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G20 leaders endorse tax deal, pledge more vaccines for the poor

Economic IndicatorsOct 30, 2021 07:46PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with fundraisers from the Royal British Legion outside Number 10 Downing Street in London, Britain October 29, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson/File Photo 2/2

By Crispian Balmer and Andrea Shalal

ROME (Reuters) -Leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies endorsed on Saturday a global minimum tax aimed at stopping big business from hiding profits in tax havens, and also agreed to get more COVID vaccines to poorer nations.

Attending their first in-person summit in two years, G20 leaders broadly backed calls to extend debt relief for impoverished countries and pledged to vaccinate 70% of the world's population against COVID-19 by mid-2022.

However, with a crucial U.N. climate conference due to start in just two days, the G20 appeared to be struggling to throw its weight behind the sort of strong new measures that scientists say are needed to avert calamitous global warming.

Italy, hosting the gathering in Rome, put health and the economy at the top of the agenda for the first day of the meeting, with the more difficult climate discussions set for Sunday.

Underscoring the way the coronavirus crisis has up-ended the world, doctors in white coats and Red Cross workers joined the leaders for their traditional "family" photograph -- a tribute to the sacrifices and efforts of medics across the globe.

Addressing the opening of the meeting, being held in a steel and glass convention centre, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said governments had to work together to face up to the formidable challenges facing their peoples.

"From the pandemic, to climate change, to fair and equitable taxation, going it alone is simply not an option," Draghi said.

The corporate tax deal was hailed as a evidence of renewed multilateral coordination, with major corporations facing a minimum 15% tax wherever they operate from 2023 to prevent them from shielding their profits in off-shore entities.

"This is more than just a tax deal – it's diplomacy reshaping our global economy and delivering for our people," U.S. President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

With the world roiled by rising energy prices and stretched supply chains, Biden was expected to urge G20 energy producers with spare capacity to boost production, notably Russia and Saudi Arabia, to ensure a stronger global economic recovery, a senior U.S. administration official said.

DIMMED HOPES

Like many of the other G20 leaders in Italy, Biden will fly straight to Glasgow on Sunday for the United Nations' climate summit, known as COP26, which is seen as crucial to addressing the threat of rising temperatures.

The G20 bloc, which includes Brazil, China, India, Germany and the United States, accounts for an estimated 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but hopes the Rome meeting might pave the way to success in Scotland have dimmed considerably.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia's Vladimir Putin both decided to follow events only via video link and diplomats looking to seal a meaningful accord said both countries, as well as India, were resisting ambitious new climate goals.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged the G20 and COP26 talks would be difficult, but warned that without courageous action, world civilisation could collapse as swiftly as the ancient Roman empire, ushering in a new Dark Age.

"It's going to be very, very tough to get the agreement we need," he told reporters, standing next to the ruins of the Colosseum amphitheatre - a symbol of once mighty Rome.

CLIMATE EFFORTS

A draft communique seen by Reuters said G20 countries will step up their efforts to limit global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius - the level scientists have said is necessary to avoid disastrous new climate patterns.

The document also acknowledges that current national plans on how to curb harmful emissions will have to be strengthened, but offered little detail on how this should be done.

Additionally, the leaders are set to pledge to halt financing of overseas coal-fired power generation by the end of this year, and to "do our utmost" to stop building new coal power plants before the end of the 2030s.

Apparently relishing in-person diplomacy after months of relative isolation, the leaders held numerous meetings on the sidelines, including discussions between the United States, Britain, Germany and France on Iran's nuclear programme.

"It is great to see all of you here, after a difficult few years for the global community," Draghi said, catching the largely upbeat mood amongst those present.

Far from the conference centre, known as 'The Cloud', several thousand protesters staged a loud, but peaceful demonstration in the city centre to demand action to stem climate change.

"We are holding this protest for environmental and social issues and against the G20, which continues undaunted on a path that has almost led us to social and ecological failure," said protester Edoardo Mentrasti.

G20 leaders endorse tax deal, pledge more vaccines for the poor
 

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Comments (20)
Strat Afro
Strat Afro Oct 31, 2021 3:15AM ET
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Stop All Wars. It interferes with CLIMATE. Lets Vaccinate Every Child INSTEAD.
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Oct 30, 2021 9:09PM ET
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not one word about the skyrocketing defaults in China
David David
David9 Oct 30, 2021 9:09PM ET
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which news did you read for that?
Scott Patterson
Scott Patterson Oct 30, 2021 8:10PM ET
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Global tax regimes are necessary for the wealth confiscation that will be rolled out by the coming One World Government. Per Rockefeller.
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Oct 30, 2021 7:02PM ET
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Not only are they holding the meeting in a suburb built by Mussolini, but security that would have made him proud.
Dino Esteves
Dino Esteves Oct 30, 2021 6:25PM ET
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too many conspiracy theorists on the comment section nowadays… usually the least intelligent lifeforms
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Oct 30, 2021 6:25PM ET
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There are also many smart people who see the destruction caused by big governments failures, people who have learned from history, people who have a healthy skepticism in the altruism of politicians, and people who believe good happens at the grass roots level, not from the political theatre the media pushes and that feeds politicians egos. Not a conspiracy, just a waste.
Scott Patterson
Scott Patterson Oct 30, 2021 6:25PM ET
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Would you like some fine cheese to go with your whine?
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Oct 30, 2021 6:25PM ET
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it was once a conspiracy theory that mortgage crisis would happen and rating agencies were purposefully misleading investors- seeing the truth and knowing what to do can make you millions
Pilot TwoFive
Pilot TwoFive Oct 30, 2021 6:18PM ET
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Give us all your money and freedom and we will make everything okay for you…
Jack Peterson
Jack Peterson Oct 30, 2021 4:15PM ET
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Al Gore invented Biomass Fuel, which is nothing more than burning wood (look it up). Many companies and universities are claiming to be “Green” using Biomass, duping their employees, students and customers! This snake oil salesman has been pushing his agenda for decades, and helping to decimate the worlds tree population which is the Earth’s source of most life.. these politicians are no different
Transparent Labs
Transparent Labs Oct 30, 2021 3:42PM ET
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Not leaders of the freeworld. Just leaders of Marxist agenda. I will never comply!#Letsgobrandon
Rodney Dangerfield
Rodney Dangerfield Oct 30, 2021 3:42PM ET
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I'm poor and stupid I like NASCAR
Transparent Labs
Transparent Labs Oct 30, 2021 3:41PM ET
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The Police Force protecting the G20 meeting need to barge in and green light a majority of them.
Carlos Escobar
SELLxTHExTOP Oct 30, 2021 9:28AM ET
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the world needs another Benito mussolini
Jurgen Daub
Jurgen Daub Oct 30, 2021 9:28AM ET
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and his name is Trump, LOL
New Jazenevd
New Jazenevd Oct 30, 2021 6:35AM ET
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Did Roman Empire fall because of “climate change”? Nope. It fell because of incompetent rulers relying on money debasement and open borders, inviting barbarians to fill military ranks.
simone scelsa
simone scelsa Oct 30, 2021 6:35AM ET
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It did also fall because of climate change, only it was cooling, leading to lower farming yields and the great migrations of the 5th century. Warming climate has never been, historically, an issue for humans; why would it be? We are hairless apes that evolved at the tropics.
John Laurens
John Laurens Oct 30, 2021 6:13AM ET
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I like Boris, but he's getting nuttier these days.. I think I missed the part where Rome fell because of "climate change". Is this part of the fascist's rewritten history?
peter neal
peter neal Oct 30, 2021 5:05AM ET
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Asia is building 600 New Coal fired plants G 20 none. We have done our job so let the ones that pollute do theirs. How stupid can you be getting your ****all wet.
Junk Man
Junk_Man Oct 30, 2021 4:14AM ET
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It's all political rhetoric now.. No action at all..
Junk Man
Junk_Man Oct 30, 2021 4:13AM ET
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Empires fall on avg 250-300 yrs. Give or take... The great US of A is in that general time frame. I
Todd Gray
Todd Gray Oct 30, 2021 3:38AM ET
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if you know even a little bit about how Rome fell, there is zero rational comparison to global warming. He's inciting fear in the minds of people who are ignorant of history.
Todd Gray
Todd Gray Oct 30, 2021 3:34AM ET
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Two of the main reasons Rome fell were political corruption & financial overextention. We've had over 100 years of corruption & and they've certainly led us into financial overextention. what if global warming is just a convienient cover story for their willful transgressions of greed, and common sense?
Jack Peterson
Jack Peterson Oct 30, 2021 3:34AM ET
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It is…
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Oct 30, 2021 2:21AM ET
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They want all of us to make more sacrifices for more of their failed and wasteful policies. Only ones benefiting are themselves and their backers.
Kevin Avila
Kevin Avila Oct 30, 2021 2:02AM ET
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Let the “empire” fall… we’d be better off.
raf queiro
raf queiro Oct 30, 2021 1:08AM ET
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That's ridicolous. The mobs occurs because of wars founded by western countries like in Afghanistan and Syria or because social instability founded by western corporations in the third world. The problem here is the political and financial hypocrisy driven by greed.....
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Oct 30, 2021 1:08AM ET
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It’s purely the politicians fault, corporations just satisfy the demand from the governments who are led by the politicians. And all governments carry some blame, not just western ones. That any government’s influence and control in peoples lives should be small.
raf queiro
raf queiro Oct 30, 2021 1:08AM ET
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Roger Miller  yes , government’s influence should be smaller to achieve a better world !!!
 
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