Tony Staunton is a member of the Campaign against Climate Change steering group and one of the founding members of the Resist G7 coalition, initiated by grassroots activists in Cornwall and the South West. Here he sets out how climate justice is not on the table at the G7 and the need to resist.
The G7 is a meeting of the world's most powerful political leaders, scheduled for 11th-13th June 2021 in the UK. These leaders govern the richest countries in the world in their own interests, and the G7 exists to keep it that way.
These government ministers will sit behind military security to meet at a luxury hotel complex in one the most picturesque but poorest regions of Europe - Cornwall. Resetting the global economy after the Pandemic will be the key discussion throughout, with the Climate Emergency centre-fold and used to dominate the media with messages of new economic growth through questionable "Green Technologies", promoted by billionaire Bill Gates and his ilk.
Global capitalism - the neoliberal free-market domination of the transnational corporations for agrochemicals, industrial agriculture, biofuels, together with the so-called Negative Emissions Technology (NET) of Carbon-Capture-and-Storage, mini-nuclear power plants and carbon trading - is the default setting.
The G7 wealthiest nations, hosted by UK Prime Minister Johnson, has invited India's Prime Minister Modi, currently assaulting millions of small farmers to enforce corporate dominance of food markets, and Australia's Morrison, the coal and uranium enthusiast.
The headlines from the G7 will be a prelude to what can be expected from the COP26 deliberations in November, once again led by the UK.
The Campaign against Climate Change is supporting the Resist G7 Coalition established soon after the venue was announced. Based in Cornwall, England, the Coalition has issued the call for action in every community, town and city with a day of action for Climate on Friday 11th June and an international manifestation of opposition to G7 neoliberalism on Saturday12th.
Local protests will take place in Cornwall, with convergence centres and counter-conferences in Penzance and Falmouth. The continuing risk from COVID variants makes the long journey to Cornwall by coach unsafe, and any physical protests called by the Coalition will seek to ensure ensure social distancing and personal protection.
The G7+ cannot pass unchallenged. Our planet is on fire. While world leaders dine in a restaurant where the most expensive wine costs £850 a bottle, the climate and ecological crisis rages on. Yet those world leaders won't even mention climate justice. Countries in the Global South are already paying the highest price in the climate crisis despite being the least responsible for causing it. And these countries, facing climate devastation, won't even get a seat at the G7 table.
The Resist G7 Coalition of grassroots groups is supported by a range of established campaigns for direct action to challenge the political and economic status quo. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Stop the War Coalition nationally are leading the call for exposure of the warmongering still being waged between rival imperialisms represented at the G7 conference.
We are clear that barbarous levels of global military expenditure should be converted into investment in the Just Transition to fossil-free energy production by 2030 and the reduction to zero-carbon emissions soon after that. Laying waste to millions of lives and the environment, the current global heating emissions from the global military industry dwarfs all others.
The Campaign against Climate Change will be leading the exposure of the inherent racism of current policies towards the Climate Emergency, and demanding Global Justice. Prime Minister Morrison's institutional racism against refugees in Australia have become a blueprint for Britain's own border controls against inward migration by people of colour. The implications of Fortress UK, Fortress Europe and Fortress USA for the hundreds of millions of climate refugees predicted in the next 20 years are horrific and require immediate challenge from the entire Movement of Movements.
Currently the G7 is busy reaching out to very select representatives of civic society in the UK and internationally to build a Court and a moat of tacit support for neoliberalism around the fortress of their Conference at Carbis Bay. The "G7 engagement groups" of business, charities, NGO's and trade unions are invited to consult upon economic, environmental, health, trade and "labour" policies, technology, development and foreign policy issues. Supporters of the neoliberal doctrine, the economics of consumerism and privatisation will flock to join, and we must counter their cheers and flag-waving.
As well as welcoming G7 leaders to Cornwall in June, the UK will host a number of meetings throughout the year between a variety of Government Ministers from the G7, both virtually and in different locations across the nations, "...ensuring many areas of the country experience the benefits of the UK's G7 Presidency".
The likely outcomes of the G7+ Conference are already enshrined in the quest for economic growth and exploitation of global markets, raw materials and ordinary working people. We should ensure that no meeting or statement from the G7 goes without challenge. The Coalition is calling for protest wherever the G7 emerges.
The Campaign against Climate Change will be taking these arguments to the UK and international trade union movement and climate movements in the coming weeks and months to build as strong and powerful a voice of exposure and opposition the G7 as possible.
We recommend your organisation signs-up to the Resist G7 Coalition and takes action wherever and however you can in June. And then on, to COP26 in Glasgow in November!
You can download the RG7 Statement of Intent and Code of Conduct here
, along with a model motion for organisations to debate and ratify, with a request for sponsorship and donations to help fund accommodation, publicity and convergence. Support the RG7 social media call on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok. Or you can email at ResistG7 [at] protonmail.com