Discussion Paper

No. 2009-38 | August 21, 2009
Global Governance: the G20 and a Global Green New Deal
(Submitted as Policy Paper)


In response to the world economic crisis, the international community should promote a mix of policies to sustain global recovery and create jobs through reducing carbon dependency, ecological degradation and poverty. Such a Global Green New Deal (GGND) requires implementation and coordination of “green investments” by the Group of 20 (G20), who should also adopt complementary pricing policies and foster international aid and other actions in support of the GGND. Developing economies should provide clean water and sanitation for the poor, create safety nets, invest in heath and education, and target energy and water poverty. Such a global strategy can revive economies, create jobs and improve the sustainability of world development.

Paper submitted to the special issue Global Governance—Challenges and Proposals for Reform

JEL Classification:

F59, H87, O13, O19, Q01


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Cite As

Edward B. Barbier (2009). Global Governance: the G20 and a Global Green New Deal. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2009-38, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2009-38

Comments and Questions

Anne Alexander - Global Governance: the G20 and a Global Green New Deal
October 01, 2009 - 15:50

An excellent and interesting idea is presented in this paper - coordination of recovery efforts through the G20 focusing upon green stimulus efforts. It is also very timely given the announcement just last week of the G20 "replacing" the G8 in global economic discussions. Two things that could ...[more]

... be included upfront to make the argument more convincing is (1) a rationale for why the G20 is a viable forum for coordination, and (2) a strong argument for why explicit coordination is optimal to national-interest piecemeal GGND pursuit. Both seem obvious in many respects, but perhaps a placement of such rationale before the full-out description of the GGND section will guide the reader to understand the importance of coordination, and coordination by a specific global conversation group, above the status quo. Can an argument be made that the coordination will have greater impacts? Can an argument be made that the G20 - which currently is a discussion forum where members can make pledges and discuss coordination, but has no binding agreements between members - as opposed to the IMF or World Bank, is the optimal coordinating mechanism? The addition of these - even in a short paragraph or two - will make the paper that much more compelling.

Ed Barbier - Reply to Reader Comment
January 06, 2010 - 09:30

Thank you for your interesting and supportive comment on my discussion paper. In revising the paper for publication in the special issue on Global Governance in Economics, I was able to address your suggested points to provid more discussion of why international coordination for ensuring a sustainable global recovery ...[more]

... is needed over piece-meal national policies and why the G20 is the appropriate global forum for this coordination. In addition, the forthcoming article in Economics updates much of the discussion and references in this discussion paper, given that the latter was written in August 2009 during the midst of the recession. Finally, further details of the GGND strategy and its long-term implications for global economic recovery, as well on the specific points you raise, can be found in my forthcoming book, Barbier, E.B. (2010). A Global Green New Deal: Rethinking the Economic Recovery. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.