Boris Johnson to hold meetings with world leaders as G7 summit closes
The Prime Minister will hold meetings with Japanese leader Shinzo Abe, Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and outgoing Italian premier Giuseppe Conte.
Boris Johnson will hold a series of meetings with world leaders as the G7 summit draws to a close – including Australian counterpart Scott Morrison the day after England’s stunning Ashes cricket victory.
The Prime Minister will also hold face-to-face meetings with Japanese leader Shinzo Abe, Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and outgoing Italian premier Giuseppe Conte.
Mr Morrison told reporters at the summit in Biarritz he was braced for the Prime Minister to raise the Ben Stokes-inspired England victory in the Ashes test to level the series 1-1.
“I’m sure he’ll give me a hard time about the fact they clipped us in the latest Ashes,” Mr Morrison said.
In a sign of how cricket diplomacy is playing a part at the gathering of world leaders, Downing Street insiders said Mr Johnson found out about Sunday’s Headingley test win from Indian leader Narendra Modi.
In the main business on the agenda at the gathering of the world’s richest democracies, the leaders will consider how to protect the environment, with Mr Johnson pledging £10 million to help prevent the destruction of the Amazon.
He also called on world leaders to step up efforts to save endangered species.
The funding for the South American rainforest will be made available immediately to protect and restore the habitat, including in areas affected by the current fires.
The Prime Minister will use the G7 summit in Biarritz to call for ambitious new targets to halt and reverse the loss of habitats and species, arguing that efforts to protect biodiversity and tackle climate change are “two sides of the same coin”.
Mr Johnson said: “In a week where we have all watched, horrified, as the Amazon rainforest burns before our eyes, we cannot escape the reality of the damage we are inflicting on the natural world.
“The planet faces two immense threats: climate change and biodiversity loss. These are two sides of the same coin – it is impossible to solve one challenge without fixing the other.
“We cannot stop climate change without protecting the natural environment and we can’t restore global nature without tackling climate change.”
But environmental campaigners questioned Mr Johnson’s commitment to the agenda following reports his Government is set to cut fuel duty.
Aaron Kiely, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “It doesn’t add up for the Government to commit to global biodiversity and pay the usual lip-service to the climate emergency while cutting fuel duty at home.”
Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said the “tragedy unfolding in the Amazon should not be used as a PR stunt”.
He said: “The truth is that £10 million is an embarrassingly tiny contribution to deal with the situation in the Amazon which is part of the sustained anti-environment campaign being waged by a right-wing Brazilian government.”
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