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G20 Summit: Key Highlights

What is G20?

        The Group of 20 is a group made up of 19 countries within the European Union, so that its members represent around 85% of global GDP and around two thirds of the world's population. It was founded in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis as a forum for discussing global economic and financial issues.

        The G20 summit is held annually under the leadership of a rotating Presidency. The group initially focused largely on broad macroeconomic issues, but has since expanded its agenda to include trade, sustainable development, health, agriculture, energy, the environment, among others.

        Therefore, the G20 is currently the main forum for international economic cooperation, playing a significant role in shaping and strengthening global architecture and governance.

The 2023 summit

         Under India's current presidency, this year's G20 summit took place in New Delhi on September 9-10.

The meeting was divided into three sessions. Firstly, "Preservation of the planet", focused on discussions about green and sustainable development, environment and climate, sustainable lifestyles, energy transitions and “global net zero”. Then the session on "Protecting our people" with the aim of thinking about issues such as inclusive growth, progress in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). And also the "Promotion of a better future", with topics on technological transformations, digital public infrastructure, multilateral reforms and the future of work and employment.

       In addition to the member countries, the leaders of Bangladesh, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Mauritius, Nigeria, Oman, the Netherlands, Singapore and the African Union participated as guests at the Summit.

New member and absences

           A major highlight of the 2023 summit was the accession of the African Union (AU) to the Group of 20.

The invitation came from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the statement that membership will strengthen the G20 and the Global South. Thus, as a new member, the African Union, a bloc made up of 55 member states, now has the same status in the group as the European Union, the only regional bloc with full members.

         However, the meeting also had two important absences. Leaders Xi Jinping of China and VladimirPutin of Russia did not attend the summit. Thus, the Chinese presence was due to Prime Minister Li-Qiang, since Xi Jinping's absence occurred amid a diplomatic crisis between China and India, the host country of the meeting. This is because, at the end of August, a map published by the Chinese government created obstacles with the Indian government for modifying the borders, which include regions that have been disputed for decades between the two countries.

          Putin's non-attendance, who also did not participate in other meetings such as the BRICS Summit take place in a context of geopolitical tensions due to the Russo-Ukrainian War. The country was represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Global Biofuel Alliance

           In the midst of the G20 Summit, Brazil, the United States and India launched the Global Biofuels Alliance.

The initiative, which already has more than 16 countries, aims to boost the production and use of biofuels, especially ethanol, as an alternative energy source that is less polluting than fossil fuels. Thus, the idea of the alliance is that these sources will be increasingly used globally, not only in automotive transport, but also in planes and boats.

          Brazil is the second largest producer of biofuels in the world, behind only  from United States. India forIn turn, it recently occupied third place, following greater initiatives by the Modi government in this energy alternative, a process that had the support of the Brazilian government and private sector through cooperation agreements.

          In this way, a more developed world market in the issue of biofuels could be quite interestingfor Brazil, which is a leader in ethanol production from sugar cane. In this, Plínio Nastari, president of Datagro Consultoria and member of the National Energy Policy Council, exemplifies that the country will be able, for example, to export flex-fuel cars (powered by gasoline and ethanol) and technology.

Brazil ahead of G20 in 2024

       Brazil will assume the presidency of the G20 at the end of this year, on December 1st. In this way, the next Summitdos Líderes will take place in Rio de Janeiro and is scheduled for November 18th and 19th, 2024.

This year, the Indian leadership led the drafting of the Summit document, setting out guidelines favorable to developing countries, in addition to the proposal to reform multilateral financial organizations with an increase in the granting of credit to the poorest countries and those vulnerable to climate crises. These issues will continue to be Brazil's priority agenda at next year's G-20.

        Without a doubt, the group's leadership has many challenges to be faced, and with the advancement of the decarbonization and energy transition agenda through block negotiations and private sector initiatives, it is important that Brazil actively participates in the construction of this new economy .

 By Clara Cazzaniga on 09/28/2023


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