G7 Summit 2021 takeaways: what were the promises on vaccines, climate change and China?

G7 leaders produced their communique – final statement – at the close of this weekend’s meetings in Cornwall.

Leaders from the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada were hosted by the UK at the G7 Summit.
Leaders from the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada were hosted by the UK at the G7 Summit.

The three-day long G7 leaders summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, ended with a number of shared pledges from member countries.

As is standard, the G7 leaders produced a joint “communique”: a statement outlining the pledges made on the various issues discussed.

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Coronavirus vaccines

Ambitious promises were made by G7 nations on sharing coronavirus vaccines with poorer parts of the world.

The group of leaders pledged at least one billion doses of the vaccine for poorer nations, with half coming from the US and 100 million from the UK.

Some public health leaders, including WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, have said that the pledge doesn’t go far enough/

Around 11 billion doses are required if at least 70 per cent of the world’s population is to be vaccinated by mid-2022.

“We need more and we need them faster,” Tedros said.

Climate crisis

The G7 leaders pledged to reduce their emissions and improve climate finance, saying in the communique:

“We commit to … halving our collective emissions over the two decades to 2030, increasing and improving climate finance to 2025 and to conserve or protect at least 30 percent of our land and oceans by 2030”.

Leaders agreed to raise their financial contributions to meet an overdue spending promise of $100bn annually to help poorer countries cut their carbon emissions.

Environmental groups expressed concern that the pledges didn’t go far enough to match the urgency of the climate crisis, with some saying the plans lacked detail.

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said individual nations were expected to set out the size of the increases “in due course”.

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Coronavirus origins

The seven leaders called for further investigations into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, urging China to cooperate with the UN on a “transparent” second phase probe into the virus’s origins.

“We … call for a timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened Phase 2 COVID-19 Origins study including, as recommended by the experts’ report, in China,” the group said in the communique.

Tax on multinational corporations

In a much-anticipated promise, the G7 leaders agreed on a global minimum corporation tax of at least 15 per cent on multinational companies as a bid to stop them using tax havens abroad.

The proposal will be taken forward to the G20 nations meeting in Italy which will take place next month.

Russia

Though Russia doesn’t belong to the G7, the group leaders demanded the country take action against people from the country conducting cyber attacks, as well as asking for an investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Russia.

“We call on Russia to urgently investigate and credibly explain the use of a chemical weapon on its soil, to end its systematic crackdown on independent civil society and media, and to identify, disrupt, and hold to account those within its borders who conduct ransomware attacks, abuse virtual currency to launder ransoms, and other cybercrimes,” the communique said.

War in Ethiopia

The G7 leaders also called for an end to war in Ethiopa:

“We are deeply concerned by the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and reports of an unfolding major humanitarian tragedy,” said the communique.

“We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas and the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces.”

China

The group said they would work together to address China’s alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, as well as their “non-market economic practices”.

The communique said: “With regard to China, and competition in the global economy, we will continue to consult on collective approaches to challenging non-market policies and practices which undermine the fair and transparent operation of the global economy.”