Three things we want to hear from world leaders at the G7 in Cornwall

11 June 2021

The G7 meeting in sunny Cornwall is underway and your voices are already being heard. On Thursday night we held a brilliant interfaith service at Truro Cathedral where activists and speakers from different faiths came together to share the messages we want to send G7 leaders.

Here are the three things we’ll be calling for over the weekend and who said it best from that interfaith event.

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1. Vaccinate the world!

There were leftover vaccines in the area where I live in London, so I’ve been vaccinated twice already. I’m one of the lucky ones - millions of women, men and children around the world won’t be vaccinated for another two years.

This means countless numbers of our sisters and brothers are at risk because richer countries like the UK won’t free up the Covid vaccine patents which would enable other countries to develop affordable versions of the vaccines. The USA and France are already supporting this, so we now need our own government to join the calls for a vaccine patent waiver.

Who said it best

“We hope that they use their power as a responsibility, first to ensure the universal access to vaccination. Nobody is safe until everybody is safe.”

Father Augusto Zampini-Davies, Adjunct Secretary, Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development

What you can do, G7!
  • Waive the Covid vaccine patents so that affordable vaccines are available to everyone, regardless of where they live.
  • Put more money behind the global vaccine rollout effort to help vaccinate poorer communities around the world.

2. Cancel the debt!

Imagine if our government had to choose between saving lives and repaying debts. This might mean you’d be unable to get the treatment you need when unwell because all the money has gone to wealthy creditors instead.

This is what’s happening right now for many low-income countries who have to choose between spending money on healthcare or paying back debts. Here is a damming fact for you: the entire continent of Africa is spending more on debt repayments to banks and speculators than it would cost to vaccinate the continent against COVID-19.

Urge private banks to cancel the debt

Who said it best

“It becomes more paramount that G7 countries consider debt cancellation (for Zambia) to help free up resources for the health sector and education.”

Innocent Ndashe, Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, Zambia

What you can do, G7!
  • Cancel debts owed by low and middle income countries.
  • Stop banks and private lenders from suing poor countries.
  • Ensure that any new funds given to developing countries is given in grants not loans.

3. Tackle the climate crisis!

Everyone knows we’re living through a climate crisis. I'm lucky to live in one of the richest countries in the world that doesn’t feel the full effects of the current climate crisis where entire communities have to move because of extreme and longer dry seasons - where destructive floods devastate towns and where cattle die because of drought.

This can’t go on. As a citizen of a country that has a great historic responsibility for the climate crisis, I say we need to step up and give something back.

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Who said it best

“The biggest injustice this world is facing is arguably the climate crisis, which doesn’t just affect every single human and living being on this world today, but it will continue to do so for generations to come.

"The damage caused by the climate crisis doesn’t just stop at an ecological level. It also impacts and exacerbates existing political, social and economic inequalities and injustices across countries.”

Fatima Alarakah, climate activist with Islamic Relief UK

What you can do, G7!
  • Commit to keeping global temperature change within the 1.5 degree threshold.
  • Pay your fair share towards the climate crisis by giving mor money, known as ‘climate finance’ to vulnerable countries to help them prepare and respond to extreme weather events like floods, droughts or cyclones.
  • End all support for oil, gas and coal. We can’t allow our tax money to be spent on harmful fossil fuels at home or overseas.

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