G7 Summit 2021: G7 leaders agree to stick to 1.5°C temp rise, call for probe into COVID-19 origins

All G7 leaders, for the first time, also agreed to align their long-term and short-term climate goals in a manner that keeps the 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming threshold within reach.

Created On: Jun 14, 2021 17:50 ISTModified On: Jun 14, 2021 17:51 IST
G7 Summit 2021

The G7 Summit 2021 summit was hosted by the United Kingdom from June 11-13, 2021 at Carbis Bay, Cornwall. The UK holds the Presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) this year. 

During the summit, the first in-person meeting of the G-7 leaders after the outbreak of COVID-19, the G7 leaders agreed to a set of concrete actions to accelerate the global transition away from coal generation as part of efforts to combat the climate crisis.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in two outreach sessions of the G7 Summit through virtual mode on climate change and open societies. He shared that India is the only G20 country on track to meet its Paris commitments. 

G7 Summit 2021 Theme: ‘Build Back Better'

The G7 Summit 2021 Theme was 'Build Back Better' and the G7 leaders agreed on a shared vision to #BuildBackBetter for:

1. Economic recovery and jobs

2. Free and fair trade

3. Protection of global health

4. Climate and environment

5. Gender equality 

6. Global responsibility and international action

G7 leaders commit to stick to 1.5°C climate target

• All G7 leaders, for the first time, also agreed to align their long-term and short-term climate goals in a manner that keeps the 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming threshold within reach.

• They signed a landmark joint commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 (latest) and keeping a 1.5°C temperature rise within reach.

• The leaders also resolved to strengthen adaptation and resilience to protect people from the impacts of climate change and halt and reverse biodiversity loss and mobilise finance and leverage innovation to reach these goals.

• US President Joe Biden committed to advance policies domestically that will achieve carbon-pollution-free energy in electricity generation by 2035.

G7 leaders agree to accelerate global transition from coal generation

• The G7 leaders, while recognizing that unabated coal power generation is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions globally, agreed to commit to an end to new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of this year.

• The joint efforts by the US, UK, Canada and Germany will include a new collective commitment to provide up to USD 2 billion to support the Climate Investments Funds focused on accelerating the transition from coal for key developing countries while investing in technology, job training and infrastructure etc 

• The world leaders will also be launching the G7 Industrial Decarbonization Agenda, which is a first-of-its-kind platform that will aim to accelerate innovation, deploy decarbonisation technology and harmonise standards. 

• They will also emphasise sectoral decarbonisation in power, transport, agriculture, and buildings.

Build Back Better World partnership

• G7 leaders also launched the 'Build Back Better World' (B3W) partnership to meet the infrastructure needs of low and middle-income countries as part of efforts to counter China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

• The leaders have decided to launch a democratic alternative to the Belt and Road Initiative and have agreed to put together a committee for the same.

• The initiative will give developing countries access to more, better and faster financing for vital green infrastructure projects.

• The scope of the initiative will range from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa to the Indo-Pacific. 

G7 call out human rights violations in Xinjiang, Hong Kong

• The G7 leaders explicitly agreed to call out the human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang region and Hong Kong.

• They pledged to promote shared values by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Xinjiang, where it is accused of committing serious human rights abuses on the minority Uyghur Muslim community and in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong. 

• The G7 leaders stated in the Carbis Bay communique that they recognise the particular responsibility of the largest countries and economies in upholding the rules-based international system and international law.

• With regard to China and competition in the global economy, the leaders said that they 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.

• At the same time, they will promote their values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. 

All the G7 leaders along with guest countries India, Australia, South Korea and South Africa pledged to:

-Promote shared values as open societies in the international system

-Increase cooperation on supporting democracy

-Strengthen media freedom

-Address human rights abuses

-Recognise the need for action on corruption

The leaders also spoke about the conflict situations in Ukraine, Belarus, Ethiopia, Chad, Mali and Afghanistan. 

On Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, they noted that a sustainable, inclusive political settlement is the only way to achieve a just and durable peace that benefits all Afghans. 

The leaders reiterated their support to the Afghan government to address the country's urgent security and humanitarian needs and to help the people of Afghanistan, including women, young people and minority groups, as they seek to preserve hard-won rights and freedoms.

G7 call for probe into origins of COVID-19

• All G7 leaders have called for a "timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened" investigation into the origins of COVID-19, including in China, as recommended by the experts' report.

• The leaders, in the Carbis Bay communique, stressed on strengthening transparency and accountability. They also reiterated their commitment to the full implementation of the International Health Regulations 2005. 

• This includes investigating and reporting about outbreaks of unknown origin. 

• They also called for a timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened Phase-2 COVID-19 Origins study including in China.

• The origin of COVID-19 is a mystery even now, after over 1.5 years since the first case of infection was reported in China's Wuhan city.

G7 Vaccine Pledge

• The G7 Summit nations have pledged to provide at least 1 billion coronavirus vaccine doses to the world through dose sharing and financing during the summit. The United States will be providing about half of those doses. 

• The UK PM Boris Johnson also pledged to donate about 100 million surplus coronavirus vaccine doses to the world within the next year.

• Among these, 5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses will be made available by the end of September for use in the world’s poorest countries. These vaccine doses are expected to meet the immediate demand for vaccines in the countries worst affected by coronavirus without delaying the completion of their initial domestic vaccination programme.

• The remaining 95 million doses will be made available within the next year, including 25 million by the end of 2021. Around 80 percent of these 100 million vaccine doses will go to COVAX and the remainder will be shared bilaterally with countries in 

India at G7

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the G7 summit virtually due to the current pandemic situation in the country. UK PM Boris Johnson was understanding and supportive of his decision, informed P Harish, Additional Secy (Economic Relations) MEA.

• P Harish further stated that this was the first time that India was engaged in ministerial & working-level tracks as a guest country. 

• He said that India's engagement was fruitful, productive that he hopes to take forward the engagement in various initiatives including in the run up to COP26.

• PM Modi spoke in 2 sessions on climate change and open societies. On climate change, the Prime Minister called for collective action, recognizing that this challenge can't be protected or addressed by countries acting in silos. 

• He also shared that India is the only G20 country on track to meet its Paris commitments. 

• The Prime Minister further highlighted the need for open and democratic societies to work together and strengthen each others' hands to defend the value that they hold dear and to respond to the increasing challenges.

• PM Modi also called for the reform of the multilateral system as the best signal of commitment to the cause of Open Societies. 

• PM Modi further sought the strong support of the G7 leaders for India and South Africa's proposal for a TRIPS waiver at WTO. His call was strongly echoed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

• Australian PM also expressed strong support for TRIPS waiver. The Director General of WTO & UN Secretary-General also identified TRIPS waiver as an important element of the global vaccination plan, a roadmap to vaccinate the entire global population by doubling vaccine production.

• This was the second time that PM Modi participated in a G7 meeting since 2014. India had earlier been invited by France to participate in the 2019 G7 Summit as a “Goodwill Partner”. 

• The United States had also invited India to attend the G7 Summit in 2020 under its Presidency. But the summit did not happen due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the outcome of the US Elections. 

• Before 2014, India attended the G8 Summit five times. However, G8 became G7 again in March 2014 after the suspension of Russia following its annexation of Crimea in Ukraine. 

G7 Summit 2021

The G7 Summit 2021 began formally on June 11, 2021 as the leaders of the world's most advanced economies gathered on the Cornish coast for the first time since the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic. 

The UK is the current President of G7. This is the 7th time that the UK is heading the G7. 

G7 Summit 2021 Countries

The G7 is a Group of Seven nations including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Italy and France. The United Kingdom, which holds the group's presidency this year has invited India, Australia, the Republic of Korea and South Africa, as guest countries for the Summit. The meetings will be held in hybrid mode.

Who attended G7 2021?

The G7 Summit 2021 was attended in person by US President Joe Biden, UK PM Boris Johnson, Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau, Japan’s pm Yoshihide Suga, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Italy’s Mario Draghi.

The European Union was represented by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.

Indian PM Narendra Modi, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and South African president Cyril Ramaphosa attended the G7 outreach sessions on June 12 and June 13 in a virtual format due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

What is the G7?

The Group of Seven (G7) countries bring together some of the world’s richest democracies - the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy, along with representatives of the EU.

 

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