RIAD (dpa-AFX) – The leading economic powers want to work together to ensure the fair distribution of affordable corona vaccines around the world. In the final declaration of their G20 summit on Sunday, they also resolved to do everything possible to get the badly ailing global economy going again. As always in the past few years, the US President danced when it came to climate protection Donald Trump out of line. He used his probably last appearance on a major international stage to attack the Paris Agreement to reduce global warming. The climate protection agreement was decided to “kill the American economy”.
The main topic of the two-day video summit led by Saudi Arabia was the fight against the corona pandemic, which has already cost almost 1.4 million lives worldwide. The virus has spread to almost every country in the world. It is expected, however, that the distribution of vaccines can begin by the turn of the year at the latest. With its final declaration, the G20 countered fears that poor countries could be severely disadvantaged. “We will spare no effort to ensure affordable and fair access for all people,” it says.
The group also committed to providing funding for the international vaccine distribution initiative (Covax). Germany is contributing more than half a billion euros, said Chancellor Angela Merkel. But by the end of 2021 there is still a shortage of six billion US dollars (5.1 billion euros). Merkel was ready to do even more, but also made other countries responsible: “Germany has rarely done anything. But Germany cannot maintain the international alliance on its own either.”
In the final declaration, fighting the pandemic is mentioned as the key to economic recovery. Poor countries are given the prospect of further debt relief. Next year it will be checked whether the economic and financial situation requires an extension of the repayment deferral that has been agreed until June 2021 by six months.
EU Council President Charles Michel proposed a global treaty to combat future pandemics. International cooperation is to be firmly agreed upon with the involvement of all United Nations organizations in order to be able to react more quickly and in a more coordinated manner. Merkel supported the proposal.
US President Trump, who had determined the last G20 summit meeting with some bizarre appearances, showed only moderate interest in the video conference. During the kick-off session, he tweeted election fraud allegations. Then he left the event early and went golfing. And he was also represented by an advisor at the closing meeting on Sunday.
When it came to climate protection, he turned back and used his public video message to attack the Paris Agreement. Under his leadership, the United States withdrew from the agreement so as not to lose “millions of American jobs and trillions of dollars” to the “world’s worst polluters,” he said.
The 2015 agreement was signed by almost all member states of the United Nations, including all major economic powers. The United States was the only country to get out under Trump.
In the G20, in which the leading economic powers have come together, there has therefore been no consensus on the subject since Trump took office. Trump lost the election on November 3rd to the Democrat Joe Biden and is due to be replaced as US President on January 20th. Biden has already announced that he wants to join the climate agreement again. In general, he is expected to turn around in dealing with international organizations and agreements that Trump was hardly interested in.
Merkel emphasized that the European Union wanted to make Biden an offer to revive the transatlantic partnership. “The issue of climate protection will be very important.”
On December 1, Italy will take over the G20 presidency from Saudi Arabia. The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the next summit for the end of October – then maybe again physically.
Trump will then almost certainly no longer be there. He obviously did not want to say goodbye to the other heads of state and government yet. According to a report by the British “Oberserver” based on an audio recording of Trump’s speech at a closed G20 meeting, the President said: “It has been a great honor to work with you and I look forward to to work with you again for a long time. “
Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz could not resist a point against Trump at the final press conference with Merkel. “One participant also took the opportunity again to describe his own greatness,” he said. The SPD politician did not call Trump by name. But everyone knew who was meant./mfi/DP/fba