G-20 News

Growing shadow of G-7 over G-20 was apparent in Rome

The 16th G-20 summit was held in Rome on October 30 and 31, 2021 at a time when the covid pandemic was still raging. Its success depended on the action that G-20 leaders would take on the various recommendations made by the groups he had appointed and on the commitments made in the Rome G-20 Health Ministers’ Declaration on the response to the disease. pandemic. Another important area on which the success of the Rome summit was based was action on climate change.

A simple reading of the Rome Leaders’ Declaration indicates that this is one of the most successful G-20 summits compared to those held in the recent past. Consensus has emerged on some major issues that have often divided developed and developing countries in the past, such as channeling to poor countries a minimum of $ 100 billion out of the 650 billion Special Drawing Rights. recently issued by the International Monetary Fund.

It also set a global target of 60% covid vaccination by 2022, agreed to a minimum global corporate taxation of 15%, ending the provision of international public finance for new electricity generation in the country. coal abroad by the end of 2021, the decarbonization of the economy, and the conservation or protection of at least 30% of the land and oceans by 2030.

He also set out an ambition of net zero emissions globally by 2050, halving collective emissions over two decades by 2020, to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5 ° Celsius. above pre-industrial levels, and update nationally determined commitments to ensure consistency with these overall goals. This set the tone and agenda for the CoP-26 climate change conference in Glasgow that followed thereafter.

The G-20 also set out an agenda for reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and global trade rules at the 12th WTO ministerial meeting scheduled for Geneva in December.

This assessment must be qualified by the fact that this was the first crisis summit of the G20 after the global financial crisis of 2008, and its result must therefore be compared to the summits in Washington, London and Pittsburgh. Not only did the Rome meeting fall far short of what had been achieved in those first few G-20 summits, but most of the major decisions listed above were expected at the G-7 meeting (from sub-set country) held four months earlier in the UK. Cornwall.

The Rome summit failed to make decisions on specific $ 50 billion proposals put forward by the G-20 High Level Independent Expert Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response. However, he endorsed the World Health Organization‘s recommendation to immunize 40% of the world’s population by December 2021, in addition to 60% by 2022, as agreed earlier by the G-7. Some G-20 countries have also made specific commitments on vaccine donation and manufacture, although these are not part of the official statement.

It is also disappointing that the leaders of the G-20 did not go far beyond what had already been agreed at COP-21 in Paris in 2015 and the Copenhagen Accord of COP-15 in 2009. on the creation of a Green Climate Fund, under which developed countries committed “to finance actions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the inevitable effects of climate change in developing countries. development… (providing) US $ 30 billion for the period 2010-2012, and to mobilize long-term funding of an additional US $ 100 billion per year by 2020 from a variety of sources ” (a goal still to be achieved). In addition, no individual or collective commitment has been made in Rome by the G-20 countries, which together represent more than 80% of total greenhouse gas emissions, to lead the Glasgow discussions on l climate action.

This remarkable meeting of minds between two groups (G-7 and G-20) who have had difficult relations since the start of the G-20 summit was facilitated by the presence of the leaders of four G-20 countries (i.e. (i.e. Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea) who were special guests in Cornwall. This appears to be a relaunch of the Heiligendamm process which was cut short after the G-20 was elevated to leadership. In addition, Italy, the president who drafted the G-20 leaders’ model communiqué, was a member of the G-7.

Regardless, in the future, this does not bode well for the G-20’s status as the premier global forum for international economic cooperation, or for getting multilateralism back on track, as China and Russia is wary of the G-7. and specifically criticized some of the actions set out in the Cornwall press release.

Russia and China were not invited by the G-7 to Cornwall. They also chose not to attend the Rome summit. This served to underline the impression that the G-20 had lost much of its weight as a forum for the goals declared by the G-20 leaders at their third summit in Pittsburgh, and that the leadership relay world economy had returned to the G-7. Their absence, along with the leaders of South Africa, Japan and Mexico, at the first in-person G-20 summit in two years is indicative of failing multilateralism in an increasingly divided and multipolar world. .

Alok Sheel is RBI Professor of Macroeconomics, Indian Council for International Economic Relations Research

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