G20 leaders agree on a global tax deal

The most recent summit on group of 20 taking place in Rome:

‘Broad support’ for 15% tax

Leaders have expressed “broad support” for a landmark agreement to establish a global minimum corporate tax of 15%, which aims to deter multinationals from using smart accounting to evade taxes by using low-cost paradises.

Leaders spoke about the proposal during the opening session on Saturday at the summit, officials from the host country Italy said. Following the formal approval to be reflected in Sunday’s final declaration, the countries would adopt the minimum tax on their own. The idea is that headquarters countries would raise a company’s tax to 15% if the company’s profits were undertaxed in another country.

In today’s digital and global economy, profits can come from intangible assets such as copyrights and trademarks and can easily be moved to countries that offer almost zero taxes in hopes of attracting revenue they would not otherwise have.

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A key question is whether the US Congress will pass legislation to comply, as the US is home to 28% of the world’s 2,000 largest multinationals.

Carbon-saving goals

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he unsuccessfully pressured President Xi Jinping to increase China’s CO2 reduction targets ahead of a major UN climate summit.

China released an updated version of its climate targets this week, promising to reach net-zero CO2 emissions by 2060 and to have carbon dioxide emissions at the top by 2030.

Johnson told reporters he was “pushing” Xi to move the summit to 2025 when the two men spoke on the phone Friday.

“I would not say he has committed to it,” Johnson said as he flew to Rome for a G20 summit. On Sunday, Johnson will host world leaders, but not Xi, at the two-week climate conference in Scotland.

Johnson said Xi explained China’s high dependence on coal power, to which Johnson replied that Britain had cut its own coal dependence from 40% of energy in 2008 to 1% today. Johnson said China should embrace technology to accelerate the transition to green energy.

Wine and eat

American First Lady Jill Biden says she and Brigitte Macron, her French counterpart, sipped wine together as if they were sisters.

The women spent about an hour Friday getting to know each other better at an Italian restaurant in Rome.

US President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting at La Villa Bonaparte in Rome on Friday, October 29, 2021. A summit of 20 people will take place this weekend. (AP Photo / Evan Vucc / AP Newsroom)

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Their husbands, US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, met elsewhere in the city to ease tensions that flared up after France felt blinded by a military deal between the United States and Britain and Australia.

The leaders are in Rome to attend the summit of the 20 Nations Summit.

As she left the restaurant, Jill Biden said the meeting with Brigitte Macron was “wonderful”.

“It’s nice, two friends together, just like sisters,” Biden added.

‘Society can go backwards’

British Johnson arrived at the Group of 20 summit with a clear message: Modern civilization could crumble like ancient Rome if world leaders do not act to curb climate change.

Johnson told reporters on his plane that the ruins of Rome “are a great reminder, a reminder to us today … that humanity, civilization, society can go backwards as well as forwards, and when things start to go wrong, they can go wrong at extraordinary speed. “

Following the two-day G20 summit, Johnson will host a two-week UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

Johnson will urge G20 leaders to act faster, saying the world’s rich countries, which became rich by using the fossil fuels that promote global warming, must bear the brunt of the fight against climate change.

U.S. First Lady Jill Biden, center, and French First Lady Brigitte Macron, second left, speak outside a restaurant on the sidelines of an upcoming G20 summit in Rome, Friday, October 29, 2021. (AP Photo / Alessandra Tarantino / AP Newsroom)

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France donates vaccines

France has donated 67 million vaccine doses to the world’s poorest countries, making it the second country after the United States to donate the most to the UN-sponsored COVAX vaccine initiative.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France had fulfilled its commitments on vaccine donations, which have benefited more than 45 countries, including about 30 in Africa. France has promised to donate another 60 million doses by mid-2022.

The announcement comes as health and finance officials gathered ahead of the Group of 20 summit in Rome warned of a two-track pandemic recovery, with a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines and spending gaps slowing poorer countries from recovering from the pandemic .

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Kristalina Georgieva, head of the International Monetary Fund, said on Friday that efforts to speed up vaccinations lacked the $ 20 billion needed to pursue a goal of 40% of the world being vaccinated by the end of the year and 70% by the middle of the year. Next year.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the growing divergence between developing and developed countries would be “a major strategic risk for the rest of the world.”

Ministers decided to set up a joint G20 task force to ensure that efforts to combat the pandemic and prevent future ones are adequately funded.

The G20 has supported the UN-backed COVAX initiative, which has failed to address the severe shortage in poor countries. Summit dealers have focused on efforts to strengthen local health resources, vaccine supply chains and vaccine production in less prosperous countries.

‘Wondered what’s going on’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to calm stormy waters with France as he flew to Rome for a G20 summit to meet French President Emmanuel Macron.

“France is one of our best, oldest, closest, allies, friends and partners,” he told reporters. “The bonds that unite us that bind us together are far stronger than the turbulence that currently exists in the relationship.”

When he called Macron “a friend”, Johnson said people on both sides of the channel might be trying to create disharmony between Britain and France, but “I do not think Emmanuel shares that perspective.”

“I’m amazed at what’s going on,” Johnson said. He said there appeared to be an “implicit” breach of the legally binding Brexit divorce treaty in France’s threats and reiterated Britain’s willingness to respond to any French sanctions.

“We will be ready to take the necessary action,” Johnson said. “Any breach of this agreement – from France or any other partner – is something we must, of course, respond to.”

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are greeted by the leader of the papal household, Msgr. Leonardo Sapienza as they arrive for a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Friday, October 29, 2021. The group of 20 will meet in Rome. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci / AP Newsroom)

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Hard talk about climate

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has warned that the forthcoming climate summit in Glasgow may not give the boost to global efforts to combat climate change that many are hoping for.

Guterres spoke to reporters ahead of a G20 summit in Rome, saying “there is a serious risk that Glasgow will not deliver.”

He said that despite updated climate targets from many countries, “we are still working towards a climate catastrophe.”

Guterres said there are “serious questions” about some of these promises, noting that overall they will not be enough to keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, the goal set in UN negotiations to combat climate change.

He said G20 leaders in Rome, whose countries are responsible for most of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions, have an opportunity to “put things on track” for the Glasgow negotiations, which begin when the Rome summit ends.

The bite meets with the pope

US President Joe Biden has arrived at the Vatican for a private meeting with Pope Francis.

The world’s two most notable Roman Catholics are planning to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and poverty.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport on Friday 29 October 2021. The group of 20 will meet in Rome. (P Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool / AP Newsroom)

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Biden and his wife Jill arrived at the Vatican in an unusually long procession of more than 80 vehicles, in part due to Italian COVID-19 restrictions on the number of people sharing a car. A dozen Swiss guards stood at attention in the San Damaso courtyard of the Apostolic Palace to greet them.

Biden is in Rome for the group of the 20 summit.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has given Pope Francis a statue of a cross made of barbed wire from the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea.

Moon, a Catholic, called on Francis on Friday before the start of the group of the 20th summit in Rome.

The Vatican, which did not allow independent media in the audience, said Francis gave Moon a medallion that replicated Bernini’s original plan for St. Peter’s Square. The design depicts the two most important colonnades in the piazza that embrace humanity in the church.

South Korean presidential officials had said they expected Moon and the pope to discuss a possible papal visit to North Korea, as Francis had previously expressed a desire to do so if possible. Moon first shot the idea of ​​a papal visit to the North in 2018 when he revealed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had said the pope would be “excited” welcome in the officially atheist north.

Heavy police presence

Italy is deploying 5,300 extra troops and police officers, restricting public transport and cordoning off an entire neighborhood in Rome to maintain peace during the weekend’s group of 20 summits.

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Police were out of force as early as Friday when leaders began arriving, and schools in the Italian capital canceled afternoon activities so students could get home before most roadblocks were set up. Protests and demonstrations were planned throughout the weekend.

The main security zone was around the “Nuvola” cloud-like congress center in Rome’s EUR district from the fascist era. But other areas were cordoned off at different times depending on where the leaders were, including around the Presidential Palace and even the Trevi Fountain.

COVID-19 economic recovery and climate change are the two main issues discussed by the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies, which gather in Rome before heading to Glasgow, Scotland, for the UN climate conference.

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