G7 vows action on vaccines, climate change
G7 leaders yesterday vowed to start delivering one billion doses of Covid vaccines and to step up action on climate change.
In a final communique issued at their first physical summit in nearly two years, the leaders of the elite club largely hewed to US President Joe Biden's push to regain the West's cohesion after Donald Trump's tumultuous tenure.
"We will harness the power of democracy, freedom, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights to answer the biggest questions and overcome the greatest challenges," Biden and his colleagues from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan said.
But the pledge on vaccines for poorer nations fell far short of the 11 billion doses that campaigners say are needed to end a pandemic that has claimed nearly four million lives.
Likewise, the G7's pledges to deliver more aid for countries at the sharp end of climate change, and to phase out fossil fuel investments, were decried as too little, too late ahead of a UN summit in November.
India and South Africa, who took part as guests, had pressed for the gathering to waive intellectual property rights on Western vaccines. But Britain and Germany were notable holdouts.
Campaigners also complained the G7 had failed to flesh out how it will pay for a newly agreed "Nature Compact" -- aimed to protect 30 percent of the world's land and oceans from despoliation by 2030.