Pandemic, climate and digital tax on menu for G7 meet

By: AFP      Published: 07:48 PM, 12 Feb, 2021
Pandemic, climate and digital tax on menu for G7 meet

Finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of Seven richest nations meet virtually Friday to discuss pandemic fallout, climate change and digital taxation, according to this year's British presidency.

Britain joins Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States for the group's first gathering since Joe Biden was elected US president. 

"The UK is taking on the G7 Presidency at a critical time for the world and we are committed to working with our closest allies to save lives and protect jobs," Britain's finance ministry said ahead of the meeting.

"We are committed to addressing our shared challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss, and to driving a strong and sustainable economic recovery from coronavirus," it added.

The United States will be represented at the meeting by new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, while hosting the event will be British finance minister Rishi Sunak and Bank of England chief Andrew Bailey.

It comes ahead of a G7 heads of state summit in Cornwall, southwest England, due June 11-13.

Britain is also hosting the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November in Glasgow, Scotland.

G7 nations will consider whether to use the IMF to mobilise $500 billion in aid to the world's poorest nations to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, a French source said Thursday.

Biden's administration has expressed support for a proposed global tax on digital giants, such as Amazon, Facebook and Google.

British tabloid The Sun said late Thursday that an "Amazon and Facebook Tax" would be top of Sunak's agenda.

It quoted an unnamed Treasury source as saying: "The post-pandemic world is going to look different and it's right that we work together to find a global agreement on how profits are taxed for online companies to level up the playing field."