G-7 Members at June 2021 Summit Photo: SkyNews

G-7 Countries pledge 1bn extra COVID-19 shots for global vaccinations

*The Group of Seven (G-7) leaders at a recent summit promised to deliver at least 1 billion extra doses of the Coronavirus Vaccines over the next year

*Pledge to provide $100 billion a year to the world’s poorest countries to back their energy transitions and each committed to increase their contributions

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As part of the renewed global efforts ensuring vaccine equity for all sorts of people worldwide towards bringing an end to the damaging pandemic, the Group of Seven (G-7) leaders at a summit have promised to deliver at least 1 billion extra doses of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccines over the next year.

The G-7 in the final communiqué, worked to revitalise cooperation between some of the world’s most powerful economies, after a period during former United States President Donald Trump’s administration when such documents were often done away with.

COVID-19 Vaccines

ConsumerConnect reports the 47th G-7 summit held June 11-13, 2021, in Cornwall in the United Kingdom (UK), while it holds the Presidency of the bloc.

The participants in the conference included the leaders of the seven G-7 member-states as well as representatives of the European Union (EU).

The summit featured a robust debate behind closed doors over how direct the language related to China should be, especially a push to set up a task force to flesh out proposals for an infrastructure programme to rival Beijing’s flagship project, Blooberg report stated.

That back-and-forth reportedly saw the US coming in strongly, with the document containing the toughest set of words that were on the table.

The leaders’ final document cited China explicitly on human rights issues in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, but did not mention Beijing in a section on forced labour practices, report noted.

The G-7 leaders, however, agreed to language condemning Russia for “destabilising behaviour”, and called on Moscow to pursue hackers carrying out ransomware attacks from the country.

The development was said to have come ahead of US President Joe Biden’s meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia, in Geneva, Wednesday, June 16.

It is also noted that with many goals already achieved, the summit fell short on two aims: raising more new money for vaccines and climate action.

In a more detailed analysis of the issued communiqué, leaders have set themselves the goal of ending the pandemic next year, which they say will require vaccinating at least 60 percent of the global population.

This target is a revision of an earlier version of the communiqué, which had indicated jabbing 80 percent of adults as the target to reach.

Report added that a flagship commitment the United Kingdom (UK) trumpeted on the first day of the summit to provide one billion additional COVID-19 Vaccine doses to the world’s poorest countries, has also been recast to include exports and doses that have been previously provided, including to the COVAX scheme.

Collectively since the start of the pandemic, the G-7 countries will have provided for over 2 billion doses, the communiqué says.

That overall figure includes 700 million doses that have been exported or will be this year.

On top of these, the G-7 is committing to directly share at least 870 million doses.

The G-7 also called “for a timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened Phase 2 COVID-19 Origins study including, as recommended by the experts’ report, in China.”

In term of human rights, there was less dilution in spite of much haggling, with the communiqué “calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms, and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.”

An official involved with the talks during the summit said there was agreement on a three-thronged approach to Beijing: cooperate on issues such as climate change, compete on trade and supply chains and disagree on human rights.

The document also raises concerns “about the situation in the East and South China Seas” where the G-7 opposes “any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions.”

The Russia section of the communiqué was done and dusted before the summit even started, according to documents report quoted.

No debate there on the communiqué, though Moscow was a key topic in foreign policy discussions.

It says: “We reiterate our interest in stable and predictable relations with Russia, and will continue to engage where there are areas of mutual interest.

“We reaffirm our call on Russia to stop its destabilising behaviour and malign activities, including its interference in other countries’ democratic systems, and to fulfill its international human rights obligations and commitments.”

G-7 Drops plan to shift new car sales away from oil by 2030

While the G-7 committed to ending international funding for carbon-intensive fossil fuel energy as soon as possible and speeding up the exit from coal as they “overwhelmingly decarbonise” their domestic electricity sectors in the 2030s, they weren’t able to agree on a firmer date due to resistance from one group member, according to report.

It was learnt that the area where the summit probably falls shortest is on climate finance objectives.

The leaders renewed a pledge to provide $100 billion a year to the world’s poorest countries to back their energy transitions and each committed to increase their contributions, but it makes little mention of exactly how much new funding each will put in.

The communiqué: “We welcome the commitments already made by some of the G-7 to increase climate finance and look forward to new commitments from others well ahead of COP26 in Glasgow.”

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