The G8 Summit is a yearly meeting of the leaders of the powerful economies of the world. The annual G8 president for the year hosts the meetings. Technically there is no political or legal authority for the summit, and its outcomes are not internationally binding. Yet when the major eight world leaders concur on an issue, this promises enough authority to change the direction of global economic policies and growth. The G8 is made up of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, and Russia.
The founding six nations of the group held their first summit in Rambouillet, France back in 1975. In attendance were the U.S., France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and Japan. Canada joined the group the following year to round out the G7. In 1997, the other members consented for Russia to join, bringing it up to its format of eight countries. The group once again devolved to the G7 when Russia invaded the Crimea in the Ukraine and was suspended indefinitely.
The remaining members all agreed on disallowing Russia as a form of sanctions against its aggressive behavior against its neighbor in annexing Ukrainian territory. The G8 Summit regularly invites other critical global leaders to attend. This includes representatives for China, India, Mexico, the European Union, and Brazil. Other crucial international organizations are regularly invited, such as the heads of the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.
The G8 Summit proved its power and efficacy every year in over 30 years of annual meetings. In 2008 a noticeable shifting of power happened. The G8 discussed inflation in food prices and other critical world issues while entirely missing the impending 2008 global financial crisis and Great Recession.
This G8 Summit in 2008 occurred in July at the same time as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were failing and the LIBOR rates were sky rocketing. The Fed had just met in its first emergency meeting in more than 30 years to discuss saving Bear Stearns. This signified that the old financial world order had ended as the G20 met and took up the most important issue facing the world and its economies.
Their summit tackled the economic and financial crisis at its roots. They asked the United States to better regulate its financial markets. The U.S. refused, instead permitting credit default swaps and other derivatives to be unregulated and blow up the world economy. This crisis made it clear that the emerging market economies were a critical part of any global solution. They had mostly sidestepped the financial crisis and clearly saw the flaws in the developed market economies and financial markets which had caused it. From this point forward, the G20 had the reputation of being the most crucial meeting in the world of all the important global leaders.
The 2015 G8 Summit (G7 Summit) was held on June 8, 2015 in Emau Castle in Germany. The G7 came out with a plan to phase out fossil fuels around the globe entirely by the year 2100. It did not sufficiently address either a cohesive plan to take down ISIS or the ongoing Greek debt crisis. Instead it left this last matter to the IMF and EU for resolution.
The 2014 Summit was originally intended to be held in Sochi, Russia and hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The G7 cancelled this meeting and opted for an emergency summit on June 7-8, 2014 in Brussels, Belgium. They pledged $5 billion in economic aid to Ukraine and strengthened the economic sanctions against aggressive Russia. They also agreed to provide greater support to the efforts of the WHO to lessen such dangerous infectious diseases as Ebola and Tuberculosis.
The 2016 G7 summit happened from May 26-28, 2016 in Ise-Shima, Japan. As has become a recent tradition, Russia was not invited.