The G20 summit of world leaders has concluded with a communique, a fancy way of describing a joint statement, that has both delivered more, but also somewhat less, than expected.
Where they’ve delivered more is by putting issues such as climate change in the message from world leaders. Those weren’t on the formal agenda as the host, Australian PM Tony Abbott, had nixed climate change, for one.
But, after US President Obama mentioned the urgency of dealing with climate change at a speech in Brisbane before the summit, it’s unsurprising that it was discussed after all.
Ebola is also in the final statement.
So, the G20 didn’t just focus on the purely economic issues. I wrote before about how most of these issues are linked to the world economy in any case.
But, where they have delivered less is with respect to concrete commitments on those issues.
For instance, the gist of the G20 statement on climate and Ebola is that they are concerned, and support effective action – without committing money or quantitative targets. Maybe that’s too much to expect given that these originally weren’t on the agenda.
Fighting tax evasion was on the agenda, and the G20 agreed to automatically share tax information, but I’ve already heard criticism from Transparency International and others that it doesn’t go far enough because the information won’t be in the public domain.