As G20 leaders meet in Hamburg, Germany, July 7-8, they are once again being advised by the Civil20 (the formal civil society link to the G20) that if, but only if, globalization targets the systemic causes of inequality, will Agenda 2030, the UN Sustainable Development Goals be achieved.
Before, at the UN Financing for Development Forum, G20 leaders and other governments, concluded that “the current global trajectory will not deliver the goal of eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions by 2030” (United Nations e/FFDF/2017/L.1). Rethinking globalization is now on civil society and government agendas.
Contrary to those who seek to discredit civil society as being anti-growth and anti-globalization, including some business leaders, the C20 considers international cooperation, not nationalism, to be the way forward. The 300 citizen-based organisations, who gathered in Hamburg June 18-19, presented their recommendations on how to build an environmentally and socially fair globalization to Angela Merkel, this year’s G20 Presidency.
Making globalization environmentally and socially-just begins by considering food security; the nexus of the environment and economics; reforming the international financial architecture and protecting the spaces for civil society to participate.
For globalization to be good for food security and agriculture it needs to be based on the knowledge that smallholder farmers feed the vast majority of the world’s population. G20 countries must act on the evidence that there is an inverse relationship between farm size and productivity in many agro ecological conditions. Family farms can produce more food per unit of land, if provided with supportive infrastructure and services similar to that already provided to agri-businesses. Rethinking globalization does not mean an end to large farms. It means enabling and protecting family farming systems. Lacking land tenure security and the rule of property law, smallholders are losing their land at alarming rates. Their livelihoods and global food security are at heightened risk.
For globalization to be good for the environment and economics there must be an end to water grabbing. Investment funds are seeking to profit from the monetization of water and turning freshwater into an economic asset gaining in scarcity value. Water is embedded in the extraction, production, processing and trading of natural resources and commodities including the energy used in all of these process. Its real cost, like other externalities, needs to be priced and tax according to the value it adds to corporate profits and investor returns. While water needs to be protected as a common right, where it is used to support economic growth, its cost must incorporate the protection and restoration of the environment and be managed under the polluter-pays principle.
Read the full C20 recommendations >https://civil-20.org/