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Leaders of the G-7, a group of the world’s largest so-called advanced economies, issued a joint statement on Sunday promising to enact measures on Covid-19 vaccines, China and global corporate tax.
After meeting at the seaside resort of Carbis Bay in Cornwall, England, the leaders pledged to get an additional 1 billion doses of the Covid vaccine over the next 12 months, either directly or through the COVAX program of the ‘World Health Organization.
Sunday’s statement also called on China “to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially with regard to Xinjiang and the rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong enshrined in the Joint Declaration. Sino-British and the Basic Law ”.
The G-7 pledged to wipe out its contribution to the climate emergency, reaffirming its commitment to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and pledging to phase out most coal-fired power plants. He also supported a minimum tax of at least 15% on large multinational companies to prevent companies from using tax havens to avoid taxes, a US-led initiative.
But critics say the promises weren’t new, lacked detail, and some were clearly insufficient.
“G7 leaders have totally failed to address the challenges the world is facing,” said Nick Dearden, director of the Global Justice Now campaign group. “After a weekend of diplomacy, all they did was repeat their own inadequate climate goals and fail to meet their own inadequate goals for global immunization. “
“This G7 has been an exercise in unnecessary demagoguery without making substantial progress in resolving the crises in our lives. This summit proves without a doubt that the G7 is not suited to its objectives, ”said Dearden.
The G-7 is made up of the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. The EU, which sends the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council, also participates. Australia, India and South Korea have also been invited to participate this year.
“The cracks are still there”
The press release did not present a detailed country-by-country commitment or timetable for action on the global Covid vaccination campaign, and many commitments had been agreed in advance.
In a note released Monday, Paul Donovan, chief economist at UBS Global Wealth Management, called the G-7 a “selfie summit.”
“The main focus of the G7 meeting (the opportunity to take pictures) seemed to be going well. The rest of the meeting expertly covered up the gaps in public opinion, ”he wrote.
Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe”, Donovan added, “We haven’t had the same kind of direct and significant impact. We have had a lot of vague statements. “
“The cracks may not be that deep this time around due to the change of leadership in the United States and the fact that the United States is playing a more active role, but the cracks are still there,” he said. declared.
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A number of groups have pushed for the lifting of certain intellectual property rights over Covid vaccines and treatments, including the WHO, health experts, former world leaders and international medical charities.
India and South Africa jointly submitted a proposal to the World Trade Organization in October last year, calling for the need for policymakers to facilitate the manufacture of Covid treatments locally and boost the campaign. world immunization.
Several months later, the proposal was blocked by a small number of governments – including the EU, UK, Switzerland, Japan, Norway, Canada, Australia and Brazil.
The success of COP26 “is at stake”
“This is a partial plan and not a Marshall plan,” Watt said, arguing that G-7 leaders had failed to make real progress on aid pledges, the global debt relief, climate finance and “vaccine apartheid”.
“The success of the COP26 climate summit is now at stake. There is still time for rich countries to provide a solidarity package that tackles these interconnected crises. Without it, the COP will fail. “
Policymakers are under increasing pressure to deliver on promises made under the 2015 Paris Agreement ahead of this year’s COP26, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in early November.