President Joe Biden began his last day at the G7 wtih a trip to Sunday Mass, as he prepared to join his fellow G7 leaders in backing new conservation and emission targets to curb climate change before heading Windsor Castle for tea with The Queen.
Biden and first lady Jill Biden attended Mass Sunday morning at the Sacred Heart and St. Ia Catholic Church in St. Ives. The two stayed for about half an hour, and shared a kiss as they exited church. Biden said the service was ‘beautiful.’
Biden, a regular church-goer, then headed off to the final two meetings of the summit.
President Joe Biden and US First Lady Jill Biden share a kiss as they leave church after attending mass in St Ives, Cornwall during the G7 summit on June 13, 2021
The president will focus on environmental issues on his last day at the three-day gathering of the world’s wealthiest seven nations. He’ll also hold a solo press conference.
Biden has spent his time in southern England reviving ties with European allies, pushing them to challenge China’s growing economic might, and, in his words, showing ‘America is Back.’ The subtext: Biden is not Donald Trump.
The G7 – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and United States – were eager to hold their first physical summit since August 2019.
Biden has sought to return America to the world stage after Trump’s international isolationism and rebuild relations after Trump alienated European allies.
He made it a point to hold one-on-one with several world leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Saturday, where he reaffirmed his support for the Tokyo Olympics.
The trip to Mass came on the final day of the G7 summit
The morning church visit came before two final scheduled meetings
Biden regularly attends Mass while in Washington and when traveling
President Joe Biden on Sunday will join his fellow G7 leaders in backing new conservation and emission targets to curb climate change
He also had sit downs with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Macron acknowledged the change in American power, taking a swipe at Trump in his remarks, when he fawned over Biden as being ‘part of the club.’
‘What you demonstrate is that leadership is partnership. I think it’s great to have the US president part of the club, and very willing to cooperate,’ Macron said as Biden sat beside him, smiling and nodding.
Differences were down played; the photo ops were jovial.
Merkel, for instance, soft-pedaled differences with the US on China and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will transport natural gas from Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine.
‘The atmosphere is very cooperative, it is characterized by mutual interest,’ she said. ‘There are very good, constructive and very vivid discussions in the sense that one wants to work together.’
The leaders gathered on the beach Saturday night for a barbecue complete with toasted marshmallows and hot buttered rum.
They were treated to a breathtaking flypast by Red Arrows. Leaders and their spouses were all seen smiling in awe as they as they watched the planes soar overhead.
At the barbecue, some of the world’s most-powerful men and women were treated to a breathtaking flypast by Red Arrows. Leaders and their spouses were all seen smiling in awe as they as they watched the planes soar overhead
The fleet of aircraft – known officially as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team – lit up the sky with patriotic red, white and blue as the dignitaries no-doubt watched on
On the final day of their gathering on Sunday, the G7 leaders, under a ‘Nature Compact,’ will agree to protect at least 30 percent of both land and ocean globally by the end of the decade. They will also commit to nearly halve their carbon emissions by 2030.
It also includes mandating the use of only so-called clean coal for power ‘as soon as possible’, ending most government support for the fossil fuel sector overseas and phasing out petrol and diesel cars.
Biden, in one of his first acts as president, had America rejoin the Paris Climate Accord after Trump removed the US from the climate pact.
Climate change was a key G7 priority for his government, as it tries to lay the groundwork for hosting the UN COP26 environment summit in Glasgow in November.
Also topping their agenda were combatting the COVID pandemic – the leaders pledged 1 billion doses of the vaccine for the world – and a US-led plan to counter China in infrastructure funding for poorer nations.
The plan is dubbed ‘Build Back Better for the World,’ which echoes the slogan of the Biden’s election campaign. ‘
It is meant to combat Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI), which has launched a network of infrastructure projects around the world, primarily in Asia and Africa.
Additionally, White House officials said Biden wants G7 leaders to speak in a single voice against forced labor practices targeting Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities. China denies such practices.
Biden hopes the denunciation will be part of a joint communique to be released Sunday when the summit ends, but some European allies appeared reluctant. Canada, the United Kingdom and France largely endorsed Biden’s position, while Germany, Italy and the European Union showed more hesitancy.
It’s unclear what language – and if China is called out by name – will appear in the traditional end-of-summit communique when it’s released on Sunday. The communique was still being written.
G7 leaders will issue their final communique but it’s unclear how directly and forcefully they will call out China on labor practices
The Bidens will cap off their UK visit with tea with The Queen after joining The Queen on Friday at a reception for G7 leaders
White House officials said late Saturday that they believed that China, in some form, could be called out for ‘nonmarket policies and human rights abuses.’
The group will also issue the Carbis Bay Declaration on health policy.
After his final round of meetings Sunday morning, President Biden and Jill Biden will head to Windsor Castle to meet with The Queen.
Biden will participate in an Inspection of the Guard of Honor and then the first couple will join her for tea.
Jill Biden heads back to America on Sunday night. President Biden goes to Brussels, where he’ll meet with NATO and EU leaders. Then he heads to Geneva to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday.