BERLIN — When Angela Merkel hosted world leaders at a beach resort on Germany’s Baltic Sea Coast in 2007, she was barely into her first term as chancellor, a relative neophyte in global affairs whose vivid green jacket among eight men in dark suits emphasized her status as the only woman in the club.
By the time the Group of 8 — Russia was still a member — had wrapped up the summit in Heiligendamm, Ms. Merkel had signaled her future influence, putting her stamp on the proceedings by winning agreement from President George W. Bush, once a Texas oilman, that climate change was global threat.
Fourteen years later, Ms. Merkel, who plans to step down as chancellor after the German elections in September, is attending her final G7 summit, this time on the coast of Cornwall. Some things have changed (leaders are not disputing the threat of climate change anymore), and some things have not (Ms. Merkel remains the only elected female leader in the club).
But it is the prospect of Ms. Merkel absent from the table in the future that represents potentially momentous change — for the leading industrialized nations that comprise the group, for a Europe where she has been a dominant leader and by the fact that no other elected female leader has emerged to take her place. (Ms. Merkel did help place one of her protégés, Ursula von der Leyen, as president of the European Commission.)
“Just think of what the picture will look like when she leaves,” said Katja Iversen, an adviser to the Women Political Leaders group, who took part
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