World’s Economic Leaders Meet at G20 Summit

Tomas Curcio, Staff Writer

From Oct. 30 to 31, over 20 of the world’s leaders met in Rome, Italy for the 16th meeting of the Group of 20. This meeting comes after leaders held the 2020 G20 summit virtually instead of physically in the originally planned host country of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The G20, a group of 19 countries as well as the European Union, represents most of the world’s largest economies and serves as a committee on the state of the international economy.

The group accounts for 90% of the combined gross national income of the world, around 80% of the international trading market, 50% of the world’s land and over 65% of the entire world population. The group began as an offshoot of the original and more politically minded G7, and it seeks to represent a wider global voice than the exclusive G7.

This 2021 meeting included officials from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Kingdom, U.S. and the European Union. The summit also hosted six other guest countries: Brunei, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Netherlands, Rwanda, Singapore and Spain.

Despite the large guest list, some global leaders were absent from the event, such as Chinese President Xi Jinping, who sent his Minister of Foreign Affairs in his place and Russian President Vladmir Putin, who sent his Minister of Finance to represent Russia.

Climate change became a major point of discussion in the summit. The conference agreed to reach a net zero carbon emission rate by mid-century, instead of giving a set date as climate activists had hoped for. The main goal that resulted from this meeting was to prevent global warming from exceeding the dangerous level of 1.5 degrees Celsius, as scientists predict that if the global temperature went past this threshold it would prove disastrous for Earth.

The group also stated that they would each eliminate funding to new international coal plants by the end of this year and instead plan to utilize a $100 billion fund to allocate money to developing countries to implement and improve their climate change policies and overall wealth.

Outside of climate change, the organization seeks to set a minimum 15% tax on all multinational companies as to deter large companies, like Amazon and Alphabet, from basing in countries with low tax rates.

Another point of discussion became vaccination rates. Many world leaders stated that they would continue with the goal that the World Health Organization has set to vaccinate 40% of the global population by the end of the year and 70% by the middle of 2022.

The proceeding G20 event, which Indonesia plans to host, will take place within the province of Bali from Oct. 30 to Oct. 31, 2022.