Those of us with long memories will remember the G8 Summit at Gleneagles, as optimism, determination and no shortage of security barriers welcomed world leaders as they sought to address global poverty.

This weekend Cornwall plays host and the stakes are every bit as high. Talks on international tax and trade, technological advances and the climate crisis will all feature prominently, yet undoubtedly Covid will still dominate many conversations. And rightly so.

While progress on the UK’s successful vaccine rollout has been enormously encouraging, the rise of the new Delta variant has delivered a stark reminder that we’re not out of the woods just yet.

Cases are rising once again in many parts of the country, giving rise to further uncertainty over the lifting of restrictions – particularly in Scotland’s urban centres. Last-minute changes to international travel have proved to be a stark reminder of just how quickly the picture can change.

Like many of the great challenges of our age, Covid is an international problem that requires an international solution. Co-operation is vital if we’re to quell the pandemic, stifle the growth of further variants, and protect lives and livelihoods around the globe.

We need G7 leaders to urgently agree a framework for a worldwide programme of vaccine production and rollout that will help avoid counter-productive export bans and unco-ordinated national initiatives with adverse effects on supply chains. Only a globally-delivered vaccine rollout can halt the spread of troubling new variants and set life back on a path to normal.

Business will be keen to see such a spirit of international co-operation extend to other matters. A full resumption of international travel – critical to businesses across Scotland, both within and beyond the aviation sector – is desperately needed. It is right that safety guides any decisions, but the G7 gives governments the ideal opportunity to shape clear, consistent and harmonised standards for cross-border travel.

Trade, too, will be an important topic – especially for the UK in the wake of Brexit. The B7 – business groups within the G7, chaired this year by the CBI – has urged governments to roll back protectionist measures adopted during the pandemic, including export restrictions, and commit to prioritising open global supply chains over any future restrictions.

Open collaboration on rules, regulations and standards can be key to securing these trade relationships – and can facilitate meaningful action on other big issues, too. That includes digital – a world where technology has evolved at break-neck speed in a short time, while rules protecting both vendors and consumers have failed to keep pace – and the climate emergency.

On climate especially there is much to be done and no time to waste. The world will be looking to the G7 to signpost the way forward in the run up to COP26. The UK, as host of both events in 2021, is uniquely placed to play a leading role – particularly in areas like decarbonising power generation and setting a public target for phasing out unabated coal.

Business isn’t short of its own ideas, with the B7 recommending policies to support the development of markets which value biodiversity and natural environments, and nature-positive business activity. We have also called for increased international alignment of sustainable finance initiatives to enable growth. As ever at global summits, the proof is in the pudding. Discussion may be welcome, but delivery is overdue. It’s time to seize the moment and deliver the concrete action needed to rebuild from the ravages of Covid and embark upon a sustainable and equitable economic future for all. Out of the public gaze, our leaders have much work to do.

Tracy Black is director of CBI Scotland