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G7 summit news — live: Attenborough issues climate warning as Biden urges tougher stance on China

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Treat climate change as ‘global security threat’, David Attenborough urges

David Attenborough will today tell G7 leaders they face some of the most important decisions in human history as he calls for stronger action on the climate crisis.

The broadcaster and environmentalist will speak at a climate session on the final day of the summer in Cornwall, delivering a message to G7 leaders and guests Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa, at a session on climate and nature.

In advance of the meeting, he said: “The natural world today is greatly diminished. That is undeniable.

“The decisions we make this decade – in particular the decisions made by the most economically advanced nations – are the most important in human history.”

Meanwhile, Joe Biden is urging G7 leaders to take a tougher line on China’s human rights abuses. The US president wants a communique to condemn forced labour in Xinjiang – but other nations are said to be hesitant.

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Bidens attend mass

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden have attended morning Mass in Cornwall on the final day of the G7 summit.

The couple arrived at the Sacred Heart and St Ia Catholic Church in St Ives, a short drive from where they have been staying in Carbis Bay, at 9.15am and left just after 9.40am.

Asked for his thoughts on the church, Mr Biden said it was “beautiful”.

(AFP via Getty Images)

He did not answer a question about the G7 and China.

The president is open about his Catholic faith and famously visited the St Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church in Delaware on the morning of the US election last November.

His speeches regularly include biblical references and he reportedly received a congratulatory phone call from Pope Francis after winning last year’s election.

Matt Mathers13 June 2021 11:40

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ICYMI: As Biden talks climate on the world stage, his own green plans are in danger

Joe Biden’s early ambition is running smack into political reality, both at home and abroad, writes my colleague Andrew Naughtie:

Matt Mathers13 June 2021 11:30

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Full report: G7 summit an ‘unforgiveable moral failure’ after vaccination promise broken, Gordon Brown warns

Our deputy politics editor, Rob Merrick, has a wrap of the former prime minister’s comments in his interview this morning.

Matt Mathers13 June 2021 11:15

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EU ‘trying to change status of Northern Ireland’ against its people’s will, Dominic Raab claims

Dominic Raab has accused the EU of “trying to change the status of Northern Ireland” against the will of its people, in a further ramping up of the conflict.

Our deputy politics editor Rob Merrick reports:

Matt Mathers13 June 2021 11:00

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‘Stop bickering’ on protocol and get a deal done, Labour says

Ministers need to stop bickering with the EU and find practical solutions on issues surrounding Brexit’s Northern Ireland protocol.

She said a Swiss-style veterinary agreement could be the “most realistic” way forward, a sentiment shared by Irish PM Micheal Martin.

Ms Thornberry, Labour’s shadow trade secretary, also accused the government of not wanting to follow EU rules on food standards because “they want to have the potential to lower our farm standards and our food standards in order to be able to accommodate other future trade deals.”

She told Sky News: “What we should be doing is looking at what is in Britain’s interests. They have always said they will not lower our food and farming standards below what there is in the European Union, so if that is right why can’t we just agree that with the European Union?”

“The irony here is we have the US President saying ‘you know what the most important thing is not a trade deal between Britain and the United States – the most important thing is the Good Friday Agreement. We in America are prioritising that and we think that you in Britain should be doing that too’.”

On Covid-19, Ms Thornberry also accused the government of not acting quickly enough to stop travel from India to stop the spread of the Delta variant.

Matt Mathers13 June 2021 10:35

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Who runs the world? Not G7, says China

China has hit back at the G7, telling leaders that the days when “small” groups of countries dictated global decisions are “long gone”.

In a statement today, a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in London said: “The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone.

“We always believe that countries, big or small, strong or weak, poor or rich, are equals, and that world affairs should be handled through consultation by all countries.”

Matt Mathers13 June 2021 10:04

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‘Unforgivable moral failure’: Gordon Brown criticises G7 leaders on 1 billion vaccine pledge

Former prime minister Gordon Brown has said the G7 summit “will go down as a missed opportunity” due to the lack of a plan to deliver 11 billion vaccine doses.

Speaking to Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday programme, he said: “When we needed 11 billion vaccines, we’ve only got offered a plan for one billion.”

He added: “I think this summit will also go down as an unforgivable moral failure, when the richest countries are sitting around the table with the power to do something about it.

“Now that we’ve discovered the vaccine, we have not delivered the comprehensive plan that will deliver vaccination by the middle of next year.”

Mr Brown continued: “We will have a huge problem of a division between the richest countries that are safe and the poorest countries that are not safe.

“But then the problem will come back to haunt the richest countries because we will have contagion spreading that will hurt even the people who are vaccinated because of mutations and variants.”

Matt Mathers13 June 2021 09:43

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Raab: EU showing lack of respect to Northern Ireland

During his interview with Sky News’s Trevor Phillips earlier, foreign secretary Dominic Raab also accused the EU of showing a lack of respect to Northern Ireland.

Mr Raab claimed some leaders had “serially” talked about Northern Ireland as though it were a different country to the UK.

He said: “What we cannot have is the continuing disruption of trade and effectively try to change the status of Northern Ireland, contrary to the consent and wishes of the people, which is not just contrary to the Northern Ireland Protocol but also to the Belfast Agreement.

“We have serially seen senior EU figures talk about Northern Ireland as if it was some kind of different country to the UK. It is not only offensive, it has real world effects on the communities in Northern Ireland, creates great concern, great consternation.

“Could you imagine if we talked about Catalonia, the Flemish part of Belgium, one of the lander in Germany, northern Italy, Corsica in France as different countries. We need a bit of respect here.”

Matt Mathers13 June 2021 09:30

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PM meets with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa

Boris Johnson and South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa attend a bilateral meeting during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.

Later today leaders will have a discussion on climate change and watch a pre-recorded message from Sir David Attenborough.

They are expected to issue a communique as the summit closes.

(AP)

Matt Mathers13 June 2021 09:23

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Raab: UK wants to ease tensions with EU on Northern Ireland

The UK wants to ease tensions with the EU amid an ongoing row over Brexit’s Northern Ireland protocol, Dominic Raab has said.

“We want tensions eased, we want a flexible, pragmatic approach. What we cannot have is both the Northern Ireland protocol being applied in a very lopsided way or the Good Friday Agreement being undermined as a result of it,” the foreign secretary told Sky News.

He also refused to comment on claims made by Boris Johnson that France president, Emmanuel Macron, suggested during talks yesterday that Northern Ireland was not part of the UK.

Matt Mathers13 June 2021 09:03

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