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John Kirton: G20 summit to promote green growth

2016-08-26

Source: Global Times    Published: 2016-8-26


Many of the observers and business people are looking to the upcoming Group of 20 (G20) summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou for potential opportunities, particularly those created by the global pursuit of sustainable and green growth.


China, the host country, has highlighted efforts to tackle the climate issue as one of the key deliverables at the summit.


John Kirton, co-director of G20 Research Group at the University of Toronto, highlighted green growth as one of the three areas that the world leaders at the summit should coordinate fiscal stimulus to support.


The other two areas that should be given fiscal support, according to Kirton, are infrastructure and structural reform.


"If you can do this, you are going to have really big win at the summit," Kirton told Xinhua.


The G20 summit comes at a time when the world economy has continued to struggle on the path of fragile recovery despite aggressive monetary policies and rather loose fiscal policies put in place by almost all the world`s developed economies to stimulate growth.


The G20 forum, which first came into being as a club of the world`s major economies to tackle the global financial crisis, has now grown into the world`s primary platform for economic policy coordination, increasingly with a focus on long-term governance.


Li Baodong, a Chinese vice foreign minister, said the Hangzhou summit will focus on innovation, the new industrial revolution, the digital economy and structural reform.


"This aims to break the current model of sole reliance on fiscal stimulus and easy monetary policy through innovation-driven growth strategies and structural reform, and boost the potential for mid- to long-term growth," he said.


China, an emerging economy facing the uphill task of reforming and upgrading its economy, is working with other G20 members to draw a G20 blueprint for innovation-driven growth, highlighting the concept of inclusive innovation and a concrete action plan for building a new industrial revolution and the digital economy.


Experts said the pursuit of more sustainable green growth reflects the evolving global economic landscape and is in the interests of both the developing and the developed economies in combating the economic downturn.


"While China is looking to the developed countries like those in Europe for green technologies and expertise, the developed economies may expect from the expanded market for their competitive edge in green growth," said Sun Yanhong, associate research fellow with the Institute of European Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, citing China`s cooperation with European economies like Germany, France and Italy.


These countries have had an advantage in energy efficiency, Sun said.


A survey conducted in April this year showed that two-thirds of the EU respondents expressed support for more EU action on the environment. The EU institutions are currently working to reduce the green house gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030.


The G20 summit is aiming to push for more actions to implement set targets on the climate issue. The many developing economies need greener growth too, and they need help from the advanced economies to achieve this.


African leaders including Senegalese President Macky Sall have recently said they are looking to the G20 summit for chances of new industrial takeoff on their continent.


"The resolution is expected to propel Africa`s industrialization process through capacity enhancement in science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship," he said.

Key Words: green   global governance   sustainable development  

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