COP26 is preceded by the G7 2021 Summit, the 47th such annual meeting. It takes place between 11 – 13th June in Cornwall under the presidency of the United Kingdom. The G7 is an intergovernmental grouping of the leaders of seven industrial nations: UK, USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy. The President of the European Union also attends. In addition other leaders are invited as guests – being this year from Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa. The leaders, accompanied by other ministers and advisers, meet for ‘close knit’ discussions on global issues with the aim of coordinating agreements and policies in response to them.
The UK government aims to use “to unite leading democracies to help the world fight and then build back better from coronavirus and create a greener, more prosperous future.” Decisions made here will influence subsequent decisions that will be made at the COP. As with pandemics, the climate emergency is a crisis that needs to be tackled internationally. (It is no good eradicating Covid in the UK if the virus is still spreading and mutating in Cyprus. We are no longer separate islands but part of one global village. Similarly reducing carbon emissions in France but not in the US would not prevent global temperatures escalating still further. This is why it is important that the US has now rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement). The UK Secretary for Business, Kwasi Kwarteng, aims to coordinated G7 action on issues such as carbon border taxes, green finance, phasing out coal power, and helping poorer nations develop zero carbon economies.
But will there be sufficient commitment to the long term future and sufficient cooperation and the willingness to put national well-being below global well-being? It is in all our interests that the government leaders meeting in Cornwall do indeed prioritise the needs of the whole world about national needs, and the future safety of the climate above short term profit. Whilst the G7 Summit may feel remote and irrelevant, we should be telling our own leaders as well as world leaders what we do want! Governments can be swayed by popular opinion and by pressure groups.
Crack the Crises is a coalition of some of the UK’s biggest charities (including Christian Aid, Cafod, Tearfund, Save the Children, Traidcraft, Global Citizen, RSPB, Islamic Relief, the WI, Shelterbox, and Action Against Hunger). Its aim is to tell politicians that we want them to work together for a better world, and in particular, addressing four major crises:
- Covid 19
- Systemic poverty and injustice
- Climate change
- Biodiversity decline
In advance of the G7 Summit, Crack the Crises is calling on people to join the “Wave for Hope”. By creating images or photo opportunities using hands we will be waving to catch the attention of our friends and neighbours. By sharing our images on social media we will be waving to catch the attention of world leaders: we want – we need – change!
Cracking the Crises is hopeful that change can happen. Over the past 18 months we have seen how, faced with an overwhelming crisis, people like you and me, people like Captain Tom and Marcus Rushford, the many NHS staff, care home workers and other key workers, neighbourhood groups, churches and mosques…. have all adapted and worked together to support one another, to create good outcomes, to contain the spread of the virus, to keep our spirits up, to give us hope for the future. Human kind is an inherently kind being.
If you would like to be part of the Wave of Hope, use this link – https://crackthecrises.org/wave/?utm_source=G7_wave_of_hope_2021&utm_medium=email&utm_term=&utm_content=4&utm_campaign=
The gentle to and fro of the wave,
back and forth,
Loving God, calm us, and
move us as peace-makers.
The persistence of the wave,
gradually wearing down all resistance
Loving God, sustain us, and
make us a force for good.
The power of the wave,
growing in size,
acquiring energy as it moves
Loving God, strengthen us, and
harness our energy to do what is right.
The breaker, poised but still moving,
ready to break –
to break out, to break up,
to break forth
Loving God, contain us, and
prepare us to spill out into the world.
The crest of the wave, exploding,
that breaks down barriers
and undermines obstructions
Loving God, free us, and
use us to reform the structures of the world.
Storm wave, tidal wave,
that brokers no discussion,
that overwhelms all
Loving God, override us,
and free the world from its own vices.
Info recommendation: do watch the BBC’s The People v Climate Change which covers the working of Britain’s first People’s Assembly set up by Parliament to review and recommend actions that should taken in response to the climate change emergency. It’s available on iplayer – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p097sbzc