November 3, 2021 - 6:56 am

The Takeaways

Leaders of the world’s largest economies had met in Rome for the G20 summit last month. The summit goal was to lay the groundwork for discussion at COP26. Meeting in person for the first time in two years, G20 leaders had a full agenda including climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, a landmark tax deal and global economic worries.

The G20 which includes 19 countries and the European Union - accounts for 80% of the world GDP, 60% of the world's population and about 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, while the bloc includes several countries vulnerable to climate change, it excludes a number of island nations and features only one African country. As a result, these countries' need will have to be voiced even louder at COP26.

Leaders committed to the key Paris agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, pledged action against dirty coal plants. They also pledged to reach your target a net zero carbon emissions "by or around mid-century" and reaffirmed the so far unmet commitment to mobilize $100 billion for developing countries for climate adaptation costs. Leaders put their seal of approval on an agreement that will subject multinationals to a minimum of 15% tax. Highlighting the essential role of vaccines in the fight against the pandemic, they vowed to advance efforts to ensure timely, equitable and universal access to safe, affordable, quality and effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, with particular regard to the needs of slow and middle-income countries. Meeting as rising inflation, pushed by spiking energy prices and supply chain bottlenecks are weighing on a world economy still reeling from Covid-related to disruptions, G20 ruled out a hasty removal of national stimulus measures. Leaders also set a new target of channeling on $100 billion towards poorest nations, coming from the $650 billion was made available by the IMF via a fresh issuance of its Special Drawing Rights.

The fact is that most of the emissions come from the G20 countries, Here also are the holdouts to broader agreement - Russia, China and Australia, among others. A solution at the multilateral or UN level can happen only if the G20 is broadly on board in advance - and that does not seem to have been the case. The G20 statement did not set a date on long-term strategies like net-zero. It, instead, chose to commit to long-term strategies that set out clear and predictable pathways consistent with the achievement of a balance between anthropogenic emissions and removed by sinks by or around mid-century. If the G20 was a dress rehearsal for COP26, the world leaders fluffed their lines.