The G20, short for ‘Group of Twenty’, is an international forum gathering the world’s major advanced and emerging economies that meets annually to discuss global economic and financial issues.
Interesting notes about the G20
- The leaders meeting in the G20 represent 60% of the world’s population, 75% of global trade and more than 80% of the planet’s wealth;
- Each year, one member country in turn assumes the presidency and is in charge of organising the summit;
- G20 summits do not involve formal voting and do not produce binding agreements under international law.
The G20 was founded in 1999 with the aim of promoting global economic stability through international cooperation following the financial and currency crisis that erupted in Asia in 1997. The group brings together Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, South Korea, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa, Turkey and the European Union. G20 meetings are also attended by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, major international organisations (United Nations, World Bank, ILO, OECD) and Spain as a permanent invitee. Initially, the G20 brought together only the economic ministers of the participating countries, but following the 2008 financial crisis the United States proposed to raise the level of participation to Heads of State and Government.
The topics touched upon at the annual G20 summits are not solely and strictly economic, but often intertwine with geopolitical and sustainable development issues. Within the G20, the issue of climate change has become a central topic of debate. The G20 nations account for a large share of global greenhouse gas emissions and play a crucial role in mitigating the impacts of climate change. G20 meetings have often addressed issues related to clean energy, transition to renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and emissions reductions. However, these discussions often reflect different challenges and positions, as well as resistance from some nations.