|Mohammed Ali Berawi||Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia|
The Group of Twenty (G20), comprised of 19 countries and the European Union, is an intergovernmental forum for addressing issues on global economic, financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development. The collective collaboration from industrialized nations and nations with emerging economies plays an important role in ensuring the achievement of inclusive economic development and sustainable development. Currently, the G20 Presidency of Indonesia focuses on three main agendas: (1) Global Health Architecture; (2) Sustainable Energy Transition; and (3) Digital Transformation. Indonesia highlights the importance of concrete and holistic actions among nations to stimulate prosperous economic growth and sustainable development across the globe. Continuing my previous editorial notes discussion, I will discuss these three G20 agendas.
The first agenda has shown how the COVID-19 pandemic is negatively affecting global economic growth, slowing down business activities, reducing production, and increasing unemployment and income uncertainty. Less investment, job losses, and disrupted national and global trade and supply chains have caused many governments collaborate and take necessary actions to enable a robust global recovery. The responses to COVID-19 have also prompted a strong drive to reduce inequal access to, and the quality of, public education and health facilities supported by government policies to increase country’s resilience. These mitigating actions are required at the national and international levels. Furthermore, this drive will prompt stronger support for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through business incubators and start-up companies to ensure urban economic resilience.
Thus, strengthening knowledge-sharing and collaboration among stakeholders in international contexts, such as the G20 forum, is needed to tackle the pandemic. Global coordination and cooperation are required to mitigate the spread of the pandemic and diminish its impact on economic and social stability. Moreover, this first agenda highlights the importance of strengthening the post-COVID-19 global health architecture, including the need for inclusive vaccine development and distribution and mobilization of global health financing.
Regarding the second agenda, the energy system is experiencing rapid transitions that are triggered by the latest developments of science and technology, updated regulations, consumer preferences, and the growing global demand for affordable and clean energy. Yet, many countries face different energy challenges in their pursuit of a low-carbon economy. Utilization of renewable energy sources and energy system digitalization to create more intelligent and flexible energy systems is key to ensuring a smooth energy transition process. A shift towards decentralized energy systems will ensure that everyone can have stable and affordable energy. Mutual partnership to support climate action is required, recognizing the importance of a just transition to a low-carbon economy enabling a fair and just energy transition for many countries. The energy transition system will be efficient and effective if it provides proper energy policy support and financial incentives.
For the third G20 agenda on digital transformation, we have seen how digital technologies have been used to improve projects, products, and service delivery in different industries and to add value. Digital technology is used to manage integrated product whole-life cycles and enhance efficient, reliable, and sustainable business operations. Furthermore, in cities, development is now more sustainable in terms of providing economic resource sharing, autonomous mobility systems, zero-emissions industrial products, recycling materials, and organic food in urban areas, to name a few. We are also using technology to tackle global challenges, including COVID-19 pandemic-related health improvement and virtual activities. The technologies should be created to support economic and social development goals, including economic, social, health, and education objectives, and environmental sustainability. Digital transformation policies are essential for creating ecosystems for digital growth strategies. The ecosystems should be enhanced by supportive policy design, adequate funding, and program implementation. The transformation policies must provide an adequate technology infrastructure and facilitate skills development.