UNEP along with a bunch of other organizations released the global Green New Deal in time to influence the G20 meeting. The 29 page text is available at:
The research paper underlying the text "argues that an investment of 1 percent of global GDP over the next two years could provide the critical mass of green infrastructure needed to seed a significant greening of the global economy (of course, the specific focus of the investment will differ between developed and developing countries, as would the mix of fiscal and aid funding). The overall size of this recommended ‘green’ stimulus is well within the realm of the possible : at 1 percent of global GDP, (i.e. approximately USD 750 billion) it is only a fourth of the total size of proposed fiscal stimulus packages."
The shocking realization is how little attention the G20 leaders paid to this document. It is arguably at least as important as the Millennium Development Goals and the ODA commitments (which were mentioned in the G20 Leaders' Statement). The throwaway line of dealing with greening of the global economy at some future date stands in stark contrast to the urgency expressed in the UNEP document. For example, "We must not miss this chance to fundamentally shift the trajectory of human civilization." One would have expected at least some passing reference to the agenda laid out by UNEP. So why was it so pointedly ignored?
Perhaps the answer lies in the proposed implementation arrangements? "Countries represented in the G-20 represent almost 90 percent of global GDP, two-thirds of world population and 80 percent of international trade. Such a forum could provide the platform for a global deal. The UN could then be used to take the framework to the wider community of nations, and to provide the complex coordination, support, monitoring and reporting that follows thereafter."
Contrast this statement with the Leaders' thinking on implementation arrangements. "We agreed to make the best possible use of investment funded by fiscal stimulus programmes towards the goal of building a resilient, sustainable, and green recovery. We will make the transition towards clean, innovative, resource efficient, low carbon technologies and infrastructure. We encourage the MDBs to contribute fully to the achievement of this objective. We will identify and work together on further measures to build sustainable economies. "
Apart from the MDBs, there was little apparent support for a UN role in the recovery among the G20 leaders. Perhaps UNEP and its fellow travellers " the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the European Environment Agency (EEA), the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Millennium Institute, the secretariat of the United Nations Chief Executive Board (UNCEB), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs (UNDESA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (UNECLAC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the US Presidential Climate Action Project, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Secretary General’s Office" need to re-examine why the G20 didn't adopt this Green New Deal as crafted.
The answer might tell us something about the future of multilateralism and the role of the UN in creating a low carbon society. I suspect, however, that they will be self-congratulatory over the meaningless waffle that was included in the G20 Leaders' Statement, and claim that significant progress was made. I will be watching for the first signs of such collective patting on the back.