Last weekend the Prime Minister announced that the 2021 G7 summit will be held at Carbis Bay in June. Some have asked, “why Cornwall?” But I say why not? Major summits like this don’t have to be all about London or Manchester. They are a chance to shine a light on some of the world-beating work going on in other parts of the country. This will be a great chance for Cornwall to showcase its leading role in green energy, great food and our beautiful landscape.
The G7 is an annual summit of the world’s major democracies to discuss global challenges. It is made up of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US. The EU has also been invited. This year, Australia, India and South Korea have also been invited as guest countries. This is one of the highest-profile summits in the international calendar, bringing some of the world’s most powerful leaders together.
This year, as the holder of the Presidency, the UK will direct the agenda for the summit, choosing to focus on issues that will help the UK and the world build back better from coronavirus. There will be a lot of focus on international coordination to tackle pandemics learning from experiences in the current one and the environment and nature will also be prominent on the agenda. The G7 is an opportunity for the world’s most influential democracies to use our shared values and diplomatic might to create a more open and prosperous planet.
Some have raised concerns about the numbers of people coming for the summit and whether this poses an increased risk from the virus. The numbers who attend the summit are quite limited being restricted to the seven world leaders and their support staff and the media who will cover it, but steps will be taken to ensure that it is Covid secure and, of course, we all hope that by June we will have turned the corner on this virus. As with all such events, wherever they are held in the world, there may be some protesters but this should not prevent democratic discussion about important issues like the environment from taking place.
Cornwall has a rich industrial heritage, in particular our area around Camborne and Redruth, leading to some of the most important inventions and discoveries that this country has made. We retain a distinct cultural identity, including our own customs and traditions, and are recognised as one of the six ‘Celtic nations’. While we are proud of our industrial heritage, today Cornwall leads the way in some of the green technologies of the future, bringing new jobs and investment to our region. For example, in Hayle, the Wave Hub project has diversified in recent years utilising its existing infrastructure for the deployment of Floating Offshore Wind. We are also world leaders in geothermal technology. Cornwall is also a natural source of lithium which is an important part of electric car battery production and there are numerous tentative projects in Cornwall to develop a new industry around this natural resource.
As a leader in green innovation, Cornwall is an ideal location for global discussions on building back better from the coronavirus pandemic. A warm Cornish welcome awaits world leaders in June!