AFP, published on Sunday, October 31, 2021 at 12:44 a.m.
The leaders of the major economies of the G20 approved Saturday in Rome the minimum taxation of multinationals, while Europeans and Americans concluded a truce in their conflict over steel. But talks are dragging on to find an agreement on the climate.
Some elements of the final climate statement “are still being negotiated,” a senior White House official said on Saturday evening.
Even if progress can still be made by the end of the meeting on Sunday, some working versions of the press release being negotiated are causing NGOs to fear that the G20 will not go much further than the promises already made during the meeting. Paris agreement, and does not commit to a clear timetable to achieve the goal of “zero emissions”.
A result that would be particularly disappointing, as the COP26 on climate opens in Glasgow on Sunday. It will bring together a much wider range of countries, but the G20, which includes developed countries such as the United States and members of the European Union, but also large emerging economies such as China, Russia, Brazil or the India represents 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
“We must not leave to those who will come after us a planet plagued by conflicts, whose resources have been wasted,” Italian President Sergio Mattarella pleaded again on Saturday evening at the G20 leaders’ dinner. “The onus is on us to make a decisive breakthrough to overcome these burdens. The time has come. The eyes of billions of people, entire peoples, are on us and on the results we can achieve,” he insisted.
Several thousand people still demonstrated for the climate on Saturday afternoon in the streets of Rome.
The President of the European Council Charles Michel had recognized earlier that the question was difficult in particular “for certain countries dependent on coal”.
Many emerging countries, and in particular China – whose President Xi Jinping only speaks in Rome by videoconference, like his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin – still depend heavily on this very CO2-emitting fossil fuel, in particular to run their power plants in the current context of energy crisis.
“What we really hope to lock in is a G20 commitment to end international coal funding,” the senior American official said on Saturday evening, also pleading for “a positive discourse on decarbonization (.. .) of the energy sector “and a commitment by” more countries “to reducing emissions of methane, another major greenhouse gas along with carbon.
– Green light for the global tax –
In the immediate future, the Heads of State and Government have given the final green light to a reform of global taxation, which notably provides for the introduction of a minimum tax of 15% on multinationals, with the objective of implementation by 2023.
This “historic agreement”, in the words of US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who announced it on Saturday, will be formally adopted in the final G20 communiqué on Sunday.
“For four years, I have been fighting to implement an international taxation of at least 15% for multinational companies. Tonight, we are there!”, Tweeted French President Emmanuel Macron, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed “a great success” and “a clear signal of fairness”.
In Rome, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo unveiled another “historic” agreement, this time to lift certain tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that have plagued trade relations between Washington and Brussels since l imposition of these taxes by the Trump administration. This should allow “limited quantities of European imports of steel and aluminum to enter the United States duty-free”.
A truce confirmed on Twitter by European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, who said the agreement would be formally announced on Sunday by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden.
The latter also plans to meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan that day, against the backdrop of tensions between these two NATO allies, an American official announced on Saturday.
Emmanuel Macron will discuss his side one-on-one with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who complained to Mrs von der Leyen on Saturday of the “completely unjustified” threats from Paris about post-Channel fishing licenses. Brexit.
After a diplomatic offensive with several European leaders, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, for his part, was able to congratulate himself on Saturday on a “good meeting with the director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, to advance in the negotiations” on the rescheduling of the debt of the South American country, which he says he is approaching “with firmness”.