Delivering for our people, our planet and our prosperity in Rome: Actionable commitments for a better world
G20 Summit

Delivering for our people, our planet and our prosperity in Rome: Actionable commitments for a better world

After the hiatus caused by the pandemic, I very much look forward to meeting again with my fellow G20 leaders in Rome. As we still grapple with the effects of COVID-19, urgent and crucial decisions await us, both to address short-term needs and to tackle the longer-term challenges that will shape the world for decades to come. The G20 must show its leadership across the three axes of the Italian presidency: people, planet and prosperity.

Nothing embodies the need to prioritise the people – our citizens – better than ensuring that everyone is safe from COVID-19.

By the time the Rome Summit takes place, over 80% of the Spanish population should already be fully vaccinated. Spain is the G20 country with the highest percentage of an immunised population. As of late September, well over 6 billion doses had been administered globally, but roughly 120 countries had yet to see 40% of their population fully vaccinated, and around 50 of them remained below 10% coverage or had yet to start their vaccination programmes. We need to do more, and we need to do it now.

This is why I expect a strong commitment by the G20 to accelerate vaccine production, distribution and administration, so that we can reach the goal of fully inoculating 70% of the global population by the third quarter of 2022.

Spain is doing its part, and will continue to do so. By mid-September, Spain had already shipped a third of its committed donations. We are on track to reach the projected donation of 22.5 million doses by the end of the year, and I recently announced the donation of an additional 7.5 million doses in early 2022 – for a total of 30 million.

The second pillar of the Italian G20 presidency, planet, exemplifies the enormous climate and environmental challenges that we face. This is the year of COP15 in Kunming and COP26 in Glasgow, and the G20 must collectively step up its ambition.

Finding solutions

There is strong global support for urgent, decisive action on the climate and nature crises: three quarters of our citizens believe humanity is pushing the planet towards a dangerous tipping point. We are facing inevitable and irreversible climate change owing to human activities: if we do not alter our current trajectory, the world is on track to warm by 2.7ºC by 2100. Global emissions must peak by 2025 to keep warming at 1.5°C. We must solve the climate and nature crises together or solve neither.

I will join those calling for ambitious but realistic commitments on both fronts. These include putting an end to the international financing of coal power generation, as well as agreeing indicative roadmaps and timelines for the phasing out of coal and the decarbonisation of our economies, building upon the ambitious targets that we set for ourselves in Spain and the European Union while taking into account different levels of economic development. And, at the same time, developed countries must also do more to fulfil their own pledges, including in mobilising climate financing for mitigation and adaptation. When it comes to the planet, we have differentiated responsibilities, but also common responsibilities.

Finally, to protect our citizens and the planet from the dual threats of the pandemic and climate change, we need to close the resource gap and collectively build a fair, sustainable and inclusive economic model. We need to ensure prosperity for all, and we have two very promising avenues to do just that.

First is the new $650 billion allocation of special drawing rights from the International Monetary Fund and the possibility to recycle part of them for the benefit of the countries most in need. Spain has been at the forefront of those advocating the creation of a new Resilience and Sustainability Trust Fund to help vulnerable countries, regardless of their income levels, finance long-term investments supporting sustainable growth. We are ready to actively contribute to this new fund, and call on all countries that can afford to do so to join in this effort.

Second is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/G20 Inclusive Framework and the agreement on a two-pillar solution to address the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy. Following the agreement reached in early July, now subscribed to by over 130 countries worldwide, including all G20 members, all that is left is a detailed implementation plan and a solution of the remaining technical issues.

Both pillars are equally important: we need to better align taxing rights with local market engagement, and we need to establish a global minimum taxing regime to ensure a level playing field between jurisdictions. Spain has been and remains fully committed to the development and the swift implementation of both pillars, and I am looking forward to welcoming the final agreement in Rome.

These are lofty, but sensible, goals. By resolutely advancing across these three axes, while committing to gender equality and the full empowerment of women and to addressing other pressing challenges such as those linked to migration and forced displacement, we can make a real difference for the future of our people, our planet and our prosperity.