India G20 Presidency 2023World | January 25, 2023, Wednesday // 12:58| views
Presidency of Hope, Harmony and Peace
Hope, Harmony, Peace and Stability – these are defining ideas that will frame India’s presidency of the G20 grouping of the world’s most advanced and emerging economies. G20 provides India, the world’s fifth largest economy, a great opportunity to shape the global agenda at a time of increasing polarisation and escalation of geopolitical tensions, to advance peace, stability and shared prosperity in a fragmented world.
The gavel of the G20 presidency was passed on symbolically by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the closing session of the G20 summit in the Indonesian island resort of Bali on 16 November 2022. India took over the year-long G20 presidency officially on 1 December 2022 which will continue till 30 November 2023. In Bali, PM Modi set the tone by assuring the world that India’s G20 presidency will be “inclusive, ambitious, decisive, and action-oriented.” Outlining key themes and priorities of India’s presidency, PM Modi underlined that the G20 has to convey a strong message in favor of peace and harmony and stressed that without peace and security, “future generations will not be able to take advantage of economic growth or technological innovation.”
India sees its G20 presidency as a catalyst of change and global transformation, in a world stricken by multi-dimensional crises such as food and energy security, which has been accentuated by geopolitical tensions. With the world mired in conflicts, jeopardizing the lives of ordinary people, India will harness its G20 presidency to forge constructive and consensus-based solutions to a host of challenges such as reviving global growth, stronger climate action and robust global health architecture. Promoting food and nutrition security will be an important priority as the pandemic has pushed millions of people into poverty. Fast-tracking Sustainable Development Goals and leading the world to adopt eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle through LiFE (Life for Environment) will be other major priorities in the next few months. With 3 its core strength in information technology, India focuses on making digital architecture inclusive so that it can become a catalyst of socio-economic transformation. Promoting inclusive growth and financial inclusion will be the key priorities. In a world fragmented by polarising conflicts and decline of global institutions, the G20, which represents 85% of global GDP, 75% of international trade, and 2/3rd of the world’s population, will become more important than ever. Under India’s presidency, India will seek to bolster the G20’s status and authority as the premier global forum for cooperation on global economic and financial issues. The G20, after all, was born at the height of the 2008 financial meltdown, which compelled the world to set up a new representative multilateral grouping comprising developed and emerging economies. It in this context, PM Modi has underlined that the world is looking at the “G20 with hope.”
Going forward, the G20 will also be an opportunity to showcase India, the ‘Mother of Democracy,’ in all its glory and diversity as it scales new heights of excellence in just about every area, ranging from economic progress to science and technology, space, innovation and start-ups. India will host 200 plus G20-related meetings in 56 different places in India, bringing delegates from different countries to visit this vibrant and diverse country. For many visitors, a G20 event will be their first taste and experience of India, and hence all Indians need to put their best foot forward to welcome the world and treat them as part of one family. This primer comprises short crisply-written narratives on key themes under India’s G20 presidency to familiarise students and researchers with major focus areas and priorities of what India seeks to achieve in the next 12 months during its leadership of the 20-nation body. We hope that India will consolidate its credentials as a global influencer and leave its indelible imprint on the G20 process that seeks to create a more inclusive and equitable world.
Energy Transition: Shaping a Green World
Promoting energy transition for accelerating low-carbon growth is a key priority of India’s ongoing renewables revolution, and will figure prominently on the agenda of India’s G20 presidency. Setting new benchmarks and targets, India has already declared that half of its electricity will be generated from renewable sources. For India, time-bound and affordable finance and sustainable supply of technology to developing countries is essential for inclusive energy transition.
Prime Minister Modi unveiled his vision of inclusive energy transition at the COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow in November 2021, where he introduced the world to the concept of “panchamitra: (five nectars). This five-pronged plan includes:
• India will reach its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
• India will meet 50% of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030.
• India will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now onwards till 2030. • By 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by less than 45%.
• By the year 2070, India will achieve the target of Net Zero. These “panchamrit” will be an unprecedented contribution of India to climate action.
This concept of “panchamitra” will underpin India’s efforts to promote energy security and energy transition under its leadership of G20 for 2022-2023. For India, energy security is critically important for global growth as it is the world’s fastest-growing economy. This is why India opposes any restrictions on the supply of energy to ensure stability in the energy market.
Get a LiFE: Promoting Eco-friendly Lifestyle
The climate has literally changed, with global warming wreaking its havoc around the world. Rivers are drying, glaciers are melting and many regions of the world are experiencing record-breaking temperature, inflicting much suffering all around. Freak climate-triggered events such as flood, famine and typhoons are endangering our very existence. Against this backdrop of looming climate emergency, India has pioneered a homegrown initiative for sustainable and healthy lifestyle called LiFE - Lifestyle For the Environment - and placed it on the global agenda, including at G20. The concept was unveiled by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi at the annual global climate summit, COP26 in Glasgow on 1 November 2021. In his speech, PM Modi called upon the global community to drive LiFE as an international mass movement towards “mindful and deliberate utilization, instead of mindless and destructive consumption” to protect and preserve the environment.
LiFE places an individual at the center of action against climate change by pursuing “Lifestyle of the planet, for the planet and by the planet.” Moving beyond complex macro policy debates and the role of governments and international agencies, LiFE encourages simple-to-do lifestyle changes such as using bicycle to go to office or gyms to curb greenhouse gas emissions. LiFE is animated by an underlying belief that changing deeply ingrained individual and community behavior alone can make a difference in the environmental and climate crises. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), if one billion people out of the global population of eight billion adopt environment-friendly behaviors in their daily lives, global carbon emissions could drop by approximately 20%. In this new scheme, those who practice such a lifestyle are recognized as Pro Planet People under LiFE.
Under India’s presidency of G20, LiFE will acquire an added momentum as it wins support from the international community as well as those aspiring for a healthy green lifestyle in India. In months to come, LiFE is poised to become the global mantra for combating climate change. Mission LiFE has attracted enthusiastic response from world leaders, who have lauded India’s initiative for blending its spiritual ideal of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” to drive green transformation. The motto of India’s G20 presidency – “One Earth One Planet One Future” – encapsulates the essence of pro-Life planet and people. Mission LiFE is a clarion call to action for citizens and governments to save the planet.
Bridging the Divide: Digital Public Goods
Digital transformation is the new normal in the post-COVID world. In the wake of COVID-19, Internet emerged as our classroom, our workplace, the meeting space and the preferred forum for exchanging ideas. Given the transformative potential of the digital, accelerating digital transformation across the spectrum will be a major focus area of India’s G20 presidency and diplomatic outreach in months to come. This digital transformation will encompass digital economy, digital finance, digital government, digital health, and digital education.
Digital technologies can also be harnessed in fight against poverty and against climate change. Against this backdrop, India can lead the way by showcasing its digital transformation story over 80% Indians have bank accounts as compared to about 50% in 2014 – and share its expertise in this area with the developed and developing world.
India sees digital transformation as the key to reaching sustainable development goals on poverty, education, health, and direct benefit transfer. India will also work with other G20 countries to ensure that the benefits of digital transformation should not be confined to a small part of the human race.
Climate Finance: Funding Green Growth
Climate finance holds the master key to accelerating green transition and green development. With the world becoming increasingly conscious of the damaging consequences of global warming, time-bound urgent delivery of climate finance from developed countries to developing countries has acquired a note of urgency. India has consistently batted for climate finance in international fora as it holds developed countries historically responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions. Based on this reasoning, India, along with other developing countries, has made a compelling case for fast-tracking climate finance to fund green transition at G20. At the global climate summit COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009, developed countries had committed to jointly mobilize US$100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries tackle the effects of climate change. But more than 14 years later, this target has only been partially met.
Against this backdrop, fast-tracking delivery of climate finance and raising the ambition for climate finance will be a high priority for India’s G20 presidency. In India’s view, developing countries require substantive enhancement in climate finance from the floor of US$100 billion per year to meet their ambitious goals and rich countries need to lead the mobilization of resources.
Under its presidency, India will persuade developed countries to raise the bar for climate finance to over US$100 billion per year. India will also work with G20 countries to scale up the deployment of zero and low-emission power generation including renewable energy. The G20 summit in India is expected to reinforce the target to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Enhancing G20 Collaboration for Food Security, Popularising Millets
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent disruptions in supply chains following the Russia-Ukraine crisis, food insecurity has become a major global concern, and will figure prominently on the agenda of India’s G20 presidency. As the food crisis affects both developing and developed countries, India will harness its G20 presidency to enhance international collaboration and assistance across the North-South divide for bolstering global food security. In this regard, India has robust credentials to not only ensure food security of its 1.3 billion citizens, but has also emerged as a food provider to many developing countries. In the spirit of South-South cooperation, India had sent 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and multiple tranches of medicines and vaccines to Afghanistan, extended credits of US$3.8 billion to Sri Lanka for fuel, essential commodities and trade settlement, supplied 10,000 metric tons of food aid and vaccine shipments to Myanmar, among others.
Under its G20 presidency, India will focus on mobilizing international efforts to keep food supply chains functioning under challenging circumstances. India has shown an unflinching commitment to addressing food insecurity by ensuring accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of food and food products for all those in need, specially in countries of the Global South.
Enhancing G20 efforts to make agriculture more environmentally sustainable will be critical to tackle hunger and malnutrition. In this regard, international cooperation is needed to adapt various agricultural technologies and methods which are free from pesticides, herbicides and contamination in order to ensure positive, nutritional outcomes.
Democratizing Global Financial Governance: Adapting to 21st Century Realities
The world order created after the Second World War has become increasingly archaic and suffers from fatigue. This has adversely impacted the capacity of global institutions to respond to emerging crises. In this context, making global financial governance institutions more democratic and representative of ongoing shifts in the world order is a major priority of India under its G20 presidency. Institutions such as the World Bank and IMF continue to remain the bastion of the West and need to provide greater representation and weight to emerging and developing countries in order to stay relevant. Multilateral institutions and international financing institutions, including development banks, need to reform urgently in view of the rise of emerging economies. In this backdrop, fast-tracking reforms of global governance institutions will be among key priorities for India’s G20 presidency.
The crisis of essential goods and collapse of global supply chains in the wake of the Ukraine crisis has made acceleration of global governance reforms all the more urgent. In his address at the G20 summit in Bali, Prime Minister Modi vividly brought out the scale of the crisis and underlined the need for reform of multilateral institutions. “The challenge for the poor citizens of every country is more severe. Everyday life was already a struggle for them. They do not have the financial capacity to deal with the double whammy. Due to the double whammy, they lack the financial capacity to handle it,” he said. “We should also not hesitate to acknowledge that multilateral institutions such as the UN have been unsuccessful on these issues. And we have all failed to make suitable reforms in them,” said PM Modi. In India’s view, reforms in multilateral organizations are necessary to ensure better global governance for faster post-COVID recovery.
India remains committed to maintaining a strong and effective Global Financial Safety Net with a strong, quota-based and adequately resourced IMF at its center. India will continue to push for advancing the process of IMF governance reform under the 16th General Review of Quotas, including a new quota formula as a guide, by December 15, 2023. The G20 countries are expected to work for strengthening the long-term financial resilience of the international financial architecture, including by promoting sustainable capital flows, and developing local currency capital markets.
Accelerating SDGs: Making World a Better Place to Live in
With the clock ticking away for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, accelerating SDGs has acquired a note of urgency. Unfortunately, progress of SDGs has been slowed down due to COVID-19, the Ukraine-Russia war, uneven economic growth and high inflation. In the context of the G20 summit in Bali, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on the G20 leaders to respond to “an SOS” from the SDGs and to support governments of the Global South in tackling the climate crisis, prevent famine and hunger, bolster the energy transition, and promote the digital transformation.
Against this background, India will focus on accelerating progress in SDGs during its G20 presidency. The SDGs encompass inter-connected issues like poverty, food and nutrition security, health, education, women empowerment, employment and climate change.
Looking ahead, under its G20 presidency India will work closely with advanced and emerging economies to enhance financing for SDGs through different ways including increased domestic tax revenues, increased sovereign (government) borrowing from international development finance institutions (DFIs); and debt restructuring for heavily indebted borrowers. India will also focus on pushing public investments and structural reforms, promoting private investments, and strengthening multilateral trade and resilience of global supply chains, to support long-term growth, and make it sustainable and inclusive and green.
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