Finally back in person. But there is no question for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose country is chairing the G7 this year, to shake hands with heads of state and government upon their arrival, because the fight against Covid-19 is not over. For three days, from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 June, anearly months of videoconferences, G7 leaders gather around the table to discuss global issues.
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The pandemic and the climate emergency will be at the center of discussions in the seaside resort of Carbis Bay, in the south-west of the United Kingdom, where the heads of state of Italy, Germany, France, Britain, Canada, Japan and the United States as well that the summit guests, namely Australia, India, South Korea and the European Union, will debate. Franceinfo summarizes the challenges of this 47th summit.
Speed up vaccination against Covid-19
The more equitable sharing of vaccines against Covid-19 will occupy the heads of state gathered for the G7. So far, the rich countries have monopolized a maximum of doses to the detriment of the poorest. To date, only 2% of doses administered worldwide have been in Africa, according to the WHO. Emmanuel Macron thus wants the G7 to commit to the goal of 60% of Africans vaccinated by the end of March 2022.
Faced with the multiplication of calls for solidarity, leaders should agree to provide “at least a billion doses” and increase production capacities, with the objective of “end the pandemic in 2022”, according to the British government.
The United States has pledged to give 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the British 100 million, which will be distributed in 92 countries, in particular via the Covax device. On the French side, Emmanuel Macron called on pharmaceutical companies to give 10% of the doses sold.
According to the Bloomberg agency, the G7 will also call for a new WHO investigation into the origin of the coronavirus.
Commit to a climate “Marshall plan”
The other essential stake of this summit, which wants to display a neutral carbon footprint, is the fight against global warming, before the major UN climate conference (COP26) scheduled for November in Scotland. Ahead of the summit’s launch, Boris Johnson and Joe Biden displayed a united front on the climate emergency, approving a new “Atlantic Charter”.
Like the massive American funding for European reconstruction after the Second World War, the British Prime Minister also wishes to urge the leaders of the G7 to support a new “Marshall plan” vslimatic to help developing countries decarbonize their economies, reports the Times (paid article, in English).
In May, the G7 environment ministers pledged to stop public aid to coal-fired power plants this year, also promising “ambitious and accelerated efforts” to reduce their CO2 emissions.
Renew strategic ties
It is the first G7 of US President Joe Biden, embarked on the path of multilateralism after the isolationist years of Donald Trump. And he has a clear objective: to rally the democracies of the world, as he explained in a column published in the Washington post (paid item, in English). The leader of the world’s leading power wants to ensure that on major strategic subjects, such as the pandemic, defense, climate, trade, technology or even the taxation of multinationals, the rules of the 21st century are written by democracies and not by China or Russia.
Lately the Covid-19 pandemic has shown how “China conditions the world”, recalled the economist Philippe Waechter, in an interview given to franceinfo. In 20 years, it has become the second largest economy in the world. As for Russia, Joe Biden is due to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Poutin in Geneva on June 16, with the ambition, according to International Courier (paid item), ofto prevent Russia from falling definitively into the Chinese camp.