Monday, April 15, 2024
Homest editorialG-20 summit a qualified success at best

G-20 summit a qualified success at best

Group of 20 (G-20) leaders’ summits have repeatedly copped flak for weak statements, and last weekend’s summit in India is no exception. This year’s leaders’ declaration has been criticised for failing to provide the vision and ambition needed to tackle a growing range of existential issues, from wars and trade disputes, to superpower rivalries, climate change and nature loss. And this is a key problem the G-20 faces: Its members might be linked by economic clout, but they have very different world views and interests. At best, such summits can try to narrow these gaps or paper over the cracks. Given the constraints, this was achieved to some extent.

G-20 members cover 85 per cent of global gross domestic product, led by the United States and China, both of which are involved in a fierce rivalry over trade and global influence. Key member Russia’s war against Ukraine has caused untold misery on both sides of the conflict and disrupted global energy and food supplies. G-20 members also dominate the energy sector, and are deeply dependent on coal, oil and gas revenues, despite fossil fuels being a key driver of climate change. Hardly a formula for unity, then.

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