As G7 ministers prepare to gather in Liverpool this weekend (10th to 12th of December) a call has gone out from the UK’s major cities for greater recognition of the voice of urban places in G7 discussions, particularly to meet the twin challenges of Net Zero and Covid recovery.
Core Cities UK - a network of 11 cities spanning England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - is calling on world leaders to properly recognise the role of dynamic city leadership in delivering solutions to the biggest challenges we all face, on the eve of a meeting of G7 Finance and Development Ministers.
Earlier this year as G7 leaders met in Cornwall, Core Cities UK convened the inaugural meeting of G7 U7, an ‘Urban 7’ meeting involving city networks from across the G7 nations. The G7 U7 signed a joint declaration urging the world's most powerful nations to empower, celebrate and work with their urban areas.
Signatories to the Declaration included city networks from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA as well as the G7 guest countries of Australia and Korea.
All the G7 U7 partners committed to holding further urban dialogues as part of the G7 process, which will continue with an event next year hosted by Deutscher Städtetag, the network of German cities, during Germany’s presidency of the G7.
Cllr Nick Forbes, Chair of Core Cities UK and Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: "As some of the world's most powerful ministers gather in the great Core City of Liverpool, we are reminding the G7 of its great untapped resource, its world-leading cities that hold the key to solving some of the increasingly complex problems that nations face.
“At COP26, held in Glasgow, another of our member cities, we launched the final report of our UK Cities Climate Investment Commission which demonstrated how dynamic city leadership can attract billions of pounds worth of funding to pay for Net Zero.
“There are examples off innovation like this from all our partner city-networks across the G7 nations, which national leaders need to fully take on board. I was struck at our inaugural meeting by how much we have in common across cities in the G7 nations and the unrealised value that cities can provide to national governments.
“There is a big opportunity here which our U7 initiative aims to grasp. We look forward to the next G7 Summit in Germany in 2022 when we will hold another U7 meeting of cities in partnership with our friends at the German association of cities, Deutscher Städtetag.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson, added: "As an iconic port city we are proud of our international roots and we also believe that it is the can-do spirit of cities like the one I lead that shape national fortunes. That is what the ambition of our U7 group demonstrates. Through organisations like Core Cities UK we will continue to celebrate and make the case for urban areas."