The Briefing

All roads lead to Rome: G20

What was this year's G20 summit all about?

November 4, 2021
Reading time 2 min.

🌈 A quick taster for you:  

  • The G20 is the international forum of the world’s major economies.
  • It includes 19 industrialized and emerging countries as well as the EU.
  • The focus for 2021 was the 1.5 degree target.  

🧐 Why do I care?

Since 1999, the G20 — also known as the "Group of Twenty" — meet once a year to discuss the issues of the world. When you think of the G20, your first thought might be about the 2017 summit in Hamburg and all of its riots and protests. But who exactly is the G20, and which topics are relevant for you? Let’s take a look at what happened during the most recent G20 summit, which took place in Rome on the 30th and 31st of October.

🔍 What exactly is happening here?

  • Who, what, how, why?
    The G20, which includes 19 different countries and the European Union, represents the most important industrialized and emerging economies in the world. There are many different working groups and events during the year, where various topics with cross-national relevance are discussed — including economic and financial policy, climate policy, education, and migration. The G20 summit is where all of the heads of state and government come together, along with the respective finance ministers and central bank governors.
  • Numbers, data, facts!
    The G20 countries account for approximately two-thirds of the world's population, and they generate over 85% of the world's gross domestic product. As a consequence, they’re also responsible for 80% of global CO2 emissions — and it’s this topic that currently has the greatest focus.
  • 1.5 degree target.
    All eyes are on the topic of 1.5 degrees. Will we manage to limit man-made climate change to 1.5 degrees? Will policymakers actually implement measures to meet this target (which was adopted in 2015 in the Paris Climate Agreement)? The importance of this climate pledge was explicitly emphasized during the summit in Rome, but no precise proposals were created and there was no specific time frame. So for real progress on this issue, the world will now look to Glasgow where the leaders of over 200 countries are meeting this week for the 26th World Climate Conference.

🤓 What does this mean for me?

The topics discussed at the G20 are relevant for all of us, because the decisions made will affect the future of our society. That’s one reason why there are always large demonstrations at the summits, and this year was no exception with many people turning out to peacefully demonstrate against climate change. 

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