G7 Summit: Coronavirus vaccines and climate at the heart of the debate

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For the first time in almost two years, G7 leaders are meeting today for the first time in a lifetime, seeking common answers to global crises related to pandemics and climate change, starting with the distribution of one billion doses vaccines against covid-19.

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After months of teleconferences, today they return to the discussions around the same table in Cornwall, Britain, while in the evening they will attend a reception given by Queen Elizabeth II and tomorrow Saturday they will have a barbecue on the beach, as described by AMPE.

G7 Summit: Merkel is leaving, Biden is coming

At its meeting G7 Germany, France, Italy, Britain, Canada, Japan and the USA. This will be the first international summit for new US President Joe Biden, who has pledged to follow the path of multilateralism after years of US isolation under the presidency of Donald Trump. For the first time, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi are participating in the G7.

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Instead it will be the last for the German chancellor Angela Merkel and perhaps for French President Emmanuel Macron.

However, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting the summit, will not have the opportunity to shake hands with the leaders of the countries, as due to the covid-19 pandemic the G7 will be held under strict health rules, including daily diagnostics. coronavirus test.

One billion vaccines

The focus of the discussions will be on the recovery of the global economy affected by the pandemic and the fairest distribution of covid-19 vaccines from rich countries, which have already secured the most installments at the expense of the poorest.

In the face of growing calls for solidarity, G7 leaders are expected to agree to offer “at least a billion doses” and increase production capacity to “end the pandemic in 2022,” according to Downing Street.

“The time has come for the most important democracies in the world and the most technologically advanced to take their responsibilities and vaccinate the world, because no one is protected as long as not everyone is protected,” Johnson said.

The United States has already pledged to donate 500 million doses of vaccine and Britain 100 million, mainly through the Covax mechanism.

But they are not enough, according to NGOs: the G7 must approve the suspension of patents for covid-19 vaccines in order to allow mass production. Washington and Paris are in favor of this move, but Germany is the opposite.

“At the current rate, low-income countries will need 57 years to reach the same level of protection as the G7. “It is morally unacceptable but also counterproductive given the risk posed by coronavirus strains,” Oxfam said.

According to Bloomberg, the G7 will request a new study from the World Health Organization on the origin of the coronavirus.

G7 Summit: Marshall Climate Plan

The other priority of the summit will be the fight against it climate change, just before the UN General Conference on Climate Change (COP26), scheduled for November in Scotland.

Johnson aspires to agree on a “Marshall Plan” to help developing countries reduce carbon dioxide emissions, according to the Times, in line with the US plan to fund the reconstruction of post-World War II Europe.

In May, the G7 environment ministers pledged to suspend funding for carbon and carbon dioxide projects as early as this year, but to phase out all subsidies for all fossil fuels. in order to achieve their goals of tackling climate change.

During their meeting yesterday, Biden and Johnson showed a united front against tackling climate change. Although both partners agree on a number of international issues, such as the challenges posed by China and Russia, which will also be discussed during the G7, there is disagreement over the issue of Northern Ireland after Brexit, a thorny issue between Britain. and the EU.

Although Biden has refrained from publicly criticizing the issue, European leaders intend to remind Johnson of their commitment to the agreements that have been signed, which London is trying to challenge.

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