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‘The selfie summit’: Why some economists and activists are disappointed with the G-7

  • The leaders of the G-7 issued a joint statement promising to enact measures on Covid-19 vaccines, China and global corporate tax.
  • Although some have heralded the agreements as significant, critics say the promises were not new, lacked in detail and some were plainly insufficient.
  • "The main focus of the G7 meeting (the photo opportunity) seemed to go well. The rest of the meeting expertly papered over the cracks in opinion," said Paul Donovan.

(L-R) President of the European Council Charles Michel, U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi pose for the Leaders official welcome and family photo during the G7 Summit In Carbis Bay, on June 11, 2021 in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.Leon Neal | Getty Images News | Getty Images

LONDON — A three-day meeting between the leaders of some of the world's richest nations was nothing short of a failure, according to some economists and campaigners, who argue the group fell short of its own standards to agree on comprehensive action to tackle the climate crisis and Covid pandemic.

The leaders of the G-7, a group of the world's largest so-called advanced economies, issued a joint statement Sunday promising to enact measures on Covid vaccines, China and global corporate tax.

After meeting at the English coastline resort of Carbis Bay in Cornwall, the leaders promised to secure 1 billion more vaccine doses over the next 12 months either directly or via the World Health Organization's COVAX organization.

Sunday's communique also called 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."

The G-7 pledged to wipe out their contribution to the climate emergency, reaffirming their commitment to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and vowing to eliminate most coal power. It also backed a minimum tax of at least 15% on large multinational companies to stop firms from using tax havens to avoid taxes, an initiative led by the U.S.

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