The G7 Summit 2020 is this year’s long-anticipated meeting between some of the world’s most powerful leaders, representing America, Canada, France, Germany, Italy Japan, and the UK. The meeting was supposed to happen on June 10 through June 12, 2020, in Camp David, considered “the country retreat for the president of the United States.”
But now, Trump has announced he will postpone the G7 Summit 2020 to September at the earliest, CNN reports. What’s more, Trump plans to invite Russia, Australia, India, and South Korea to the meeting, citing the current roster of countries is “a very outdated group of countries,” Trump told reporters Saturday.
Some back and forth about when (and how) the summit would be held
While there has been some debate as to whether the G7 Summit 2020 should be held in-person in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Trump took to Twitter May 20th maintaining that the event would still be held in Camp David.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel “couldn’t confirm” that she would be in attendance if the meeting would be done in-person, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Merkel’s spokesperson. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in a similar boat, citing Canada’s quarantine rules and health concerns.
Russia’s inclusion in the influential meeting has also been a highly debatable topic. (Recall that the G7 Summit was formerly dubbed G8, but Russia was removed from the group after annexing Crimea.)
No plans to discuss climate change at G7 Summit 2020
The Amazon rainforest fires were an important topic of discussion at the G7 Summit in 2019 (and led to the group committing $20 million in aid). The G7 also discussed climate change and biodiversity loss at what it called the G7 Climate Summit, but Trump notably skipped it.
In 2019, Mick Mulvaney, then the Trump administration’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget (and later his now-replaced Chief of Staff), said that climate change would not be a part of the agenda at the G7 Summit 2020.
The Trump administration’s EPA also rolled back environmental regulations during the Covid-19, and nine states are suing the agency for putting American lives at risk.
Emission levels have gone back ten years during the pandemic and a conversation about climate action now would presumably have important implications on how leaders can keep these levels low post-pandemic.