November 2022 is a month to watch as it showcases the football World Cup, the Global Climate COP27, and the G 20 Summit
As we move into the fall of 2022, we should expect a lot of action around November's political, climate and sports events. Qatar will host the FIFA 22nd World Cup, Egypt will organize the Climate Conference of the Parties COP27, and Indonesia will host the Group of 20 (G20) most industrialized countries. These are exceptionally important events as the world is recovering from the biggest public health and economic catastrophe in a generation. Plus, Russia invaded Ukraine resulting in a humanitarian, commodity and energy crisis causing high inflation across energy and food supplies. Let’s look at some of the details.
Egypt Climate Summit COP27: Climate risk is high in everybody’s agenda both at the government levels as well as in the private sector. After a successful Climate Summit in Glasgow, UK in 2021, it is Egypt’s turn to “hold the climate fort” and try to secure stronger commitment from leading economies to commit to Net-Zero by 2050. This means decarbonizing the global economy to prevent temperature increase that would cause massive climate disruption. Over 100 countries are committed to Net-Zero by 2050, and the Egyptian leadership will press hard to ensure that these commitments are followed by concrete investment and actions. This would include the investment of $100 billion a year towards development countries' green growth that has yet to materialize. It will also include moving away from coal generation, which unfortunately is at an all-time high due to the economic decline and energy inflation. Overall decarbonization will require $30 trillion dollars to be invested by 2050. This is roughly 4 percent of annual GDP (in 2021 money). While this is high, the cost of unmanaged climate change would be much higher as climate events could affect about 20 percent of global GDP per year by 2040. I believe the COP27 is also a great opportunity to engage OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) leaders, particularly the three Arab heavy weights, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar given their ability to play a global energy security role as the result of the decreased energy supply due to the Russia invasion of Ukraine.
Indonesia G20 Summit: The G20 Heads of State and Government Summit will take place in October 2022 in Bali, Indonesia. These 20 countries account for 80% of global economic output, 75% of exports and 60% of the world population. Under the Indonesian Presidency, the G20 in 2022 will focus on the theme, ‘Recover Together, Recover Stronger’ and will aim to promote a secure digital transformation, a stronger global health architecture, and a rapid sustainable energy transition. All areas that can galvanize the new partnership for growth and economic transformation. One of the key challenges of the Group of 20 is how to deal with Russia. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia has confirmed his participation to the G20, but the EU, the US and Canada have requested to remove Russia from the G20 due to its military aggression against Ukraine. Other leaders including China, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, argue that we should include Mr. Putin, and use the G20 summit to promote economic recovery and financial stability. And avoid using the G20 to deal with Russia security and peace making. This is easier said than done given that the US, Canada, and the EU countries have all sanctioned Russia. Let’s hope at least the summit in Indonesia catalyzes stronger coordination among the parties to recover from the ongoing economic crisis and tackle the supply chain choke points that are eroding vulnerable family’s welfare.
Qatar World Cup: The 22nd World Cup will begin with Qatar's opening match against Ecuador on Nov. 21, 2022, at Al Bayt Stadium. This is the first World Cup taking place in an Arab country and only the second to be held in Asia after World Cup 2002 in South Korea. While Qatar was awarded to host the FIFA event over the United States, South Korea, Japan, and Australia there were allegations that the process was neither transparent nor competitive. International investigations led to clarifying that there was no wrongdoing. This is also the first World Cup to be played during winter months (they are normally played in June and July), due to the extreme summer heat in Qatar which could cause health risks for the players. This World Cup will go down as the costliest as Qatar spent over 200 billion in infrastructure projects. As a reference, the Brazil World Cup in 2014 cost approximately $12 billion. In terms of the financial returns from these investments. Qatar aims to strengthen its global brand and continue to build trust with its western allies. More specifically, Qatar wants to be seen as a moderate Muslim country promoting women leadership, investing globally, and providing the EU reliable natural gas supplies to boost its energy security. The World Cup will also give Qatar the opportunity to come out clear from the human rights shortcoming related to its poor safety and labor standards provided to the immigrant’s involved in the World Cup infrastructure projects.
As we try coming out of three years of global crisis, top leaders from politics, finance, civil society, and finance will be together at economics, sports, and climate summits in November 2022. Let’s hope that these costly gatherings are not squandered over bold commitments with no action. Let’s instead all work together to ensure that the multiple crises we all experienced serve as greater catalyzer for unity, celebration, and joint investments to ensure a gradual transition to a more sustainable, cooperative and war free future.
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