World leaders are meeting in Osaka, Japan, for a summit on Friday and Saturday of the Group of 20 (G20) big economies.
Here are the issues likely to dominate the meeting, hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
- U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet on Saturday amid hopes for a breakthrough in the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies, which has already dented global growth.
- Policymakers are in a bind as global growth slows because of trade tensions, with the U.S. Federal Reserve signalling it will cut interest rates. Japan hopes to get free-trade language in the meeting’s closing communique but faces resistance from the United States, and memories are still fresh of last year’s summit where Trump forced the G20 to drop its longstanding pledge to avoid protectionism.
- U.S. negotiators opposing a European-led push for a strong commitment to fighting climate change.The latest draft of the G20 language on climate change is reported to revive support for the 2015 Paris Agreement, calling it “irreversible”. An earlier draft had avoided that commitment at the insistence of the United States.President Emmanuel Macron said France would not accept a G20 communique that does not mention the Paris accord. Trump, who has called global warming a “hoax”, pulled the United States out of the pact in 2017.
- While Iran is not a G20 member, it will very much be there in spirit as the threat of war with the United States looms after a series of incidents in the Gulf and escalating rhetoric.As well as the Gulf tensions, oil markets are on edge about a looming deadline for OPEC to decide whether to extend production cuts. That could be the focus of Osaka meetings between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
- One G20 agenda item on which Japanese Prime Minister Abe may make progress is reducing the glut of plastic waste in the oceans – although specific targets and firm commitments to action are unlikely.The G20 will adopt a new implementation framework for steps to reduce marine plastic waste, though on a voluntary basis, the Japanese government said after environment ministers met two weeks ago.
Via BBC/The Guardian