World

G-20 summit begins in Rome with focus on climate change, COVID-19 pandemic

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.

US President Joe Biden is flying in, although Russian President Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping will attend only by video link. Leaders are also expected to finalize 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.

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.  French President Emmanuelle Macron echoed these sentiments.

“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.”

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”.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: AP NEWS

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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