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Was the G20 London Summit a Success?

Augusto Lopez-Claros1

Whether to view the G20 London Summit as a success or as a disappointment is very much a function of one’s reference point.2 Viewed against the needs of the moment—a global economic crisis without parallel since the Great Depression—it could be argued that the Summit did not go far enough. The fact is that in the past 30 years the global economy has become both more complex and more interconnected, but the mechanisms and institutions that we have to deal with crises have not kept pace with the tempo of change and what has emerged is a “governance gap”. An inability to cope with complex global problems either because the institutions we have are woefully unprepared or, in some cases, because we do not even have an institution with the relevant jurisdiction to address the problem in question (e.g. climate change). Against these challenges the Summit’s achievements—a combination of well-meaning declarations and a few hard decisions—were at best a mixed bag.

On the po…