This summer Britain will not only be hosting the G7 summit but also COP26, meaning that as residents of the UK, we have more chance than ever before to set the agenda on a multitude of topics. 

But what are the G7 and COP26? 

The UN Climate Change Conference (the official name for climate COPs) has happened every year since 1995. The two-week summits are the keyspace for stakeholders to discuss the climate crisis on a global level, with representatives from every country in the world expected to attend, along with members of the press and observer organisations. This year, Glasgow will host the conference from the 1-12 November. 

The G7 stands for the ‘Group of Seven’ and is a gathering of government leaders from some of the world’s richest nations to discuss problems facing the world – including economic issues, health emergencies and the climate crisis. This year, the G7 summit is taking place between Friday 11 and Sunday 13 June 2021 in Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

Why is COP26 So Important?

COVID-19 has refocused priorities and caused individuals and governments alike to pay closer attention to the environment, meaning that as countries try and rebuild their economy after the pandemic, this summit can put pressure on them to rebuild using eco-friendly policies, creating a more sustainable economy. 

Moreover, COP26 is being viewed as the successor to COP21 where the Paris Accord was signed, arguably the greatest success from the UNFCCC in recent years. COP26 is seen as the summit to both address what has and hasn’t been achieved since 2015, whilst also setting concrete plans to reach the Paris Agreement targets

Why is the G7 Summit So Important?

Due to the G7 including some of the world’s most powerful countries, decisions taken at these meetings impact people across the world. 

This year is especially important because G7 leaders will be discussing how the world can rebuild and recover from the pandemic, with the G7 not being able to meet since 2019. 

Moreover, the summit will be the first to take place since Joe Biden was elected US President.

Is There a Link Between the G7 Summit And COP26?

COVID-19 will certainly be on the agenda for both summits, and with the UK hosting both, the eyes of the world will be on Boris Johnson to ensure success in bringing peaceful agreements and concrete plans to rebuild the world after the pandemic. 

What Can We Do to Ensure Success?

A British civil society campaign recently launched a first-of-its-kind coalition called Crack the Crises, representing over 10 million people across the United Kingdom. This diverse coalition, representing over 70 different charities and non-profit organisations is asking countries to make a concerted effort to “crack” each individual crisis of COVID-19, injustice, and climate change on its own terms — as well as spotting the synergies underlying all of them. The coalition fully embraces the universality of the Sustainable Development Goals, underpinned by a so-called localization revolution that prioritizes investing in marginalized communities in the global north and south.

The underlying links between COVID-19, poverty and climate change are necessary to address if we want to enact real change.  

With the World Bank predicting that 150 million people have been pushed back into poverty since the start of the crisis and will be living on less than £1.50 per day, now is not the time to cut aid and turn our backs to the world. The secondary impacts of Covid are hitting the poorest, women and those from marginalised racial and ethnic groups the hardest, both at home and abroad. Moreover, in order to rebuild our economy, we cannot revert back to the same unsustainable production methods we have been using before, as climate change affects the poorest and historically marginalised the most. We need to invest in low-carbon sectors to create millions of new jobs, creating a greener, fairer future. The role of leadership is to put first those who have fallen furthest behind. We need to hold our governments accountable for their promises.