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G7 leaders take on China, Covid and climate

The leaders are also set to promise more financial support for developing countries on the sharp edge of climate change

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CARBIS BAY, United Kingdom (AFP) — G7 leaders on Saturday confronted China and the threat of future pandemics as the elite club of wealthy nations advertised a newfound Western unity at its first physical summit since 2019.

After an informal evening get-together — featuring a Royal Air Force aerobatics display, beach barbecue, firepit marshmallows and a Cornish troupe singing sea shanties — the leaders were to wrap up their three-day summit on Sunday.

At their concluding session in Cornwall, southwest England, US President Joe Biden and his colleagues will back new conservation and emission targets to curb climate change, according to the UK hosts.

In a “Nature Compact” to be released Sunday with the G7’s final communique, they will commit to nearly halving their carbon emissions by 2030 — relative to 2010 — as well as vowing to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.

The leaders are also set to promise more financial support for developing countries on the sharp edge of climate change, in the buildup to the UN’s COP26 environmental summit in Scotland in November.

Such actions were unthinkable under former president Donald Trump, but Biden is touting a message of revived US leadership on his first foreign tour.

“We’re on the same page,” Biden told reporters as he met French President Emmanuel Macron on the summit sidelines, pushing to rally the West against a resurgent China and recalcitrant Russia.

Asked if other G7 leaders agreed with him about a US diplomatic renaissance, Biden pointed to Macron, who replied: “Definitely.”

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