Day 2 of the 2021 G7 summit

By Eliza Mackintosh, Peter Wilkinson, Melissa Macaya and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

Updated 5:20 p.m. ET, June 12, 2021
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3:07 p.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Here's what Biden and Macron discussed during their first formal in-person meeting

From CNN's Betsy Klein in Falmouth, England 

President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron visit during a bilateral meeting at the G7 summit on Saturday in Carbis Bay, England.
President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron visit during a bilateral meeting at the G7 summit on Saturday in Carbis Bay, England. Patrick Semansky/AP

The White House sent along a readout of the hour-plus long meeting between US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron this afternoon. 

During their first formal in-person meeting, the leaders discussed cooperation on the pandemic, climate change, the global tax rate, as well as NATO and counterterrorism. 

"President Biden expressed his appreciation for France's leadership on climate issues through the Paris Agreement, and both leaders underscored their dedication to achieve ambitious outcomes at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow in November," a White House statement said.

The readout also noted that both leaders "highlighted their dedication to ending the pandemic, including through participation in the G7 commitment to donate COVID-19 vaccines to countries in need, and to build back better global health security for the future."

And after today’s somewhat contentious session on China competition and ahead of Biden’s meeting with Putin, there is a passing reference in the readout to discussion of “other shared foreign policy priorities such as China and Russia.”

Speaking to cameras during their meeting earlier today, Macron heaped praise on the US President as being "part of the club" following a more fraught relationship with former President Donald Trump.

"We have to deal with this pandemic, and the Covid-19. We have to face a lot of challenges, a lot of crises, climate change, and for all these issues, what we need is cooperation, and I think it's great to have a US President part of the club and very willing to cooperate," Macron said.

The French President added, "I think that what you demonstrate is that leadership is partnership, and we do appreciate."

Read more about their meeting here.

2:30 p.m. ET, June 12, 2021

"On the cusp of a big transformation": A glimpse into the G7 dinner with world leaders at Eden Project

From CNN's Angela Dewan in Bodelva, England

Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project, on June 12.
Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project, on June 12. Angela Dewan/CNN

It’s rare to get a glimpse into what is actually said between leaders at G7 meetings, beyond the polished communiqués that are ultimately delivered, showing a united front.

It’s even rarer to know what might have happened at the dinner parties, other than what was on the menu and what everyone wore.

But Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project in Cornwall, England – where world leaders mingled last night with business executives and even the Queen – left the party with a sense of optimism about action on climate change.

The dinner was held in one of the project’s biomes — a greenhouse dome made up of hexagonal windows – surrounded by the beauty of plants and flowers found from the Mediterranean, South Africa, California and Western Australia.

World leaders and Queen Elizabeth II attend a reception at the Eden Project in England on June 11.
World leaders and Queen Elizabeth II attend a reception at the Eden Project in England on June 11. Jack Hill/WPA/Pool/Getty Images

“It was delightful to see a bunch of human beings that happen to lead really powerful countries relaxing, laughing, appreciating — and it made you hopeful. The conversations I was privileged to overhear made me also feel that under the surface there’s a lot going on which isn’t about self-interest – there’s a lot that is – but there’s a lot that isn’t," he said.

“And it felt exciting to me that we could be listening and watching a time which is right on the cusp of a big transformation as people recognize we have to live with the grain of nature. And we’ve often talked in hyperbolic terms about it," he continued.

Smit said he heard positive remarks from business leaders around the "Terra Carter," a roadmap launched by Charles, the Prince of Wales, for businesses and financial markets to move towards sustainability.

The Eden Project's Mediterranean biome on June 12.
The Eden Project's Mediterranean biome on June 12. Angela Dewan/CNN

“When I saw those business guys from his Royal Highness’ team talking about the Terra Carta – and these were people in the room responsible for $15 trillion or more in investment – and they’re saying ‘I’ve put up with 15, 16, 18 months of being bashed over the head by my grandchildren and children,’ there is no case to dispute. We’ve just got to do something, so it’s now about how we organize ourselves," he said.

"And I got a real sense that this is not a moment that we would speak of in years time of another missed opportunity. I had a real sense of serious intent. If only because the joy of being in nature in Eden seemed to put it in starker relief. You knew what you could be losing standing next to all that beauty," Smit said.

2:30 p.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Key things to know about the US-led G7 initiative aimed at countering China's global infrastructure project

From CNN's Betsy Klein and Maegan Vazquez

The United States says it will be a lead partner in a new global, climate-friendly infrastructure program with its Group of 7 partners, part of President Joe Biden's larger efforts at the G7 summit to better position the US and its allies to compete with China in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Confronting China's authoritarianism, however, emerged as a source of contention between the leaders.

Here are key things to know about the initiative:

  • The White House said the program, presented as an alternative to China's own global infrastructure initiative, will "help narrow the $40+ trillion infrastructure need in the developing world, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic."
  • A senior administration official described the plan, called the "Build Back Better World" initiative, as a "bold, new global infrastructure initiative with our G7 partners that will be values-driven, transparent and sustainable" and will compete with China's Belt and Road Initiative.
  • The G7 will announce "a positive alternative that reflects our values, our standards and our way of doing business," a second senior official said.
  • As part of the new infrastructure announcement, the US said the Group of 7 will be joining partners and the private sector in "collectively catalyzing hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure investment for low and middle-income countries that need it."

China's Belt and Road Initiative, first announced in 2013 under Chinese President Xi Jinping, aims to build ports, roads and railways to create new trade corridors linking China to Africa and the rest of Eurasia. The Chinese-funded, cross-continental infrastructure initiative has been seen as an extension of the country's sharp ascent to global power.

Officials described the global infrastructure pitch not as a confrontation with China, but as an alternative path.

"This is not about making countries choose between us and China. This is about offering an affirmative, alternative vision and approach that they would want to choose," the first administration official said.

Read more about the initiative here.

12:59 p.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Biden is meeting with the Queen at Windsor Castle tomorrow. Here's what to expect at the event.  

From CNN's Max Foster and Lauren Said-Moorhouse

Queen Elizabeth II attends a military ceremony at Windsor Castle in England on June 12.
Queen Elizabeth II attends a military ceremony at Windsor Castle in England on June 12. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The second day of the G7 summit is still underway, but attention is starting to turn to US President Joe Biden's meeting with the Queen tomorrow before he departs for Brussels for the NATO summit.

Biden is in for quite a treat when he and his wife, "Jill from Philly," stop by Windsor Castle Sunday.

To welcome the 46th President, Elizabeth is treating him to an honor guard formed of the Grenadier Guards in the castle's famous quad, Buckingham Palace has announced. The guards — one of the British Army's longest-serving units — will give a Royal Salute, and the US National Anthem will be played.

The Queen has hosted four other presidents at Windsor:

  • Trump in 2018
  • Obama in 2016
  • George W. Bush in 2008
  • Reagan back in 1982

The President will then inspect the troops before rejoining the Queen and first lady to watch the military march-past. Afterward, the group will head into the castle for tea. During our chat with Prince Edward, he discussed the opportunity Biden has in meeting his mother and how others have reacted to spending time with her.

"When you meet somebody who's had that level of personal experience and knowledge, it's, I mean, sometimes, it's funny and can slightly over-awe some people," the 57-year-old mused. "And I think most people can leave wishing that they'd had a little bit longer. That's usually the response — just so would've liked to have had a little bit longer, because that was fascinating."

Ahead of the weekend's big meeting, the royals undertook something of a charm offensive at the G7 in Cornwall. The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, as well as William and Catherine, descended upon the summit for a reception at the world-famous Eden Project, a striking collection of biomes, one of which is home to the largest indoor rainforest on Earth.

Read more about tomorrow's event.

11:19 a.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Boris Johnson and UN chief agree on need for global action on climate change and pandemic preparedness 

From CNN's Lauren Kent in London

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres agreed on the need for “joined-up global action on issues like pandemic preparedness and climate change,” at a meeting between the two on Saturday at the G7 Summit in Cornwall, England. 

According to a Downing Street spokesperson: Johnson gave his support to Secretary Guterres’ “vision for a more integrated UN.”

Here are some more details from the meeting:

“He also welcomed the World Health Assembly’s decision to discuss a treaty on pandemic preparedness later this year. The Prime Minister and Secretary General agreed on the need for universal support from the G7 to take this forward.  
 “The leaders discussed plans for the UK-hosted COP26 Summit later this year. They agreed on the need for countries to step up and make ambitious commitments to cut carbon emissions and phase out the use of coal.  
“They discussed a number of international issues including the situations in Yemen, Syria and Libya, the Cyprus peace process, the need for a return to democracy in Myanmar and Afghanistan.”  
1:49 p.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Biden's comfort among world leaders at G7 summit presents stark contrast

From CNN's Kevin Liptak, Jeff Zeleny, Phil Mattingly and Kaitlan Collins in in Falmouth, England 

French President Emmanuel Macron walks with US President Joe Biden in Carbis Bay, England, on June 11.
French President Emmanuel Macron walks with US President Joe Biden in Carbis Bay, England, on June 11. Patrick Semansky/AFP/Pool/Getty Images

US President Joe Biden appeared relaxed when he arrived to the G7 summit alongside his wife on Friday. Under light drizzle, Jill Biden likened the meet-and-greet to a wedding.

Later, as the leaders emerged in a pack from the bayside resort where the summit is being held, the group was smiling broadly alongside Biden as they made their way to have their traditional "family photo" taken before the first session.

Making his way back indoors, Biden walked arm-in-arm with French President Emmanuel Macron — who hosted the last in-person G7 meeting on the Atlantic coast in 2019, which devolved partly into an argument led by former US President Donald Trump over whether to allow Russia to rejoin the group.

Macron and Biden ended up walking so slowly in each other's arms that other leaders, including Canada's Justin Trudeau, had to circle around them to get inside.

As the afternoon wore on, Biden held a "pull-aside" meeting with Macron, which onlookers described as intense but collegial. They met more formally on Saturday.

Macron's 2019 summit in Biarritz was the third G7 that Trump attended, and the third to demonstrate serious strain with other world leaders.

At his first G7 summit, held cliffside in Sicily, his fellow leaders all nudged Trump to remain in the Paris climate accord. Aides said he felt ganged up on and announced a US withdrawal from the pact a few months later.

Signs the 45th President wasn't exactly fitting in were rampant. As other leaders strolled through the summit venue to a photo-op, Trump rode separately in a golf cart.

The next year, the G7 summit hosted by Trudeau in the northern woods of Quebec ended in disarray after Trump, having left early, announced from his departing flight he was withdrawing his signature from the concluding statement.

He told reporters before he left that his relations with G7 leaders were "10 out of 10," and scoffed at suggestions he was more looking forward to his next engagement, with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

But the images of that summit of a scowling Trump, arms crossed, being pressed by leaders including Merkel over the summit communiqué became the iconic images of an isolated US president.

Read the full story below:

11:22 a.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Biden and France's Macron hold bilateral meeting on sidelines of G7 summit

From CNN's Betsy Klein and Lindsay Isaac

French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden hold a meeting in Carbis Bay, England, on June 12.
French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden hold a meeting in Carbis Bay, England, on June 12. Pool

US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron held their first formal in-person meeting beside the sea on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, England.

"We have some things we have to talk about a bit later; things are going, I think, well, and we're — as we say back in the United States — we are on the same page. Thank you," Biden told reporters during their bilateral meeting.

Macron said cooperation is key to battle the pandemic and climate change. The French president noted he appreciates having the US as part of the “club” with other G7 countries, following a more fraught relationship with the US under former President Donald Trump. 

"What we need is cooperation, and I think it is great to have the US President part of the club and very willing to cooperate, and I think that what you demonstrate is that leadership is partnership. We really appreciate that," the French president told reporters.

Biden reiterated that the US "is back" and that he believes a lot can be done on the world stage. The US President also noted his country feels "very strongly about the cohesion" of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and expressed that the European Union is “incredibly strong and vibrant.”

Asked if allies think America is back, Biden looked at Macron and said, “Ask him,” to which Macron replied in the affirmative: “Definitely.”

The US and French leaders held a pull-aside during Friday's summit session, but today's bilateral was their first formal one-on-one in-person meeting.  

“The Leaders discussed a range of regional and bilateral issues, including COVID-19 and counterterrorism efforts in the Sahel, and affirmed the importance of the U.S.-France partnership and the Transatlantic alliance,” a White House spokesperson said in a statement about yesterday's pull-aside.

Biden and Macron's meeting comes after CNN reported that tensions have emerged at the summit with regards to China. While officials at the summit see infrastructure as an area of agreement during the gathering, leaders aired serious differences over how best to approach China during a session on Saturday, according to a senior administration official.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed reporting to this post.

Watch the moment here:

9:31 a.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Divisions on China emerge among world leaders in tense G7 meeting

From CNN's Kevin Liptak in Falmouth, England 

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a meeting in Beijing on May 28.
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a meeting in Beijing on May 28. Ju Peng/Xinhua/Getty Images

World leaders aired serious differences over how best to approach China during a session of the G7 summit in Cornwall on Saturday, according to a senior Biden administration official.

The disagreements, aired during a session that at one point became so sensitive that all internet was shut off to the room, pitted European nations against the United States, Britain and Canada, who urged stronger action against China for its authoritarian practices, including forced labor practices in western Xinjiang province.

Officials described the China issue as one of the most challenging elements of the G7 gathering.

“There was some interesting discussion, and a little bit of differentiation of opinion on, not whether this threat is there but on how strong, from an action perspective, I think different G7 members are willing to take things,” the official said.

At one point, US President Joe Biden made a forceful call to other leaders about vocally calling out China’s anti-democratic practices, officials said, emphasizing the need to take action.

The official said Biden was joined by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron in pushing for tougher action on China. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and leaders from the European Union sought to emphasize areas of cooperation with China.

Even within those groupings, there was a spectrum of views on the matter, officials said.

Where officials did agree was on establishing an infrastructure initiative to compete with China’s Belt and Road program. 

Still, though the leaders disagreed, the session was marked by new respect among the leaders after four years of tension under former US President Donald Trump.

"These leaders really seem to like each other and respect each other, and work through where that sweet spot might be,” the senior administration official said, describing real effort at finding consensus on tricky issues, including China.

Some more context: The G7 summit formally began on Friday evening with discussion of vaccines and later a family photo. Officials said there was a sense of new unity among the group after four years of strain under Trump, marked by embraces and warm looks between the leaders. Saturday’s session delved deeper into the differences between nations than the Friday talks.

1:50 p.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Boris Johnson tells CNN he believes Biden will bring "tough messages" to summit with Putin

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told CNN he “wholly approves” of US President Joe Biden bringing “tough messages” to a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Asked by CNN’s Clarissa Ward whether he agrees with Biden’s assessment of Putin being a "killer," Johnson said he “certainly” thinks “President Putin has done things that are unconscionable.” 

Johnson said he is “fairly certain that Putin authorized the poisonings in Salisbury that led to the death of an innocent and a member of the British public and the attempted poisoning of the Skripals.”  

Johnson pointed to the case of jailed and poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who he says is “in prison on trumped-up charges” and is “effectively being tortured,” an example of what happens to Putin’s enemies.  

He also said there can’t be a normalization in relations between the US and Russia until Moscow “changes its behavior.”

More on the Biden-Putin summit: The US and Russian leaders are currently not expected to hold a joint press conference following their high-stakes summit in Geneva, Switzerland Wednesday, two US officials familiar with the matter said.

The final plans are still being formulated and could change. But officials putting together the day's events said that as of Friday, no joint press conference was expected. On Saturday, the White House confirmed Biden would not join Putin after the summit for a press conference and instead the US President will hold a solo presser. As for the nature of the meeting, a White House official said they expect it to "be candid and straightforward."

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins contributed reporting to this post.