Climate change protests in San Francisco, USA (Photo by Li-An Lim via Unsplash)

Carbis Bay in Cornwall hosts the annual Group of Seven (G7) summit from June 11-13 2021. But who or what is the G7, what’s under discussion and why does the event matter to all of us? 

What is the G7?

The G7 (Group of 7) is an international organisation consisting of the US, UK, France, Canada, Italy, Germany and the EU. The website for this year’s summit states that these countries are all bound by their “shared values as open, democratic and outward-looking societies.” The heads of government of each of these countries and representatives of the EU meet at the annual summit. The seven member countries are also the largest IMF countries in the world. 

Russia joined in 1998, creating the “G8”, but was later kicked out in 2014 due to the annexation of Crimea. Representatives from India, South Korea and Australia have also been invited for the 2021 summit.

Last year’s G7 summit, which was set to be held in Camp David in the USA, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the first G7 summit to have been cancelled since its formation in 1975.

What is planned for the 2021 G7 Summit?

The 2021 summit is planning to focus on climate change at looking at building back greener following the COVID-19 pandemic. The key priorities will be:

  • Leading the global recovery from coronavirus while strengthening our resilience against future pandemics
  • Promoting our future prosperity by championing free and fair trade
  • Tackling climate change and preserving the planet’s biodiversity
  • Championing our shared values

Prior to the summit, finance ministers from each member state met in London. In an event hosted by chancellor Rishi Sunak, G7 finance ministers agreed on a “historic” global tax agreement.

Extinction Rebellion are planning a number of protests during the summit (photo via Extinction Rebellion Media Archive)

Are there going to be protests?

Prior to the summit four protest sites have been announced in Truro, Falmouth, Plymouth and Exeter. Climate activist group Extinction Rebellion have a number of protests planned during the summit.

Devon and Cornwall police have stated that they are not “naive enough” to think that protests will only take place in these places, and that they are prepared to deal quickly with any protests that turn violent.

The summit will be policed by around 6,500 officers, with 5,000 coming from elsewhere in the UK.