Compliance with G7 Cornwall commitments
The year since the Cornwall Summit has been shaped by ongoing crises, which could draw attention to related issues at Elmau – but there may also be knock-on effects in other areas
The G7’s Cornwall Summit on 11–13 June 2021 marked the first year back to in-person summitry with a full agenda following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This summit addressed many high priority issues, with health and climate dominating the response to facilitating COVID-19 vaccinations globally and to a year of extreme climate shocks. It produced the most substantial communiqués ever, containing 429 commitments.
Of these 429 collectively agreed, future-oriented, politically binding commitments, the G7 Research Group selected 22 priority commitments, reflecting the number of commitments Cornwall leaders made on specific subjects, to be analysed for members’ compliance with them during the following year. These priority commitments included four on health and six on climate (including commitments referring to climate change, environment and energy). The Cornwall Summit also had a full roster of commitments on the typical agenda items including trade, the economy, democracy, human rights, development, regional security, crime and corruption, digital economy and gender.
From the day after the Cornwall Summit, 14 June 2021, until 1 February 2022, G7 members as a group achieved a high 85% compliance with the 22 selected priority commitments. While this was lower than the 93% interim compliance with commitments analysed from the 2020 United States Virtual Summit, it was higher than interim scores for the 2019 Biarritz Summit at 79% and the 2018 Charlevoix Summit at 83%, signifying a strong return to effective G7 summitry following the onset of the pandemic.
The most highly complying members were Germany, the European Union and the US, which all achieved an average interim compliance of 91%. The least compliant member was Italy, with 68%. Three commitments received 100% compliance: those on biodiversity loss, sustainable growth in Africa and education equality (gender). The two commitments with the lowest compliance, at 56%, were on democracy in China and marine health and litter. Of the 22 priority commitments tracked, 17 received a compliance score of 81% or higher. Compliance is expected to increase when the final assessments have been completed on the eve of the 2022 Elmau Summit.
Indeed, compliance has continued to improve in the months leading up to the Elmau Summit. By mid April 2022, overall compliance reached 89%, an increase of five percentage points since 1 February 2022. The United Kingdom made the most improvement to reach 95%, a nine percentage point increase from its interim score of 86%, and thus surpassing Germany, the European Union and the US. Four commitments improved to achieve 100% compliance: health (vaccines), marine health and litter, regional security (addressing instability) and disease prevention.
The year since the Cornwall Summit has been shaped by ongoing crises. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has unsettled the international order and crippled the EU’s supply of oil and gas, and exacerbated already high inflation rates across G7 members. The invasion may distract the leaders’ attention from issues such as health or gender. Additionally, the resulting shock to international oil and gas supplies could have consequences for the transition to green energy sources, and thus also for compliance with climate-oriented commitments. In the long run, this shock may accelerate the green transition – especially in the EU. However, short-term demands for oil and gas could lead to an increase in fossil fuel production in G7 members.