Why the September G20 will be in Pittsburgh

by | Jun 4, 2009


Mild surprise has been heard in various quarters that the next G20 summit – scheduled for 24-25 September – is to be held in Pittsburgh, rather than in New York (more logical, given that the G20 will take place right in the middle of the first week of the UN General Assembly) or Washington DC. Take for example this transcript of a press conference by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibb last week:

MR. GIBBS:  One quick announcement before we get started.  The United States will host the next G20 summit, September 24th through the 25th, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Q    Where?

Q    What?

Here’s the answer to the ‘Why Pittsburgh?’ question, taken from a White House statement quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Pittsburgh has demonstrated a commitment to employing new and green technology to further economic recovery and development.

Yarone Zober, the Pittsburgh Mayor’s chief of staff, echoes the point in the same article:

Pittsburgh has really been a model for an economic turnaround,” he said, noting the smokestacks-to-knowledge transformation of the regional economy and the development of environmentally friendly “green” job sectors.

More on Pittsburgh’s turnaround in this Huffington Post piece.

As I noted back in April, the London Summit was a respectable outcome, but fell disappointingly short on the green new deal front. But with this backdrop, and an agenda that for now still remains wide open, maybe – maybe – the September summit will do better.

Author

  • Alex Evans

    Alex Evans is founder of the Collective Psychology Project, which explores how we can use psychology to reduce political tribalism and polarisation, a senior fellow at New York University, and author of The Myth Gap: What Happens When Evidence and Arguments Aren’t Enough? (Penguin, 2017). He is a former Campaign Director of the 50 million member global citizen’s movement Avaaz, special adviser to two UK Cabinet Ministers, climate expert in the UN Secretary-General’s office, and was Research Director for the Business Commission on Sustainable Development. He was part of Ethiopia’s delegation to the Paris climate summit and has consulted for Oxfam, WWF UK, the UK Cabinet Office and US State Department. Alex lives with his wife and two children in Yorkshire.


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