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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11:45 a.m. ET, October 30, 2021

US and European leaders say they are "convinced" an Iran nuclear deal can be quickly restored

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

The leaders of the US, France, Germany and Britain said in a joint statement Saturday that they are "convinced that it is possible to quickly reach and implement an understanding on return to full compliance" on the Iran nuclear deal after talks have stalled.

After meeting on the margins of the G20 summit, the leaders said that a return to compliance would "provide sanctions lifting with long-lasting implications for Iran’s economic growth."

"This will only be possible if Iran changes course," the leaders wrote, addressing Iran's new hardline leader, President Ebrahim Raisi. "We call upon President Raisi to seize this opportunity and return to a good faith effort to conclude our negotiations as a matter of urgency. That is the only sure way to avoid a dangerous escalation, which is not in any country’s interest."

11:15 a.m. ET, October 30, 2021

UK PM calls French threats in fishing dispute "completely unjustified" in meeting with EU president

From CNN’s Sarah Dean and Martin Goillandeau

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Joe Biden hold an E3 meeting at the G20 Summit on October 30, in Rome.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Joe Biden hold an E3 meeting at the G20 Summit on October 30, in Rome. Jeff J Mitchell

In a meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome on Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson raised concerns about rhetoric from the French government in recent days over the issue of fishing licenses.

Johnson stressed that French threats were “completely unjustified” and “did not appear to be compatible with the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement or wider international law,” a spokesperson for Downing Street said in a statement.

Johnson “reiterated that the UK has granted 98% of license applications from EU vessels to fish in the UK’s waters and is happy to consider any further evidence for the remaining 2%,” according to the statement.

Johnson and von der Leyen also touched upon on the ongoing disagreements between the UK and the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol, with Johnson welcoming “the constructive talks which have taken place and are continuing between the UK and the EU” over the issue. 

However, Johnson told the EU chief that “substantial gaps remain between [the two parties’] positions, including on the issue of governance, and noted that real progress must be achieved soon,” according to the Downing Street statement.

“The Prime Minister underlined the need to agree solutions rapidly to safeguard the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and reduce disruption to families and businesses in Northern Ireland,” it added.

11:07 a.m. ET, October 30, 2021

Protesters continue to march in Rome amid G20 summit

From CNN’s Ben Wedeman and Chris Liakos

People protest against the G20 on the sidelines of the G20 of World Leaders Summit on October 30, in the district of the Pyramid of Cestius in Rome.
People protest against the G20 on the sidelines of the G20 of World Leaders Summit on October 30, in the district of the Pyramid of Cestius in Rome. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Protesters and climate activists continue to march peacefully in Rome to urge G20 leaders to take action on climate change.

They’re marching, singing, dancing and chanting “Power to the people!” while holding banners reading “You G20, we the future.” There is a heavy police presence in the area. 

Police say they expect 5,000 to 10,000 people to join. Protesters include workers who have lost their jobs from globalization, climate activists, communists, and trade unionists.

Italian authorities have beefed up security, deploying extra police personnel for the duration of the summit as a prevention measure.

Some context: At the G8 summit in Genoa back in 2001, Carlo Giuliani, a 23-year-old Italian protester, was killed by police during riots that broke out.

10:31 a.m. ET, October 30, 2021

UK prime minister says there's "no chance" of stopping climate change at COP26

From CNN's Robert Iddiols

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, visits the Colosseum during the G20 summit on October 30, in Rome.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, visits the Colosseum during the G20 summit on October 30, in Rome. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes “there is no chance of getting an agreement next week to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees,” he said during an interview with British broadcaster ITV on Saturday. 

Johnson spoke to media outlets in Rome ahead of the G20 summit and answered questions on his hopes for the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow due to begin on Sunday. 

“Where we stand today, there is no chance of stopping climate change next week,” Johnson said. “If everybody gets their act together, what we could do is get an agreement that means COP26 in Glasgow is a way station that allows us to end climate change and keep alive that dream of 1.5 degrees.” 

Some context: Six years have passed since the landmark climate agreement in Paris that saw world leaders pledge to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

“We have a moment now when we can try to take some of the nebulous commitments in Paris, solidify them into hard fast commitments to cut emissions, to cut use of coal and so on,” Johnson told ITV. "We want those leaders – more than a hundred of them – coming to our country really to focus on the commitments that they can make."

Speaking inside the ruins of Rome’s ancient Coliseum, Johnson drew a comparison to the fall of the Roman Empire and the climate challenge facing the world today. 

“You could not have a more vivid metaphor for the risks that humanity is running,” Johnson said. “The Romans thought that they were going to on forever, they thought their empire was going to flourish forever, and then, Wham!” 

“The lesson is: things can go backwards,” he said. “Unless we halt that massive growth in temperatures, that’s the risk we run.” 

10:15 a.m. ET, October 30, 2021

All leaders came out in support of global minimum tax at G20 summit

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

All leaders of the G20 came out in support for a global minimum tax during the summit's first session, a senior US administration said. 

"The President emphasized the importance of this historic deal during his intervention," the official said, referring to Biden's turn to speak during the meeting. "The President also mentioned that while we don’t see eye to eye on every issue, we can tackle shared interests."

The new tax scheme will become official when the leaders release a communiqué on Sunday.

The official said Biden also "underscored his commitment to ending the global pandemic and securing an inclusive global economic recovery, including by supporting developing countries through debt relief."

Biden "reminded G20 Leaders that new pandemics can arise any time so it is important that we strengthen global health systems and do more to create the global health security infrastructure to make sure we are prepared against the next pandemic," the official said.

"The President stressed the need for balanced, well-supplied, and competitive global energy markets so we don’t undermine this critical moment of economic recovery," the official said.

 

10:09 a.m. ET, October 30, 2021

Biden is meeting with European leaders on Iran

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Biden has commenced his meeting with European leaders to discuss next steps in negotiations with Iran.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Biden stood shoulder-to-shoulder in front of their nation's flags for a photo spray before the talks started.

When a reporter asked whether he wanted stalled negotiations with Iran to restart, he said, "they're scheduled to resume."

Biden didn't answer any other shouted questions, and the leaders retreated to their conference room after a few seconds.

A senior administration official said ahead of time there wasn't a concrete deliverable from the meeting, describing it instead as an opportunity for the leaders to get on the same page as Tehran continues enriching uranium.

 

9:44 a.m. ET, October 30, 2021

Protesters take to the streets of Rome amid G20 summit

From CNN's Sarah Diab

Climate activists from 'Fridays for Future' take part in a protest against the G20 of World Leaders Summit on October 30, in the district of the Pyramid of Cestius in Rome.
Climate activists from 'Fridays for Future' take part in a protest against the G20 of World Leaders Summit on October 30, in the district of the Pyramid of Cestius in Rome. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of protesters are gathering at Piazzale Ostiense for a march to the Bocca della Verita.

Police say they expect 5,000-10,000 people to join. Protesters included workers who have lost their jobs from globalization (jobs moved abroad), climate activists, communists, and trade unionists.

8:44 a.m. ET, October 30, 2021

Prince Charles will call on G20 leaders to put words into action in climate address on Sunday

From CNN’s Max Foster, James Frater and Martin Goillandeau in London

Prince Charles in Windsor, England on October 19, 2021.
Prince Charles in Windsor, England on October 19, 2021. (Alastair Grant/POOL/Getty Images

Britain’s Prince of Wales will call on G20 leaders to translate their “fine words” on climate into “finer actions” as he addresses the summit in Rome on Sunday. 

Prince Charles received an invite to the G20 directly from Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi and with the backing of UK Prime minister Boris Johnson, a spokesperson for Clarence House told CNN. 

“It is in recognition of the decades of work he has done on the issue of climate change,” Clarence House said in a statement.

Charles' address is expected to be a plea ahead of the COP26 Summit in Glasgow.

The Prince of Wales is expected to say he is “positive” after nearly five decades focusing on the issue but that “we must, now, translate fine words into still finer actions,” the spokesperson said.

Charles will also attend a reception and dinner Saturday hosted by Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinale Palace in Rome.

He will be greeted by Mattarella and his daughter, Laura Mattarella, as well as by Draghi and his wife, Maria Serena Cappello. 

The Prince of Wales will then join leaders for an official photograph before attending the private reception and dinner Saturday evening.

8:01 a.m. ET, October 30, 2021

G20 leaders are endorsing a landmark global minimum tax rate for companies

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

G20 world leaders at the opening session Saturday.
G20 world leaders at the opening session Saturday. (Brendan Smialowski/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

World leaders are endorsing a landmark global tax plan that aims to prevent large companies from shifting profits to avoid paying taxes, a White House official said on Saturday.

The first G20 session on Saturday is on the global economy and pandemic, with its main objective being an endorsement of the global minimum tax.

The measure is one of Biden's chief priorities. His administration believes the move will end the global race-to-the-bottom on corporate tax rates. 

The measure will tax large multinational companies at a minimum rate of 15% and require them to pay taxes in the countries where they do business.

The new rule will be formalized when the leaders release a final G20 communiqué on Sunday -- when the summit ends.

"Today, G20 leaders will support the establishment of a historic global minimum tax. We expect to see the GMT formally endorsed in the Leaders communique on Sunday," the White House official said. 

The Biden administration resuscitated the global initiative earlier this year, securing support of G7 countries in June, which paved the way for a preliminary deal in July.

Another senior administration official calls the measure more than just a tax deal.

It's a reshaping of the rules of the global economy," the official said.

Biden administration officials have downplayed the effect that Democratic infighting around a sweeping bill on infrastructure and spending has on Biden's ability to rally foreign leaders.