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G20 and COP26 – Biden Talks Climate and Business in Europe

President Biden traveled to Rome and Glasgow to discuss issues with international leaders.

By:  |  November 2, 2021  |    672 Words

World leaders at the G20 in Rome (Photo by Baris Seckin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden has traveled to Europe to meet with world leaders. He recently joined a G20 meeting in Rome, followed by the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

G20 in Rome

The “G20” is the Group of 20 – a set of countries that get together to talk about the global economy and other international issues. The meetings are usually held once per year, and the attendees include world leaders, government officials, bankers, and other influential groups. This year, the summit was held in Rome, the capital of Italy.

One of the topics discussed was global taxation. Across the world, most people have to pay tax to their government – this includes individuals and businesses. Today, we have multinational corporations – huge companies that do business in many countries around the world.

This has made taxation more complicated. One country might demand a lot of tax, so to avoid losing money a big company might move its headquarters to a country that charges less. For example, internet-based companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon do business across the globe. They can save money by opening offices only in countries that charge less tax.

The G20 leaders agreed to set a minimum amount of tax to take from corporations. They set the amount at 15%. Every country in the agreement would have to take at least 15% of the profits made by corporations.

President Biden said the plan would stop companies that may “shift jobs and profits abroad” and “ensure that multinational corporations pay their fair share here at home.”

Government workers are saying this could make big changes in how business is done around the world. “This is more than just a tax deal, it’s a reshaping of the rules of the global economy,” said a U.S. official.

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President Joe Biden speaks at COP26 (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)

The G20 leaders also talked about vaccines and the climate.

COP26 in Glasgow

Next, President Biden flew to Glasgow, a city in Scotland. World leaders have gathered there for the COP26 climate conference. “COP” stands for “Conference of the Parties,” which is a group of countries that signed a United Nations treaty on climate change. This is the 26th meeting, and they are normally held every year.

The idea of global warming a.k.a. climate change and how to deal with it is controversial, but many world leaders are making plans to prevent the temperature of the Earth rising.

Some of the plans made at the conference include:

Countries will encourage clean energy by putting worldwide rules and standards on energy companies. First, they will impose the rules on five polluting industries: steel, road transport, agriculture, hydrogen, and electricity.

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COP26 protestors (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)

More than 100 leaders agreed to stop and reverse deforestation. This means they would stop cutting down trees in their nations, and even work to regrow forest areas. United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the deal, saying, “These great teeming ecosystems … are the lungs of our planet [and] … essential to our very survival … With today’s unprecedented pledges, we will have a chance to end humanity’s long history as nature’s conqueror, and instead become its custodian.”

The U.S. and European countries also pledged to cut emissions of methane gas. European Union Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said, “We have to cut emissions fast.” She added that reducing methane is “one of the most effective things we can do to reduce near-term global warming.”

COP26 is a huge meeting of powerful people, but there have been some criticisms. For example, some have pointed out that even though the attendees are speaking about helping the environment, many flew to Glasgow using private planes, which cause a lot of pollution.

Some suggest the environmental plans will waste money and create more shortages of fuel and energy. Others say the plans don’t go far enough to fix pollution.

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