India set for G20 Summit: Driving sustainable finance for global growth and stability

As India prepares to host the G20 Summit in New Delhi on September 9-10, its presidency’s commitment to fostering global harmony and green finance stands as a prominent testament. 
The country has given importance to global multistakeholder collaboration as a means to tackle common challenges like the climate crisis and shows the path of global harmony and green finance. 

When New Delhi rolls the red carpet for Heads of State from all across the globe, it will also be pertinent to see how the subject of green finance and its applications are taken up during the summit. 
For the same, the Sustainable Finance Working Group (SFWG) has been put into action which aims to mobilize sustainable finance as a way of ensuring global growth and stability and promoting the transitions towards greener, more resilient and inclusive societies and economies. 
The Group is tasked to identify institutional and market barriers to sustainable finance to develop options to overcome such barriers and contribute to a better alignment of the international financial system to the objectives of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. 
Notably, on April 7, 2021, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors endorsed the reestablishment of the SFSG and upgraded it to become a working group under the title “G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group”. 
It was earlier in 2016 when a Green Finance Study Group was launched, the function of which was to identify institutional and market barriers to green finance and options to enhance the mobilisation of private capital for green investment. 
During 2016-18, the Group facilitated the formation of a global consensus on the need to scale up green finance and focused global attention on a range of key topics for the development of sustainable finance worldwide, the official website of the G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group (SFWG) reported. 
It was further in 2018, that the group’s remit was expanded to consider additional aspects of sustainable development, following which the group was renamed Sustainable Finance Study Group (SFSG). 
The First G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group (SFWG) was held in Guwahati, Assam on 2nd-3rd February 2023 where members showed wide-ranging support and cooperation for the SFWG work plan in 2023. 
The Second G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group (SFWG) meeting under India’s G20 Presidency took place in Udaipur, Rajasthan from March 21 to 23. 
During the three-day long meeting in Udaipur, over 90 delegates from various countries who are members of the G20 as well as those who have been invited by the Indian Presidency along with International Organisations held various discussions on the agreed-upon work plan and priority areas for 2023. 
According to the the official website of the G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group (SFWG), the Second G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group meeting carried forward the discussions and revisited the key takeaways from previous meetings with respect to the three identified priority areas namely the mechanisms for mobilisation of timely and adequate resources for climate finance; Enabling finance for the Sustainable Development Goals; and capacity building of the ecosystem for financing toward sustainable development. 
In order to create awareness around India’s G20 Presidency, various ‘Jan Bhagidari’ events were organised in Udaipur between March 18-23, 2023. These events involved a townhall meeting for MSME entrepreneurs, a seminar on Bridging the SDGs Financing Gap: Role of Microfinance at IIM Udaipur, a conference on ‘Green Finance-A Way Forward’, a digital banking education program, sessions on cyber hygiene and cyber security, and many more. 
A domestic side event was also organised ahead of the 2nd SFWG meeting on “Sharing experiences on Climate Budget Tagging (CBT)” on March 20. The workshop discussed the initiatives taken at the international and the domestic level in tagging climate-related expenditures with a view to better monitoring these activities, according to the official website of the SFWG. 

In his editorial which was published across newspapers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted that many countries of the Global South are at various stages of development and climate action must be a complementary pursuit. 
“Ambitions for climate action must be matched with actions on climate finance and transfer of technology,” PM Modi said. 

“We believe there is a need to move away from a purely restrictive attitude of what should not be done, to a more constructive attitude focusing on what can be done to fight climate change. The Chennai HLPs for a Sustainable and Resilient Blue Economy focus on keeping our oceans healthy. A global ecosystem for clean and green hydrogen will emerge from our presidency, along with a Green Hydrogen Innovation Centre. In 2015, we launched the International Solar Alliance. Now, through the Global Biofuels Alliance, we will support the world to enable energy transitions in tune with the benefits of a circular economy,” the PM wrote. 
Democratising climate action is the best way to impart momentum to the movement. Just as individuals make daily decisions based on their long-term health, they can make lifestyle decisions based on the impact on the planet’s long-term health. Just like Yoga became a global mass movement for wellness, we have also nudged the world with Lifestyles for Sustainable Environment (LiFE). 

This is the first time that the G20 Summit is taking place under India’s presidency. The event will be graced by many global leaders and delegates. Extensive preparations and arrangements have been made for the summit, with the intention of showcasing both India’s soft power as well as modern face. Formed in 1999, the G20 was formed to maintain global financial stability by incorporating middle-income countries. 
India assumed the G20 presidency on December 1 last year and about 200 meetings related to G20 were organized in 60 cities across the country. The 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi will be a culmination of all the G20 processes and meetings held throughout the year among ministers, senior officials, and civil societies. 
A G20 Leaders’ declaration will be adopted at the conclusion of the G20 Summit, stating Leaders’ commitment towards the priorities discussed and agreed upon during the respective ministerial and working group meetings. 
The next G20 presidency is going to be taken over by Brazil in 2024, followed by South Africa in 2025. (ANI)

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