Friday 19 February 2021 5:48 pm

G7 leaders commit to green Covid-19 recovery led by free trade

The leaders of the G7 economies today committed to delivering a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The group – which is made up of the UK, US, Japan, Italy, France, Germany, and Canada – pledged to support free trade and co-operation in the face of the enormous damage done by the pandemic.

Leaders also called for further safeguards against a future pandemic to be put in place, as well as backing plans for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics to go ahead.

Making his debut at the virtual summit, US President Joe Biden presented a stark contrast to his predecessor Donald Trump by signalling the US’ commitment to global institutions.

Fittingly, the conference fell on the same day that the US reentered the Paris Climate Change agreements, having pulled out under Trump.

In response, Johnson joked that Biden had “nicked” his “build back better” slogan – though he added that he had probably also stolen it from somewhere.

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In an official statement, the G7 also said that they would work with one another to counter protectionist economic practices by countries like China.

Although they did not mention the world’s second largest economy by name, they said that they would “consult with each other on collective approaches to address non-market oriented policies and practices.”

They also pledged billions of pounds worth of support to global vaccination initiative COVAX.

Although the group control economies with a combined GDP of around $40 trillion – nearly half of the entire global economy – they showed that they were still as susceptible to tech problems as the rest of the world.

As the call got under way, Johnson had to ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel to mute herself after some Zoom issues.