"La Nuvola" in Rome prepares to host the 2021 G20 Summit "La Nuvola" in Rome prepares to host the 2021 G20 Summit  (AFP or licensors)

G20: World's richest countries gather to discuss existential issues

The leaders of the world's major economies are arriving in Rome to gather, this weekend, for the first in-person G20 summit since the pandemic began.

By Linda Bordoni

The leaders of the world's 20 richest countries will be present in Rome, most of them in person and several via live link, on Saturday and Sunday. They are expected to commit to tackling the threat of climate change and discuss the best way forward for a globalized world.

According to a draft communiqué shared with reporters, the G20 leaders will put their names to a pledge to take urgent steps to reach the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

They will then head to Glasgow, Scotland, for the COP26 meeting, a crucial United Nations Climate Summit that gathers about 200 countries.

The landmark 2015 Paris agreement committed signatories to keeping global warming to "well below" 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels and preferably to 1.5 degrees.

Laudato sí

Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato sí: On Care for Our Common Home, provided much food for thought and a powerful appeal in that circumstance and continues to keep the focus on the need for joint action for the common good.

Hosting the Rome summit, Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, said it “marks the return of multilateralism, after the dark years of isolationism and of isolation linked to the health crisis”.

And while the upcoming climate talks in Glasgow have put the effort to slow global warming at centre stage, the risks to the post-pandemic recovery will also feature, with a focus on inflation and rising energy prices, supply chain issues, and the slowdown in China’s economic growth.

The need for a just distribution of Covid vaccines will also be on the table, with calls for more help for lower-income countries.

Meeting in the "Cloud"

Amongst those present in the eternal city are US President Joe Biden, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, India’s Narendra Modi, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa. Chinese Presdient Xi Jinping will join via video link.

So, security is tight, with schools and offices closed and public transport brought to a halt throughout the 10 square kilometer area where the aptly named “Nuvola” or “Cloud” congress centre prepares to welcome the world’s most powerful decision-makers —in the hope that, within that cloud, they do not lose sight of the reality, the needs, and the dignity of the world’s billions of poor and vulnerable people, who continue to pay the highest price.

Listen to our report


29 October 2021, 12:44