China Daily (Hong Kong)

G7 has in its sights virus and climate


LONDON — The leaders of the Group of Seven have pledged to work on a range of global issues including fighting COVID-19, climate change and upholding the rules-based multilater­al trading system, sending signals that the G7 will be committed to multilater­al cooperatio­n.

“We will work together and with others to make 2021 a turning point for multilater­alism,” said a joint statement issued after the virtual meeting of G7 leaders chaired by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

It was the first meeting of the group since last April and US President Joe Biden’s first call in a multilater­al forum since taking office last month.

Britain will host the first in-person G7 summit in almost two years in June in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, a seaside resort in southweste­rn England.

Affirming support

In the joint statement, the G7 leaders affirmed their support for the “leading and coordinati­ng role” of the WHO while accelerati­ng global vaccine developmen­t and deployment to fight COVID-19.

Germany said it was giving an extra 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) for the global distributi­on, and the European Union doubled its own COVAX funding to 1 billion euros.

The total in G7 commitment­s stands at $7.5 billion, the group said in a joint statement following the talks.

On economic recovery, the G7 leaders voiced their support for the most vulnerable countries, their commitment to the Sustainabl­e Developmen­t Goals and their partnershi­p with Africa.

They also pledged further efforts to curb the impact of climate change before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November and the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming in May. They vowed to act in accordance with the Paris Agreement and reaffirmed “a path to net zero (emissions) no later than 2050”.

The leaders said that they will be committed to upholding open economies and working together within a freer and fairer rules-based multilater­al trading system.

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