CARBIS BAY, England (AP) — British
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
says the Group of Seven
wealthy nations have pledged more than a billion coronavirus vaccine
doses for poorer countries.
Johnson said the doses would be delivered both directly and through the international COVAX
program at the end of a G-7
leaders' summit in southwest England
World Health Organization
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
and other public health
officials praised the vaccine pledge but said it was insufficient; to truly end the pandemic
, he said, at least 70% of the world's population must be vaccinated by mid-2022.
“We need more, and we need them now,” Tedros said.
After their three-day summit, which Johnson hosted, the Group of Seven leaders are expected to make additional commitments.
, the United Kingdom
, and the United States
are the members of the G-7.
will be a major focus of the leaders' final day of talks on Sunday, and the group is expected to announce new financing measures to assist poorer countries in reducing carbon emissions
The “Build Back Better for the World” plan will promise to offer infrastructure
financing — “from railways in Africa to wind farms in Asia” — to help accelerate the global transition to renewable energy
, in response to China
’s “belt and road” initiative, which has increased Beijing
’s global influence.
According to climate activists and analysts, the G-7 should prioritize the creation of a $100 billion annual fund to assist poor countries in dealing with the effects of global warming
All G-7 countries have committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but many environmentalists believe that will be too little, too late.
Naturalist David Attenborough
delivered a video message to the world leaders on Sunday, warning that humanity is “on the verge of destabilizing the entire planet.”
“If that is the case, then the decisions we make this decade — especially those made by the most economically advanced nations — will be the most important in human history,” the veteran documentary
Oxfam International's head of inequality policy, Max Lawson, welcomed plans to increase investment to assist poor countries in reducing their carbon footprints, but added that "it does not help the poor people
who are being hit by climate change right now."
“So, yes, it’s probably a good thing,” he said, “but is it enough?”
Large crowds of surfers and kayakers took to the sea in a mass protest
Saturday to call for better ocean
protections, while thousands marched outside the summit's media
center in Falmouth, beating drums.
The protesters sang, "G-7 is all greenwashing; we're drowning in promises; now is the time to act."
Officials at the White House
also said Biden wants the G-7 leaders to speak out against China's forced labor
practices against Uyghur Muslims
and other ethnic minorities. Biden hopes the denunciation will be included in a joint statement issued on Sunday, but some European allies are hesitant to go so far against Beijing.
According to two senior Biden administration
officials, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France broadly supported Biden's stance on China, while Germany, Italy, and the European Union
were more hesitant.
The leaders' final communiqué is also expected to formally endorse imposing a global minimum tax of at least 15% on large multinational corporations in order to discourage corporations from using tax havens to avoid paying taxes
The minimum rate was championed by the United States, and it fits with Biden's — and Johnson's — goal of focusing the summit on how democracies can work
together to build a more inclusive, fair global economy
and compete with rising autocracies like China.
Non-G-7 countries India
, South Korea, Australia
, and South Africa
were invited to attend as guests in order to strengthen the group's support for fellow democracies.