British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Group of Seven leaders on Friday that the battered world economy needed to be rebuilt after the coronavirus pandemic with an ambitious plan to tackle climate change that would create millions of new jobs, Reuters reports.
The pandemic has killed 2.4 million people, tipped the global economy into its worst peacetime slump since the Great Depression and upended normal life for billions.
“Jobs and growth is what we’re going to need after this pandemic,” Johnson told the opening of the G7 leaders’ meeting – Joe Biden’s first as U.S. President.
Biden will discuss plans to defeat the coronavirus, reopen the world economy and counter challenges posed by China, the White House said.
Johnson welcomed newcomers Biden and Mario Draghi, Italy’s new prime minister.
But the “mute curse” which has stilted video calls for millions of businesses and families over the past months of ockdown also interrupted the G7 leaders meeting.
As Johnson began the meeting, a German voice suddenly interrupted him.
“Can you hear us Angela,” Johnson quipped to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, chuckling. “I think you need to mute.”
The call is a chance for Biden, a Democrat who took over as president from Republican Donald Trump on January 20, to project a message of re-engagement with the world and with global institutions after four years of his predecessor’s “America First” policies.