Day 1 of the 2021 G20 summit

By Kara Fox, Adrienne Vogt and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 4:25 p.m. ET, October 31, 2021
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5:17 a.m. ET, October 30, 2021

It's the first in-person G20 summit in years. But not all invitees are in Rome

From CNN's Nic Robertson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at the G20 summit in Rome, Saturday, October 30, 2021.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at the G20 summit in Rome, Saturday, October 30, 2021. (Domenico Stinellis/AP)

The G20 is underway.

Attendees are trickling into Rome's convention center this morning, with the red carpet rolled out for world leaders amid strict Covid-19 protocols.

This summit is the leaders' first face-to-face meeting in two years, after pandemic restrictions meant that everyone attended last year's summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia via video-link.

But not all invitees are in attendance this year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador haven't made the journey to Rome, citing Covid-19 issues at home.

Putin and Xi have said they'll attend the meetings virtually. But their physical absence from the event will likely change the summit's overall tone. Rather than being a meeting of big rivals, the event could be a lot less frosty.

7:27 a.m. ET, October 30, 2021

UN secretary general calls on G20 leaders to deliver on climate commitments

From CNN's Nada Bashir

Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, left, greets United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Saturday, October 30, 2021.
Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, left, greets United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Saturday, October 30, 2021. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images)

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned Friday that the world is “careening towards climate catastrophe,” describing the G20 summit as an opportunity to “put things on track” as world leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 climate conference. 

“There is a serious risk that Glasgow will not deliver. Several recent climate announcements might leave the impression of a rosier picture. Unfortunately, this is an illusion. The current nationally determined contributions, formal commitments by governments, still condemn the world to a calamitous 2.7 degree increase,” Guterres said. 

"I think we are still on time to put things on track, and I think this G20 meeting is the opportunity to do that,” he continued, adding that the summit is an opportunity for world leaders to ensure that the upcoming COP26 climate conference will have “the right results.”

Speaking during a news briefing in Rome on the eve of the G20 summit, Guterres also called on wealthy nations to uphold commitments to provide funding to help developing nations confront the climate crisis. 

"Ambition on climate finance includes making good on the commitment to provide 100 billion US dollars each year to developing countries,” Guterres said. 

“I welcome efforts led by Canada and Germany to help us get us there. It is a first step, but it delays the largest support for years without clear guarantees,” he added. 

 

4:13 a.m. ET, October 30, 2021

The first day of the G20 summit kicks off today. Here's a look at some key events.

G20 summit begins today.
G20 summit begins today. (Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images)

The G20 summit kicks off today in Rome, with climate change, the global economy and the Covid-19 pandemic high on the agenda for this weekend's talks.

Here's a look at today's expected agenda:

  • Leaders will begin arriving to La Nuvola, Rome's convention center this morning.
  • Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will kick off the summit with an opening ceremony.
  • Leaders will gather for a "family" photo around 11:40 a.m. local (6:40 a.m. ET). The first plenary session will begin shortly after.
  • US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet to discuss resuming negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) and about shared concerns on Iran's nuclear program later this afternoon.
  • An official dinner will close out the night.
4:21 a.m. ET, October 30, 2021

Here's what to expect from Biden's participation at the G20 summit, according to the White House

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

On Friday, ahead of the G20 summit, President Joe Biden met Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi at the Chigi palace in Rome.
On Friday, ahead of the G20 summit, President Joe Biden met Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi at the Chigi palace in Rome. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

On Saturday and Sunday, President Biden will attend G20 events and sessions focused on the main elements of the international economy and international issues.

The President may also hold meetings with other world leaders on the margins of the summit to discuss supply chain issues, energy prices and the Iranian nuclear program, Sullivan said.

The President then heads to Glasgow for COP26, a UN climate summit. The President will give a major address on climate as part of the summit. He will also meet with leaders on the margin of that summit to discuss a range of issues, including the Build Back Better World initiative that was announced at the Group of Seven summit earlier this year.

At both summits, Biden and European partners are expected to discuss coordinating policies on Iran, supply chains and global infrastructure efforts.

"The trip is going to give the President an opportunity to advance some of his highest affirmative priorities on behalf of the American people," Sullivan said on Tuesday. "You're going to see first hand in living color what foreign policy for the middle class is all about."

Biden will "cement progress on the global minimum tax," Sullivan said. G7 finance ministers agreed in June to back Biden's sweeping overhaul of global tax system, including a global minimum tax of at least 15% on multinational companies.

The President will also be "laser focused on supply chains and energy prices because he knows that these issues impact working families here in America," Sullivan said.

"In advancing the Build Back Better World initiative, the B3W initiative, he will show how a high standards climate friendly alternative to the Belt and Road Initiative can help American firms and American workers compete globally on every aspect of infrastructure, from physical to digital to health," Sullivan said.

The Belt and Road Initiative is Chinese President Xi Jinping's signature global infrastructure policy. The Chinese President will not be attending the summit.

Sullivan said: "I would just point out that we see no contradiction between pursuing ambitious and aggressive actions to meet this pivotal moment when it comes to the climate crisis and supporting a sustained and swift economic recovery that delivers security and opportunity for the American people."

Biden has pledged to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% below its 2005 emissions by 2030.

Former President Barack Obama will also be attending COP26, but will not overlap with Biden, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.