How Brazil is putting impact on the table at this year’s G20

Brazil’s presidency of this year’s G20 Summit is an unmissable opportunity to bring the impact agenda to the forefront of the world’s premier multilateral forum, says Marcel Fukayama. Initiatives already under way include a new G20 for Impact coalition and a push for global legal recognition of the benefit corporation structure.

Marcel FukayamaWe are at a turning point in our civilization. Inequalities and the climate emergency have reached unprecedented levels. The real possibility of failing to meet global commitments such as the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement demonstrates a structural problem: global governance is in crisis.

Amidst this scenario, the G20, comprising the 21 largest economies – 19 countries and two economic blocs, Europe and Africa – emerges as the foremost multilateral space in the world. The group represents two-thirds of the global population and 85% of the world’s GDP, 75% of international trade, and 80% of total greenhouse gas emissions and equivalents.

The real possibility of failing to meet global commitments such as the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement demonstrates a structural problem: global governance is in crisis

Undoubtedly, any shift in economic paradigms must involve this space to achieve coordination, alignment and clarity of implementation. Success within an organisation like the G20 entails a multidimensional effort, involving challenges such as ensuring a technically acceptable proposal, engagement between civil society and governments, high-level coordination with negotiators, and, if all goes well, success with a line in a declaration signed by the leaders at the Rio de Janeiro summit on 18 and 19 November 2024.

Therefore, the success of the G20 lies not only in the implementation of the commitments made but also in the lengthy process of construction and negotiation that a host country undertakes. Brazil has been presiding over the group since 1 December 2023, and has the mission of leading the two policy tracks (known as the finance track and the sherpa track), alongside a new track of engagement and social participation, the G20 Social.

 

G20 for Impact launched in February

To orchestrate a national and international group of civil society organisations seeking to influence and act in this space together, we launched on 9 February the global coalition G20 for Impact. This is a movement with three objectives:

  1. To build social capital and qualify the debate surrounding the G20.
  2. To provide concrete, practical and objective contributions to accelerate the economic transition.
  3. To ensure the continuity of this agenda through to the G20 which takes place in South Africa in 2025. The continuity and commitment of leadership to an effective economic change are essential for the successful and accelerated transition that humanity and the planet need.

Among the proposals of the group, which includes organisations such as the World Economic Forum, Schwab Foundation, Skoll Foundation, B Lab, GSG and Catalyst 2030, among others, is the creation of a new global legal identity: Benefit Corporations.

This legislation has already been approved in over 50 distinct jurisdictions, including 44 US states and eight countries, and allows business administrators to have their fiduciary duty linked to the generation of positive material impact, consideration of stakeholders in short and long-term decisions, and the use of an independent third-party tool to measure, manage, and report their impact.

The World Economic Forum proposes five priority macro-actions to unlock an innovation and socio-environmental impact economy, through initiatives such as influencing public procurement, and promoting a more favourable institutional environment. Catalyst 2030 proposes the creation of a new engagement group within the G20, called SI20 (or Social Innovation 20), with the aim of qualifying the discussion on how to integrate this new economic sector.

Any shift in economic paradigms must involve the G20 to achieve coordination, alignment and clarity of implementation

The G20 for Impact coalition benefits from additional collaboration from several Brazilian public administration bodies, including the Presidency of the Republic’s Council, the National Strategy Committee for Impact Economy (Enimpacto), of the Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade and Services, and the bioeconomy secretariat of the Ministry of the Environment.

Such proposals are directly related to the activities of existing G20 working groups, such as sustainable finance, which prioritises topics such as standardisation and mandatory impact reporting, conditions for a just transition, governance of climate funds, and financing for nature-based solutions.

The G20 for Impact is globally coordinated by Din4mo Lab, a non-profit organisation created by the B Corporation Din4mo with the aim of strengthening the impact economy ecosystem. The initiative addresses one of the main challenges of Brazil's presidency in the G20: reducing the number of proposals in the hands of negotiators. Therefore, it is crucial that contributions are qualified, concrete, cohesive and very well-coordinated.

 

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