Spotlight G-20: Does BRICS money for the IMF mean they are bailing out Europe?

Peter Chowla, guest blogger

Part of the Triple Crisis Spotlight G-20 series.

A joint statement by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) released in the middle of the G20 summit in Los Cabos spelled out their plans for contributing to a boost in the resources available to the International Monetary Fund. The IMF wanted more money to backstop countries from the risks facing the global economy, most notably in Europe. Did the BRICS just cave in to pressure and, through the IMF, bail out European banks who lent recklessly? Or is it part of a broader agenda of emerging markets to reform global economic institutions?

Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight G-20: Elites Lose the “Mandate of Heaven”

Gerald Epstein

Part of the Triple Crisis Spotlight G-20 series.

Expectations were low to non-existent for the G-20 summit meeting that ended Tuesday in the sun-drenched resort of Los Cabos, Mexico. Policy analysts and business leaders have decried “policy paralysis” and the “loss of credibility” as most of the G-20 policy leaders rail against the negative impacts of austerity, even as they mostly continue to implement it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight G-20: Why do NGOs go to G-20 summits?

Christina Weller, guest blogger

Part of the Triple Crisis Spotlight G-20 series.

Los Cabos, Mexico – It certainly feels incongruous, working for an anti-poverty NGO and travelling to exclusive resorts such as Los Cabos in Mexico as part of your job. There are lots of reasons to think it’s not worth it. Should NGOs be lobbying at all? What does the G20 have to do with developing countries? What about the lack of access to decision makers (not to mention the lack of decisions at Summits these days)?

The answers to the questions are obviously not unconnected.

Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight G-20: The G-20 Agricultural Agenda: Agricultural productivity growth in a vacuum

Sophia Murphy, guest blogger

Part of the Triple Crisis Spotlight G-20 series.

This critique of the G-20’s new interagency report on smallholder productivity appears in Spanish in the newsletter Puentes

When the Heads of State of the G20 countries meet in Los Cabos, Mexico on June 18-19, they will have plenty to discuss – not least, the fragile global economy and the instability of international finance. Food security is on their agenda as well. Yet after the intense focus on agriculture and food security under the leadership of France, both ahead of and during its time as host of the G20 in 2011, this year’s efforts are low-key.

Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight G-20: G-20 and Food Security: Keep the Focus on Economic Policy Reform

Jennifer Clapp

Part of the Triple Crisis Spotlight G-20 series.

When the G20 put food security on its agenda for the 2011 Cannes summit, many analysts were initially optimistic. As the world’s leading economies, the G20 has the potential to make important economic policy changes that could help improve access to food for the world’s poorest people.

In 2012, optimism about the G20’s ability to deliver on this front has begun to fade. There has not been much action since the Cannes summit and, in the run-up to the Los Cabos summit, the discussion has shifted toward a narrower focus on productivity growth and away from broader economic policy reforms that can contribute to food security. Both are important and should remain on the agenda.

Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight G-20: Mexico’s Surreal Leadership on Food Security

Timothy A. Wise

Part of the Triple Crisis Spotlight G-20 series.

Leave it to Mexico to put surrealism on the agenda at the G-20 summit that opens today in Los Cabos, Mexico. Actually, the Mexican government seems not have put much of anything on the agenda, at least when it comes to food security, one of its stated priorities as G-20 president this year. What’s surreal is listening to Mexico’s Agriculture Minister, Francisco Mayorga, speaking last Wednesday to an international conference on “New Paradigms for Agriculture,” describe without a hint of irony or self-reflection his government’s “model program” for sustainable smallholder agriculture.

This from the country that is the world’s poster child for the failures of neoliberal agriculture policy. Surreal. Where’s Frida Kahlo when we need her?

Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight G-20: If not now, then when?

Jayati Ghosh

Part of the Triple Crisis Spotlight G-20 series.

The G20 meeting to be held in Los Cabos, Mexico on 17-18 June is arguably the most important meeting of this group since it was formed, and certainly one that the world will be watching. It is possibly even more important than the famous meeting of April 2009 when the member countries committed themselves to co-ordinated recovery measures in the wake of the global fallout from the Lehmann closure.

The reason for this significance is that for some time now, the G20 appears to have lost its way. Its original intention – to provide a relatively speedy and workable arrangement for global governance (especially economic governance) at a time when co-ordination of macroeconomic measures is seen as essential – has clearly fallen by the wayside in the past two years. Indeed, if it cannot deliver this time around, it risks sinking into irrelevance, at a time when the global economy badly needs some institutions to respond to what is more and more evident as a crisis of massive proportions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight G-20 & Rio+20: What We're Reading and Writing

As part of the Triple Crisis Spotlight G-20 and Spotlight Rio+20 series, we are running a special edition of our regular Reading and Writing update.

What We’re Reading
Johan Kuylenstierna, Environmentalism or human well-being? Rejecting a false dichotomy
Shengen Fan, A Green Economy and the Poor
Nature, Return to Rio: Second chance for the planet
FAO, Towards the Future We Want
IISD, Sustainable Development Timeline
IISD, Linkages: Coverage of Rio+20
SEI, Clinton outlines agenda to tackle climate, health and food security
Manish Bapna, Peter Hazlewood and John Talberth, Rio+20: Moving Ahead with the Sustainable Development Goals
Elizabeth Bast, Traci Romine, Stephen Kretzmann, Srinivas Krishnaswamy, Lo Sze Ping, Low Hanging Fruit: Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Climate Finance, and Sustainable Development
Stephen Leahy, Activists Call for Creation of High Commissioner for Future Generations at Rio+20
Rousbeh Legatis, Q&A: Battle for Human Rights in Rio Is “Far From Over”
Thalif Deen, Defining Green Economy May Stymie Rio Summit
Laura Carlsen, Mexico’s G20 Summit: In the Eye of the Storm
Peter Wahl, The G20: Overestimated and Underperforming
Liane Schalatek and Lili Fuhr, From promise to payment pledge: in Los Cabos, the G20 must act on long-term climate finance

What We’re Writing
Martin Khor, Key issues facing Rio+20 summit
Jennifer Clapp, G20 and Food Security: Keep the Focus on Economic Policy Reform

Spotlight G-20 & Rio+20: What We’re Reading and Writing

As part of the Triple Crisis Spotlight G-20 and Spotlight Rio+20 series, we are running a special edition of our regular Reading and Writing update.

What We’re Reading
Johan Kuylenstierna, Environmentalism or human well-being? Rejecting a false dichotomy
Shengen Fan, A Green Economy and the Poor
Nature, Return to Rio: Second chance for the planet
FAO, Towards the Future We Want
IISD, Sustainable Development Timeline
IISD, Linkages: Coverage of Rio+20
SEI, Clinton outlines agenda to tackle climate, health and food security
Manish Bapna, Peter Hazlewood and John Talberth, Rio+20: Moving Ahead with the Sustainable Development Goals
Elizabeth Bast, Traci Romine, Stephen Kretzmann, Srinivas Krishnaswamy, Lo Sze Ping, Low Hanging Fruit: Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Climate Finance, and Sustainable Development
Stephen Leahy, Activists Call for Creation of High Commissioner for Future Generations at Rio+20
Rousbeh Legatis, Q&A: Battle for Human Rights in Rio Is “Far From Over”
Thalif Deen, Defining Green Economy May Stymie Rio Summit
Laura Carlsen, Mexico’s G20 Summit: In the Eye of the Storm
Peter Wahl, The G20: Overestimated and Underperforming
Liane Schalatek and Lili Fuhr, From promise to payment pledge: in Los Cabos, the G20 must act on long-term climate finance

What We’re Writing
Martin Khor, Key issues facing Rio+20 summit
Jennifer Clapp, G20 and Food Security: Keep the Focus on Economic Policy Reform

Spotlight G-20 & Rio+20: The G-20 Casts a Long Shadow over Rio

Peter Riggs, guest blogger

Part of the Triple Crisis Spotlight Rio+20 and Spotlight G-20 series.

What is the relation between the Rio+20 Earth Summit and the upcoming G-20 summit in Mexico?   These two events occur back-to-back, and both are at the ‘heads of state’ level.  This month should be an opportunity for serious international course-correction, right?

Read the rest of this entry »