VIDEO - G7 pledges to tackle climate change — live updates

On the final day of the summit in Cornwall, England, G7 leaders will vow to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but environmentalists warn it will be too late. Follow DW for more.

This story was last updated at 1055 UTC/GMT.

South Africa joins conference

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has joined the summit, urged the G7 to help finance the WHO's program to increase COVID-19 testing, diagnostics and vaccines.

"We need to address the substantial financing gap for tests, treatments, critical supplies like oxygen and the health systems that enable testing, treatment and vaccination," Ramaphosa said in the presidency statement, referring to the Access to COVID-19 Tools

"If all G7 countries met their fair share target, this initiative would be two-thirds funded – and it would be 90% funded if all G20 countries made their fair share
contributions," Ramaphosa said.

Commitment to COVID vaccines 

G7 countries will provide one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses over the next year and work with the private sector and other countries to increase the contribution over the next months, according to a communique draft.

"The commitments since we last met in February 2021 including here in Carbis Bay provide for one billion doses over the next year," the communique said.

"We will work together with the private sector, the G20 and other countries to increase this contribution over the months to come," it added.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lauded the vaccine pledge but said it's not enough.

He said at least 11 billion doses are needed to vaccinate at least 70% of the world's population by the middle of next year.

"We need more and we need them faster,'' Tedros said.

Climate policy and cooperating with China

DW correspondent Alexandra von Nahmen says climate policy is a "top priority" for G7 countries.

Speaking from Cornwall, England, where the G7 summit is taking place, von Nahmen says leaders are expected to discuss the phasing out of diesel and patrol cars as well as ending the use of coal "as soon as possible." She added that the leaders are unlikely to specify a deadline.  

Concerning relations between the West and China, von Nahmen said: "The US is pushing and hoping for a united front to counter China's rise," with European countries being "very cautious not to push it too far to the extent that it would prevent any cooperation with China."

"What we expect from the (final) communique is to strike a balance, to stress that it is important to work on global issues with Beijing such as climate change," she said, adding that the G7 would also be expected to "call out China for human rights abuses" and that the Chinese government should "use fair methods to compete with western economies."

Oxfam activists get creative at a climate protest at Swanpool Beach near Falmouth during the G7 summit

Phasing out coal

The heads of state plan to commit to steps to limit state subsidies for fossil energy sources.

The US, Germany, Britain and Canada say they intend to provide developing countries with up to $2 billion (€1.65 billion) to accelerate their phase-out of coal.

A White House statement also said that the G7 would coordinate climate targets so that the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels — as outlined in the Paris climate agreement — remains "within reach."

Attenborough warns humans are 'destabilizing' planet

British naturalist Sir David Attenborough is to address the G7 delegates by video link, warning that countries must take urgent action to avoid human-made environmental disasters.

In remarks released ahead of his speech, Attenborough said global warming and loss of biodiversity are "beyond doubt," as is the fact that "our societies and nations are unequal."

"The question science forces us to address specifically in 2021 is whether, as a result of these intertwined facts, we are on the verge of destabilizing the entire planet?"

"If that is so, then the decisions we make this decade, in particular the decisions made by the most economically advanced nations, are the most important in human history," Attenborough added.

Tougher climate measures

The third and final day of the G7 summit takes place in Cornwall, England, on Sunday.

The UK wants to use the summit to coordinate global climate targets and persuade world leaders to agree on tougher climate measures, such as the phasing out of coal.

The heads of state and government will discuss steps on how to limit state subsidies for fossil energy sources as well as how to accelerate the phase-out of coal.

mvb/mm (AP, Reuters, dpa)