Dear G20 Leaders,

We are writing to you ahead of the G20 leaders summit to request your urgent action. For the first time in a generation, the number of people living in extreme poverty is rising. The impacts of climate change, unsustainable debt burdens, pandemic threats, and increasing food insecurity have left too many people in the world facing multiple and overlapping challenges. 

The world is in crisis and needs the G20 to deliver on their self-stated role as the "premier" forum for international economic cooperation. Never has there been greater need to strengthen the global economic architecture and make sure it serves the needs of all of us.

The forthcoming leaders summit must be a moment of action, urgency, and inclusion. This is a moment in history that requires leadership and ambition to finance our future and save our people and planet.

The recommendations below lay out an action plan to do that — to end extreme poverty, fight climate change, and deliver on a stronger global economy for everyone:

1. Fast-track Ambitious Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) Reform

MDB Reform

MDBs play a crucial role in achieving the UN Global Goals (or Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs), ending poverty, and tackling climate change. The G20’s own Independent Expert Group in 2023 emphasized their importance and the need to right size them with a triple agenda, including tripling MDB financing.

To this end the G20, as shareholders of the MDBs, should instruct MDBs to rapidly and fully implement the G20 MDB Capital Adequacy Framework (CAF) review recommendations in order to leverage additional lending room. 

The G20 should maintain pressure on the World Bank to move quickly ​and ambitiously ​in implementing the Evolution Roadmap, take on more risk with an equity-to-loan ratio of maximum 18%, deliver on a feasible approach to incorporate callable capital, and increase access to financing for countries particularly vulnerable to climate change and external shocks such as pandemics. 

The G20 should also support an early and ambitious IDA replenishment, with a commitment to increase their grant contributions for Low Income Countries (LICs) and LMICs. There should be no tradeoff between support for middle-income countries (MICs) and LICs. 

2. Unlock Urgently Needed Financing

$100 Billion in Climate Finance

We need immediate meaningful transparency and action on meeting this goal fully this year — which is already three years overdue. To this end, all donors and countries providing international climate finance need to commit to reporting their full data set for 2021 and 2022, and give an outline of prospective pledges for 2023, 2024, and 2025 to the OECD before COP28.

The OECD must then commit to publishing donor country data by COP28. Only then can we verify whether the $100B target will be achieved and when it will be fulfilled. G20 OECD countries must continue to increase climate finance, particularly in the form of grants, with a view to reaching the goal annually. The funding must be new and additional to ODA and be split evenly between mitigation and adaptation, in order to meet the target of at least $40B in adaptation finance by 2025

$100 Billion in Special Drawing Rights

The G20 and other advanced countries have pledged at least $81B, but in the absence of authorization from the US Congress, the promise made in 2021 by G20 nations on Special Drawing Rights (learn more about Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, here) is yet to be fulfilled. Furthermore, the vast majority of recycled SDRs remain unavailable to the most vulnerable countries. The G20 must urgently meet its $100B commitment, including subsidy resources for the PRGT, so there is no delay in financing available to the poorest countries. 

In addition, the G20 should announce a new Intergovernmental Working Group on SDR Rechanneling, with a political mandate to devise technical solutions which unlock more rechanneling options, including through Multilateral Development Banks. The G20 should mandate the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to make all information about pledges and reallocated amounts public for greater accountability. The G20 should push the IMF to fast-track disbursements so that the countries that need it the most can finance more resilient, inclusive, sustainable economic recoveries and health-related expenditures. 

Tackle the Debt Crisis

Building off the momentum generated at the Paris Summit for a New Global Financing Pact, the G20 should champion efforts to mainstream the use of debt suspension clauses for vulnerable Lower Middle Income Countries (LMICs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), ensuring broad participation by multilateral and bilateral public lenders and private institutions. 

Where these agreements already exist they should be broadened to ensure they apply to external shocks such as a pandemic. When vulnerable countries are ravaged by natural disasters and other shocks, they should feel reassured that all lending institutions are firmly behind them and their efforts to recover and reconstruct. 

It is vital that the G20 also calls on creditors to progress the negotiations under the Common Framework with countries that are in, or at high risk of, debt distress. The G20 must commit to enhancing the speed and scale of debt relief negotiations to ensure a more efficient, timely implementation of the Common Framework, including in relevant MICs. 

3. Build Climate, Hunger, and Pandemic Resilience

Clean Energy and Fossil Fuel Taxes

Ending the use of fossil fuels requires global action and time-bound ambition. G20 leaders must commit to and set out how they plan to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 or sooner and work to ensure thatfossil fuel subsidies are reinvested in clean, just, and sustainable energy systems, and green recoveries to support the poorest and most vulnerable. 

G20 countries should join a bloc of Pacific nations in their call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to complement the Paris Agreement by accelerating an equitable shift away from fossil fuels to affordable, abundant clean energy for all. 

As the Africa Climate Summit takes place and preparations come together for the Climate Ambition Summit, G20 nations should raise the bar and mobilize resources to fight and adapt to climate change in the poorest and most vulnerable countries. The G20 should support a maritime transport levy and progress other international taxes that could help finance the fight against climate change. 

Tackle the Hunger Crisis

With 349 million people across 79 countries facing acute food insecurity, this is the worst food crisis in decades and the G7 needs to act and save lives now by meeting the urgent humanitarian financing gaps at the same time as investing in long term solutions. That means investing in small holder farmers and traders and transforming the food system through investments to institutions such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Pandemic Preparedness

Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic had an unprecedented impact on the international community, G20 countries should also fully capitalize the Pandemic Fund at the rate of $10.5 billion per year without delay. The Fund has only raised $1.67 billion in contributions so far, and demand from LMICs was more than eight times the funding available in the first funding call. 

Finally, we hope this meeting will finally see a seat at the table for the African Union, creating a better and more inclusive G20. One where those most affected by the decisions the G20 makes, have a fair say in those decisions. 

Sincerely yours,

Friederike Röder, Vice President, Advocacy, Global Citizen

Amy Dodd, Policy Director, the ONE Campaign

Eloise Todd, Executive Director & Co Founder, Pandemic Action Network 

Ronan Palmer, Associate Director, Clean Economy, E3G 


Demand Equity

G20 Leaders: The World Is in Crisis. We Need You to Act on Poverty, Hunger, and the Climate Emergency.