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G7 has decided to launch a new global infrastructure initiative ‘build back better world’ or b3w. this initiative will meet infrastructure challenges in low & middle income countries with focus on climate , health , digital technology & gender equality and equity.

G7 meet:

  • The leaders of seven nations — the U.S., Germany, the U.K., France, Canada, Japan and Italy — met in Cornwall in south-west England, marking the 47th edition of the “Group of seven” summit.
  • G-7 leaders agreed on Sunday to raise their contributions to meet an overdue spending pledge of $100 billion a year to help poorer countries cut carbon emissions and cope with global warming.
  • Addressing the First Outreach Session of G7 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday conveyed India’s commitment to “collective” solution to global health challenges.
  • Prime Minister Modi called for “one earth, one health” approach which aims for unity and solidarity among the states of the world to deal with the pandemic.
  • The Finance Ministers of the G7 had met on June 4-5 in the run-up to the summit and had agreed to backing a minimum global tax rate of 15% for multinational corporations, thereby setting the stage for MNCs to pay a fairer share of taxes in jurisdictions where they make money and profits, rather than playing governments in a race where they will compete on who will tax them the least and allowing MNCs to take advantage of “tax havens”.

What is G7?

  • The G7, originally G8,was set up in 1975 as an informal forum bringing together the leaders of the world’s leading industrial nations.
  • The summit gathers leaders from the European Union (EU) and the following countries:Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The major purposeof the G-7 is to discuss and deliberate on international economic issues. It sometimes acts in concert to help resolve other global problems, with a special focus on economic issues.

How did G7 become G8?

  • Russia was formally inducted as a member in the group in 1998, which led G7 to become G8.
  • However, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s condemnable act of moving Russian troops into eastern Ukraine and conquering Crimea in 2014 drew heavy criticism from the other G8 nations.
  • The other nations of the group decided to suspend Russia from the G8 as a consequence of its actions and the group became G7 again in 2014.

G7 Summit: First summit

Its first summit was held at Rambouillet, France, in 1975.

What does the G7 do?

  • The G7 was formed initially to discuss economic and political concerns prompted by the 1973 oil crisis – when members of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Export Countries, increased the price of oil and cut global supplies to countries seen as having backed Israel in the Yom Kippur War.\
  • Since then, the group has expanded its brief to cover a large number of international issues, including energy security, trade, climate change, global health issues, gender equality, poverty – and any other topic the country holding the G7 presidency chooses to put on the agenda.
  • Today, the G7 are reckoned as the seven wealthiest and most advanced nations in the world because China, which holds the second largest net worth in the world, nonetheless has a low net worth per individual and an economy that has not yet fully modernized.

The G7 fill out numerous global top lists:

  • Leading export countries
  • Largest gold reserves
  • Largest nuclear energy producers
  • Top contributors to the UN budget

Build Back Better World partnership

  • G7 leaders also launched the ‘Build Back Better World’ (B3W) partnership to meet the infrastructure needs of low and middle-income countries as part of efforts to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • The leaders have decided to launch a democratic alternative to the Belt and Road Initiative and have agreed to put together a committee for the same.
  • The initiative will give developing countries access to more, better and faster financing for vital green infrastructure projects.

India’s Stand:

  • India is a natural ally for the G7 countries in defending the shared values from a host of threats stemming from authoritarianism, terrorism and violent extremism, disinformation and economic coercion.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the G7 summit virtually due to the current pandemic situation in the country.
  • This was the first time that India was engaged in ministerial & working-level tracks as a guest country.
  • India’s engagement was fruitful, productive that he hopes to take forward the engagement in various initiatives including in the run up to COP26
  • Expressed concerns that open societies are particularly vulnerable to disinformation and cyber-attacks.
  • It sought the support of the grouping to lift patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines.
  • Planet’s atmosphere, biodiversity and oceans cannot be protected by countries acting in silos, and called for collective action on climate change.
  • India is the only G-20 country on track to meet its Paris commitments.
  • Developing countries need better access to climate finance, and called for a holistic approach towards climate change that covers mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer, climate financing, equity, climate justice and lifestyle change.
  • Highlighted the revolutionary impact of digital technologies on social inclusion and empowerment in India.

Criticisms against G7:

  • G7 gatherings tend to attract thousands of protesters, and it is protested by thousands every year.
  • Many protesters claim the G7 – which has no representative from any African, Russian or Middle Eastern nation – is completely outdated.
  • Protest groups also use the worldwide platform as a stage to lobby and campaign on issues that are important to them.
  • G7 leaders are creating a wide gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ both in their countries as well as across the globe, according to a new report published by non-profit Oxfam International. As a result, they are making the fight against alleviating poverty more difficult, claimed the report.