G20 Leaders Urged to Support Global Green New Deal

The leaders of the G20 countries are set to meet in Washington, D.C. this weekend for a special summit on the global financial crisis.  It is anticipated that pressure will be on them to seek solutions in the growth of a new green economy.

Recently, Senior researchers with the environmental research organization Worldwatch Institute, issued a detailed proposal that they hope will focus the attention of the G20 leaders on what they are calling a “Global Green Deal.” “The challenge for global political leadership, including U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, is not merely to kickstart the global economy, but to do so in a way that creates jobs and stabilizes climate, increases food output using less water and pesticides, and generates prosperity with greater equality of incomes,” write Gardner and Renner.  “This broad approach will require a conceptual blueprint evocative of America’s 1930s New Deal, but more audacious in scope and vision,” they write.

“This historic moment calls for not merely repairs to our hyper-productive, yet ailing, economy, but for a new approach suited to the realities of a heavily populated and environmentally stressed world – a Global Green Deal that shifts the focus from growth to development, and that is geared less to providing consumerist superfluities than to ensuring that nobody’s true needs go unmet.”

President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden announced that they will not meet personally with the G20 leaders. Instead they have designated former Republican Congressman Jim Leach and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to meet unofficially with delegates at the G-20 summit on their behalf.

Obama Senior Foreign Policy Advisor stated “that President Bush should be commended for calling the summit. There is one President at a time in the United States, so the President-elect Obama has asked Secretary Albright and Congressman Leach, an experienced and bipartisan team, to be available meet with and listen to our friends and allies on his behalf.”

The G20 is a group of 20 economies – 19 of the world’s largest national economies, plus the European Union. The G20 Countries are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and the European Union.

Together, the G20 economies make up 90 percent of global gross national product, 80 percent of world trade and two-thirds of the world’s population. This will be the first G20 meeting at the leaders level since the G20 was established in 1999.

The initiative for a New Green Deal was introduced late last month by the United Nations Environment Programme and the British government and the idea has swftly gained support among environment and sustainable business leaders.

Accelerating this transition is at the core of the Green Economy initiative and the best bet for global, sustainable wealth and employment generation for 1.3 billion poor people, said Benn. The UK will host the G20 during 2009.

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