The economic shock of the twin events i.e. Ukraine-Russia war and Covid 19 had a deep impact on developing and under-developed countries.
  • This article will discuss the various areas that were covered under the declaration.

What do G20 declarations mean?

  • The G20 declarations comprise, in large part, recommendations regarding the broad direction in various fields; references to decisions of specialised bodies dealing with specific subjects and a resolve to implement them, and voluntary action by countries to that end.

Ukraine war:

  • Due to India’s growing clout and cordial relations with both sides of the divide, the Ukraine war hurdle was overcome with diplomacy.
  • The following factors were taken into consideration at the declaration:
    • adverse consequences of the conflict for the global economy,
    • endorsing the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states,
    • adhering to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter,
    • the inadmissibility of use or threat to use nuclear weapons.
  • However the summit abstained from using the language which was used at the Bali declaration which deplored Russia as the main aggressor.

Various areas which got covered under the New Delhi Declaration:

  • sustainable and inclusive growth,
  • the 2030 agenda for sustainable development,
  • international trade,
  • climate change
  • finance,
  • improved access to medical counter measures for health emergencies,
  • debt vulnerabilities,
  • reforms of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs)
  • Digital Public Infrastructure.

Detailed information about the areas covered under the declaration:

  • The 2030 agenda for sustainable development: Since only 12 per cent targets of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are on track, the New Delhi Declaration made a series of commitments which included mobilization of adequate and accessible financing for developing countries and fulfilment of their official development assistance (ODA)commitments by developed countries, with action to be taken by the respective countries and organisations.
  • The effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and facilitation of low-cost financing for clean energy transitions, which require an enormous annual investment.
  • Address the debt vulnerabilities of developing countries with a leading role for MDBs: The declaration calls for revitalisation of multilateralism; making global governance more representative and enhancing the representation and voice of developing countries in the decision-making in global economic and financial institutions.

Challenges in implementation:

  • Since G20 countries represent around 85 percent of global GDP and about two-thirds of the global population, their voice carries weight.
  • However, challenges multiply when details of each subject are discussed in the specialised body, often revealing differences even among G20 countries.
  • Voluntary action by countries frequently falls short of the targets.

Positive aspects of the G20 meet:

  • It was a tremendous organizational effort, with over 200 meetings in 60 cities, and the association of sections of society, economy and the academic community with the process.
  • India gave the issues of interest to the global south a much higher profile by organising the Voice of Global South summit. The inclusion of the African Union in G20 was a powerful symbol of the importance attached to the Global South.
  • Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor was unveiled during the summit which has the potential to be an effective counter, though comparatively limited in scope, to the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • The summit focused on Technological Transformation and Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), thus providing India an opportunity to showcase its considerable accomplishments in these areas.

Way Forward:

  • The successful holding of the G20 summit has boosted the country’s image. It should be noted that the summit was not the cause but the consequence of India’s rise and consolidation of power, particularly economic and technological power.
  • India should, therefore, focus single-mindedly on consolidating It’s national power further in a harmonious, democratic environment.

2) G20 declaration creates momentum for concerted climate action:

Context:

  • The G20 countries collectively account for more than 80 per cent of global GHG emissions.
  • However, members of the group have traditionally had differences over shouldering the burden of global warming mitigation.

Major outcomes:

  • Agreement to triple the bloc’s renewable energy capacity by 2030.
  • Phasing out fossil fuels
  • Declaration recognised the need to accelerate efforts towards phasedown of unabated coal power in line with national circumstances”.
  • The Delhi Declaration seems to have made some headway towards breaking the dead lock on financing the green transition as it was for the first time, G20 nations appeard to be on the same page on the funds that must be summoned for the clean energy shift for which the developing countries would require $5.9 trillion by 2030 to meet their climate goals.

International Renewable Energy Agency data:

  • 83 per cent of all power capacity added in 2022 came through renewables.
  • India and China are on the course to meet their renewable energy-related Paris Pact commitments.
  • Attaining theG20’s clean energy goals will require setting up infrastructure and making the economic environment congenial in countries that are lagging on this front.

Way Forward:

  • The inclusion of the African Union in the G20 could provide the impetus for an energy transition in the power-starved continent as, “Africa is home to 60 per cent of the best solar resources globally”.
  • The India-helmed International Solar Alliance, which is still under progress, could help African countries develop bankable renewable energy assets.
  • The momentum generated in Delhi should be carried forward by the climate diplomats when they meet in Dubai to audit the progress on the Paris Pact’s goals and make necessary course corrections.

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