ACTIVISTS hold placards during a demonstration for racial, climate and social justice near the venue of the G7 summit on Sunday.—Reuters
ACTIVISTS hold placards during a demonstration for racial, climate and social justice near the venue of the G7 summit on Sunday.—Reuters

CARBIS BAY: Charities and campaigners were critical of the G7 pledges to tackle global crises including Covid-19 and climate change, as the summit ended in Cornwall, southwest England, on Sunday.

“This summit will go down as a missed opportunity... when we needed 11 billion vaccines and we’ve only got offered a plan for one billion.

“We needed $50 billion allocated to the vaccination of the world and only $5 billion and I think this summit, I’m afraid, will also go down as an unforgivable moral failure, when the richest countries are sitting round the table with the power to do something about it.

“Now that we’ve discovered the vaccine, we have not set out the comprehensive plan that will deliver vaccination by the middle of next year...

“Millions of people will go unvaccinated and thousands of people, I’m afraid, will die.” - Britain’s former prime minister Gordon Brown.

‘Underwhelming’

“In the face of a once-in-a-generation pandemic that’s raging across the world, this G7 will collectively be remembered in just one word: underwhelming...

“The collective ambition and action from the G7 failed to meet the urgency of the moment.

“The result of this uninspiring summit will be a prolonged pandemic that costs more lives and livelihoods, not only across the world but in the G7 countries themselves.” - Tom Hart, acting chief executive, The ONE Campaign.

“The lack of urgent action to end the current crisis is unforgivable...

“To truly prepare against the next pandemic, we need a publicly funded and managed network of vaccine manufacturers around the world, free from the constraints of intellectual property.” - Anna Marriott, health policy manager at Oxfam

Heads in the sand

“This summit feels like a broken record of the same old promises. There’s a new commitment to ending overseas investment in coal, which is their piece de resistance.

“But without agreeing to end all new fossil fuel projects — something that must be delivered this year if we are to limit dangerous rises in global temperature — this plan falls very short.

“The G7’s plan doesn’t go anywhere near far enough when it comes to a legally binding agreement to stop the decline of nature by 2030.

“And the finance being offered to poorer nations is simply not new, nor enough, to match the scale of the climate crisis.

“Boris Johnson and his fellow leaders have buried their heads in the Cornish sand rather than rising to the environmental challenge we all face.” - John Sauven, executive director Greenpeace UK

Hollow words

“This weekend has been full of hollow words with little more than spare change on the table to end support for fossil fuels and bring about the green revolution we desperately need....

“This could have been a springboard for successful climate talks in November, but without the cash, these promises are like writing in the sand and will do nothing to turn the tide of the climate emergency that is already devastating the lives of millions.” - Ruth Valerio, director of advocacy and influencing at Tearfund.

‘Partial plan’

“We’ve heard warm words about a green Marshall Plan and ambitions to vaccinate the world, but this falls well short of what’s needed.

“This is a partial plan not a Marshall Plan.” - Patrick Watts, director of policy, public affairs and campaigns, Christian Aid.

‘Small clique’

“There is only one kind of multilateralism, that is, the genuine multilateralism based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and international law, and featuring equal treatment, cooperation and mutual benefits, not pseudo-multilateralism serving the interests of a small clique or political bloc.” - Chinese embassy London spokesman.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2021

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