June 13, 2021

CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said she hoped that a new Group of Seven task force can present first infrastructure projects in developing countries in 2022.

The world’s seven most advanced economies signalled during the summit a desire to build a rival to China’s multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative.

U.S. President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders hope their plan, known as the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative, will help narrow the $40 trillion needed by developing nations by 2035, the White House said.

It was not immediately clear how exactly the plan would work or how much capital it would ultimately allocate.

The G7 had recognised that they had to deliver support for the development of poorer countries, Merkel said at a news conference.

“For countries in need of development, only concrete projects count,” she said. “I hope that we will be able to present such projects already during the next G7 summit, which will be in Germany.”

Germany will take over the G7 presidency from Britain next year.

On the issue of exiting the use of CO2-polluting coal, Merkel said that finding a concrete, joint date for ending its usage had not been possible.

A draft of the summit’s final declaration, seen by Reuters, said there was an intention to get out of coal to most extents.

It also pledged support of $100 billion annually for developing countries to support them in their fight against climate change, for which Germany raised its contribution promises.

On the issue of forced labour, Merkel, referring to China as an example, said the G7 had clearly stated what it considered to be deficits.

“In many international locations, democracy cannot be lived in the way that we imagine and where there is human suffering,” she said.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke in Berlin; Writing by Vera Eckert; Editing by David Goodman and Raissa Kasolowsky)