Too little, too vague: NGOs are very critical of the G7’s promises

Lack of ambition, empty words or heated promises: NGOs have sharply criticized Sunday’s announcements of industrialized G7 countries, which have pledged more vaccinations and the fight against climate change during a summit in the south-west of England.

– “Moral bankruptcy” –

For ONE Campagin, a non-governmental organization fighting poverty and AIDS, the G7 summit is “disappointing” because it could not “respond to the urgency of the moment”.

“The consequence of this boring summit will be an extension of a pandemic that will cost more lives and livelihoods, not only in the world but also in the G7 countries,” estimated Tom Hart, an NGO official.

According to the WHO, at least 11 billion doses would be needed to defeat the pandemic, much more than the billion promised by the G7, which includes past commitments.

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has joined the criticism, citing an “unforgivable moral bankruptcy” that could result in “thousands” of deaths.

– What about patents? –

While advocating for a fairer distribution of vaccines in favor of poor countries, the G7 has not ruled on the suspension of patents, which would allow mass production worldwide.

“To really prepare for the next pandemic, you need a network of vaccine manufacturers around the world, funded and managed by public authorities, without intellectual property restrictions,” insisted Anna Marriott, head of health policy at Oxfam.

– “Scratched record” on climate –

In climatic conditions, the G7 is like a “broken record,” repeating the same promises, like ending public subsidies to coal-fired power plants abroad, condemned Greenpeace CEO.

“Without an agreement to halt all new fossil fuel projects – to be implemented this year to limit the dangerous rise in global temperature – this plan is not up to the task,” John Sauven added.

The envelope proposed for poor countries “is neither new nor sufficient to respond to the scale of the climate crisis,” he continued.

Binding commitments are also needed to stem the decline in biodiversity by 2030, he said.

For Ruth Valerio, an employee of the NGO Tearfund, the summit was translated with “empty words” without failing to specifically refuse to end fossil fuel aid or launch the “green revolution we desperately need.”

“It could have been a springboard for successful climate negotiations in November,” when the UK will host the UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, she said. “But without money, these promises (…) will not at all make it possible to reverse the trend of climate necessity, which is already destroying millions of lives.”

– “Partial plan”

As for climate and vaccination, “it’s a partial plan, not a Marshall Plan,” said Patrick Watts of Christian Aida.

He was referring to statements by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who promised during the summit to vaccinate the world with the aim of ending the pandemic.

The British press attributed to him the intention to launch a climate Marshall Plan, such as the massive financing of post-World War II reconstruction by the United States.

The G7 has announced a huge investment plan, without quantifying it, in developing countries, in the areas of climate, health, security, digital technology or equity.

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