Scott Morrison arrives in UK for G7 amid climate change protests | Australia News
Scott Morrison arrived at the G7 meeting of the world’s most advanced economies amid protests against climate change and a call from Prince Charles to “do it for the planet”.
Formal talks on economic recovery, global resilience and foreign policy began on Friday between leaders of the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan .
Australia is one of four guest countries invited to the G7 and Morrison will only have observer status at the summit in Cornwall, southwest England.
As a leader of one of the four invited countries, Morrison will join other world leaders alongside South Africa, South Korea and India to official conferences on climate and nature, health and societies open on Saturdays and Sundays.
Speaking at an official reception for G7 leaders, Prince Charles said the Covid-19 pandemic “shows what a truly borderless crisis looks like.”
âYet climate change and biodiversity loss represent a borderless crisis whose solutions have been debated and postponed for far too long. “
The future King of the United Kingdom said the global response to the pandemic and the way countries are working together is an example of the scale and speed at which the global community can come together to address a crisis when political will was mobilized.
“We are doing it for the pandemic (…) we must also do it for the planet,” he said.
As the leaders arrived, nearly 100 climate change activists who had marched for six days to arrive at Carbis Day followed suit.
Morrison faces pressures on Australia’s climate change record, with targets seen as low-ambition and its status as a major producer and exporter of fossil fuels.
G7 environment ministers have agreed to achieve climate targets in line with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 Â° C.
âThis is a very important place for Australia today as we land here in the UK to join the G7-plus dialogue,â Morrison said.
His plane was due to land at Newquay Airport in Cornwall, but was canceled due to heavy fog, requiring several hours of driving to reach the summit location.
âThis is the third time that we have had the privilege of being invited to participate in these discussions and there is a lot on the agenda for Australia,â he said.
Morrison had previously been invited to the 2019 G7-plus summit in Biarritz, France, while the 2020 event was scheduled to take place in the United States but was canceled due to the pandemic.
Australia would commit 20 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in an effort led by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to vaccinate the world, he said.
“These 20 million doses will be used to sustain doses in our region, to ensure that we continue to exercise our responsibility as part of a broader global responsibility to fight this virus.” “
“There has never been a more important time for Australia to sit around such a table,” said Morrison.
âDealing with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the recession it has caused and the recovery we are building, especially at home in Australia, as our economy is bigger today than it is. was before the pandemic hit. “
He said the summit would help ensure “the rules-based order that not only protects our trade but also protects our seas and protects how countries can live and work together positively all over the world.”
Australia is also set to close a free trade deal with the UK, with officials hoping for progress as Morrison meets with Johnson after the G7 concludes on Sunday.
Farmers’ access to Britain has been a key sticking point in the negotiations as British farm groups worry about the market flooding with Australian beef and lamb.
Australia has denied this claim, the National Farmers Federation estimates that 0.15% of all beef exports go to the UK.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham, who launched the negotiations when he held the trade portfolio, signaled that a deal was near, saying Australia viewed agricultural market access as crucial to any trade deal.
“What we are looking for there is to have a market as open as it is absolutely possible for Australian goods to enter duty-free and quota-free,” Senator Birmingham told Sky News on Friday. .
Morrison is expected to meet with US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and South Korean Moon Jae-in.
While Morrison is not expected to make new climate commitments, Australia faces calls to support carbon tariffs on emissions-intensive imports.
However, the Prime Minister considers that any form of carbon tariff is against Australia’s national interest.
Morrison is keen to focus on preparing for future pandemics, business-led growth, free and fair trade and the rules-based international order.
Prior to the conference, the Prime Minister had a face-to-face meeting with his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.
Singapore is expected to be the second country after New Zealand to establish a non-quarantine travel bubble with Australia, but a new arrangement remains in months.
Lee said the travel bubble would not be approved until the majority of people in both countries were vaccinated.
Australia lags behind Singapore in the vaccination process, having fully immunized less than 3% of the adult population.
Just under half of Singapore’s 4.7 million people have been fully immunized.