Joe Biden Arrives In Cornwall For The Greenest G7 Summit
President Joe Biden has arrived in Cornwall, U.K., for his first G7 summit and the greenest one ever hosted.
Air Force One landed in the early hours of Thursday (10 June) in thick fog at Newquay Airport, from where Biden transferred to Carbis Bay, the site of this year’s G7 summit.
Climate change and the environment are key agenda items for the event, which takes place between Friday (11 June) and Sunday (13 June) when Biden departs for meetings with Queen Elizabeth, NATO and Vladimir Putin.
The entire event will be carbon neutral, and Cornwall, the south westernmost country of the U.K. where the event is hosted, is set to become the country’s first to reach net zero.
“As the eyes of the world look to Cornwall this week, not only will they see an area of outstanding beauty, they will witness a region that is innovative, exciting and looking firmly towards a bright future,” U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson said in a statement on Tuesday (8 June).
His “bright future” is likely to highlight the county’s growing “greentech” economy which he will show off to other leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the E.U.
Over the weekend the G7 entourage is expected to visit the Eden Project, a giant bio-dome housing a tropical rainforest. The vast complex conducts research into rainforests and ecology.
Nearby, a new mining firm, British Lithium, is attempting to extract lithium in an environmentally friendly fashion. Currently most lithium, a critical component of batteries and therefore electric cars, is mined from Chile and China where it causes serious environmental issues.
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In a former mining area, a pioneering project is tapping geothermal energy for power generation. The UDDGP project, near United Downs, is the first geothermal power plant in the U.K., and if it proves successful, could be replicated across the country.
Another source of renewable energy is being trailed off the very coastline where the G7 leaders are staying. A wave hub is being set up several miles off the coast of Carbis Bay to harness renewable energy from the waves that pound Cornwall’s 422 mile coastline.
Mount Recyclemore To Stare Down G7 Leaders
But the success of this year’s G7 summit will not be measured by case studies nor carbon neutral commitments, but by pledges made by the world leaders.
There as a constant reminder to world leaders of their environmental agenda is a newly erected artwork built in the style of Mount Rushmore and in the likeness of each of the seven leaders: Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Mario Draghi and Yoshihide Suga.
However, “Mount Recyclemore” has been built by the artist Joe Rush entirely out of discarded electronics, such as iPhones, TVs and circuit boards.
MusicMagpie, an electronics recycling retailer, commissioned the installation to draw attention to the problem of e-waste. MusicMagpie CEO, Steve Oliver, says e-waste is a massive problem for the G7. More than 53 million tons of e-waste is created globally, “the G7 contributes close to 40% of that,” he says.
Oliver is not so hopeful as to secure a pledge or commitment from the group of seven leaders. “I just want them to take notice, so we start thinking about recycling our electronics,” he says.