The Cornwall G7 summit sought to re-establish a common purpose among the richest democracies of the world. It also continued with the recent tradition among the rich to seek more than their “fair” share from the large developing countries. Climate change was a clear case in point.
With Joe Biden at the helm in the US and climate champion Europe as his partner, climate leadership had to be a priority for the G7 that accounts for around 60 per cent of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere emitted over time and 25 per cent of current global GHG emissions. In per-capita terms, G7 emissions are among the highest in the major economies.
The Cornwall summit, however, made an equal effort to shift the responsibility to the large developing countries, even though “common and differentiated responsibilities” is the agreed guiding principle for tackling climate change — differentiation underscores the responsibility of the industrialised countries to lead.
In the new template, differentiation appears to mean that the big push on climate change must come from the large developing countries. So, all eyes will now shift to the G20 summit in October in Italy, where China, India and Russia will be present.