The G20 Summit and what you need to know about it

The G20 summit and how it affects you.


Photo by Erin Schaff, The New York Times

Above: world leaders from the G20 gather to discuss climate change and how to best resolve it.(9/30) World leaders gathered in Rome October 30 to discuss climate change and to combat the one degree Celsius goal set forth by the U.N.

Kole Andersson, Staff Reporter

The G20 Summit, held in Rome, Italy from October 30th to 31st of this year, was a crucial stepping stone in helping combat climate change.  With carbon emissions so high, smaller island nations are stepping up to help keep carbon emissions down. They are doing this so that they can help the planet and so that their countries stay on dry land.

The prime minister of Tuvalu, Kausea Natano, responded to the summit’s easy going attitude two days later with a Zoom where he was standing in two feet of water where his island previously was.  The rapid melting of glacial ice in areas such as Greenland and Antarctica has led to rising sea levels that are affecting all nations, not just island nations. The Netherlands has had to rebuild dikes and dams to help keep water out of areas they recovered from the sea.

President Joe Biden has pledged to reduce carbon emissions in the U.S, however, he did not specify an amount or by when he will achieve this goal.

Bidya Devi Bandhari, the President of Nepal, made an appearance to speak on the importance of being net carbon neutral, considering Nepal is the only country that has achieved this goal.

Neither Russia nor China attended the G20 in-person, citing concerns regarding COVID-19.

With the current state of the world, climate change is an ever-present issue that can’t just be left to the older generations. Famed Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg attended the meeting as a spokesperson for Generation Z on climate issues. Thunberg brought up key issues facing Generation Z in the coming future, such as the 1.5 degree increase originally set for 2050, that currently is on track to occur in 2035 at the latest.

However the G20 summit had only minor impacts on the direction of climate change with U.N Secretary General Antonio Guterres Stating in a tweet “While I welcome the #G20’s re-commitment to global solutions, I leave Rome with my hopes unfulfilled — but at least they are not buried.” This general laid back approach by the G20 has angered many climate activists who think drastic enough actions were not taken.