The G20: Playing Outside the Big Tent
In contrast, the G20 Summit is a closed gathering of the world’s nineteen largest economies, plus the European Union—which will focus on managing the eurozone crisis, governance and financial reform, unemployment, and international development, including a massive infrastructure initiative.
This paper explores the ways in which G20 Summit affect the outcomes of “Rio+20” and whether these two global events might be mutually reinforcing or work at cross-purposes.
It begins by providing a brief history of the G20 and its two growth frameworks and, then, describes how, on the one hand, nation states are moving away from binding commitments (e.g., environment, climate, human rights, biodiversity) and, on the other, private actors (i.e., ‘public-private partnerships’) are shaping the future. The brave new world dominated by transnational corporations is deepening and expanding ‘market mechanisms,’ which commodify and ‘financialize’ natural resources. The conclusions describe government and civil society responses to the new challenges to global governance and sustainable development in a multi-polar world where the power of the financial sector remains ascendant.