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What is the G7? Everything you need to know about this year’s summit

The 47th G7 summit is taking place this year on 11 to 13 June.

But what exactly is it you may ask? How does it affect us? What are its aims?

Well, don’t worry. We’ve got all the info you need right here!


What is the G7 summit?

The G7 is an organisation made up of the seven most economically advanced nations in the world. Set up in 1975, and originally called the G8 (before the withdrawal of Russia), the present G7 nations consists of: Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The G7 summits are an annual meeting of the G7 Nations.

This year the presidency lies with the United Kingdom and will be hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Cornwall. Alongside member organisations, the invitation is also extended to other countries as part of the negotiations.

Invited leaders this year include Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indian President Narendra Modi, South Korea’s Moon Jae-in and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.

This will also be the first time the UK will be hosting since 2013 and the first time that President Biden will be attending since his election victory.


Why is the G7 summit important?

The G7 summit is important because it brings together the economic leaders of the world, offering a vital opportunity for member nations to discuss global challenges and the ways to address them.

The G7 have through their work helped strengthen the global economy, saved the lives of over 20 million people from malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS. They have also taken the lead in children’s education in some of the world’s poorest countries.

In 2015, the G7 nations also spearheaded the historic Paris Agreement, committing to reducing global carbon emissions and setting global priorities in light of climate change.


Why is G7 significant in 2021?

The G7 summit was cancelled in 2020, so this G7 meeting will be the first time the nation members will unite since the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

It will therefore be an opportunity for leaders to discuss how to build back and recover from the pandemic.

And despite the numerous emails, texts and international calls, nothing can compete with face-to-face negotiations, with members knowing that the end of the summit is also the deadline to set priorities and come up with goals.

G7 member States account for 40% of the world’s GDP and 1/10 of the world’s population. They therefore as a collective yield significant economic influence and power.

This will be crucial in the fight against Covid-19 and climate change.


What’s on the agenda for G7 2021?

As host, Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to use the UK’s leadership to call on leading democracies to help countries combat the Coronavirus and then build back better.

This is to help create a greener more prosperous future for all.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated:

As the most prominent grouping of democratic countries, the G7 has long been the catalyst for decisive international action to tackle the greatest challenges we face.

From cancelling developing world debt to our universal condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the world has looked to the G7 to apply our shared values and diplomatic might to create a more open and prosperous planet.

So, Covid-19 and climate change will be top of the agenda!


Are the G7 and COP26 linked?

Alongside the G7 summit, the UK will be hosting the 26th COP (Conference of the Parties – focussed on climate change) this November in Glasgow.

The G7 summit is important in setting the tone and political momentum ahead of COP26.

The UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa said in a recent keynote speech:

The decisions G7 nations make in the next few weeks will have a major impact on whether nations achieve success at COP26, make a truly green recovery from COVID-19, and eventually reach their long-term climate goals under the Paris Agreement.

So in short, the answer is yes. Very much so!


What does Islamic Relief want?

As an organisation, we want to send a message to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and all G7 leaders that people of faith in the UK and around the world expect them to put in place plans for a global green recovery following the pandemic.

We also want to see the UK government take a lead in helping other countries recover from the pandemic and from the effects of climate change.

Indeed, as an international aid organisation, year on year we see first-hand the effects of climate change and the impact it has on already vulnerable communities overseas.

From flooding to droughts to cyclones and to tsunamis, the list goes on and on. This will sadly continue if action is not taken, in particular by world leaders such as the member nations of the G7.

What’s more, the effects of the pandemic are likely to be exasperated by climate change, so G7 nations must address this as a dual crisis.

Finally, as people of faith, climate consciousness is something that is deeply enshrined in many faith traditions, including Islam.

Across the globe, a staggering 84% of the world’s population prescribe to a faith, therefore there is immense influencing power amongst people of faith.

This should therefore be seen as a positive force for uniting communities and reducing global carbon emissions.


So, what can you do?

Your role in this is crucial. You can help make a real difference and that’s why we need you to get involved!

To help us in the fight against climate change, please:

  • Sign The Time Is Now declaration: Click here to send a message to Boris Johnson, calling on him to commit to working for a greener, fairer future for everyone
  • Pray: Everything is in Allah’s hands as they say. So please reach out and make du’a to Allah to help us with our efforts in protecting his beautiful Creation and our brothers and sisters worldwide
  • Donate: Help support our lifesaving work supporting communities vulnerable to Covid-19 or to our Emergency Response Fund, which supports communities affected by (often climate-induced) natural disasters

Each and every one of us can and must do our part.

Take action today and join us in the fight against climate change.

Thank you!

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