According to host Olaf Scholz (SPD), a “signal of unity and determination” should emanate from the G7 summit, which applies to all topics discussed there, but especially to the deliberations of the heads of state and government of Germany, France, Italy, UK, USA, Canada and Japan on Ukraine and Russia. An overview.
The partners are convinced that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin underestimated how harshly the western industrialized countries reacted to his war of aggression and how closely they coordinated. “The good news is that we managed to stay united,” Scholz said on Sunday in a conversation with US President Joe Biden shortly before the start of the meeting.
Some observers judge that Russia’s brutal actions, which violate international law, are forging all NATO members and its ally Japan closer together than before. That is why it is important for the G7 not to show weakness in the struggle with the aggressor. Joe Biden set the goal: “We have to stay together.”
The summit participants know what the Ukrainian President expects from them: more weapons. Volodymyr Zelenskyj is to be connected to the summit via video on Monday. On Saturday he said his country was going through a morally and emotionally difficult phase of the war. Within half a day, Ukraine was hit by 45 Russian missiles. This is a clear signal so shortly before the G7 and NATO summits. Again he called for more air defense systems.
But this topic is more of a topic for the NATO summit following the G7 summit in Madrid on Wednesday. Instead, it should be about the medium and long-term financing of Ukraine and its reconstruction. The plan is to draw up a Marshall Plan – analogous to the US fund from the time after World War II, which financed the reconstruction in anti-communist Western Europe. Far more money is needed than the five billion euros that Kyiv currently needs per month to balance its budget.
As a further punitive measure against Russia, an import ban on Russian gold is under discussion. Great Britain, the USA, Japan and Canada had announced this step before the start of the meeting. The move will “hit the Russian oligarchs directly” and attack “the heart of Kremlin boss Putin’s war machine,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
The US is seeking an agreement in principle on its proposal for an international price cap for Russian oil. It envisages forcing Russia to sell oil to large buyers such as India at a significantly lower price in the future. This could work by the West tying services such as insurance for oil shipments to compliance with the price cap.
On the one hand, the upper limit is intended to ensure that Russia no longer benefits from price increases on the energy market. On the other hand, this should contribute to a relaxation on the oil markets worldwide.
Not only in the EU, but also in the USA, the high fuel prices are currently a big issue. But the plan also has a catch, especially if it were to be expanded to include gas supplies: there is a risk that other buyers would then be found for oil or liquefied gas, which could ultimately exacerbate the energy crisis in Europe.
With a price cap, LNG ships could stay in Asia, for example, and not go to Europe. The only reason why German gas storage facilities have been so well filled at almost 60 percent is because people were willing to pay very high gas prices. It is also about supporting some developing and emerging countries, so that they can expand their gas production in particular; Germany in particular is experiencing the fatal consequences of being too dependent on Russian gas. “These are all highly difficult issues, which of course all have to be strictly reconciled with the Paris climate goals,” says German government circles.
After all, it should be a transitional phase and you want to avoid new, long-term supply contracts. But without gas as a bridge to an energy supply based primarily on renewable energies, it will not work.
Although the climate crisis has been pushed into the background somewhat by the Ukraine war, it was originally supposed to be the top topic. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to implement his idea of a “climate club”.
A kind of merger of all countries that want to be climate-neutral by 2050. Germany wants to address European countries in particular, as well as the USA and other G7 countries, which account for 21 percent of global CO2 emissions. But they also want to work even more closely on this topic with key countries like China, regardless of other problem areas in the mutual relationship.
Climate policy measures should be coordinated with each other, comparable regulations should be established, such as the coordinated introduction of CO2 border adjustment measures – this can include punitive tariffs on steel products, for example, if the producing countries do not meet certain climate standards and can therefore produce cheaper.
The goal is an international market with comparable standards. Internationally, climate protection should be a locational advantage and not a disadvantage. It is also important to avoid switching to countries that have low environmental standards.
At the same time, attempts are also being made to advance the energy transition partnerships with emerging and developing countries that have very high emissions and have to convert an entire energy sector.
Talks had already been held with South Africa in advance. One is on the right track, the interest in the concept would be great, it says with a view to Scholz’s idea of a global climate club.
Through attention and investments that also benefit the Global South. The new global infrastructure initiative of the G7 is to have a total volume of 600 billion dollars by 2027. The US alone plans to allocate $200 billion in public and private funding, he said.
Among other things, investments in the health system and in the digital infrastructure as well as climate and energy are planned.
EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced that the EU would contribute 300 billion dollars. Scholz said the G7 could make the world “a stronger, more compelling offer” than, say, autocracies.
Among other things, consideration is being given to submitting a Western counter-offer to the New Silk Road being promoted by China.