The G20 group photos reveal a lot: who came too late, who wasn’t there and who deserved special appreciation.
Rome- The G20 summit brings together the 19 most important industrialized and emerging countries in the world and the European Union. This year the meeting took place in Rome from Saturday to Sunday. The most important topics were the global economy, the corona pandemic, dealing with Afghanistan and the climate crisis. The group photos of the heads of state and government on Saturday (October 30th) caused some laughs. But they also showed who deserved special honor and who was completely absent from the summit.
G20 summit: That is what the group pictures reveal
It is true that the topics of the G20 summit are about nothing less than the future of the world. But in a brief moment of relaxation, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau caused a laugh: While everyone else was already in their assigned seats at the photo session, the two were still a long time coming.
Mario Draghi spotted Johnson in the background and shouted “Boris!” Finally, the two belated politicians could be seen rushing through the ranks to line up for the photo. Quite a faux pas when you consider how well-timed events like the G20 summit are. But both French President Emmanuel Macron and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen seemed quite amused. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other colleagues also grinned at the delay. The group pictures reveal that even among the leaders of the world things don’t always go according to plan and that humor can certainly combine.
Who was missing from the G20 group pictures – and who was new
The countries of the G20 group are responsible for around 80 percent of global greenhouse emissions. China has the world’s highest net emissions of CO2 – about twice as much as the US. However, China’s President Xi Jinping was missing from the G20 group photo. Because, like his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin, he had saved himself the long way to Rome. Both were, however, connected via video stream.
Xi Jinping voted to partially suspend the corona vaccine patents in order to accelerate vaccination progress. Putin made it clear that he did not want to discuss future energy supply primarily with a view to climate protection. Rather, he called for a discussion in a “pragmatic tone, based solely on economic thinking”. With their absence, Russia and China gave the other heads of government the cold shoulder. China is currently vigorously pursuing its Silk Road project and founded a kind of counter-model to the G20 summit with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as early as 2001.
The group photo of the G20 summit also contained strong symbolism. When the pictures of the heads of state and government were in the box, the politicians brought in health workers. The idea came from host Mario Draghi, the Italian Prime Minister. With this gesture, he wanted to express a special thank you to the doctors and paramedics. Because Italy was particularly badly affected at the beginning of the corona pandemic. The image was intended to honor the performance of health workers.
G20 results disappoint climate experts
In terms of content, the G20 countries and other host countries were able to agree on certain agreements in difficult negotiations. The countries reaffirmed the 1.5 degree target in the fight against climate change. In addition, they decided on a worldwide minimum tax for corporations of 15 percent. The G20 countries also want to make global vaccine distribution more equitable and thus accelerate vaccination progress in poorer countries as well. The specific measures with which they want to achieve these goals remained largely open.
According to the German Press Agency, specific target dates have not been set either. The UN Climate Change Conference 2021 will take place in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12, where concrete steps are to be agreed. “The G20 summit should have been a major step forward for the UN world climate conference COP26 in Glasgow,” said climate expert Jan Kowalzig from the development organization Oxfam. That did not succeed.
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