G7 Summit: “Leaders of the richest nations have a unique moment to stand on the right side of history ”

9 June 2021

Enabling access to vaccines globally and new commitments to scale up climate finance are two key areas that G7 leaders must deliver on this weekend at their Cornwall Summit


09 June 2021: Ahead of the G7 Summit this weekend, civil society representatives on a press briefing today, organised by Climate Action Network, called on the leaders of the world’s richest nations to use this summit as a moment to stand on the right side of history.
Two key areas that will make this a test of their global solidarity is by enabling vaccine production globally and announcing new and additional climate finance to deal with rising climate impacts. 
Countries like Canada, Japan, Italy, Germany and France have no excuse to come to this summit without increased climate finance commitments, they added. 

[Read CAN’s press statement on G7 finance last week


“Our message to the UK COP26 Presidency is clear: an unequal, uninclusive summit that ends up advantaging the participation of mostly western-white delegates will be a failing COP. Our message to the G7 is also clear: your legacy depends on your obligations to ensure vaccines equity and scale up climate finance, there is no trade-off. All G7 countries must and can deliver this year otherwise both the G7 and the ongoing UN climate intersessional risk being perceived as disconnected from the real world.”  – Eddy Perez, International Climate Diplomacy Manager, CAN Canada 

“The impacts of climate change are continually being felt by the communities in southern Africa. As leaders talk, communities are living in camps because of extreme climatic events. Women’s livelihoods have been altered and farms have disappeared. The G7 has the responsibility to turn the tables around. The G7 Summit & COP26 must show that there is commitment and willingness to make the world fairer and safer. This must be done by scaling up new and additional finance for climate adaptation. This must be finance that does not come as Overseas Development Aid or as concessionary loans.”  – Chikondi Chabvuta, Regional Advocacy Advisor, East, Central & Southern Africa, CARE 

‘’Our response to this pandemic is testing our ability to mobilise collectively and tackle global problems such as the climate crisis. If the G7 leaders cannot take decisive collective action to end the COVID-19 pandemic by, for example, temporarily diverging from trade rules impeding equal access to vaccines, then we must lose hope that the world will ever face up to the scale of action we need to save our planet.’’ – Peter Kamalingin, Pan-Africa Director, Oxfam International  

“This summit should be the final G7 where discussion of fossil fuel finance is even needed. With voices of economists, scientists, global civil society and even the International Energy Agency calling for an end to financing of new fossil fuels, it’s time for the G7 to step up. Their leadership on shifting finance entirely out of fossil fuels is long overdue, and our climate and communities are suffering the consequences.” – Elizabeth Bast, Executive Director, Oil Change International

The battle against Climate Change may not have a significant sense without a strong commitment to address the Loss and Damage that are related. The leaders of the world should champion the Loss and Damage by promoting and ensuring social protection to all. It is the basis of human rights. They should make specific resources available to tackle loss and to prevent the weight of those to come. They should strive to prevent climate-induced hazards from becoming disasters. – Kossivi Nevaeme ADESSOU, Global Network for Disaster Reduction

“We have had enough of world leaders sitting and talking whilst the world burns around them, with COVID-19 and climate impacts continuing to wreak havoc. In order to achieve a truly Just Recovery from both the health pandemic and climate breakdown, we need international collaboration to tackle both crises and ensure that those most affected are being taken care of. We need funds to be redirected towards guaranteeing equal access to vaccines in all developing countries, so that no one is left behind, and to real actions that go beyond net-zero empty promises. The G7 must take a decisive stance, and end all new fossil fuel investments.”
– Agnes Hall, Global Campaigns Director, 350.org

“This week EU Environment Ministers acknowledged the urgent need for additional adaptation finance for developing countries in the EU’s new Adaptation Strategy. It’s now time for EU Leaders to put their money where their mouths are at the G7 Summit: Germany, Italy and France should announce new scaled-up climate finance pledges to support climate vulnerable countries, committing to achieve 50% for adaptation. And all EU Member States need to recognise their responsibility to scale-up climate finance ahead of COP26. To address global inequalities this should come from public budgets, in the form of grants, with sufficient attention for supporting locally led action, and improving access for women and girls.” – Rachel Simon, Climate & Development Policy Coordinator, CAN Europe

“Just like COVID-19, the climate and biodiversity emergency knows no borders but it’s not a level playing field with the most vulnerable hit hardest. Everyone deserves a safe and fair future and the G7 could help restore equity by backing a TRIPS waiver so everyone can access the Covid 19 vaccine and treatment they need. The G7 must not only lead in solving the pandemic, but on multilateral climate action, in line with what science and justice demand. New fossil fuel projects must be stopped, commitments to more than halving global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 implemented, nature protected in partnership with local communities, and the People’s Vaccine rolled out.” – Jennifer Morgan, International Executive Director, Greenpeace International

“Without a vaccine for all, the UN Climate Talks (COP26) could face new challenges, with delegates from the Global South unable to fully participate. These crucial talks were cancelled last year due to the pandemic, but the clock is still ticking. We need all countries present at the negotiating table, not just rich nations that can afford the vaccine. Low-income countries on the frontlines of climate change have most at stake and must be present to submit tougher climate plans to deliver climate finance and action. The G7 is a first step on this journey, where world leaders have the chance to make generation-defining choices on vaccines for all, with a view to resolving two of the biggest intertwined challenges we face as humanity today, coronavirus and climate change”. – Julia Sánchez, Secretary General of ActionAid International.####################

Dharini Parthasarathy, Climate Action Network, dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org  CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1500 NGOs in more than 130 countries fighting the climate crisis. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

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