Brazil Chairs G20 and Vows to Address Poverty, Hunger and Climate Change as Finance Ministers Gather in São Paulo

The Brazilian Presidency of the G20 hosts finance ministers for their first G20 meeting this year. Brazil’s vow to make the reduction of poverty and hunger priorities this year takes place amidst the world’s worst growth projections in the last three decades, spreading armed conflicts and rising debt payments.

“Debt payments in developing countries are equal to what many of these countries spend on health, education, social programs and climate issues combined” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network. “Giving developing countries effective tools to cut their debt is essential for progress on any of the priorities the G20 sets for this year.”

The World Bank forecasts that debt payments will rise 10% in 2023-2024 compared to the previous two years. A G20 debt reduction initiative began in 2020, the Common Framework, has only attracted four applicants, three of which remain stuck without an exit to their debt crises.

Brazil continues the G20 efforts to increase the capacity and to reform development banks.

“The G20 needs to track how development banks meet new challenges and growing demands,” noted LeCompte.

Brazil also announced plans to advance the group’s cooperation on halting climate change and aligning financial actions with the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement.

“The G20 can build consensus on meeting the climate funding goals that the UN climate conference needs to finalize by the end of this year," shared LeCompte.

This year’s UN climate conference, COP29, is the deadline for agreeing on a new climate finance goal starting in 2025. G20 leaders agreed last year that $100 billion a year is the floor for any new climate finance commitments.

“We worry that too many of the increased climate resources may come in the form of loans that add to high debt burdens.”

In last year's October G20 gathering the group avoided commenting on the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

"There are strong tensions among G20 leaders around the conflicts and humanitarian crises taking place in Ukraine and Gaza and Israel."