Reflecting on the G7 Summit
Rajiv Joshi is the Founder of Bridging Ventures and an Executive in Residence,Saïd Business School.
“We each benefit when we act together, take responsibility for our backyard, and care for our common home”
In light of the Decisive Decade Inquiry, what should the G7 nations be doing to reach net-zero targets?
Falling short on demands to donate vaccines to poorer nations, and a vague agreement to ‘step up action on climate change’, it remains unclear whether the annual G7 Summit has pulled us back from the brink, or instead pushed us further towards widening inequalities and climate catastrophe.
Perhaps minor details of an event which saw world leaders flock to Cornwall to discuss the most pressing issues facing humanity, Boris Johnson was criticised for flying across the country in a private jet, while seven tonnes of leftover food from the event had to be donated to local food banks.
Yet it’s these minor details that point to a serious need for greater accountability and collective action, driven forward by world leaders and civil society in the Decisive Decade ahead of 2030. As we waited apprehensively to see whether the G7 would deliver on global calls for #VaccinesForAll and firm commitments to tackle climate change, the result proved that rich countries continue to play poker with the future of humanity.
Although united on the matter of corporate taxation, with countries agreeing on a universal minimum rate, the same will towards progress appears lacking when it comes to the climate crises. As the world turns to the G20, with Finance Ministers meeting this month in Venice, ahead of leaders gathering in Rome, and the GOP26 in Glasgow, there is a clear need for leaders to act together through mutually reinforcing roles.
Following the release of the seminal inquiry into the future of climate action throughout the Decisive Decade, there now lies a solid framework that world leaders, governments, civil society and businesses must employ, to accelerate the transition to an economy that works for each and every person, and the planet we inhabit.
Since the 2015 Paris Agreement, the progress towards net-zero global emissions has been incremental, due to a lack of ethical leadership from businesses, bold action by governments and collaboration across civil society. Outlining the need to develop a shared narrative, build trust and strengthen accountability, the inquiry is a glimpse at how we can truly tackle climate change through a shared vision of the future. Through this, we can unleash a new era of human flourishing and protect the ecosystems upon which all life depends.
It’s time to create a dedicated space for honest and productive cooperation, to lead the way for innovation across sectors, from technology to finance, to the creative and cultural industries. A healthy, green and just recovery following Covid-19, which supports the race to reach net-zero and builds resilience in the fight against climate change, cannot happen if we continue to act alone.