UK seeks to place climate change and biodiversity at G7 top table

Britain wants to make climate change and biodiversity loss a top priority of its G7 presidency, ahead of key talks this Friday to prepare for the summit.

Online talks are taking place later this week to pave the way for the G7 summit, which is taking place between Friday 11 and Sunday 13 June 2021 at Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

Although the US held the G7 presidency in 2020, the leaders’ meeting was cancelled by President Donald Trump. The last time the G7 leaders met together in person was at the 2019 summit in Biarritz, France.

The UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson has said he wants to use the G7 and COP26 climate talks in November this year to “build back better” from the coronavirus pandemic and “create a greener, more prosperous future”.

Britain, which is chairing the meeting, has said the talks will provide to chance to find “global solutions” to the hammer blow dealt to the world’s economy by the pandemic.

A G7 source has been quoted as saying officials would discuss “how best to shape and respond to the phases of the global recovery from COVID-19” including support for workers and businesses in the near term while ensuring fiscal sustainability in the long term.

Other aides said there would be a discussion on coordinating fiscal stimulus among the G7 countries, which aside from the United States and Britain include Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Canada.

They will also be joined by the heads of their national central banks and the European Central Bank.

According to NGO CAFOD, G7 countries must lead the way in tackling the immediate global health crisis, the economic consequences of the pandemic and the ongoing climate crisis:

“CAFOD is urging G7 leaders to support the poorest nations by cancelling all debt payments owed by low-income countries so that those countries have the money they need to recover and rebuild from the pandemic. This must include debts owed to private lenders.

“Many of the world’s poorest countries are currently having to choose between paying those debts and helping their communities recover from the coronavirus.

“The G7 must also provide support to poorer countries to tackle the immediate health crisis and the economic consequences of the pandemic.

“And the nations at the summit must set out urgent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions given that the countries in the G7 are amongst those with the greatest historic responsibility for the climate crisis. This includes ending all support for fossil fuels and adequate financial support for the hardest hit nations.”