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World No Roman holiday: G20 meets on climate, Covid, recovery

07:05  28 october  2021
07:05  28 october  2021 Source:   afp.com

The climate will dominate the top of the G20 before the COP26

 The climate will dominate the top of the G20 before the COP26 G20-Summit: the climate will dominate the top of the G20 before the COP26 © Reuters / David Gray The climate will dominate the top of the G20 before COP26 by Crispian Balmer Rome (Reuters) - Even before the outcome of the critical climate negotiations that must begin in the coming days in Glasgow, first signs on possible progress might appear from this weekend, when the leaders of the 20 more Great economies in the world will hold their first face-to-face meeting for two years.

The leaders of the world's major economies gather in Rome this weekend for the first in-person G20 summit since the pandemic began, with Covid-19, economic recovery and climate change topping a packed agenda.

G20 members are responsible for 80 percent of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions © John SAEKI G20 members are responsible for 80 percent of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions

US President Joe Biden is flying in to reiterate his message that "America is back" after four years of Donald Trump's bruising diplomacy, although Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping will attend only by video link.

US President Joe Biden (L) is to have an audience with Pope Francis during the G20 summit © Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS US President Joe Biden (L) is to have an audience with Pope Francis during the G20 summit

Their absence has lowered expectations for the summit, normally a forum for deals between allies and rivals of differing size and power, from the US and China, to Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Australia and the European Union.

Australia joins India and China in resisting G20 call to phase out coal

  Australia joins India and China in resisting G20 call to phase out coal Scott Morrison will not support a push by leaders of the world's largest economies to set a date to end coal mining, joining China and India in objecting to a deadline.Prime Minister Scott Morrison will not support a push by G20 members to set a date to end coal mining and coal-fired power stations if other leaders try to use the issue to build momentum for stronger action at a United Nations climate summit that begins in Glasgow on Monday.

Climate activists have been protesting in Britain and around the world in the run-up to COP26 © JUSTIN TALLIS Climate activists have been protesting in Britain and around the world in the run-up to COP26

But all eyes will be on their language on climate change, on the eve of crunch COP26 talks starting in Glasgow on Monday.

Leaders are also expected to rubberstamp a deal to impose a 15 percent minimum tax on global corporations and discuss the post-pandemic recovery and associated risks, including the uneven rollout of Covid-19 vaccines.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the summit "marks the return of multilateralism, after the dark years of isolationism and of isolation linked to the health crisis".

However, Antonio Villafranca, from the ISPI foreign policy think tank, warned the absence of Xi and Putin was "not a positive sign".

World leaders to talk climate, economy, COVID vaccines at G20

  World leaders to talk climate, economy, COVID vaccines at G20 Looming over the talks in Rome is pressure to make headway on tackling global warming ahead of the key COP26 summit.Looming over the two-day talks in Rome is pressure to make headway on tackling global warming, ahead of the key COP26 summit kicking off in Glasgow on Monday.

The G20 "is not a transatlantic format but a multilateral format in which it is fundamental that everyone contributes," he told AFP.

- Step up -

The timing of the G20 summit, ahead of marathon UN climate talks in Glasgow, has put the effort to slow global warming centre stage.

G20 members are responsible for 80 percent of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions, but are at different stages of development and disagree on how fast they can act.

Italy hopes the G20 will collectively endorse the UN goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, one of the aspirations of the landmark 2015 Paris climate accords.

But G20 members remain at odds over the other major goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. China has set a 2060 target, but India -- pointing to its status as a developing country -- has not made a similar commitment.

G20 leaders wrangle over climate, economy, vaccines

  G20 leaders wrangle over climate, economy, vaccines Leaders of the world's major economies met Saturday at the G20 summit in Rome, heading for a new deal on global taxation but still haggling on the pressing issue of climate change. But summit host Mario Draghi, the Italian prime minister, said the G20 should "do all we can" to meet a WHO goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the global population by mid-2022. According to a source who followed the summit discussions, "all the leaders" agreed to commit to that target. The meeting was the opportunity for a flurry of bilaterals between G20 leaders, notably Biden, who is hoping to reassert US leadership following the tumultuous Trump years.

The risks to the post-pandemic recovery will also feature in the Rome talks, from inflation and rising energy prices to supply chain issues and the slowdown in China's economic growth.

No new pledges are expected on Covid-19 vaccines, but Italy wants more help for lower income countries to help distribute existing jabs and build more resilient health systems.

"Global solidarity in facing this pandemic has been pretty wanting," noted Emma Ross, senior research fellow at the Chatham House think tank.

"The G7 didn't rise to the occasion, so everyone is looking to the G20 now to see if this wider representation of global leaders can step up."

- Vatican diplomacy -

The summit takes place on Saturday and Sunday but many leaders will fly in on Friday and a flurry of bilaterals are expected, in the first physical gathering many world leaders have attended since Covid-19 struck in early 2020.

Biden will meet Friday with French President Emmanuel Macron, seeking to smooth ties with the latter after Australia scrapped a French submarine deal in favour of a US-UK agreement.

The president, a practicing Catholic, will also meet Pope Francis. The pontiff will also receive Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in over the weekend.

Security will be tight at the summit, particularly after violent clashes earlier this month in central Rome between police and protesters against the extension of Italy's coronavirus pass to all workplaces.

Border controls have been temporarily reintroduced, derogating from Europe's passport-free Schengen area, while a no-fly zone is in place over most of the capital.

Meanwhile 500 soldiers have been mobilised to help out with the summit, which is being held away from the city centre in the Mussolini-era suburb of EUR.

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Climate of uncertainty .
Good morning, early birds. The G20 has failed to agree on climate goals after meeting ahead of this week's UN summit in Glasgow, and Victorian shadow attorney-general Tim Smith has resigned from cabinet after he crashed his car while his blood alcohol level was double the legal limit. It's the news you need to know, with Emma Elsworthy.The G20 countries (plus the EU) make up about 80% of the world’s climate emissions, BBC explains, but the official statement released afterwards didn’t even mention net zero by 2050. Nor was there any target set for phasing out coal — the ABC (via AP and Reuters) reckons it was a “clear nod” to big carbon polluters China and India.

usr: 0
This is interesting!