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Monday, October 18, 2021

Final spurt at the G7 summit: the focus is on fighting climate change

On the last day of the G7 summit in Cornwall, England, the heads of state and government on Sunday mainly deal with the fight against climate change. According to the British government, the leading western economic powers intend to raise US $ 100 billion (around EUR 82.5 billion) annually to finance climate protection in developing countries. A corresponding promise will be made at the end of the G7 summit in the English county of Cornwall, announced hosts Great Britain on Sunday night.

Great Britain wants to use the summit in Cornwall to commit the seven leading Western economic powers to ambitious climate targets. These are then to be agreed on a global level at the UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in November. In addition to Great Britain and the USA, the G7 countries also include Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Canada.

At the conference, for the first time, all seven participating countries had made a commitment to climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest, the British government said. In addition, a commitment to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2010 is to be expected. This was an important step on the way to the UN climate conference in Glasgow in November. The envisaged measures included, among other things, the exit from coal power at the earliest possible point in time, an end to almost all direct state subsidies for fossil fuels abroad and the gradual end for cars with internal combustion engines.
The development organization Oxfam criticized the objectives as insufficient. The Paris climate goals could thus be achieved, but the G7 states “in view of their great responsibility for causing the climate crisis and their prosperity, which is sensational on a global scale (…) must reduce significantly more and more quickly in order to give poorer countries more flexibility in their to create climate-friendly transformation, “said Jörn Kalinski from Oxfam.

The earth has already heated up by around 1.2 degrees compared to pre-industrial times. The fatal consequences: Depending on the region, there are more heat waves and droughts as well as heavy rain, storms, storms and floods.
The eagerly awaited final G7 declaration will probably be fine-tuned until the last minute. It also expects agreements for the joint fight against the corona pandemic and recovery from the economic crisis caused by it, as well as a roadmap for dealing with authoritarian states such as China and Russia. In the afternoon, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will answer journalists’ questions.
In the fight against the pandemic, the G7 countries want to help poorer countries with 2.3 billion vaccine doses by the end of next year, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel . The G7 group has a global responsibility, said Merkel on Saturday on the sidelines of the summit. A final decision was not yet available.
Before the beginning of the summit, host Boris Johnson had set the goal that the group of states should agree on a donation of one billion vaccine doses. It initially remained unclear whether the 2.3 billion vaccine doses mentioned by Merkel were just donations or also exports or the financing of the Covax international vaccination initiative.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had previously criticized Johnson’s billions donation as inadequate. “A billion is very welcome. But obviously we need more than that.” One is “at war with the virus”. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least eight billion vaccine doses are necessary to ensure extensive immunity for 80 percent of the population in countries with low and middle income.
Shortly before the summit, the USA announced that it wanted to provide 500 million cans – 280 million of which are to be delivered by the end of the year, according to dpa information. Britain has pledged 100 million cans by the end of next year. However, these two countries had hardly exported vaccines so far.
For a long time, the EU was the only democratic region in the world that exported corona vaccine on a large scale. According to information from Brussels, around 350 million cans have been exported so far, which corresponds to around half of the total production volume. By the end of the year, the export volume is estimated to double to 700 million cans.
US President Joe Biden met with Chancellor Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Saturday on the sidelines of the summit . In the evening there was also a meeting with Johnson and the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
For Biden it is his first trip abroad as president. On Sunday he will be received by Queen Elizabeth II before he will travel to Brussels for top-level talks with NATO and the EU. A highly anticipated Biden summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled for Wednesday in Geneva.

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