The Group of Seven (G7), an alliance of developed countries, was once relegated to the background of world politics. Following the global financial crisis of 2008, the G20 grew in strength and took on the role of coordinating economic policy for the entire world.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the tide has turned, upsetting and rearranging the geopolitical nodes. It is not a stretch to say that decisions made at the Schloss Elmau resort will have a significant impact on the world economy as the G7 leaders convene early the following week in the Bavarian Alps for their annual summit.
Undoubtedly, the G20 continues to serve as the main forum for international economic policy. However, the invasion by Russia has made the divisions within the organisation clear. Large growing nations have adopted a neutral stance on the dispute, namely China, but also India, Brazil, South Africa, and Indonesia. Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, who recently asserted that it is Europe’s responsibility to address the Ukraine situation, exemplifies their position.
Europe must overcome the belief that while the problems of the world affect all of humanity, such issues do not directly affect Europe, according to Jaishankar.
The G20 has experienced an immediate, noticeable impact as a result of emerging nations’ stance. With Indonesia set to pass over the hosting of 2022 to India next year, the organization’s bureaucratic infrastructure may still be in place, but it is clear that Russia’s prolonged involvement prevents the body from making any significant progress. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and a number of European ministers left the G20 finance ministers’ conference in Washington in April when the Russian finance minister began to speak.
China adds to this explosive mixture. To confront Beijing’s rapid economic growth and power projection, the Biden administration is working with its European and Asian allies to forge a global alliance. The G7 now has the chance to utilise its opposition to Russia’s invasion, which dates back to Moscow’s unlawful takeover of Crimea in 2014 and its subsequent expulsion from the G8, to also challenge China as a result of Beijing’s apparent support for it and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The G7 is now returning to its pre-2008 function as the body responsible for coordinating the world economy after imposing extraordinary economic penalties against Russia. Leaders are expected to debate policy matters at their forthcoming summit that used to be the domain of the much bigger G20. These include investing in a brighter future with a focus on climate, energy, and health as well as developing partnerships for infrastructure and investment, food security, and global economic shaping.
The leaders of India, Indonesia, Argentina, South Africa, and Senegal were asked to attend the summit, which will start on Sunday. This will give the G7’s claim that it is attempting to represent the global economy more credence. The group has also put out the idea of starting a “climate club,” which would unite rich countries with a number of developing nations to explore and invent climate solutions.
The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), which was recently formed by the United States with 14 other countries (Fiji being the newest signatory), is unmistakably an effort to forge regional and international alliances to oppose China.
Of course, there is a chance that the G7 will go too far and that the demise of the G20 will inevitably result in the decoupling of global governance. The G7’s best investment at this time of immense economic uncertainty is to protect the representative nature of the world order it created from the ashes of the financial catastrophe.
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