UN / WESP

21-May-2019 00:02:50
According to a new UN report, high trade tensions and policy uncertainty continue to damage prospects for economic growth. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / WESP
TRT: 2:50
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 21 MAY 2019, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations

21 MAY 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Elliot Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, United Nations:
“The over arching message is that the unresolved trade tensions that we experienced and the high international policy uncertainty continues to damage the prospect for economic growth going forward.”
4. Wide shot, reporters
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Elliot Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, United Nations:
“This increasingly challenging economic environment has significant consequences for the 2030 Agenda, especially the prospect for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and this highlights the urgent need to strengthen multilateralism, and to address the existing gaps in development and finance. Even with this downward revision, the risks are still on the downside. Escalating trade tensions, and sudden deteriorations in financial conditions, or the accelerating effect of climate change, all could trigger sharper or more prolonged economic and growth slowing down, inflicting significant damage on development prospects.”
6. Wide shot, press briefing room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Elliot Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, United Nations:
“More comprehensive and well targeted policy responses are needed to tackle the current growth slow down. For example, improving fiscal management and strengthening productive investment are necessary to boost the world’s economic prospect for inclusive and sustainable development. It is increasingly clear that policies to promote sustainable development will need to look beyond GDP growth, and identify new and more robust of economic performance that appropriately reflect the cost of inequality, of insecurity, and of climate change. We cannot afford to reply on economic growth alone to deliver the SDGs.”
8. Wide shot, reporters
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Elliot Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, United Nations:
“In light of severe environmental degradation and swift and radical transition away from fossil fuels is absolutely imperative. This would require a fundamental change in economic decision making and in private consumption behavior. To accelerate this process, governments have several policy options. One crucial instrument in this regard is carbon pricing. The objective behind carbon pricing is a fix of the fundamental flaw in the current economic system, namely that the emitters of green house gas do not have to consider the wider costs of emissions. By contrast, by putting a price on carbon dioxide, we will make producers and consumers internalize these negative consequences.”
10. Wide shot, press briefing room
STORYLINE
A new UN report noted that high trade tensions and policy uncertainty continue to damage prospects for economic growth.

According to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-2019 report, released today (21 May) in New York, the global economy is experiencing a broad-based growth slowdown amid unresolved trade tensions, high international policy uncertainty, and softening business confidence.

The forecast for weaker global growth casts a shadow over efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which has set universal goals for eliminating poverty, promoting prosperity and social well-being while protecting the environment. Weaker economic growth puts at risk essential investments in areas such as education, health, climate change adaptation and sustainable infrastructure.

Speaking to reporters today (21 May) in New York, UN chief Economist Elliot Harris said that the increasingly challenging economic environment has “significant consequences for the 2030 Agenda, especially the prospect for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and this highlights the urgent need to strengthen multilateralism, and to address the existing gaps in development and finance.”

Harris continued, “even with this downward revision, the risks are still on the downside. Escalating trade tensions, and sudden deteriorations in financial conditions, or the accelerating effect of climate change, all could trigger sharper or more prolonged economic and growth slowing down, inflicting significant damage on development prospects.”

According to the report, the growth outlook in all major developed economies and most developing regions has weakened due to a confluence of both domestic and external factors. Following an expansion of 3.0 per cent in 2018, world gross product growth is now projected to moderate to 2.7 per cent in 2019 and 2.9 per cent in 2020, reflecting a downward revision from the forecasts released in January.

Harris also said, “more comprehensive and well targeted policy responses are needed to tackle the current growth slow down. For example, improving fiscal management and strengthening productive investment are necessary to boost the world’s economic prospect for inclusive and sustainable development.”

He continued, “it is increasingly clear that policies to promote sustainable development will need to look beyond GDP growth, and identify new and more robust of economic performance that appropriately reflect the cost of inequality, of insecurity, and of climate change. We cannot afford to reply on economic growth alone to deliver the SDGs.”

The report identifies several downside risks that could trigger a sharper or more prolonged growth slowdown in the world economy, potentially inflicting significant damage on development progress. These risks include a further escalation in trade tensions, a sudden deterioration in financial conditions, and the accelerating effects of climate change.

The report also says that the increase in frequency and intensity of natural disasters highlight the rising threats from climate change, particularly for the most vulnerable economies. It calls for a stronger and more coordinated multilateral approach to global climate policy, which includes the use of carbon pricing mechanisms.

Harris said, “in light of severe environmental degradation and swift and radical transition away from fossil fuels is absolutely imperative. This would require a fundamental change in economic decision making and in private consumption behavior.”

He continued, “to accelerate this process, governments have several policy options. One crucial instrument in this regard is carbon pricing. The objective behind carbon pricing is a fix of the fundamental flaw in the current economic system, namely that the emitters of greenhouse gas do not have to consider the wider costs of emissions. By contrast, by putting a price on carbon dioxide, we will make producers and consumers internalize these negative consequences.”
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