Yesterday’s news was in part consumed by references to Boris Johnsons initial response to one of the proposals put forward by the National Food Strategy (part…
As someone who loves living and working in Cornwall, it’s slightly surreal seeing world leaders gather on our doorstep for the G7 summit, writes Richard Wadman.
So, as the eagerly anticipated meeting gets under way, what will they be discussing and what are the implications for the business and wider communities in Cornwall?
Well, here’s my take…
- G7 agenda
The packed agenda includes:
- economic impact of the coronavirus crisis
- rules-based international system
- UK Government’s agenda
Judging by what I have been reading and hearing in the lead up to the event, the UK Government appears to be focusing on the latter agenda item, climate and the environment, with announcements on several items, including:
- Inclusion of biodiversity in Environment Bill
- New Independent group to help tackle “greenwashing”
- Government sets out marine commitments to mark World Ocean Day
- Government, in partnership with Natural England and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, is launching a major land restoration and regeneration programme across 21,000 hectares of land (see further below)
I expect to see further announcements in this area on the lead up to COP26… but to be honest I want more than words.
- Cornwall’s business community agenda
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP have produced a video that does a great job in showcasing their agenda – to present Cornwall as much more than a tourist destination. I highly recommend watching this video (not least because it highlights the great work being done by several of our clients), which can be found on YouTube.
This is complemented by events and exhibitions organised by various parties brought together under the banner of “An event for everyone”.
This includes Cornwall House, an exposition organised by Cornwall Development Company focusing on a number of areas where the county’s businesses have excelled, including:
- Food and drink
- Creative sector
- Renewable energy
Cornwall Chamber have led the way on a key strand where I hope we can see Cornwall (and the wider South West) set up as true world leaders – sustainable growth. This theme, or rather the environment, pervades through to agendas of other interested parties – see below.
The creative sector are also showcased through ‘Behind the Postcard’ – a film about the creative & cultural industries made specially for the G7 with over 100 artists involved, followed by a series of short films made by emerging talent in the region. I shall be keen to see this.
- Environmentalists – agenda and hopes
Climate change, biodiversity and nature are the focus for many who be using the moment the G7 is in Cornwall to remind us all that action is required.
Events focusing on the planet are among those listed at https://cornwall365.com/events/types/g7-events/
- A catalyst for recognition of social issues and social change – hope
The spotlight on Cornwall has also shone the light on the fact our county is not an idyllic place for all. The Duchy includes eight areas which are among the most deprived 10% of places in the country. Some of these are beneficiaries of the Town Deals just announced for Penzance, St Ives and Camborne, which are worth over £65 million and will fund projects at the heart of communities in some of Cornwall’s most deprived areas. I truly hope this makes a positive difference.
- Tourism – Legacy
Weather permitting, the landscape of Cornwall will showcase itself as a tourist destination… (I say weather permitting, but Cornwall is beautiful whatever the weather!)
In a future blog I will take a closer look at the business funding referred to as part of the UK Government’s “legacy for the region” when we have more details on:
- Up to £1 million of innovation funding earmarked for businesses in Cornwall to support their development of technologies, products and processes in energy efficiency, power generation and energy storage
- Establishing Cornwall as a pilot area for a new e-bike support scheme – e-bikes are the only electric vehicles not to receive grants at present
- Subject to full business case approval, Cornwall will also receive up to £150,000 to design and build ‘Kernosat’, a small satellite which will be used to monitor the local environment, with the potential for it to be launched from a UK spaceport next year
Personally, I hope that the key (business) legacy is that people will look back on the few days when the G7 visited Cornwall as a turning point for the county (and wider South West) in becoming a world leader in sustainable economic revolution – when we genuinely did start to build back greener.
PODCAST: Eden Project CEO Dave Harland speaks about sustainability and going global in the latest episode of Business Noodles & Doodles.