Key Points from the 2021 G7 Summit in Cornwall: Vaccines, Climate Change and China
Updated: Dec 2, 2021
The 2021 G7 meeting took place from June 11th to June 13th in Cornwall, UK, specifically at the Carbis Bay Hotel. In addition to permanent G7 members, three other nations were invited. These were India, South Korea, and Australia.
In this cheat sheet, we will explain what the G7 is, its significance, and what their agenda for this year was.
G7 stands for “Group of Seven”, and is made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the US, and Japan. In 1998, the G7 became the G8 when Russia joined, but was then excluded in 2014 because of its invasion of Crimea. The G7 conducts annual meetings to discuss important global matters that relate to global economic governance, international security, and energy policy.
In 1975, six of the seven nations (excluding Canada) formed the G6 as a means for noncommunist nations to discuss important economic matters that were created by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). One year later, Canada joined to form the G7. The EU became a “non-numerated” member in 1981 and has been represented by the president of the European Council ever since.
The G7 is significant due to its important role in influencing global “trends” and acts as a global leader and important player regarding urgent matters. Every year, an agenda is set to be discussed. Therefore, the point of these annual summits is to make agreements on issues that require a powerful effect on global decision making. So, what was this year’s theme?
The key points discussed at this year’s summit were vaccine distributions, climate change, and China. All nations agreed to distribute a total of 1 billion doses to the world’s poorest countries over the course of next year, with the US overseeing half of the doses. The UK pledged to distribute 100 million doses. To efficiently combat future pandemics, summit members agreed to share data and intelligence, ensure the availability of vaccines, run diagnostic tests within the first 100 days of the pandemic, and employ effective treatments. The UK and US highlighted a possible future alliance between the UK’s UKHSA and the US’s CDC.
Regarding climate change, members of the summit agreed to stop direct government support of energy powered by coal. In addition, they agreed to make a commitment towards conserving 30 percent of their countries’ land and marine areas by 2030. Finally, they restated their commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
G7 members discussed China's growing global dominance. The main issues brought up by the summit were China’s “ethnic cleansing campaigns” against Uyghur Muslims, urging China to help with the investigation regarding the origin of Covid-19, and China’s unfair economic and trade policies. G7 specifically named the Belt and Road Initiative, accusing China of using the initiative as a way to hold nations involved for “ransom”.
A final note
The theme of the summit was about global cooperation to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic through joint efforts in vaccine distribution. In addition, the summit also focused on the importance of finding concrete solutions that could help reduce the effects of global warming. Finally, the growing fear of China’s possible global economic dominance was addressed, thinking that China’s economic plans such as the Belt and Road Initiative are merely debt traps China would potentially use as a weapon against nations involved.
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