Lovely Chavan from the Young Christian Climate Network believes the G7 talked about many vital issues, but didn’t provide a clear explanation on what happens next
The G7 summit started its first session focusing on the global economic recovery. The prerequisite for this being – establishing a global pandemic radar that would prevent the spreading of such new diseases. Building back “better”, “greener”, “fairer” and “more equal” is what Prime Minister Boris Johnson assured. In view of the same, the Global Partnership for education was given a donation of £430m by the UK government and the convening leaders joined hands to raise half of its five-year fundraising goal. This will help ensure 40 million more girls can access education. While the fundraising and focus on educating girls seems a good start for safeguarding the future, it gives no promise regarding the immediate economic recovery, not to mention a green recovery.
If the recovery is only made by the wealthy nations, as is happening now, the gap between the rich and poor countries will further widen. This does not seem a very good recovery plan, barely ensuring any recovery for the poorer countries.
Vaccines, gender equality and climate change
Ensuring the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX distribution scheme (G7 leaders have pledged over one billion doses) is no doubt the best step forward. However it can act as a disguise for the actual help that the underprivileged nations need right now. If we want to come out of this pandemic in a fairer way, leaders should have made some statement in these regards too.
Gender equality was also a topic of discussion. Giving importance to educating girls, focusing on equal representation of women, particularly in the green sector, as we come out of the pandemic and rebuild the economy were the promises made. However, how leaders would ensure this is done remained unclear.
The leaders acknowledged the importance of tackling climate change, which is a positive note. However, no mention of climate finance was made and although helping the developing economies to tackle climate change was mentioned, no first action step has been decided upon.
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General also made an appeal to the G7 summit leaders, along with protestors all over the world, demanding prompt action against climate change. According to studies, it is expected that the countries would be losing eight per cent of their GDP each year by not tackling climate change, which should act as one of the drivers for them to take action.
Let us hope and keep praying for more actionable steps from the G7 leaders in future.
Lovely Chavan is 24 and studying renewable energy and clean technology at the University of Manchester.