G7 sets agenda for next month, vaccines and climate change high – Technology News, Firstpost

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A group of seven affluent democracies will discuss coronavirus vaccines on Wednesday as they face increasing pressure to share stocks and know-how with poor countries that are lagging behind in the fight against the pandemic. The foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States will hold three-day talks in central London, which will set the agenda for next month’s G7 summit in Cornwall, southern England. After a day focused on showing the common front of democracies to China, the final sessions will also bring development leaders and address global challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

“A really valuable part of the G7 format is to think round – what do we need to do to help the most vulnerable countries around the world?” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.

    The foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States will hold three-day talks in central London to set the agenda for the G7 summit next month.  Photo credit: Twitter / @ G7

The foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States will hold three-day talks in central London to set the agenda for the G7 summit next month. Photo credit: Twitter / @ G7

Wealthy countries have emphasized Covax, a UN-backed program to distribute vaccines to the poorest countries.

But rich nations have also begun to prove Covax effectively, entering into their own agreements with drug manufacturers and taking the vast majority of the more than 1.2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine that have already been injected worldwide.

Raab stressed the importance of Covax, but said there is an additional question “what do we do about surplus domestic supply”.

The topics are “a really good opportunity for the G7, together with our Indian and Pacific partners, to talk about all of this and find positive answers,” Raab said.

Britain invited India to the G7 talks in an effort to include a crucial democratic ally in the talks on China, but Covid has destroyed it in recent weeks.

Questions about the future of the vaccine

The U.S. has pledged more than $ 4 billion to Covax – far more than any other country – and said last week it would urgently send more than $ 100 million in Covid relief supplies to India.

But President Joe Biden’s administration has ignored calls to relax intellectual property rules to allow cheaper vaccines. Activists and India are themselves a major vaccine manufacturer.

Foreign Minister Antony Blinken, who is taking part in the talks in London, promised last month that the United States could soon supply vaccines abroad after a successful domestic campaign.

In a preview of the debate, Blinken said at the time that his country would demand “core values” in the distribution of vaccines – implicitly the opposite of China.

“We don’t trade arms for political preferences. It’s about saving lives,” Blinken said.

But activists say the United States and other wealthy countries need to do much more.

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who led the wider G20 in 2009 during the global financial crisis, this week called for immediate action by the G7.

“I say to the G7 … you have the power and ability to pay nearly two-thirds of the cost and secure a historic breakthrough by agreeing on a fair burden-sharing formula,” he said.

In addition to the immediate shortcomings, the world will need another $ 35-45 billion next year to ensure that the majority of adults around the world are vaccinated, according to the World Health Organization.

The UK also hopes that the G7 will step up its efforts to combat climate change ahead of a major UN conference in Glasgow in November aimed at reaffirming the promises made in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has strongly raised its targets and committed itself to reducing CO2 emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

The UK is one of many countries that has pledged greater efforts to rise after record temperatures and increasing natural disasters in the coming years.

Biden dramatically moved from a climate-skeptical predecessor, Donald Trump, to a virtual meeting on the climate summit last month, promising that the United States will cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than half by 2030 from 2005 levels.

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