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Leaders of the world’s seven wealthiest democracies proposed a $600 billion global infrastructure plan to counter China’s ambitious “Belt and Road Initiative,” Politico reported.
The Group of Seven countries unveiled the initiative during a summit in the German Alps this week as they discussed issues that included the economic and energy fallout caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The infrastructure plan was initially proposed during last year’s G-7 summit: Previously dubbed “Build Back Better World,” it has now been renamed the “Partnership for Global Infrastructure.”
The main goal of the partnership is to compete with China’s initiative, which has attempted to improve ties – logistic, and otherwise – with the developing world by providing funding for large-scale infrastructure projects, such as roads, trains, and ports.
The partnership will also establish a framework for the G-7 nations to pool their resources to provide emerging economies economic incentives to shut down their coal facilities.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the project aims to provide a “positive powerful investment impulse to the world to show our partners in the developing world that they have a choice.”
Meanwhile, questions remain about the plan as much of the funding behind it remains aspirational: Inflation has dealt a blow by making the infrastructure projects more expensive than initially planned.
Climate goals in the global plan have also taken a lower priority – compared to the initial proposal – as world leaders combat the fuel crisis worsened by the war in Ukraine.