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G7 leaders summit – vaccines, climate and finance – E3G reaction

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses for a family photograph with US President Joe Biden, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France's President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel during the G7 Leaders summit in Carbis Bay. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses for a family photograph with US President Joe Biden, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel during the G7 Leaders summit in Carbis Bay. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street
  • UK and Italian COP26 ambition is on a knife edge as G7 leaders fail to match domestic climate ambition with vaccine solidarity and finance for COVID recovery and climate change.
  • On the ‘Build Back Better for the World’ plan, E3G experts welcome the G7 talking about serious support to developing countries onto a path of green and sustainable development. However, until a strong capital package is in place the full scale of investment needed won’t happen.
  • E3G experts caution the geopolitical implications of a G7 summit mired in Brexit differences and escalating US-China tensions.

Story 

The G7 have wrapped up climate and nature discussions on Day 3 of the leaders’ summit in Cornwall.  Despite strong signals on the need to end coal to limit warming to 1.5C, they haven’t delivered vaccine and finance solidarity to bring the rest of the world on board. 

They agreed a disappointing outcome on vaccine equity. Despite reiterating their commitment to meeting the overdue $100bn a year in climate finance promised to developing countries, only small amounts of new cash are expected on the table today. A $2bn commitment to enable poorer countries to transition out of coal strengthens the signal on ending public finance support for coal, heaping pressure on China. But the G7 failed to deliver the significant capital package needed to drive a true global green recovery. 

The ‘Build Back Better for the World’ plan could be an ambitious sustainable infrastructure investment plan for developing countries to make their recovery from the Covid pandemic climate smart and resilient. However, the G7 have provided no details this weekend. To have impact it will require a strong G7 capital package that can shift investment in developing countries from billions to trillions. To make this a reality will require more dialogue with developing countries and a thoughtful approach to working with and alongside China.  

It remains highly disappointing that Leaders have not demonstrated building back better at home with a commitment to ambitious coordinated standards to enable domestic green recoveries. This leaves the challenge to drive global effort for a green, healthy, just recovery to the G20. G7 countries need to support Draghi’s diplomacy and efforts to forge a new global cooperation on vaccines and climate. The geopolitical signals from the sidelines of the summit on competition with China and Brexit tensions only add to the challenge. 

Quotes 

Nick Mabey, E3G chief executive said: 

“G7 Leaders made some credible progress on climate action but failed to back this up with enough financial firepower to tackle the global COVID, economic & climate crises. This G7 leaves the success of COP 26 on a knife edge. Johnson and Draghi, as hosts of COP26 and the G20, need to bring G7 Leaders back together in the Autumn to put the financial muscle behind today’s warm words.” 

Julian Havers – E3G’s Public Banks expert said: 

The G7 launch of the Build Back Better World B3W initiative is a step forward to rebuild  international cooperation with the global south ahead of COP26. To become workable it needs a strong capital package and a thoughtful approach on working with and alongside China. The G7 needs to work on a plan to set in motion a revamp of multilateral development banks to make them fit for purpose for the low-carbon transition”.  

Jennifer Tollmann, E3G climate diplomacy and Geopolitics expert said: 

“The U.K. G7 failed to build the consensus needed to deliver success COP 26 – let alone put the money where developing country partners needs are. The baton now passes to the EU to build joint climate leadership with the US & support Italy in using the G20 to deliver what is needed. the June 15 EU-US summit needs to provide clarity on how the EU and US will close the solidarity gap – on vaccines, green recovery and climate adaptation and impacts.” 

Chris Littlecott – E3G’s coal expert said: 

“The G7 had never before explicitly addressed the challenge of coal exit. This year it has gone all the way to the top, with leaders agreeing to accelerate the exit from coal as they ‘overwhelmingly decarbonise’ their domestic electricity sectors during the 2030s. And they are jump-starting the global transition through ceasing international public finance for new coal plants plus providing billions of dollars to support coal retirement in developing countries. There is much more to do, but this package is a strong foundation to build from.” 

Luca Bergamaschi, Co-Founder of the Italian think tank ECCO said 

 “All eyes are on Draghi now to forge new global cooperation around vaccine and climate through the G20. It’s disappointing Italy came empty-handed on climate finance, but it can and must catch up and rally other countries in Venice in July and Rome in October. That’s the last chance for Italy and for COP26.” 

Alden Meyer, E3G US expert said 

“President Biden leaves Cornwall with plenty of homework to do before COP 26. Ramp up US climate finance in line with other developed countries, drive the reforms needed at the World Bank and other MDBs, and put some flesh on the bones of the ‘Build Back Better for the World’ initiative. Time is short, and what’s needed is real action, not more green rhetoric.” 

 Byford Tsang, E3G China expert said 

“While the G7 leaders’ assertive position on China is a reflection of the current geopolitical climate, the G7 should  work alongside China in supporting green recovery in developing countries. The B3W should drive a race to the top on infrastructure based on high standards instead of deepening a strategic competition.” 

Dileimy Orozco, E3G Sustainable Finance expert said 

“Delivering a global recovery, including for their own economies, requires considerable additional resources. Whilst there is some welcome progress on climate, the G7 is not deploying anywhere near enough financial muscle to deliver the recovery and the change required at the scale and pace which is desperately need for global prosperity” 

German Quotes 

Julian Havers, Projektleiter für Public Banks  

“Großbritanniens Premier Johnson fokussiert sich auf geopolitisches Stellungsspiel mit China – mit nur mäßigem Mehrwert für die internationale Klimapolitik. Nun liegt es an Deutschland und der EU, Initiativen wie „Build, Back, Better for the World“ mit Blick auf tatsächlichen Nutzen für die Entwicklungsländer auszugestalten und mit konkreten Zahlen zu hinterlegen.”

Jennifer Tollmann, Expertin (Senior Policy Advisor) für Klimadiplomatie und Geopolitik 

“Großbritannien ist es heute nicht gelungen, die für den Klimamultilateralismus unabdingbare Vertrauensgrundlage
wiederherzustellen. Hierfür ist das Geld einfach nicht geliefert worden – weder für den internationalen grüneren Wiederaufbau, noch für die Klimaanpassung. Der Staffelstab geht nun an die EU über, um eine neue transatlantische Partnerschaft für Klimaschutz aufzubauen. Nur dann kann auf dem europäischen G20 Gipfel in Rom ein internationaler Durchbruch gelingen, der 1,5 Grad in Reichweite hält und Fortschritt auf der November UN Klimakonferenz ermöglicht.”

Available for comment 

E3G experts (expertise in brackets) are available for commentary – please contact them directly:  

Nick Mabey, E3G Chief Executive (COP26, UNFCCC, geopolitics, UK politics) 
m: +44 (0)7949 768 771, nick.mabey@e3g.org 

Jennifer Tollmann, Climate Diplomacy & Geopolitics expert, (COP26, geopolitics, EU/German politics, EU-US summit) 
m: +49 (0)151 7301 9723, jennifer.tollmann@e3g.org 

Sima Kammourieh, Head of Better Recovery, (Sustainable Finance) 
m: +49 (0)151 17604965, sima.kammourieh@e3g.org   

Dileimy Orozco, Sustainable Finance expert 
m: +44 (0)7867 301 615, dileimy.orozco@e3g.org 

Julian Havers, Public Banks and Just Transition Lead 
m: +49 (0)1602 120 435, julian.havers@e3g.org   

Chris Littlecott, Fossil Fuel Transition Director, (Coal) 
m: +44 (0)7920 461 812, chris.littlecott@e3g.org 

Claire Healy, Washington DC Director, (COP26, geopolitics, US politics) 
m: +1-202 420 0628, claire.healy@e3g.org 

Byford Tsang, China Expert, (Geopolitics) 
m: +44 (0)7508 759 872, byford.tsang@e3g.org 

Alden Meyer, Senior Associate, E3G (COP26, G20, geopolitics, US policy) 
m: +1 (202) 378-8619, Alden.Meyer@e3g.org 

Luca Bergamaschi, co-Founder ECCO (Italy, G20) 
m: +393383480807, luca.bergamaschi@eccoclimate.org     

ENDS 

Notes to Editors 

  • E3G is an independent climate change think tank accelerating the transition to a climate safe world. E3G specialises in climate diplomacy, climate risk, energy policy and climate finance. -> About 
  • For further enquiries email press@e3g.org or phone +44 (0)7783 787 863 

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