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Prince Charles urges G7 action on climate change: 'Do it for planet as well as pandemic'

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By Mark Armstrong  with AP
Prince Charles urges G7 action on climate change: 'Do it for planet as well as pandemic'
Copyright  Jack Hill/AP

In the UK the environment took centre stage at the G7 summit in Cornwall as the Queen hosted world leaders at the Eden Project, an exhibition showcasing the world's ecological riches.

Safeguarding global biodiversity is a theme of the Group of Seven nations, with the leaders aiming for agreement to protect at least 30% of the planet's land and oceans by 2030.

It's a topic that's always been close to the heart of Prince Charles, the heir to the throne in the UK.

He called on leaders of the Group of Seven nations to use "political will" and "business ingenuity" to tackle both the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.

"The fight against this terrible pandemic provides, if ever one was needed, a crystal clear example of the scale and sheer speed at which the global community can tackle crises when we combine political will with business ingenuity and public mobilization." Prince Charles told the leaders. "Ladies and gentlemen, we are doing it for the pandemic, so if you don't mind me saying so, we must also do it for the planet."

Borrowing the phrase "build back better" - used by both UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden - he said in order to do so, "we need, above all, a truly effective partnership between government and business."

The agenda for the three-day G-7 Summit includes talks on climate change, the global response to COVID-19, the taxation of multinational corporations and Brexit.

Leaders say they are committed to using their resources to do everything possible to ensure the havoc caused by the coronavirus will be minimised in any future pandemic.

US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have already committed to sharing a billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines with countries around the world.

The G7 leaders also aim to cut the time needed to develop vaccines to under a hundred days.