Key Takeaways From The G20 Summit 2022

Edelline Sutanto

November 17th 2022 marked the end of the two-day G20 summit held in Bali, Indonesia. President Joko Widodo of Indonesia had stated in an interview hosted by The Economist’s editor-in-chief, Zanny Minton Beddoes, that he hoped for reduced political tensions amongst rivalling countries: ‘Indonesia wants a peaceful world, so don’t let the war in Ukraine drag on and add onto other problems in other regions.’ This has not hindered reports of heavy tension between leaders during the summit amongst many other key moments that had occurred within the two days. Edelline Sutanto delves into the G20 summit’s key moments.

1. Joe Biden and Xi Jinping’s First Face-to-Face Meeting
Biden and Xi’s first meeting before the summit heavily focused on Taiwan’s sovereignty as an independent state. US-China tensions had risen after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan a few months back. Hence, the three-hour meeting aimed to quell these tensions. President Xi firmly established maintaining the ‘One-China’ policy and considered Taiwan to be a ‘red-line’ that should not be crossed whereas President Biden had concerns regarding how the political situation of Taiwan would jeopardise global prosperity, peace and stability.

Most agree that the war was ‘causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy’

Both leaders emerged from the meeting, still with disagreements, yet they have agreed to maintain political ties through regular consultations and strategic communications in order to address other issues such as food security and climate change. Biden is confident that there would be no ‘new Cold War between the two countries’. On the topic of other issues, Biden and Xi also discussed the potential for nuclear threat by North Korea. President Biden had stated that Xi Jinping has the responsibility to make sure North Korea does not resume nuclear testing, though it is unclear whether President Xi will take influence.

2. The Ukrainian War
A majority of discussions that took place in the Bali G20 Summit were regarding the Ukrainian War and its global ramifications. President Jokowi had openly expressed his desire for peace between nations on many occasions before and during the summit, which most European countries agree with. Most agree that the war was ‘causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy.’ It would also be important to note that President Putin was absent from the G20 Summit, but the Russian delegation was present. President Zelensky had also issued a statement regarding peacekeeping after the summit. He had stated that there would be a ‘Ukrainian formula’ for peace as Russia would likely take back their word. This ‘formula’ was a list of proposals for solutions to repair the current state of Ukraine.

Leaders have agreed to pursue efforts to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius

The summit had also faced a seemingly new crisis as a missile from the Ukrainian War landed on Polish territory. There were concerns amongst leaders that the blast may worsen the war, but these concerns were put to rest when Poland reported that the blast was not purposefully fired at their territory.

3. Climate Change
As the global consequences of climate change become more evident, there has also been a greater push on leaders and lawmakers alike to assist the most vulnerable and reverse the effects of the disasters that had taken place. Leaders have agreed to pursue efforts to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. These discussions also included the phase-down of coal power and fossil fuels. Indonesia received pledges from different countries and global private lenders, totalling to US$20 billion, to help the country retire its coal plants and reach its sustainability goals of peak emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

Edelline Sutanto

Featured image courtesy of President of Ukraine via Flickr under All Creative Commons license. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image. 

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