G7 agrees to increase climate finance, calls on others to join
The Group of Seven nations agreed on June 13 to increase their climate finance contributions and meet an overdue spending pledge of $100 billion a year to help poorer countries, calling on other developed countries to join the effort.
In a copy of a joint communique following a weekend meeting of the world's seven largest advanced economies, the G7 said: "We reaffirm the collective developed countries goal to jointly mobilise $100 billion/year from public and private sources, through to 2025, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation."
"Towards this end, we commit to each increase and improve our overall international public climate finance contributions for this period and call on other developed countries to join and enhance their contributions to this effort."
Biden brought new momentum to G7 talks: Merkel
U.S. President Joe Biden has brought "new momentum" to G7 efforts to tackle global challenges, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on June 13 as the three-day summit wrapped up in Cornwall, southwestern England.
"It’s not like the world no longer has any problems because of the election of Joe Biden as U.S. president," Merkel told reporters.
"But we can work on solutions to those problems with new momentum. And I think it’s very good that we have become more concrete at this G7."
The G7 gathering of leading economies was Biden’s first as U.S. president and touted as an opportunity to rebuild ties after the discord of Donald Trump’s four years in power.
The summit focused heavily on the pandemic fallout and climate change.
Merkel said Biden’s decision to bring the U.S. back to the Paris agreement had made G7 climate discussions "much easier".
Merkel, who held one-on-one talks with Biden during the Cornwall gathering, has been invited to visit the White House on July 15.
The G7 summit was Merkel’s 15th and final one as German chancellor. The veteran leader plans to step down after a general election in September.
Asked whether she had been given any special mementos by her G7 peers to mark her swan song, Merkel said she had "received well-wishes, not gifts".
The G7 - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and United States - were eager to hold their first physical summit since August 2019 to renew ties after the discord of Donald Trump’s four years in power.
Biden has sought to turn the page on his predecessor’s international isolationism, seeking to open a new chapter in the Western alliance after Trump alienated and exasperated it at every turn.
The U.K. government turned to its royals to add a dash of grandeur to the G7 detente, with Queen Elizabeth II and her son Prince Charles hosting a June 11 night reception with G7 leaders and European Union chiefs also attending.
Joined on June 12 by counterparts from Australia, South Africa and South Korea - with India also taking part remotely - they then enjoyed an evening beach barbecue around fire pits, featuring a sea shanty band and toasted marshmallows.
Despite the lighter moments, the summit was largely consumed with the tough task of forging a more comprehensive response to the pandemic.
Leaders agreed on a declaration to help prevent future pandemics and are expected to commit to donating one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries.
However, there they also faced pushback, with critics arguing it provides just a fraction of what is needed to inoculate the world against the virus, which has claimed nearly four million lives globally and is still spawning new variants.
The allies also unveiled U.S.-led plans to counter China in infrastructure funding for poorer nations, promising to "collectively catalyze" hundreds of billions of investment.