What did the G20 summit in Rome achieve?
The heads of government of the 20 most important industrialised and emerging countries agreed on a common position on a global minimum corporate tax in Rome at the weekend. Although only targets but no concrete measures were agreed on climate protection, some commentators see this as a fundamental step forwards in international diplomacy.
China and Russia sending message from afar
Without the support of two of the biggest climate sinners it will be difficult to fight climate change, argues the Aargauer Zeitung:
“China's head of government Xi Jinping and Russia's head of state Vladimir Putin didn't even travel to the G20 meeting. ... Generating 27.9 percent of global CO2 emissions, China is by far the largest producer of greenhouse gases. Russia, on the other hand, is one of the most important producers of natural gas and oil. Despite their absence from Rome and Glasgow the two major absentees have sent a clear message: because of the pandemic, which continues to ravage Russia in particular and is endangering economic recovery, emerging countries cannot afford the large costs of an energy transition at the moment.”
Not even this would have been possible under Trump
Handelsblatt has mixed feelings about the outcome:
“The idea that China or Russia would simply bring forward their target dates for climate neutrality from 2060 to Europe's preferred date of 2050 was overly optimistic. And so the G20 final declaration then states as a target 'by or around the middle of the century'. That is sufficiently vague for everyone to agree to it. Of course one would have wished for more. On the other hand, it's not that long since Donald Trump was sitting as US president at the G20 table, and it was questionable whether the fight against climate change would even make it into the final document. Compared to that, the messages coming from Rome sound downright ambitious.”
Biden's comeback in Europe
The US president made up lost ground at the meeting, Corriere della Sera concludes:
“Within 48 hours, Biden has put the trade confrontation with the EU behind him. He has smoothed the waters between himself and Macron, brought Erdoğan back on board and developed a joint strategy for Iran with the UK, Germany and France. ... After a disastrous summer on the international stage, the White House chief has returned to Europe.”
US and Turkey are talking again
Biden and Erdoğan met for talks on the fringes of the G20 Summit. For Karar, this is a first cautious step towards a vital rapprochement:
“Both countries are important. And they are allies. That has been underlined now. They are committed to increasing trade volumes. Is this the way to solve important problems? ... Turkey is not about to discard the S-400 because of such talks. ... And the US won't abandon the YPG overnight. ... This is not about 'solving' problems, but about managing things without allowing any accidents to happen. That corresponds to the current state of our relations with the US.”