The G7 will do more against climate change, provide developing countries with a billion vaccines and act as a bloc against the emerging economic power of China. These are the main results of three days of meetings in Cornwall, England, with the seven largest industrial nations in the West: the United States, Canada, Japan, Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The closing statement (.pdf) was posted this afternoon.
It was agreed to reduce the use of coal worldwide. Not only are countries doing it themselves, but they are also freeing up money for alternatives to using coal in developing countries. By 2030, carbon dioxide emissions must be halved and by 2050 economies must be climate neutral.
As far as the G7 is concerned, coal can only be used if there is a technology to capture emissions. In total, states should raise $100 billion annually for joint climate assistance to poor countries. Countries have not agreed on a specific date for a permanent coal ban.
The G7 also plans to help developing countries with more vaccines. By the end of 2022, participants want to provide 1 billion doses. The International Monetary Fund welcomed the agreement, but said one billion doses was only the beginning.
The main topic of discussion during the summit was China. It was agreed to jointly form a bloc of forces against China, including the initiative of a major infrastructure project in developing countries. In this way, the G7 hopes to counter China’s influence in those countries.
There were also some smaller teasing punches. The G7 has spoken out against forced labor in general, but has put the magnifying glass on China. The group wants to “counter state-sponsored forced labor for vulnerable groups and minorities”. This refers to the forced labor Uyghurs are forced to perform in Xinjiang, western China.
The other six countries in the Group of Seven also backed a call from US President Joe Biden to re-examine the origins of the coronavirus, about which they say China has not provided sufficient clarification. It has also taken a stand against Beijing’s increasing interference in Hong Kong.
sausage from Toulouse
There was no consensus only during the summit. On the sidelines, riots broke out between the United Kingdom and France over Northern Ireland. The status of Northern Ireland was one of the most difficult issues during the Brexit negotiations and continues to lead to tensions.
The stumbling block was now a conversation about sausage. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, but because it shares a border with Ireland, the country still follows many of the EU’s rules. So goods transported from the rest of Great Britain to Northern Ireland must be subject to a check, which is an agreement with the European Union, but these rules are not strictly adhered to.
British Prime Minister Johnson asked French President Macron during the summit how he would feel if sausages from Toulouse were not allowed to be sold in Paris. Macron then said that the comparison did not hold because Toulouse and Paris are located in the same country. According to the British, Macron indicated that Northern Ireland is not part of the United Kingdom.