G7 vows action on Covid, climate change

Updated on Jun 14, 2021 04:43 AM IST

In a final communique issued at their first physical summit in nearly two years, the leaders of the elite club stood by US President Joe Biden’s push to regain the West’s cohesion after Donald Trump’s tumultuous tenure.

Pedestrians, some wearing face coverings due to Covid-19, walk past shops on Oxford Street in central London.(AFP)
Pedestrians, some wearing face coverings due to Covid-19, walk past shops on Oxford Street in central London.(AFP)
Agencies |

G7 leaders on Sunday vowed to start delivering one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines and to step up action on the climate crisis, in a US-led summit call that also took a hard line on China and Russia.

In a final communique issued at their first physical summit in nearly two years, the leaders of the elite club stood by US President Joe Biden’s push to regain the West’s cohesion after Donald Trump’s tumultuous tenure.

“We will harness the power of democracy, freedom, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights to answer the biggest questions and overcome the greatest challenges,” Biden and his colleagues from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan said.

G7 seeks investigation into origin of Covid-19

The seven leaders scolded China over human rights in Xinjiang, called for Hong Kong to keep a high degree of autonomy and demanded a full and thorough investigation of the origin of the coronavirus in China.


“We will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the G7 said. “We also call for a timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened Phase 2 Covid-19 origin study including, as recommended by the experts’ report, in China.”

Separately, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain wants further investigation into the origin of the pandemic. Speaking at the end of the summit, Johnson said , the world needs to “keep an open mind”.

Biden, at a press meet on Sunday, said his fellow leaders agreed that “America is back at the table and fully engaged”. NATO’s mutual defence was a “sacred obligation” for the United States, he added, arguing that democracies were in a “contest with autocracies”.

Johnson, host of the summit in St Ives, Cornwall, earlier described Biden as a “big breath of fresh air” and said on Sunday that the G7 stood united anew in its “democratic values”.

But the pledge on coronavirus vaccines for poorer nations fell far short of the 11 billion doses that campaigners say are needed to end the pandemic.

Likewise, the G7’s pledges to deliver more aid for countries at the sharp end of the climate crisis, and to phase out fossil fuel investments, were decried as too little, too late ahead of a key UN summit in November. “This G7 summit will live on in infamy,” said Max Lawson, head of inequality policy at aid group Oxfam.

Campaigners also complained the G7 failed to flesh out how it will pay for a newly agreed “Nature Compact” - aimed to protect 30% of land and oceans from despoliation by 2030.

In another important pledge, the world leaders said they want to rapidly scale up technologies and policies that will accelerate the transition away from unabated coal capacity, including ending new government support for coal power by the end of this year.

Get Latest World Newsalong with Latest Newsfrom Indiaat Hindustan Times.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, February 05, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals