Financial Times – Miles Johnson et al. / Climate tops the agenda as G20 meets in person after two-year gap
- The meeting of leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies in Rome this weekend will be dominated by wrangling over climate targets that are likely to set the tone for the COP26 summit that follows.
- Italian diplomats hope that the first face-to-face summit of G20 leaders in two years can pave the way for a breakthrough on climate issues even though they are viewed very differently by the developing and developed nations that will be there.
- Although almost 200 countries will be represented at the UN-convened COP26 gathering in Glasgow that begins on Monday, G20 members account for more than 80 per cent of global gross domestic product and a similar level of carbon emissions.
- But the first big international summit hosted by Mario Draghi since he became Italy’s prime minister last year will lack the physical presence of high-profile G20 leaders, notably Xi Jinping of China and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
- South China Morning Post – Orange Wang / China and the US expected to strike conciliatory chord at G20 summit amid need for global economic cooperation
The Washington Post – Tony Romm et al. / Biden unveils $1.75 trillion spending plan, but divisions delay economic agenda
- President Biden on Thursday unveiled a new $1.75 trillion package to overhaul the country’s health-care, education, climate and tax laws, muscling through a slew of policy disagreements and internecine political feuds that had stalled his economic plans for months.
- But the long-awaited proposal did not prove enough to advance his broader agenda, including a second, separate $1.2 trillion package to improve the country’s roads, bridges, pipes, ports and Internet connections.
- The announcement on Thursday marked a critical moment in Biden’s tenure, prompting the president to pay another visit to Capitol Hill and issue a call to action to his own party.
- In a private meeting, Biden told lawmakers they had worked “hours and hours and hours over months and months” on a spending compromise, he recalled later in televised remarks, as the White House labored to broker a truce between Democrats’ warring moderate and liberal ranks.
- Bloomberg – Josh Wingrove et al. / Biden’s $1.75 trillion gambit shifts focus to Democrats’ divides
Euractiv – Frédéric Simon / Europe lays out battle plan for COP26 climate summit
- The European Union will aim to convince other countries to raise their climate ambition at the COP26 summit opening on Sunday in Glasgow.
- The first milestone on the way to Glasgow is the G20 summit of the world’s largest economies, taking place on 30-31 October in Rome.
- “These 20 largest economies also represent 80% of the emissions worldwide. And therefore we have a special responsibility to act,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen who briefed journalists in Brussels on Thursday.
- “We are not on track right now,” she warned. “We need sufficient commitments to really cut emissions this decade. Science is very clear on that. Science tells us it’s urgent.”
- Carnegie – Richard Youngs / COP26 and the foreign policy blind spot in Europe’s climate action
Bloomberg – Naomi Nix / Facebook changes name to Meta in embrace of virtual reality
- Facebook Inc. is re-christening itself Meta Platforms Inc., decoupling its corporate identity from the eponymous social network mired in toxic content, and highlighting a shift to an emerging computing platform focused on virtual reality.
- “The metaverse is the next frontier,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in a presentation at Facebook’s Connect conference, held virtually on Thursday. “From now on, we’re going to be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first.”
- The name change is the most definitive signal so far of the company’s intention to stake its future on a new computing platform — the metaverse, an idea born in the imaginations of sci-fi novelists.
- In Meta’s vision, people will congregate and communicate by entering virtual environments, whether they’re talking with colleagues in a boardroom or hanging out with friends in far-flung corners of the world.
- BBC / Facebook to hire 10,000 in EU to work on ‘metaverse’
This weekend’s longer reads:
- The Economist / Why the COP26 climate summit will be both crucial and disappointing
- Project Syndicate – Patricia Espinosa et al. / The green lights of Glasgow
- Foreign Policy – Dennis Ross / The threat of war is the only way to achieve peace with Iran
- Foreign Affairs – Graham Webster / The fall and rise of techno-globalism