November 30, 2021

Wire Service Canada

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The G20 in Rome, Putin and Xi spoil the climate

Alessandro Serrano

10/30/2021 Rome, family photo of G20 participants. Pictured, Mario Draghi and Angela Merkel receive doctors, nurses and health volunteers

my biker Making peace with Erdogan After the sentence on “The Dictator Wanted,” issued in April, in Sofagate’s commentary is a bluntness of Ursula von der Leyen, who was left without a seat at the EU-Turkey summit. Even today, it is the President of the European Commission who agrees to meet and shake hands with the Turkish President, accompanied by the Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni. Everything happens in Rome, on the sidelines of the G-20, then yesterday, also in the capital, Emmanuel Macron signed a peace agreement with Joe Biden after the submarine crisis, and who knows, he could do the same tomorrow with Boris Johnson after the scallop war.

It is the Group of Twenty to reconcile the leaders, the “party” in the sun of Rome, to showcase the victories gained or at hand: vaccination against Covid, with a common goal of reaching 40% of the world’s population by the end of the year and at least 70% by 2022, which Created by the World Health Organization, citing Draghi today; The global minimum tax for multinational corporations, which was ratified today after the agreement signed at the headquarters of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Even in the air, there is a possible announcement of a deal between the European Union and the United States on tariffs on steel and aluminum, to end the ‘war’ that began under Trump.

But the problems on the table remain the same and they surface in the distant contacts of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, linked from Moscow and Beijing. They seem to agree to spoil the climate, with similar demands, such as mutual recognition of vaccines, Pfizer and our companies, Sputnik and Sinovac. However, behind the scenes, negotiations between the Sherpas on combating climate change continue, in light of the discussions between the leaders tomorrow. But there are no steps forward, only “vague commitments”. “It’s going to be another long night,” diplomatic sources tell us, while the risk is high that the G-20 will not be able to leave a great legacy at the United Nations conference on the environment that begins in Glasgow tomorrow.

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Putin begins asking for mutual recognition of vaccines and related “green corridors.” “I would like to draw your attention to the fact that, despite the decisions of the Group of Twenty, access to vaccines and other vital resources has not yet been granted to all countries that need them. This – says Moscow – is caused by unfair competition, protectionism and the refusal of some countries, including That members of the G20, mutual recognition of vaccines and vaccination certificates.”

Xi Jinping makes the same request for “mutual recognition” of all vaccines that have received emergency clearance. But Beijing’s leader goes further: He accuses the West of exploiting the pandemic for an anti-China function. “Stigmatizing Covid-19 and politicizing tracing its origin goes against the spirit of solidarity towards the pandemic,” says Xi Jinping, calling for a “scientific approach” and “real pluralism” to build a “society” with a shared future for humanity, referring to investigations into the origins of the Sarskov virus. 2, which the World Health Organization would like to continue research in Wuhan.“Creating small artificial circles or even drawing lines with ideology,” his words, “will only create barriers, increase obstacles and harm scientific and technological innovation.”

“Multilateralism is the best answer to the problems we see today – are the words of Draghi at the top – it is in many ways the only possible solution, from the pandemic, to the climate, to taxes. It is not an option. We must overcome our differences and rediscover the spirit of this forum” .

The physical absence of Putin and Xi Jinping in Rome seems to be the only contradictory note of this summit and at the same time the true mirror of the line of tensions that crosses the G-20. While leaders took the two working sessions on health and the economy on the agenda for the first day of the summit, the 20 Sherpas continue their negotiations to wrest commitments to climate neutrality from the so far recalcitrant nations. From China itself, in Rome is the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi – who is distinguished above all by his non-diplomatic tone when he asserts that “anyone who interferes in Taiwan will pay the price” – to Russia, which has sent his counterpart, Serge Lavrov. Regarding India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in Rome, where yesterday he met Draghi in a long bilateral meeting at the Chigi Palace. Then Brazil, present Jair Bolsonaro, whose hand Draghi does not shake (he has not been vaccinated). Among other things, the Brazilian leader talks about why They were caught in a private conversation With Erdogan – someone is posting his video on the Internet – where he pretends that everything is fine in his country, from the epidemic to the economy: “It is the media who are attacking …”. Not a great character.

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Here, but discussions in Rome may not yield the desired results on combating climate change, which is key to restarting the economy in the near future. Commanders risk leaving Italy for Scotland with baggage free of agreements or progress. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is desperate, the first to care, as well as Draghi who holds the presidency of the G-20, is to reach milestones at COP26 being held in the United Kingdom (albeit in Scotland). “The failure of the conference on the environment could lead to mass migration and food shortages,” Johnson, bleak in his approach, was interviewed at least at the Colosseum, where even the first ladies and first gentlemen in the afternoon were accompanied on a visit by Draghi’s wife, Serinella Capello. . A “wonderful” work, the Colosseum is also “a very powerful metaphor for the dangers to humanity, the danger of arrogance – as Johnson says – humans believe that progress is always one-way, and that things always make sense with technology. Progress stopped in the fifth century AD and we came to live A dark, dark era. Let’s hope it never happens again.”

In the G-20, the hope is to get something on the table of so-called “climate finance”, and to help poor and emerging countries, which are thus polluting because they are still entirely dependent on coal, on fossil sources. In fact, Xi Jinping insists on this point. The Chinese leader urges developed countries to lead by example in reducing emissions, fully accepting the “difficulties and concerns of developing countries,” and honoring financing commitments, such as technology supply, capacity building and other types of support. “This is of fundamental importance to the success of the upcoming COP26 conference,” Shi says.

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The draft outcome of the summit expects to “mobilize $100 billion annually until 2025 for developing countries.” And it contains many goals, which are still not backed by concrete commitments by everyone, except the European Union and the United States, active on this issue (the latter, since Biden was in the White House). There is a commitment to “keep global warming below two degrees, with efforts not exceeding one and a half degrees”, but – that is the point – “taking into account different paths and approaches”. The draft reaffirms a commitment to achieving “climate neutrality in 2050” and eliminating “medium-term fossil fuel subsidies” that are proving to be “ineffective”. There is also a commitment to “do everything possible to avoid the construction of new coal-fired plants in the 1930s” of this millennium.

The day ends with Russia and China calling for a restricted formula to solve the world’s problems. Lavrov and Wang Yi identify the “urgent need” for a 5-member summit of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UK, USA, China, Russia and France) “to search for an effective response to current global challenges and threats”. With all due respect to the appeal to the widespread pluralism with which Mario Draghi opened the G-20 business.

The success of organizing the Summit, hosted by Italy, lies above all in the family portrait of the leaders, which is truly original, which hits the mark: health care workers and those on the front line against Covid also end up in the group of greats. It’s a day of greetings with those who have been there, from the sympathy and warmth between Draghi and Macron to the more solemn day of greetings from the Italian Prime Minister with outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to the first ‘de visu’ conversation with the ‘next’ chancellor Olaf Schulz. It is the day of sparks, among other well-known days, with those who were not there, Putin and Xi.

Tomorrow is the second and final day of the summit: the moment of truth, before Cop26, before Glasgow, where it is cold, a lot.