Vaccination, Climate Change, Global Minimum Corporate Tax — Here’s What Leaders Agreed Upon

New Delhi: G20 leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday vowed to take steps to boost the supply of COVID vaccines in developing nations as they underlined vaccines to be among the most important tools against the pandemic.

As the G-20 Summit in Rome came to a close on Sunday, the member nations resolved to remove financing constraints for advancing toward the global goal of vaccinating at least 40 per cent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and 70 per cent by mid-2022.

G20 nations, including India, have also committed to tackling the urgent threat of climate change. They will work to make COP26 in Glasgow successful, PTI reported.

Besides this, the G20 leaders, in the Rome Declaration, thanked healthcare and frontline workers, international organisations, and scientists for their relentless efforts to cope with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

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COVID Vaccination Supply

“Recognising that vaccines are among the most important tools against the pandemic, and reaffirming that extensive COVID-19 immunization is a global public good, we will advance our efforts to ensure timely, equitable and universal access to safe, affordable, quality, and effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, with particular regard to the needs of low- and middle-income countries,” the G20 nations stated in their declaration at the Summit, as quoted by news agency PTI.

“To help advance toward the global goals of vaccinating at least 40 per cent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and 70 per cent by mid-2022, as recommended by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global vaccination strategy, we will take steps to help boost the supply of vaccines and essential medical products and inputs in developing countries and remove relevant supply and financing constraints,” the leaders added.

They also directed their health ministers to monitor progress toward this end and to explore ways to accelerate global vaccination as necessary.

“We will reinforce global strategies to support research and development as well as to ensure their production and swift and equitable distribution worldwide, also by strengthening supply chains and by expanding and diversifying global vaccine manufacturing capacity at local and regional level, while promoting vaccine acceptance, confidence and fighting disinformation,” the G20 nations said.

Climate Change

Meanwhile, according to a report by the Associated Press, the summit arrived at compromise wording for when G-20 nations need to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. The Group of Seven rich democracies has set 2050 as the latest date, but leaders of the larger G-20 forum agreed on by or around mid-century. China, Saudi Arabia, and Russia have set 2060 as their goal for reaching carbon neutrality, the report stated. 

The leaders also agreed to end public financing for coal-fired power generation abroad, as decided by the G-7 members during their June summit in Cornwall, England. However, no target was set in the summit for phasing out coal domestically.

As per the report, the G-20 nations also viewed that the impacts of climate change, such as extreme storms, floods, and rising sea levels, will be much lower if the average increase in global temperature can be held to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). The 2015 Paris agreement seeks to keep the rise below 2 degrees Celsius ((3.6 F) and aims to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Global Minimum Corporate Tax & More

The leaders also signed off on a landmark agreement for countries to enact a global minimum corporate tax of 15 per cent, the AP reported. The global minimum has been set to deter multinational companies from dodging taxes by shifting profits to countries where they do little actual business but benefit from lower rates. 

Besides this, leaders in the G20 Rome Declaration reiterated their commitment “to strengthening long-term financial resilience and supporting inclusive growth, including through promoting sustainable capital flows, developing local currency capital markets”.

“We reaffirm our commitment to enhancing digital financial inclusion of vulnerable and underserved segments of society, including MSMEs, carrying forward the work of GPFI and implementing the G20, 2020 Financial Inclusion Action Plan,” the declaration added.

The countries also committed to achieving food security and adequate nutrition for all, leaving no one behind.

The G20 nations, including India, also sought to strengthen actions for halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030.

Besides this, the declaration informed that the leaders also agreed to endeavour to restart international travel in a safe and orderly manner.

“We look forward to meeting again in Indonesia in 2022, in India in 2023, and in Brazil in 2024,” the G20 stated.

The G20 is a leading global forum that brings together the world’s major economies. The members account for more than 80 per cent of the global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent of the population of the planet.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

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