G20 leaders must agree a green and fair economic recovery that goes further faster

Press release, 21 November 2020
In a statement on the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Saudi Arabia, IIED director Andrew Norton said:

“G20 leaders need to agree an economic recovery plan that is green and provides the support that billions of people living in poverty around the world need.

“Developing country debt, climate change and biodiversity loss are huge problems that threaten post-COVID-19 recovery and are a devastating reality for millions of women, children and men in the poorest countries.

“By supporting a system of large-scale debt swaps for climate and nature, the G20 can help achieve a greener and fairer recovery. To be effective, it is crucial private holders of developing country debt, including asset managers and banks, also adopt this system of debt swaps.

“This meeting is also an opportunity for the G20 to follow the lead of its member states that have committed to achieve net zero carbon or greenhouse gas emissions. Its collective action on climate change needs to go further faster to be in line with the science and avoid catastrophic climate change.

“All countries should be providing a roadmap with clear benchmarks to ensure early action towards longer term goals. This is vital for making significant progress ahead of next year’s biodiversity conference in Kunming and climate summit in Glasgow. There is no time left to delay.”

Media enquiries

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Beth Herzfeld, IIED head of media, on +44(0)7503 643 332 or email beth.herzfeld@iied.org

Notes to editors

  • The G20 Leaders’ Summit is being hosted by Saudi Arabia from 21-22 November 2020
  • Find out more information about debt swaps for climate and nature
  • The World Bank’s poverty projections suggest COVID-19’s effects and the resulting global recession, compounded by the effects of armed conflict and climate changes, will push 110-150 million more people into extreme poverty by 2021.