Prime ministers and presidents from the group of leading industrialised powers – the UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan – will descend on the five-star Carbis Bay beach resort near St Ives for a three-day diplomatic jamboree from 11-13 June which will cause enormous disruption but is estimated to be worth as much as £50m to the county.
It will be the first in-person summit of world leaders in almost two years, after last year’s G7 in the US was cancelled and the G20 in Saudi Arabia went online because of Covid-19.
Mr Johnson, who is hosting as holder of the annual rotating G7 presidency, said he will ask fellow leaders to “seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener and more prosperous”.
He will use the event to promote his vision of a post-Brexit “global Britain” and to try to build consensus behind action on climate change ahead of the UN COP26 conference in Glasgow in November.
And he will seek to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the new president, who previously branded him “a physical and emotional clone” of Donald Trump.
While Johnson’s image was cemented in many US minds by the outgoing president’s description of him as “Britain Trump”, Downing Street believes that Mr Biden’s arrival provides an opportunity to foster transatlantic cooperation on a number of the prime minister’s priorities.
It is thought the G7 summit could mean the UK hosts Mr Biden’s first presidential trip outside of North America in what would be seen as a diplomatic coup for Downing Street.
Mr Biden has indicated his determination to reverse Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate change accord of 2015, and Mr Johnson will seek to work closely with him on persuading other states to scale up their global warming commitments at Glasgow.
And he has aligned himself with Biden’s priority of spreading democracy internationally by inviting Australia, India and South Korea to the Cornwall summit.
The one-off expansion of the G7 group of major industrialised powers into a so-called D10 of world democracies was resisted by some other members, including Italy and France, which fear the development of the group into an anti-Chinese front.
Mr Johnson said that the choice of Cornwall as location for the summit will focus the eyes of the world on the beautiful and historic region, adding that its status as a centre for green innovation made it an appropriate setting for a gathering expected to discuss climate-friendly economic growth.
Visit Cornwall has estimated the total economic impact for the county at £50m, including through an increase in future tourism.
Mr Johnson said: “As the most prominent grouping of democratic countries, the G7 has long been the catalyst for decisive international action to tackle the greatest challenges we face.
“From cancelling developing world debt to our universal condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the world has looked to the G7 to apply our shared values and diplomatic might to create a more open and prosperous planet.
“Coronavirus is doubtless the most destructive force we have seen for generations and the greatest test of the modern world order we have experienced. It is only right that we approach the challenge of building back better by uniting with a spirit of openness to create a better future.
“Cornwall is the perfect location for such a crucial summit. Two hundred years ago Cornwall’s tin and copper mines were at the heart of the UK’s industrial revolution and this summer Cornwall will again be the nucleus of great global change and advancement. I’m very much looking forward to welcoming world leaders to this great region and country.”