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G20 Insights: T20 Recommendations Realized

John Kirton and Brittaney Warren, G20 Research Group
November 3, 2017
[pdf]

Introduction

This Think 20 (T20) Recommendations Realized Report identifies the impact of the policy recommendations that the T20 and its global network of think tanks made from its thematic task forces to the Group of 20 (G20) leaders at their Hamburg Summit, which took place on July 7-8, 2017. This report matches the 89 priority T20 recommendations made across five thematic areas to the 531 collective, precise, future-oriented, politically binding G20 commitments made at Hamburg, using a method pioneered by the University of Toronto's Global Governance Program and first applied to summits on non-communicable diseases convened in 2007, 2011 and 2014 (Kirton et al. 2016). In the current simplified version, it gives each of the 89 recommendations a score on a three-point scale to track the degree of the match. A score of −1 indicates no match, a score of 0 indicates a partial match and a score of +1 indicates a full match with one or more Hamburg commitment (see Appendix A).

This report finds that 26%, or 23, of the 89 T20 priority recommendations made were either partially or fully realized in the Hamburg commitments (see Appendix B). Two were fully realized and 21 were partially realized.

Recommendations Made

The T20 made 89 priority recommendations to G20 leaders in the lead up to the Hamburg Summit, as identified in its overall report in late May 2017 (T20 2017).

The highest number of recommendations were in the thematic area of hunger, inequality and migration with 25. Next came 20 recommendations each on digitalization, and on climate policy and finance. Sixteen recommendations were on economic resilience. Eight were on the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

Hunger, Inequality and Migration

The theme of fighting hunger, reducing inequalities and managing forced migration had nine components. These were promoting policies to make water use sustainable, with six recommendations. Next came reshaping the global food system with four and supporting refugees and youth in national education systems with three. Two recommendations each arose in the remaining components of measuring inequality, forced migration and labour, sustainable development, promoting dialogue with religious leaders, supporting countries that host refugees, and promoting policies to support climate migrants.

Digitalization

On digitalization the T20 made 20 priority recommendations across four components. These were cooperating to create digital safeguards with eight recommendations, collaborating on employment and education policies for the digital age with six, harnessing the potential of blockchain technology with four and safeguarding the financial system from cyber attacks with two.

Climate Policy and Finance

Climate policy and finance had 20 recommendations. Across the five components, promoting the leveraging of market forces to support low-carbon growth had eight; standardizing green finance practices four; promoting green technology and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and managing the distributional effects of climate policy three each; and establishing transformative sovereign wealth funds in G20 members to support climate protection had two.

Economic Resilience

On building a stable, sustainable and resilient global economy, the T20 made 16 priority recommendations across five components. These were supporting the alignment of the trade investment system with the 2030 Agenda, and Africa with four each; advancing a human-centred model of economic growth and development, and pursuing economic policies to improve economic resilience and enhance inclusiveness with three each; and improving the resilience of the global financial and monetary system with two.

2030 Agenda

On the 2030 Agenda the T20 made eight priority recommendations, all stressing the key role of the multilateral system in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Recommendations Realized

Of the 89 priority recommendations, 23 (26%) were either fully or partially realized in the 531 commitments made at Hamburg (see Appendix C).

The highest number of recommendations realized came in the areas of economic resilience with a majority 56%, or nine of the 16 recommendations realized in the Hamburg commitments. Next came the 2030 Agenda with 50%, or four of the eight realized. Then came digitalization with 25%, or five of the 20 realized. Then hunger, inequality and migration with 12%, or three of the 25 realized. And, in last place, came climate policy and finance with just 10%, or two of the 20 realized.

Economic Resilience

On building a stable, sustainable and resilient global economy, nine of the 16 recommendations were realized in the Hamburg commitments. One of these, under the component of advancing a human-centred model of economic growth and development was central to the T20's overall message. It was partially realized. It recommended that the G20 leaders put people at the heart of economic policy by designing social inclusion "through a concerted process of modernization and increased investment across five areas: active labour market policies, equity of access to quality basic education, gender parity, and school-to-work transition."

All three recommendations on improving economic resilience and enhancing inclusiveness were partially realized. Two on the trade-investment system were also partially realized.

One recommendation on Africa was fully realized. It called for the G20 to "broaden the joint agenda between [the] G20 and Africa step by step, considering African citizens' needs and preferences." This was realized in the G20 commitment that launched the G20 Africa Partnership to foster sustainable development. Two other Africa-related recommendations were partially realized.

2030 Agenda

On the 2030 Agenda, 50%, or four, of the eight recommendations were realized in the Hamburg commitments. One was fully realized and three were partially realized. The fully realized recommendation stated that the G20 should "lead global cooperation through both protection and restoration measures for coastal and marine ecosystems and a careful approach to sustainable exploitation of marine resources." While this recommendation was not realized in a single Hamburg commitment, all key components of it appeared in several of the 54 environment commitments produced in the leader's document on reducing marine litter.

Digitalization

On digitalization 25%, or five of the 20 were realized in the Hamburg commitments. All five were partially realized. Three of these were on employment and education policies for the digital age and two were on safeguarding the financial system from cyber attacks. No recommendations were realized on creating digital safeguards or harnessing blockchain technology.

Hunger, Inequality and Migration

On fighting hunger, reducing inequalities and managing forced migration just 12%, or three of the 25 recommendations were realized in the Hamburg commitments. All three were partially realized. Two were on reshaping the global food system and one was on sustainable water use.

Climate Policy and Finance

The lowest number of recommendations realized came on climate policy and finance. Here only 10%, or two of the 20 recommendations were realized. Both were partially realized and both were on leveraging market forces to support low-carbon growth. Both recommended that the G20 work more closely with multilateral development banks (MDBs), with one focused on MDB-G20 collaboration on scaling up sustainable infrastructure and the other on encouraging MDBs to translate the Paris Agreement on climate change into sound investment plans. None of the other recommendations, on transforming sovereign wealth funds in G20 members to support climate protection, managing the distributional effects of climate policy, promoting green technology and SMEs, or standardizing green finance practices were realized.

References

Kirton, John, Julia Kulik and Caroline Bracht (2016). "Report on Objective Six: Impact of the Port of Spain Summit on Regional and Global Institutions." Global Health Diplomacy Program: University of Toronto.

Kirton, John, W. Andy Knight, C. James Hospedales, et al. (forthcoming). "Regional and Global Impacts of the Port of Spain Declaration." Submitted to Revista panamericana de salud publica, October 31, 2017.

T20 (2017). "20 Solution Proposals for the G20 from the T20 Engagement Group." Kiel Institute for the World Economy and German Development Institute. http://www.t20germany.org/2017/06/15/20-solutions-g20/.

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Appendix A: Recommendations Realized Methodology

The Recommendations Realized Reports identify the impact of policy recommendations made to G7 and G20 leaders by formal and informal engagement groups and others in the lead-up to their annual summits. It does so by matching the recommendations made by a given institution/organization/individual, such as the Think 20 (T20), with the collective, precise, future-oriented, politically-binding commitments the G7/20 leaders make in the official documents produced at their summit. It uses a method pioneered by the University of Toronto's Global Governance Program, first applied to summits on non-communicable diseases (NCD) convened in 2007, 2011 and 2014 (Kirton et al. 2014).

It has since been applied to recommendations made in the G7/20 "background books" published by the G7 Research Group and G20 Research Group, the Young Entrepreneur's Alliance and now by the Think 20.

In the more simplified version employed here, each recommendation made is given a score on a three-point scale. A score of −1 indicates no match with a commitment, a score of 0 indicates a partial match and a score of +1 indicates a full match. The following explanation of the assessment of the degree of match can also be applied to scoring commitments, rather than recommendations, on the same three-point scale (i.e. does the leaders' commitment fully, partially or not match with a previous recommendation made?).

Degree of Match

Full Match

In order for a recommendation to receive a score of +1, all components of that recommendation must match with at least one commitment. It is not required that all components of the recommendation are found in a single commitment; a full match can occur if all components of the recommendation are split between more than one commitment.

For example, in 2017 the T20's thematic task force on the 2030 Agenda made a recommendation to the G20 ahead of its Hamburg Summit on July 7-8, 2017, for the G20 to "lead global cooperation through both protection and restoration measures for coastal and marine ecosystems and a careful approach to sustainable exploitation of marine resources."

Parts of this recommendation were realized across several commitments the G20 made in the Hamburg Action Plan on Marine Litter. These included, but are not limited to:

Partial Match

In order for a recommendation to receive a score of 0 for a partial match only one or some of its components need to be realized in any number of commitments. For example, the T20's thematic task force on digitalization recommended that the G20 "measure and standardize digital literacy across the G20." This recommendation was partially realized in the following commitment:

No Match

In order for a recommendation to receive a score of −1 for a non-match, either no part of the recommendation matches any commitment made or there is no match with the core focus of the recommendation. For example, the T20 thematic task force on climate policy and finance recommended that the G20 "use transformative sovereign wealth funds to leverage climate protection investments and support workers, regions and sectors in adjusting to structural change driven by decarbonization by adopting proactive employment, training, and industrial policies." Although the G20 at Hamburg made 57 environment and 22 climate change commitments, none of these referenced sovereign wealth funds.

Conclusion

A more complex matching analysis, developed and used for the NCD summit evaluation, also charts the breadth of the match, according to the number of commitments containing all the components in the recommendation. Further work could measure the novelty of the match, i.e., was the matched recommendation repeating one previously made by the same source?; reverse influence: did the recommendation largely repeat a commitment made by a previous summit?; and distinctiveness of match: was the matched recommendation also made by other engagement groups or individuals?

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Appendix B: T20 Recommendations Made and Realized by Issue

Issue Number of T20 recommendations made Number of recommendations realized in G20 summit commitments Degree of match
(average score)
G20 overall compliance with similar commitments
2008-2017
Hunger/Inequality/Migration 25 3 (12%) 0 +0.46 (73%)
Digitalization 20 5 (25%) 0 +0.51 (76%)
Climate policy/Finance 20 2 (10%) 0 +0.33 (67%)
Resilient economy 16 9 (56%) +0.11 +0.48 (74%)
2030 Agenda 8 4 (50%) +0.25 +0.32 (66%)
Total/Average 89 23 (26%) +0.07 +0.42 (71%)

Notes:
This table shows the number of priority recommendations made by the T20 in 2017 to the G20 in the lead-up to their Hamburg Summit on July 7-8, 2017, by thematic area. It shows the number and percent of recommendations realized in the official documents produced in the leaders' name at the summit. It also shows the average score for the degree of match or the average score of the recommendations realized.

For example, on the 2030 Agenda, four (50%) of the eight recommendations made were realized in the commitments made at the Hamburg Summit. Three of these four were partially realized, with a score of 0 each. One was fully realized with a score of +1. Thus the average of these four scores is +0.25, or 63%. The percentage is calculated by added 1 to the average score, dividing by 2 and multiplying by 100 (1.25 ÷ 2 = 0.625 x 100 = 63%).

G20 overall compliance: Hunger/Inequality/Migration is the average compliance of food and agriculture, and migration and refugees; Digitalization is the average compliance of information and communications technologies; Climate policy/Finance is the average compliance of climate change; Resilient economy is the average compliance of macroeconomic policy, financial regulation, and trade and investment; 2030 Agenda is the average compliance of development.

Degree of match: If all components of the recommendation were realized in one or more commitments it received a score of +1 for a full match; If at least one, but not all, components of the commitment matched with one or more commitments it received a score of 0 for a partial match; if no components of the recommendation matched any commitment it received a score of −1 for no match.

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Appendix C: T20 Recommendations Made

Fully Realized (n = 2)

Building a Stable, Sustainable and Resilient Global Economy (1)

The G20 and Africa

  1. Broaden the joint agenda between G20 and Africa step by step, considering African citizens' needs and preferences (+1)

The 2030 Agenda (1)

Stress the key role of the multilateral system in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

  1. Lead global cooperation through both protection and restoration measures for coastal and marine ecosystems and a careful approach to sustainable exploitation of marine resources (+1)

Partially Realized (21)

Digitalization (5)

Collaborate on Employment and Education Policies for the Digital Age

  1. Create global digital platforms for education and training (0)
  2. Measure and standardize digital literacy across the G20 (0)
  3. Take socio-cultural gender norms into account in the design of education and training policies, e.g. when setting the timing of training courses (0)

Adopt Measures to Safeguard the Financial System from Cyber Attacks

  1. Refrain from using cyber attacks and improve the digital infrastructure to ensure the resilience of the global financial system (0)
  2. Report regularly on progress made in preventing the malicious use of ICT in the financial system (0)

Building a Stable, Sustainable and Resilient Global Economy (8)

Advance a More Human-centred Model of Economic Growth and Development
… This effort would place people and their living standards at the heart of economic policy by seeking to design social inclusion more explicitly into:

  1. The enabling environment for human capital formation and labour markets, through a concerted process of modernization and increased investment across five areas: active labour market policies, equity of access to quality basic education, gender parity, and school-to-work transition (0)

Pursue economic policies that improve economic resilience and enhance inclusiveness

  1. Develop further active labour market programs that promote inclusive growth and reduce the risk of severe crises (0)
  2. Identify global risks, drawing on the indicators of house price misalignments, global credit-to-GDP ratios, global equity price gaps and other indicators of international organizations such as the OECD, IMF and BIS, in order to reduce the incidence of crises and associated increases of inequality (0)
  3. Design financial market prudential policies (such as those based on maximum debt-to-income ratios) that reduce incidence of severe recessions at no cost to trend growth (0)

Support the Alignment of the Trade Investment System with the 2030 Agenda

  1. Support the development of international procedural and transparency tax standards to seek to create trust between investors and tax authorities, overcome information asymmetries, determine mutual obligation and lower the costs of tax compliance and tax administration (0)
  2. Hold global dialogues on responsible investments and anticorruption practices (0)

The G20 and Africa

  1. Start deepening cooperation of the G20 with Africa with very specific initiatives (such as BEPS) where joint initiatives are strongest (0)
  2. Link the Compacts with Africa, which focus on private investments in infrastructure with the Hangzhou Summit's 2016 commitment to African industrialization and avoid a lock-in of unsustainable, high-carbon investments (0)

Climate Policy and Finance (2)

Promote the Leveraging of Market Forces to Support Low-Carbon Growth

  1. Request that the MDBs set a system-wide target for supporting the scaling up of sustainable infrastructure as well as setting common definitions and standards for sustainable infrastructure (0)
  2. Encourage MDBs to develop roadmaps for translating the Paris Climate Agreement into investment plans (0)

Fighting Hunger, Reducing Inequalities, Managing Forced Migration (3)

Reshape the global food system

  1. Secure long-term and predictable sources of investment for food and nutrition to mitigate food aid volatility (0)
  2. Address the famine situation in Africa and Yemen, assuring adequate and timely financing for food aid and linking famine relief to resolute action to assure access to affected populations (0)

Promote policies to make water use sustainable

  1. Use digital opportunities for sustainable agriculture by establishing food and agriculture related ICT platforms, implementing regulatory frameworks to support such innovations that can improve resilience of farmers, and backing improved metrics and open data for political decision making (0)

The 2030 Agenda (3)

Stress the key role of the multilateral system in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

  1. Endorse the 2030 Agenda as the overarching framework of the G20, considered in the work of all the G20 Working Groups (0)
  2. Over the next years, develop, supported by the T20, a roadmap for the implementation of core SDGs by G20 in the policy path towards 2030 (0)
  3. Establish within the Development Working Group a five year proves on the 2030 Agenda, in order to engage in own work and in discussion with other work streams and Engagement Groups with a view to identify and fill gaps left by existing G20 frameworks and initiatives when implementing the 2030 Agenda (0)

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