TONY Abbott is promising a $2 trillion economic dividend from the G20 summit in Brisbane as he vows to proceed with unpopular budget reforms alongside a global deal to lift growth.“Because of the efforts the G20 has made … people right around the world will be better off,” Mr Abbott said at a press conference to announce the outcome.
The Prime Minister declared the result would be “inclusive” growth and said world leaders had set a plan and implemented it.
Mr Abbott said the group had “very substantially delivered” on the plans they had developed over the year, to be known as a Brisbane Action Plan containing more than 800 separate measures across all the member nations.
“We’ve published these measures, we’ve published these growth strategies so that the world can see what we have committed to,” he said.
Key elements of the G20 deal include the growth plan, an agreement to set up an infrastructure hub in Sydney, formal endorsement of a crackdown on tax evasion and stronger banking regulation.
Mr Abbott said the tax agenda was aimed at ensuring the people of the world received the services — funded by tax revenue — that were their due.
While those elements proceeded smoothly, Australia was at odds with other countries on climate change and had to persuade some leaders to accept a long-term proposal to overhaul the regulation of global energy markets.
Key figures at the summit including US President Barack Obama, French President Francois Holland, European Union President Herman van Rompuy and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon all urged stronger action on climate change.
The final communique mentions the issue and calls for a united response but stops short of specifying the policies to be adopted ahead of a United Nations climate conference in Paris at the end of next year.
The Brisbane Action Plan sets out a “comprehensive and coherent” promise to expand major economies by 2.1 per cent over the next four years, while also delivering “spillovers” for smaller nations left out of the G20 summit in Brisbane this weekend.
The percentage increase would add $2 trillion to world economic output if countries deliver on all their commitments.
The statement promises that non-G20 economies would grow a further 0.5 per cent by 2018 as a result of the “positive spillovers” from the agreement in Brisbane.
It also agrees on a new regime, run by the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, to monitor the G20 commitments and hold countries to account if they do not deliver.
The final communique clears the way for Mr Abbott and Joe Hockey to set up a new Global Infrastructure Hub, a departure for G20 nations that usually avoid creation new institutions.
The Australian has been told the hub will cost about $50 million to operate over four years and will be based in Sydney.
Countries that will help fund the hub include United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand. Most of the funding will come from Australia while other countries could offer staff and services to help.
Mr Abbott said the private sector would also contribute.
The leaders also agreed to improve female workforce participation, setting a goal for 2025 that could bring tens of millions of women into jobs to lift their standard of living.
After months of debate about whether climate change was on the G20 agenda, Mr Abbott declared that it “goes without saying” that all the leaders supported action on the problem.
The final communique urges united action but stops short of calling for more ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.