President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Marina Silva, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change of Brazil, pictured at COP28 (Photo by Stuart Wilson / COP28 via Getty Images)

The United Arab Emirates’ COP presidency has successfully moved food system transformation firmly onto the global climate change agenda.

A new US–UAE fund, pledging $17 billion to support low carbon food system practices, and initiatives such as the Alliance of Champions for Food System Transformation (with Brazil as co-chair), are important signals that governments and non-state actors recognize the speed and scale required to deliver both climate and biodiversity objectives.

A new report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Global Roadmap for food system transition, offers a clear vision for countries to adopt in this global effort.

The problem is serious and urgent.…  Seguir leyendo »

An Israeli delegation attend a UNESCO meeting in Riyadh. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

At the G20 summit President Joe Biden announced that India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), together with Israel, France, Germany, Italy and the US, want to create an ‘India– Middle East–Europe Corridor’ (IMEC).

This rail and shipping route would include advanced fibre optics, clean hydrogen pipelines and economic zones stretching from India, through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel, to Piraeus Port in Greece.

A working group will lay out timetables, financing plans and projects in the next two months. If it materializes, the grandiose project could create a new dimension of economic integration between the Middle East, South Asia and Europe.…  Seguir leyendo »

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India welcomes US President Joe Biden to the G20 leaders' summit (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

This year’s G20 was about India. Or as foreign minister Dr S Jaishankar described it, India’s year-long leadership of the G20 was designed to get ‘India ready for the world, and the world ready for India.’

The other major G20 powers played a key role in India’s success, whether by default or design. Putin didn’t turn up. President Xi’s last-minute decision to absent himself from the summit deprived a global audience two days of ‘geopolitical stage watching’. This left the spotlight on the blooming US–India relationship.

President Joe Biden distinguished himself from his predecessor in the care he took not to upstage his host during the summit, his third meeting with Modi in only five months.…  Seguir leyendo »

World leaders pay their respects at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat on 10 September, 2023. (Photo by PIB/AFP via Getty Images)

The agreement on a leaders’ declaration at New Delhi’s G20 summit was critical. It keeps the group alive as a vehicle for the US, its allies and the major emerging economies – particularly China – to work together on addressing escalating economic and social challenges.

But the G20 still failed to take the kind of urgent, ambitious action required, in large part due to a continuing lack of trust between the US and China.

Agreeing a declaration was necessary

G20 declarations are often long and heavily caveated, leading many commentators to question their purpose and value.

But they do serve an important role in recording what has been agreed, enabling signatories to be held to account, and signalling new policy directions to groups like private sector firms and civil society.…  Seguir leyendo »

Signage for the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi on Sept. 3. (Prakash Singh/Bloomberg News)

The annual Group of 20 festivities, this year in India, are now concluded. It is appropriate to ask exactly what these gatherings accomplish. For the process-obsessed, every international meeting among heads of state or diplomats is positive, regardless of whether anything concrete is achieved. The G-20 exemplifies this misconception. Mountains of final communiqués, joint statements and outcome documents have contributed to global deforestation but little else.

Moreover, leaders’ summits are preceded by endless cabinet-level meetings: foreign ministers, treasury ministers and environmental ministers, all producing rivers of deathless prose. Who remembers, though, the ringing declarations of last year’s G-20 gathering in Bali, much less those of previous years?…  Seguir leyendo »

Preparations at the international media centre on the eve of the two-day G20 summit in New Delhi, 8 September. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Over the last few months, billboards across India, especially in the capital, New Delhi, have been plastered with images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The hoardings welcome international delegates to the G20 summit with the words “Mother of Democracy to host G20”. On the eve of the summit, which begins on Saturday, the prime minister has penned an article citing the diversity of the Indian democracy. He writes: “For India, the G20 presidency is not merely a high-level diplomatic endeavour. As the mother of democracy, and a model of diversity, we opened the doors of this experience to the world”.

Over the past year, through his much-publicised state visit to the United States and through his much talked-about international trips, including the G7 meetings, Modi has extolled the virtues of democracy, of a secular and inclusive nation, paying obeisance to Mahatma Gandhi at every available opportunity.…  Seguir leyendo »

Carteles promocionando la cumbre del G-20, que arranca hoy en Nueva Delhi. HARISH TYAGI

Inaugurada hoy, la cumbre del G-20 reúne este fin de semana en Nueva Delhi a los líderes de las economías más "relevantes" del mundo. La realidad es que, hasta ahora, la importancia de esta agrupación residía -en no poca medida- en ser uno de los pocos marcos institucionalizados que atraía la presencia de los máximos líderes ruso, chino, estadounidense (bueno...y japonés y varios europeos). Pero lo mollar es que ahí se venían codeando cada año, sin falla, desde hace más de una década. Esta edición podría marcar un punto de inflexión, aflorando el valor añadido de juntar en torno a la misma mesa el Directorio del "mundo de ayer" que encarna en G-7, con potencias medias que enarbolan la bandera del Sur Global.…  Seguir leyendo »

Why a G20 without Putin and Xi could be a fantastic opportunity

This might have been an opportunity for world leaders to bridge a host of chasms that are opening up, as G20 conferences have in the past. But now, this upcoming weekend’s G20 gathering in New Delhi seems more likely to widen the gulf between the blocs — east and west, north and south — than at any other point since the Cold War.

With Russian President Vladimir Putin skipping the meeting and sending his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov instead, and China’s Xi Jinping sending Premier Li Qiang in his place, this could be an opportunity for greater unity on key issues for those world leaders still attending.…  Seguir leyendo »

Harvesting eggplants near Notto Gouye Diama, Senegal, January 2023. Zohra Bensemra / Reuters

In a time of intensifying great-power rivalry, the Group of 20, or G-20, has become an indispensable forum for urgent global problems. As the West enters an increasingly entrenched conflict with Russia and tensions rise between the United States and China, the G-20—which brings together 19 of the world’s largest economies along with the European Union—provides a crucial way to make progress on shared international concerns ranging from food security and financial stability to climate change.

Yet in one respect, the G-20 has fallen short of becoming a truly global forum: since its inception in 1999, it has left the African continent staggeringly underrepresented.…  Seguir leyendo »

G20 posters and electric motorbike are seen ahead of G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia on 14 November 2022. Photo by Anton Raharjo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

Last week’s G20 summit in Bali was bookended by two major geopolitical dramas. Just before the summit started, US President Biden and President Xi of China held a three-hour meeting that re-opened the prospect of great power coexistence despite intensifying US-China tensions, especially over Taiwan. And, following difficult negotiations, it produced a summit declaration that opened with language from the UN General Assembly’s 2 March resolution on Ukraine, saying it ‘deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine’, a much more robust criticism of Russia’s actions than many in Washington and Europe had initially expected.…  Seguir leyendo »

El mundo enfrenta enormes desafíos comunes que exigen soluciones conjuntas. La pandemia del COVID-19 todavía no ha terminado y el trabajo para prevenir otra pandemia apenas ha comenzado. Las crecientes cargas de deuda están poniendo en peligro las perspectivas económicas y el bienestar de la población en los países de menores ingresos. Las alzas en los precios de los alimentos y la alteración en el suministro de granos desde la invasión de Ucrania por parte de Rusia han aumentado el riesgo de hambruna en muchas partes del mundo. Y, además de todo esto, los gobiernos y las empresas necesitan con urgencia convertir sus compromisos de cero neto en reducciones mensurables de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero.…  Seguir leyendo »

El forcejeo lleva casi un tercio de siglo.

Comenzó en 1992. Delegados de todo el mundo —incluyendo un vacilante George H. W. Bush, entonces presidente de Estados Unidos— se reunieron en Río de Janeiro para celebrar una “Cumbre de la Tierra”, en la que prometieron con seriedad dejar de destrozar el planeta. Se redactó con prisa un nuevo tratado mundial y se le puso un gran título: la Convención Marco de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Cambio Climático.

Era audaz, pues prometía estabilizar los gases de efecto invernadero en la atmósfera a un nivel que impidiera un peligroso calentamiento global. Y era ambigua, pues exigía a los países que no hicieran casi nada, excepto seguir reuniéndose y conversando.…  Seguir leyendo »

Red Rebel Brigade, an international performance artivist troupe, perform outside the 2021 COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow. Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images.

As COP26 kicked off, Greta Thunberg accused world leaders of ‘pretending’ in Glasgow, while developing countries’ opening statements were clear – enough of the big talk and empty promises, no time for showmanship remains. The task at hand is one of delivery, nothing less will avert the greatest human tragedy of all time.

Statements by the Republic of Maldives and other climate vulnerable developing countries during the World Leaders Summit underscored what is really at stake with brutal, heart-wrenching clarity. ‘If the rise in temperature remains unchecked at 1.5 and jumps to two degrees, that is a death sentence to the Maldives’.…  Seguir leyendo »

UK prime minister Boris Johnson visits the Colosseum during the 2021 G20 summit in Rome, Italy. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

Success at Glasgow depends on bridging fault lines

Renata Dwan

The G20 summit’s lack of progress on climate highlights the scale of the challenge – and the stakes – for COP26.  The countries responsible for 80 per cent of global emissions recognized but failed to agree concrete action to limit global warming to 1.5C.

The leaders’ gathering reveals multilateralism’s fault lines. One is the tension between domestic politics and international priorities, reflected in the lack of ambition to reduce coal dependency.  The second is the tension between industrialized and developing states over responsibility for delivering global goods.

The G20 failed to endorse the G7’s pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or to accelerate the mobilization of previously agreed climate financing.…  Seguir leyendo »

The jawboning has been going on for nearly a third of a century.

It started back in 1992. Delegates from around the world — including a hesitant American president, George H.W. Bush — met in Rio de Janeiro for an “Earth Summit,” earnestly promising to stop wrecking the planet. A new global treaty was hastily drawn up and plastered with a grand title: the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

It was bold, promising to stabilize greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous global warming. And it was vague, requiring countries to do close to nothing, except to keep meeting and jawboning.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Carabinieri police officer stands guard outside the convention center La Nuvola in the EUR district of Rome, ahead of the 2021 G20 World Leaders Summit. Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images.

‘If we didn’t have it, we would have to invent it’ might well be the catchphrase for the Group of 20 (G20) as the international community rethinks global institutional architecture in the face of shifting power dynamics and geopolitical strife.

To be fair, the same is often said of other venerable institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), or even the United Nations (UN), often as a line of defence when questions are raised over their relevance or effectiveness.

According to former Goldman Sachs Asset Management chairman and UK treasury minister Jim O’Neill, size also matters because the G20 is both too big and too small to be on the ball consistently.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Palazzo dei Congressi hosts the media centre for the 2021 G20 World Leaders Summit in Rome. Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images.

The location of the 2021 G20 summit is heavy with symbolism. As world leaders fly into la città eterna, parallels with the last days of the Roman empire feel almost unavoidable – only this time human civilization stands on the brink of decimation by climate change.

As the climate crisis deepens, keeping warming to the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees remains possible, but only just. Unprecedented action this decade is needed or there is little chance of avoiding the most catastrophic impacts of a changing climate.

That is why COP26, taking place right after the G20 leaders’ summit, is so important.…  Seguir leyendo »

General view of the reception area of Palazzo Reale during the first day of the G20 on 22 July 2021 in Naples, Italy. Photo by Ivan Romano/Getty Images.

When G20 leaders meet in Rome later this week, they will review progress made in the four months since they last gathered and agree on priorities and actions for the coming year. An unexpected success in 2021 was the agreement by more than 130 countries on a global minimum corporate tax rate. The G20 can build on this success and agree to develop a global carbon price, which could provide a powerful impetus to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The net-zero goal is ambitious and time is running out. Global investment firm RockCreek estimates that reaching net-zero by 2050 will require more than US$3 trillion of investments per year, while according to the UN emissions must drop 7.6 per cent every year from 2020 to 2030 to meet the 1.5°C Paris Agreement target.…  Seguir leyendo »

Rally for the right to abortion in the Plaza de Colon, Madrid, Spain, urging all EU member states to decriminalize abortion as the practice is severely restricted in some EU countries. Photo By Ricardo Rubio/Europa Press via Getty Images.

Although existing health system vulnerabilities were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, several of the obstacles to fair, healthy, and prosperous societies are a result of structural and persistent inequalities both within and between countries.

Because of the urgent need to provide COVID-19 health services, the treatment and prevention efforts for several non-communicable diseases – which kill more than 40 million people each year – have been negatively affected.

This ongoing inability to undertake routine health services alongside outbreak response surge capacity reflects the gaps in pandemic preparedness which have long been identified – and ignored.

Lockdowns and travel restrictions mean limited access to health services, affecting diagnosis and lifesaving treatments across the world and communicable disease programmes, especially in low- and middle-income countries, have experienced setbacks counteracting decades of gains.…  Seguir leyendo »

La reunión familiar del G20

Esta semana, los líderes del G20 se reúnen en Roma para su cumbre anual. Pero, ¿utilizarán su estadía en la grande bellezza para reconciliar sus diferencias y sentar las bases para una mejor cooperación en materia de políticas? ¿Su cena privada consolidará el progreso, permitiéndoles a quienes son nuevos en el proceso –algunos participantes se reunirán con el presidente norteamericano, Joe Biden, por primera vez- forjar relaciones con los veteranos del G20?

Desde que el G20 se convirtió en una cumbre de líderes en 2008, la cena privada se ha vuelto una plataforma invaluable para que algunas de las personas más poderosas del mundo discutan, cara a cara, las cuestiones más importantes que ellos y sus países enfrentan.…  Seguir leyendo »