G20 commits to boost world growth, fight climate change

| Updated on: Nov 16, 2014
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Endorses need for transparency and disclosure of tax info

Leaders from the G20 group of nations agreed on Sunday to boost flagging global growth, tackle climate change and crack down on tax avoidance but ties between the West and Russia plummeted to a new low over the crisis in Ukraine.

Putin exits early

Russian President Vladimir Putin left the G20 summit in Brisbane early as US President Barack Obama accused Russia of invading Ukraine and Britain warned of a possible “frozen conflict” in Europe.

Several Western nations warned Russia of further sanctions if it did not withdraw troops and weapons from Ukraine. “I think President Putin can see he is at a crossroads,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron. “If he continues to destabilise Ukraine there will be further sanctions, further measures. There is a cost to sanctions, but there would be a far greater cost in allowing a frozen conflict on the continent of Europe to be created and maintained.”

Climate change

Security and climate change overshadowed G20 talks on boosting global economic growth at the summit, although the leaders did sign off on a package of measures to add an extra 2.1 percentage points to global growth over five years.

“This will add more than $2 trillion to the global economy and create millions of jobs,” said a communique issued at the end of the meeting, which also committed to tackle global tax avoidance denying government’s billions of dollars in revenue.

The US and other nations overrode host Australia’s attempts to keep climate change off the formal agenda. Australia is one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters per capita.

The final communique called for strong and effective action to address climate change with the aim of adopting a protocol, with legal force, at a UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.

“The most difficult discussion was on climate change,” an EU official told reporters on condition of anonymity. “This was really trench warfare, this was really step by step by step. In the end we have references to most of the things we wanted.”

Black money

In a major gain for India, the G20 summit on Sunday endorsed the need for transparency and disclosure of tax information by countries.

Raising the pitch on the issue, Modi, in his intervention at the G20 summit, called for close global coordination to address the challenges posed by tax avoidance.

He voiced his support for the new global standard on automatic exchange of information to tackle the black money menace. The new standard will be instrumental in getting information relating to unaccounted money hoarded abroad and enable its eventual repatriation, Modi said, utilising the multi-lateral forum. The G20 countries account for 85 per cent of the world’s GDP.

Modi urged every jurisdiction, especially tax havens, to provide information for tax purposes in accordance with treaty obligations.

Published on November 25, 2017

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