Climate change and Covid are at the top of the agenda as the leaders of the world’s major economies meet in Italy.
It is the first time that G20 leaders have met face to face since the start of the pandemic.
However, Chinese Xi Jinping and Russian Vladimir Putin will not be in Rome for the summit, choosing to appear via video link instead.
The meeting comes amid increasingly dire warnings for the future if urgent action is not taken to reduce emissions.
It is estimated that the group – made up of 19 countries and the European Union – accounts for 80% of world emissions.
Speaking ahead of the two-day summit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested that failure to intervene would reverse “our civilization”, handing “future generations to a life far less pleasant than ours”.
However, he acknowledged that neither the G20 meeting nor the upcoming COP26 summit in Glasgow, which starts on Monday, will stop global warming, saying “the most we can hope to do is slow the increase”.
According to news agency Reuters, a draft release outlines the G20’s promise to work to limit the temperature rise to 1.5C (2.7F), but no legally binding agreement will be entered into.
The draft also pledges to take “concrete steps” to stop illegal logging, mining and the wildlife trade, Reuters reports.
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Johnson is also expected to touch on coronavirus vaccine inequality at the summit, telling his fellow leaders that “the pace of recovery will depend on how quickly we can overcome Covid”, with the first priority “rapid, equitable and global distribution of vaccines” . “.
More than six billion doses of the Covid vaccine have been administered around the world. However, a letter addressed to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, which hosts the G20, from more than 160 former world leaders and global figures found that only 2% of people in low-income countries have taken a hit.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden will push countries to boost energy production amid skyrocketing prices, as well as discuss a plan to prevent future pandemics. He is also expected to meet with Johnson, France’s Emmanuel Macron and outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to discuss the relaunch of the Iranian nuclear deal.
The group is also expected to approve a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15%, backed by 140 countries around the world. The draft of the communiqué expects it to be in effect for some time in 2023.
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