Thursday, 3 June 2021

G7: Cornwall 2021

Next week the G7 will be taking place in Carbis Bay.  For Cornwall, it will be a great opportunity to raise our profile internationally and promote our beautiful landscapes and excellent food and drink.  In terms of a legacy for the Duchy, a lot of emphasis has been going on ensuring that any bounce in tourism happens next year and in the future since Covid travel restrictions mean that local businesses have no shortage of customers in this current season. 

It will also be a good opportunity to promote some of the leading work that Cornwall does on green energy and the environment.  Cornwall was home to the first-ever wind farm in the UK some thirty years ago.  We are also at the forefront of plans for locating offshore wind in Hayle and a number of projects to take forward geothermal energy.  At this summit, the environment and climate change will be one of the key issues on the agenda since it is seen as an important staging post along the way to COP 26 later this year, also being held in the UK, where we will be seeking to get greater commitments from the rest of the world on carbon emissions.

In the run-up to the leaders’ summit next week, there was also an Environment Ministers track for G7 which I chaired a couple of weeks ago and where we made some important progress.  In particular, this G7 became the first where all member countries had committed to achieve net-zero by 2050.  Secondly, member countries committed to halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity by 2030. These are major steps forward and a sign of the dedication G7 countries have to tackle the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.

All G7 members have also now committed to supporting the global “30by30“ target to conserve or protect at least 30 per cent of global land, and at least 30 per cent of the global ocean by 2030 and an agreement to phase out international fossil fuel finance starting with coal.  There were measures to tackle global deforestation with all members committing to increase support for sustainable supply chains that decouple agricultural production from deforestation and forest degradation and there were new pledges covering the illegal wildlife trade, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

Any G7 event brings a degree of disruption locally and the logistical challenges and security arrangements can be complex, but a warm Cornish welcome awaits world leaders next week and I have no doubt that the beauty of St Ives Bay will leave a lasting impression.

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