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The Significance of the G20 Summit and the Decisions Taken

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The 2023 G20 Summit convened in New Delhi, the capital of India, from September 9th to 10th, 2023, signifying its 18th iteration. [i] .[ii] The summit’s overarching theme, ‘One World, One Family, One Future,’ was meticulously championed and implemented by India, who assumed the role of the host nation [iii] Notably, the event saw the distinguished representation of numerous nations; however, it was conspicuous that Russian President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping were absent from the proceedings.[iv]

The G20 comprises 19 countries and the European Union. These member states include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States (USA). [v] Collectively, the G20 nations account for approximately 85% of global economic output and 75% of world trade [vi] The G20 convened its inaugural leaders’ summit in 2008[vii] In this context, it can be asserted that the G20 Summit and the decisions taken at this summit hold considerable significance. Indeed, these decisions have the potential to exert highly consequential global impacts.

In this context, the results declaration of the 2023 G20 Summit reveals a notable shift in stance concerning the Russia-Ukraine conflict when compared to the previous summit held in Bali the previous year. Expressions such as “Russian aggression” and “Russia’s withdrawal from Ukraine,” which featured prominently in the preceding summit’s declaration, were conspicuously absent from this year’s summit statement. [viii]

However, criticism has arisen regarding the summit’s inability to commit to a phased-out removal of fossil fuels in the context of climate change and environmental concerns. Nevertheless, India has taken the initiative to launch a global biofuel alliance in collaboration with the United States and Brazil, aiming to enhance the utilization of cleaner fuels. It has been stated that this initiative seeks to expedite global efforts toward achieving net-zero emissions by facilitating the trade of biofuels derived from various sources, including plant and animal waste. [ix]

Furthermore, during the intermissions of the Summit, a multinational railway and port agreement connecting the Middle East with South Asia came to the forefront. In addition to these developments, the African Union, invited by India, was granted admission to the G20. [x] Indeed, the 55-member African Union has officially become a permanent member of the G20 at the same level as the European Union, in an effort to enhance representation within the grouping. Until now, only the Republic of South Africa had G20 membership from the African continent. The entry of the African Union could potentially contribute to a greater voice for the Global South within the G20, which has long been dominated by the G7 countries. [xi]

Simultaneously, at this summit, states have reached an agreement to triple renewable energy production and augment funds allocated for climate-related catastrophes. Global leaders and climate experts have noted that the declaration has significantly advanced the discourse and laid the groundwork for an ambitious climate accord when they convene at the global climate conference COP28, scheduled for later this year in Dubai. Sultan Al-Jaber, who will preside over the climate summit in Dubai, stated, “These 20 countries account for 80% of global emissions. Hence, this declaration sends a robust signal for climate progress.” [xii]

G20 leaders have reached an agreement to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030 and acknowledged the imperative to reduce coal energy usage. Nevertheless, the G20 has not put forth any concrete plans for altering existing policies and targets to achieve the goal of increasing renewable energy sources. Furthermore, it has been emphasized that a yearly investment of $4 trillion will be required for transitioning to green energy; however, no specific roadmap toward this end has been outlined. [xiii]

In conclusion, the G20 wields significant influence in the global system, both economically and politically. It is no longer solely a platform dominated by Western influence, and in this shift, India has played a substantial role


[i] “G20 Summit Closes with Russia, Brazil and India Boasting Success”, France 24, https://www.france24.com/en/asia-pacific/20230910-g20-summit-closes-with-russia-brazil-and-india-boasting-success, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023).

[ii] “G20 Summit 2023: Member Countries, Leaders, Schedule and Agenda”, Forbes, https://www.forbesindia.com/article/explainers/g20-summit-countries-leaders-schedule-agenda/88051/1, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023)

[iii] “What is the G20 and why Does the Delhi Summit Matter?”, British Broadcasting Corporation News, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-48776664, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023).

[iv] “US Says India is Disappointed Xi and Putin aren’t Attending G-20, but Biden Sees it as an Opportunity” Cable News Network Politics, https://edition.cnn.com/2023/09/08/politics/g20-summit-india-friday/index.html, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023).

[v] What is the G20, Who’s in it and What Happens at its Summits?”, PBS, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/what-is-the-g20-whos-in-it-and-what-happens-at-its-summits, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023).

[vi] “What is the G20 and why Does the Delhi Summit Matter?”, British Broadcasting Corporation News, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-48776664, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023).

[vii] “The G20 Summit Is an Opportunity for Modi and a Test of India’s Global Leadership”, Time, https://time.com/6311246/g20-summit-new-delhi-india-modi-global-south/, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023).

[viii] “G20: How Russia and West Agreed on Ukraine Language”, British Broadcasting Corporation News, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-66768145, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023).

[ix] “Russia Hails G20 a ‘Success’ but Declaration Riles Ukraine”, Cable News Network World, https://edition.cnn.com/2023/09/10/europe/russia-g20-unconditional-success-intl/index.html, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023).

[x] “The African Union is Joining the G20, a Powerful Acknowledgement of a Continent of 1 Billion People”, Associated Press News, https://apnews.com/article/g20-membership-africa-economy-india-ae58459261bc2722b54da422debc5b83, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023).

[xi] “Key Takeaways from the 2023 G20 Summit in New Delhi”, Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/world/key-takeaways-2023-g20-summit-new-delhi-2023-09-10/, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023).

[xii] “Group of 20 Countries Agree to Increase Clean Energy but Reach no Deal on Phasing out Fossil Fuels”, Associated Press News, https://apnews.com/article/india-climate-change-g20-cop28-c25dd753a2f8f520261ec4858b921a1a, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023).

[xiii] “Key Takeaways from the 2023 G20 Summit in New Delhi”, Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/world/key-takeaways-2023-g20-summit-new-delhi-2023-09-10/, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023).

Zeki Talustan GÜLTEN
Zeki Talustan GÜLTEN
Zeki Talustan Gülten graduated from Yalova University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of International Relations in 2021 with his graduation thesis titled "American Foreign Policy" and from Anadolu University, Open Education Faculty, Department of Foreign Trade in 2023. Gülten, who is currently pursuing her Master's Degree with Thesis at Marmara University Institute of Social Sciences, Department of International Relations, was a student at the Faculty of International and Political Studies at Lodz University for a semester within the framework of the Erasmus+ program during her undergraduate education. Working as an Asia-Pacific Research Assistant at ANKASAM, Gülten's main areas of interest are American Foreign Policy, Asia-Pacific and International Law. Gülten is fluent in English.