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Xi Outlines Achievements of G20 Summit

In his closing remarks at the end of the Hangzhou G20 meeting that closed Monday afternoon , Chinese President Xi Jinping cited several major accomplishments of the summit: A set of “guiding principles” for global investment, the ratification of the Paris climate change agreement by China and the United States, and measures intended to boost global trade.

Xi called the nonbinding investment principles a “landmark” and said it was the world’s first multilateral investment framework to help introduce more transparency and promote sustainable growth.

The trade strategy, hammered out during a G20 Trade Ministers Meeting in Shanghai in July, included principles and measures to lower trade costs, boost trade in services and enhance trade finance.

Among the few tangible results coming out of the summit, hosted by China, is ratification by the U.S. and China on the Paris climate change agreement. Xi and U.S. President Barack Obama, on behalf of the world’s largest two emitters of greenhouse gases, ratified the Paris climate change agreement on Sept. 4.

The move added “powerful momentum” to implement the accord, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. He urged other G20 countries to follow the examples of China and the U.S., and accelerate their respective domestic ratification processes. Ban’s term as secretary-general concludes at the end of this year.

The climate change agreement, sealed in Paris in December, can only go into effect after being ratified by at least 55 countries that together account for at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Before the pledges made by China and the U.S., 24 countries had ratified the agreement, representing just 1.08 percent of the world’s total emissions. China and the U.S. account for 20 percent and 18 percent of global emissions respectively.

China included green finance in the formal agenda of this G20 summit, and Xi highlighted in his opening speech that green finance is one of the four key issues that the bloc should make efforts in.

A study on green finance was submitted to the summit by a joint task force chaired by the Chinese and British central banks. The report sketches out the definition of green finance, its scope, challenges and voluntary options for countries to adopt, such as progressing green bonds as a major source of financing for green infrastructure and enterprises.

The U.S. and China also jointly issued a list of understandings on the eve of the summit, including a stronger push on passing a bilateral investment treaty and exploring broader use of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights.

In his speech, Xi also urged international organizations, such as the IMF and the World Bank, to increase voting shares of developing countries.

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