G20 2021: who are the G20 countries attending the Rome summit, how is it different from Cop26 - when is it?

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The G20 is composed of most of the world’s largest economies, and convenes once a year with summits involving each member’s head of government or other high-ranking officials

The world could be heading for a new “dark ages” if it fails to tackle global warming, Boris Johnson has warned as he appealed to the world’s leading economies to do more to cut emissions.

The Prime Minister is attending the G20 summit in Rome as key leaders gather in advance of the Cop26 conference, which formally opens on Monday (1 November).

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Standing in Rome’s Colosseum, the Prime Minister likened the impact of unrestricted climate change to the fall of the Roman Empire.

“Civilisation could go backwards and history could go into reverse,” he said in an interview with Channel 4 News.

“Here we are in the Colosseum of Vespasian, the Roman Empire, they weren’t expecting it and they went into reverse. We had a Dark Ages.

“It’s important to remember things can get dramatically worse.”

But what is the G20, and how does it tie in with Cop26?

Here is everything you need to know about it.

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What is the G20?

The G20 (or Group of Twenty) is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union.

Unlike Cop26, which is more directly focused on environmental issues, the G20 works to address major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability and sustainable development.

But of course, since climate change is such a big, overarching issue, it too affects the G20, and climate change mitigation is a major sticking point in each summit’s agenda.

Which countries are involved in the G20?

Founded in 1999 in response to several world economic crises, the G20 is composed of most of the world's largest economies, including both industrialised and developing nations.

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Since 2008, the group convenes at least once a year, with summits involving each member's head of government or other high-ranking officials; the EU is represented by the European Commission and the European Central Bank.

There are 20 members of the group: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Spain is a permanent guest invitee.

A number of key players, including China’s President Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, have said they will not be attending either the G20 or Cop26, although they are expected to send delegations.

When is G20 2021?

The 2021 G20 Rome summit is the sixteenth meeting of the G20, and is scheduled to take place between 30 and 31 October.

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