G20 meeting in Rome: what the summit is about


As of: 10/30/2021 6:07 a.m.

Climate protection, corporate taxation, combating corona: there is a lot of program ahead of the largest industrialized countries at the G20 summit in Rome. There are also unresolved tensions between the member states.

By Anja Miller, ARD-Studio Rome

“People, Planet, Prosperity” is the title of this year’s G20 meeting: People, Earth, Prosperity. In order to make the world a better and safer place, the 20 most important industrialized countries have big plans: What was prepared at dozens of ministerial meetings over the course of the year is to be held this weekend in the huge futuristic convention center “La Nuvola”, the cloud Rome to be discussed.

Anja Miller
ARD-Studio Rom

One of the most important topics from the point of view of the G20 host Italy: the fight against unchecked climate change. However, the G20 environment and energy ministers were unable to agree on stricter climate targets in advance. The German Secretary of State for the Environment, Jochen Flasbarth, spoke of very difficult negotiations: Countries such as China, India or Russia still have very different views on the issue of fossil energy – it will not be possible to limit the global temperature increase by less than 1.5 degrees by 2030.

Jörn Kalinski from Oxfam demands that the G20 will have to position itself much more clearly at the weekend on the issue of climate change: because they are responsible for 80 percent of global emissions. “But the previous reduction targets are not enough in the back and front.” Kalinski hopes the G20 will send a strong signal to the world climate summit in Glasgow, which also begins this weekend.

Fair distribution of vaccines

The corona crisis must have been the last pandemic, urged EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen at the “Global Health Summit” in May. There should be no more export stops and blocked supply chains in the future. The EU promised the poorer countries 100 million doses of vaccine.

But while the third vaccination has already started in the western industrialized countries, large parts of the population on the African continent have not even received an initial vaccination. UN General Secretary António Guterres warned that the corona pandemic is far from being defeated globally. The G20 would therefore have to give the poorer countries massive support in building their own infrastructures to combat pandemics, demands Kalinski.

Minimum tax for global corporations

In order to be able to tax US internet giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon at all, some European countries introduced digital taxes, which led to a heated dispute with Washington. As a result, the USA threatened punitive tariffs. The solution now could be the global minimum tax rate of 15 percent. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) paved the way for this.

Two points are central: first, the participation of the countries in the profits that are achieved in their countries, even if the headquarters are in the USA. And second, the global minimum tax of 15 percent. The G20 could now put a green tick under the plans.

International dealings with Afghanistan

More than half of the Afghan population will not have enough to eat by November, according to a report by the UN World Food Organization (FAO) and the UN World Food Program (WFP) – that is 22.8 million people at risk of hunger.

At a virtual summit in October, the G20 pledged aid for Afghanistan under the umbrella of the United Nations. It is about urgently needed humanitarian aid in the country that fell into economic and political chaos following the hasty withdrawal of troops by the US and its allies to the Taliban. Chancellor Angela Merkel announced 600 million euros in support from Germany. The EU wants to make millions more available to neighboring countries, to which around two million Afghans have fled.

At the same time, the G20 want to coordinate the fight against terrorism better – because many member states fear that Afghanistan could again become a refuge for terrorist groups who immigrate from there to other states.

Putin and Xi are not arriving

On the other hand, Vladimir Putin is giving the other heads of state and government of the G20 the cold shoulder: he only takes part in the summit virtually – because of the corona pandemic, it is officially said. But relations with the West are at a low point, Russia has just closed its representation at NATO after several employees there were expelled as spies.

China’s head of state and party Xi Jinping will also stay away; thus the expected first personal meeting between him and Biden does not take place. China has a key role to play in almost all issues that concern the G20.

There will be no solution to global crises without China, says the head of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger. The motto must therefore be: “Now strive for an interesting resolution so that those who weren’t at the table think: It’s a shame I wasn’t there.” In this way, the effectiveness of the G20 in the eyes of Russia and China can be enhanced – however, excluding the two states is the wrong option.

On Sunday evening, the G20 want to end their meeting in Rome with a joint declaration and then travel on to the UN climate summit in Glasgow. Ideally with specific decisions on the climate in your luggage.


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