Day 3 of the 2021 G7 Summit

By Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Mike Hayes, Laura Smith-Spark and Peter Wilkinson, CNN

Updated 3:35 PM ET, Mon June 14, 2021
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9:38 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

G7 calls for new study into origins of Covid-19 and voices concern on China in summit's concluding statement

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

World leaders attending this week’s G7 issued a call for a new study into the origins of coronavirus, including in China, after an initial report was deemed lacking because Beijing refused to cooperate.

They also agreed in a final statement to speak out against human rights abuses in China, a matter that had been hotly debated behind closed doors over the course of the three-day summit.

And they singled out Russia as harboring networks who have conducted ransomware attacks wreaking havoc on critical systems, saying countries must do more to address criminal activity within their borders.

American officials characterized the China language in particular as a coup for President Biden, who entered the summit hoping to convince fellow leaders to take a tougher line. He has made the competition between democracies and autocracies a central theme of his first foreign trip, and wants leaders of other democratic countries to more vocally speak out against authoritarian regimes.

He met resistance from some European leaders, who do not share Biden’s view of China as an existential threat. It was unclear leading up to the final session whether language specifically calling out forced labor practices or human rights abuses would be included in the final statement.

Ultimately, the final communiqué that was released on Sunday expressed “concern” about state-sponsored forced labor, particularly in agricultural, solar, and garment sectors. It said China must respect human rights in Xinjiang, allow a high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong and work to avoid a security deterioration in the South China Sea.

It also called on leaders to consult one another to find ways to counter abusive economic practices.

“This has been an unusually substantive and productive G7,” a White House official said.

Some more context: The summit’s concluding statement came after an intense debate on the language that stretched overnight. US administration officials said on Saturday that while Biden and other leaders got along well, the China issue posed an area of disagreement.

In particular, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and leaders from the European Union appeared reluctant to include lines in the final document that might be viewed as a provocation to China, according to senior administration officials.

Biden was backed in his views by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and, to a degree, by French President Emmanuel Macron, who has adopted a harder line on China as he faces reelection next year.

Read more about the statement here.

9:40 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

G7 nations pledge over 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses for the rest of world, UK prime minister says

From CNN’s Angela Dewan in Falmouth, England

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at a press conference at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, England, on June 13.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at a press conference at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, England, on June 13. Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

In a statement to mark the end of the G7 summit, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that leaders of the world's richest nations have pledged over one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses for the rest of the world – either directly or through funding to COVAX.

"A week ago I asked my fellow leaders to help in preparing and providing the doses we need to vaccinate the whole world by the end of 2022. I'm very pleased to announce that this weekend leaders have pledged over 1 billion doses, either directly or through funding to COVAX. That includes 100 million from the UK, to the worlds poorest countries, which is another big step toward vaccinating the world," Johnson said.

Speaking about the Oxford-​AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the news conference, Johnson said, “Today over half a billion people are safe because of the development and production of that vaccine.”

"What we as the G7 need to do is to demonstrate the benefits of democracy and freedom and human rights to the rest of the world. We can achieve that through medical history. We can do that by working together to stop the devastation that coronavirus has produced from ever occurring again," he added.

Earlier this week, Johnson announced the UK will donate at least 100 million surplus Covid-19 vaccine doses to COVAX and countries in need within the next year.

Ahead of the G7 summit, US President Joe Biden announced the United States plans to donate 500 million Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine doses globally. As for a timeline, officials said the Pfizer doses will begin to ship in August and 200 million doses will be delivered by the end of this year. The remaining 300 million doses will be delivered in the first half of 2022.

9:05 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

NOW: UK prime minister speaks after G7 summit wraps 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is holding a news conference as the three day G7 summit comes to a close in Carbis Bay, England.

Climate and the economy were key issues in the summit's final plenary sessions.

Leaders of the world's richest economies also agreed to “align” their positions on vaccines, funds for Africa and fighting against "pressure from authoritarian regimes,” EU Council President Charles Michel said earlier Sunday.

However, fallout from the UK's departure from the European Union continues to overshadow Johnson's efforts to reposition post-Brexit Britain on the global stage.

8:36 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

G7 countries join forces on vaccine deliveries, EU chief says

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac

President of the European Council Charles Michel, left, speaks with leaders at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, England, on June 11.
President of the European Council Charles Michel, left, speaks with leaders at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, England, on June 11. Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

G7 leaders have agreed to “align” their positions on vaccines, funds for Africa and fighting against "pressure from authoritarian regimes,” EU Council President Charles Michel said on Sunday at the G7 summit in Cornwall, England.

Over the last three days at the summit the EU has worked to convince the “world’s leading democracies” to join it in accelerating global vaccine deliveries. “The priority was to ensure we can meet the demand for vaccines and here the EU has taken the leadership. Partners have now joined us to accelerate production and delivery of vaccines worldwide," Michel said.

"We also see that liberal democracies and open societies face pressure from authoritarian regimes. This challenge has prompted us to join forces during the G7, not only to be able to respond under pressure or attack but also to spread our values of freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights," he said.

"Another point, of special significance to me, is our engagement with Africa. For some years already, with some leaders in Europe we are convinced that this engagement with Africa needs to be at the heart of our future international relations. Increasingly, we’ve been able to unify the positions of European countries on this issue and now we have convinced our partners to further mobilise funds to secure a win-win strategy for Africa and Europe,” Michel added in a statement.

9:28 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

G7 leaders will agree to cut off support for dirty coal by end of the year

From CNN’s Angela Dewan in Falmouth, England

US President Joe Biden arrives for a plenary session in Carbis Bay, England, on June 13.
US President Joe Biden arrives for a plenary session in Carbis Bay, England, on June 13. Phil Noble/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

G7 leaders are expected to announce on Sunday that they will stop all new direct government support for coal by the end of the year, unless it is “cleaned” through a process of decarbonization, according to a White House statement.

Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel and one of the biggest contributors to climate change. G7 leaders are expected to announce they will at least halve their carbon emissions by 2030, from 2010 levels, and cutting back on coal could help reach that target.

Some scientists and environmentalists, however, are wary of claims of “clean” fossil fuels, and argue that the world should transition entirely to renewables instead.

The White House said in a statement that G7 leaders, who will wrap up a three-day summit in England’s Cornwall on Sunday, had agreed to “concrete actions” to speed up the world’s transition from coal to cleaner energy sources.

"Recognizing that unabated coal power generation is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions globally, and consistent with President Biden’s domestic leadership, G7 Leaders will commit to an end to new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of this year,” the statement said. 

“Unabated coal” refers to coal that is not decarbonized.

The announcement will come alongside a green global infrastructure plan – “Build Back Better for the World” – pitched as an alternative to China’s sprawling Belt and Road program, which has involved building railroads, motorways and other major infrastructure projects, in deals with some 100 countries.

The program has allowed China to raise its profile and global influence, particularly in the developing world and places like eastern Europe.

The White House statement said Canada, Germany, the UK and the United States would provide up to $2 billion to support the Climate Investments Funds, which is aiding the transition from coal for in developing countries.

Despite the announcement to end support for coal plants abroad, some G7 countries are still showing support for the fossil fuel.

The UK government, for example, approved plans for a new deep coal mine, the first in 30 years, in Cumbria, though its future is in doubt after a backlash and inquiry into its environmental impacts. Japan has agreed to phase out old, inefficient coal plants, but is still heavily reliant on the fossil fuel.

8:02 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

Attenborough urges "global will" to act on climate change

David Attenborough speaks via video to leaders at the G7 summit about tackling climate change.
David Attenborough speaks via video to leaders at the G7 summit about tackling climate change. From G7/Twitter

The world knows how to address the climate crisis -- what is needed now is the political will to act in time, veteran UK naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough has told leaders at the G7 summit.

"Our scientific collaboration on Covid treatment and vaccines showed just how much we can achieve together when the goal is clear and urgent," he said.

"We know in detail what is happening to our planet; and we know many of the things we need to do during this decade. Tackling climate change is now as much a political and communications challenge as it is a scientific or technological one.

"We have the skills to address it in time. All we need is the global will to do so."

Attenborough, 95, addressed the G7 leaders via video as they entered the final day of the summit.

8:06 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

UK PM and South Africa's Ramaphosa discuss "urgent" need to increase global vaccine access

From CNN's Lauren Kent

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa pose for a photo ahead of a bilateral meeting in Carbis Bay, England, on June 13.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa pose for a photo ahead of a bilateral meeting in Carbis Bay, England, on June 13. Stefan Rousseau/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson reaffirmed the United Kingdom’s commitment to increase global vaccine access during a bilateral meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the G7 summit, according to Downing Street.

“He explained the work the UK is doing to increase access to vaccines worldwide, which includes our financial contribution to COVAX and our recent announcement that the UK will donate 100 million surplus vaccines in the next year,” a Downing Street spokesperson said. 

“The leaders agreed there is an urgent need to expand vaccine manufacturing capacity around the world and increase access." 

According to Downing Street, the two leaders agreed to work together to “strengthen” the relationship between the UK and South Africa through enhancing trade partnership and investment links.

“The Prime Minister and President Ramaphosa discussed the need for the G7, and other large economies, to support clean and sustainable growth in the developing world,” the spokesperson added.

South Africa is one of several nations invited to this year's G7 summit as a guest.

10:53 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

Biden attends mass as Johnson goes for a swim

US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden attended mass at the Sacred Heart and St. Ia Catholic Church in St. Ives this morning before the US leader headed back to nearby Carbis Bay for the final day of the G7 summit. 

Upon departure, Biden was asked about the church by reporters, which he answered was “beautiful.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, was spotted running on the beach and enjoying a morning dip in the sea at Carbis Bay before the serious business of the day got underway.

7:04 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

UK and South Korean leaders promise closer ties on trade, security and defense

From CNN's Mia Alberti

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in meets with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Carbis Bay, England, on June 13.
South Korea's President Moon Jae-in meets with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Carbis Bay, England, on June 13. Stefan Rousseau/WPA Pool/Getty Images

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in committed to increasing links on across trade, security and defense in a bilateral meeting at the G7 summit meeting today, Downing Street said.

South Korea is not a member of the Group of Seven but is one of several nations invited to this year's summit, in Cornwall, England, as a guest.

“The two leaders set out their commitment to increasing UK-South Korea links across trade, security and defence, as the UK strengthens its ties with the Indo-Pacific region," a Downing Street spokesperson said.

“The PM reiterated the UK’s full support for Seoul’s position on the situation in the Korean Peninsula and they discussed other foreign policy issues."

The two leaders agreed on the importance of increasing girls' access to education around the world, the spokesperson said. 

“They also discussed the importance of driving forward action on addressing climate change and preserving biodiversity ahead of COP26 in November, by moving away from coal and working together on a new green industrial revolution.” 

The leaders of the world's most heavily industrialized nations are under pressure to make real commitments to address the climate crisis ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow later this year.