I would like to update Parliament on the outcomes of the UK’s G7 presidency in 2021 and the costs of the 2021 G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.
As the most prominent grouping of democratic countries, the G7 has long been the catalyst for decisive international action to tackle the greatest challenges we face. Alongside leaders from G7 nations and the EU, the Prime Minister also invited leaders from Australia, India, the Republic of Korea and South Africa to attend the summit as guest countries. Between them, the leaders represented almost two-thirds of people living in democracies around the world.
The summit in Cornwall was the first in-person gathering of G7 leaders in almost two years and was a crucial opportunity to build back better from the covid-19 pandemic, uniting to make the future fairer, greener and more prosperous.
Under the UK’s leadership, the G7 made major achievements during the course of last year’s presidency, both through the leaders’ summit and through a series of ministerial policy tracks. These include:
Ending financing for coal power, which was then adopted by 25 nations and major finance institutions at COP26;
A global commitment to protect, conserve or restore 30% of land and ocean areas by 2030 (the 30 by 30 initiative), which was then adopted by 70 countries at COP26;
Establishing the G7 partnership for infrastructure and investment which will support the developing world to invest in clean, green infrastructure;
A commitment to provide a combined total of 1 billion covid-19 vaccines to poorer countries in order to vaccinate the world by the end of 2022, support for a “global pandemic radar” to spot pathogens before they spread and develop the ability to create new vaccines, treatments and tests in 100 days;
A collective G7 pledge of at least $2.75 billion funding over the next five years for the global partnership for education replenishment, and a G7 endorsement of two new global girls’ education targets to ensure that, by 2026, 40 million more girls are in school and 20 million more girls are reading by the age of 10 or by the end of primary school.
More than 130 countries (representing more than 90% of world GDP) signed up to a new international corporate tax framework, including working to implement the 15% minimum global tax rate.
Benefits to the UK
The benefits to Cornwall of hosting the G7 summit in Carbis Bay and the international media centre in Falmouth were felt across the duchy.
Local suppliers were used for food, drink, hospitality and gifts enjoyed by leaders and their delegations. Local artisans were profiled as a result of their contribution to the event. Her Majesty’s Government estimate that a minimum of £28.7 million was provided to Cornwall through Cornish suppliers and businesses, Cornwall Council and Cornwall Police. This includes a significant investment of £7.8 million in Cornwall Airport Newquay to improve its facilities and support its transition to becoming one of the UK’s first licensed spaceports, directly creating 200 high-skilled jobs and forecasted to bring £200 million to the Cornish economy by 2035.
Visit Cornwall estimated that the value of the international spotlight on Cornwall was at least £50 million through increased bookings from international travellers.
In addition, £2.16 million was provided for legacy projects throughout Cornwall, including nature recovery, creating opportunities for young people and supporting local regeneration.
The Government were committed to hosting a green summit, and successfully achieved both carbon neutral certification and the International Organization for Standardization 20121, an international standard for sustainable event management.
The total estimated cost of putting on a safe and secure G7 summit at Carbis Bay in Cornwall was £90.7 million, split between the costs of the event itself and the costs of policing and security in Cornwall. This was under budget and cost less in real terms than the previous UK-hosted G8 summit at Lough Erne in 2013. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office managed the logistical arrangements for the summit.
The Home Office co-ordinated policing and security for the G7 summit with Devon and Cornwall police, other security partners and Whitehall Departments. The total costs of the police and security operation were approximately £52.7 million. DCP were responsible for the operational delivery of a secure summit, involving almost 1,500 DCP officers and staff supplemented by 5,000 mutual aid police officers from police forces in England and Wales, and Scotland.
The experience of hosting the G7 summit also supported savings for COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, the largest event of its kind that the UK has ever hosted.
The UK presidency of the G7 also included work across seven ministerial tracks, run by relevant Government Departments with support from the Cabinet Office G7 taskforce, as well as six official G7 engagement groups and two advisory panels: the economic resilience panel and gender equality advisory committee. Costs for these elements are not included in this statement.