World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020

Energy transition and the global economy

The global economy has suffered a significant slowdown amid prolonged trade disputes and wide-ranging policy uncertainties. While a slight uptick in economic activity is forecast for 2020, the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020 warns that economic risks remain strongly tilted to the downside, aggravated by deepening political polarization and increasing scepticism over the benefits of multilateralism. These risks could inflict severe and long-lasting damage on development prospects. They also threaten to encourage a further rise in inward-looking policies, at a point when global cooperation is paramount.

"To live in shared prosperity within the capacity of our planet to support us, we must move away from carbon and resource-intensive industries, materials and value chains. We must instead prioritize sustainable consumption and production—a way of life that enables economic growth, while ensuring planetary protection."
- António Guterres
Secretary-General of the United Nations

Compounding the economic slowdown, rising global temperatures and the increasing frequency and intensity of weather-related shocks press home the urgent need for a dramatic shift in the global energy mix. The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020 explores the global economic implications of this energy transition. The transition to a cleaner energy mix will bring not only environmental and health benefits, but economic opportunities for many. However, without appropriate policy strategies, the costs and benefits will be unevenly distributed within and between countries.

Full Report:

Executive Summary:

Chapters & Info:

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Regional Press Releases:

Additional Info:

  • Fact Sheet (436 kb)
  • Key Findings (138 kb)
  • Video (Yahoo! Finance)
  • Infographics:
    • What's in store for the global economy in 2020? (1 mb)
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    • Falling short of development goals (5 mb)
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    • Are we living better lives? (4 mb)
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    • Is workplace equality achievable? (4 mb)
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    • Climate crisis response is slow and inadequate (3 mb)
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    • Global growth plummets to ten-year low (4 mb)
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    • Per capita income by country (2 mb)
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    • Economic prospects for Western Asia are clouded by volatile oil price, deterioration in real estate and geopolitical tensions (968 kb)
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    • South Asian economies remain highly exposed to extreme weather events and commodity price fluctuations (1,010 kb)
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    • A prolonged economic slump is undermining progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in Latin America and the Caribbean (906 kb)
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    • Commodity-dependent economies in transition face risk of stranded assets (1 mb)
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    • Growth outlook in East Asia is dampened by persistent trade tensions and financial volatility (901 kb)
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    • Growth momentum has slowed across developed economies (928 kb)
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    • Growth rates in Africa are insufficient for meaningful development progress (831 kb)
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    • Afrika: Kasi ya ukuaji wa uchumi haitoshi kuleta maendeleo yanayofaa (788 kb)
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