The 2021 G7 comes at a critical juncture for the climate and environment. The G7 has a unique opportunity to build political momentum ahead of the G20 Summit and the COP26, by demonstrating ambitious action and leadership to accelerate the international agenda on climate and environment. The U.S. Government should work with other G7 countries to:
- Prioritize climate adaptation and resilience support, especially for the most climate-vulnerable people and countries.
- Reaffirm the commitment to at least double G7 countries’ climate finance pledges for the post-2020 period.
- Commit to allocating 50% of all new and additional climate financing resources to adaptation, and drive concessional finance to fragile, conflict-affected states and agents of change, especially women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples.
- Support and implement the Principles for Locally-Led Adaptation to empower local communities with more decision-making power and resources to build resilience to climate change.
- Support a just transition toward a low-carbon, resilient, regenerative global economy.
- Ensure workers and their communities actively and meaningfully participate in shaping policy and determining resource usage as they relate to the design and implementation of economic transition.
- New or transitioning jobs should provide decent work, and freedom of association must be respected.
- Repurpose fossil fuel subsidies toward a just transition and clean energy investments. Ensure the energy transition is fair and equitable to those reliant on fossil fuels.
- G7 members should include Just Transition plans in their 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions and in their 2050 net-zero plans.
- Ensure a green recovery from COVID-19 that is inclusive and builds resilience in the face of climate change.
- Ensure recovery efforts bolster existing community structures, social protection, public health systems, and other risk management systems to withstand climate impacts.
- Ensure local actors are in leadership roles, shaping recovery solutions.
- Ensure debt relief and stimulus packages support climate adaptation, and end development finance for fossil fuels.
Lead: Lindsey Doyle, Senior Manager, Global Development Policy and Learning, InterAction (email@example.com).
Democracy and the rules-based international order are increasingly being challenged by authoritarianism and democratic backsliding. In the face of these challenges, democracies not only must deliver services and opportunities for all people, but also must better articulate how democracy at home and abroad generates economic, security, and health benefits. The U.S. Government should work with other G7 countries to advance democratic solidarity and counter transnational threats.
- Prioritize democracy, both at home and abroad.
- Elevate democracy and human rights within G7 diplomatic and development assistance efforts and ensure adequate funding therein.
- Adhere to democratic values in COVID-19 response, emphasizing inclusive vaccine distribution and the pandemic’s impact on democracy and elections (e.g., increased corruption and mis- and disinformation).
- Address the governance challenges associated with climate change, including the environmental displacement that increases the likelihood of insecurity, conflict, and marginalization.
- Safeguard civic space, including the legal framework for civil society, at home and abroad.
- Investigate, expose, and jointly mobilize against human rights violations.
- Reaffirm commitment to ensuring a high level of transparency around elections, political financing, and political advertising.
- Reaffirm commitments to counter malign interference by state and non-state actors aimed at undermining democratic values and institutions.
- Seek commitments from G7 countries to participate in and contribute to the Summit of Democracies, as well as proactively engage social media/technology companies and civil societies domestically and globally on identifying and countering foreign authoritarian interference.
- Recommit to establishing a G7 Rapid Response Mechanism to strengthen coordination to identify and respond to evolving threats to democracies through sharing information and analysis.
- Commit to collaborating with the G7 members to counter global kleptocracy, such as by providing incentives for tax havens to adopt more transparent financial systems; increasing investigations and prosecutions of the professional enablers of transnational corruption; addressing election-related corrupt practices; and strengthening anti-corruption and oversight bodies and ethical, independent public institutions.
- Reassert the primacy of democratic values and human rights in the information and technology space.
- Engage social media and messaging platforms to affirm citizens’ digital rights, including user data privacy and ownership and platform data and algorithmic transparency.
- Reaffirm commitment to promoting free, independent, and pluralistic media; a fact-based information sphere; and freedom of expression at home and abroad.
- Dedicate public resources to media literacy and civic awareness within G7 countries to identify and counter malicious disinformation and information operations.
- Promote universal internet access, commit to net neutrality, and reduce the digital divides that exacerbate socio-economic inequalities.
Lead: Katie LaRoque, Senior Manager, Democracy, Rights, and Governance Initiative, InterAction (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The United States has consistently championed education for all and must redouble progress on Sustainable Development Goal #4 to tackle quality of and access to learning from early childhood through adolescence. While bolstering existing investments, the U.S. must address exacerbating education inequities as a result of crises—including COVID-19—to build back better, funding and scaling effective interventions in foreign assistance.
- Commit robust financing to strengthen inclusive education systems, recognizing the importance of safe, equitable, quality education for all children and youth.
- Dedicate flexible, multi-year financing for education as a lifesaving intervention throughout any humanitarian response, including increased contributions to Education Cannot Wait.
- Pledge $1 billion over five-years toward the Global Partnership for Education’s (GPE) replenishment and increase U.S. bilateral funding providing more children in low-income countries, especially girls, access to education.
- Define and measure progress towards attendance, safety, and learning outcomes, including disaggregation by gender, type of disability, refugee status, ethnicity, and race through inclusive education sector plans.
- Endorse global targets on girls’ education and fulfill the Charlevoix commitment to tackle barriers that prevent girls from reaching their full educational and economic potential.
- Within the communique, commit to investing in holistic, resilient, and innovative systems that mitigate learning loss and improve access to quality education for children and youth, especially the most vulnerable.
- Develop and finance remedial, accelerated, and distance learning programs, including for refugee and internally-displaced children, to get students safely back to learning and to school.
- Prioritize climate financing and invest in high-, low-, and no-tech solutions to support education systems respond to shocks, bridge the digital divide, and reimagine education delivery mechanisms.
- Strengthen cross-sectoral child development—particularly health and protection—within education investments including adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities; gender-responsive learning environments; and social protection programs.
Lead: Rachel Wisthuff, Assistant Director, Public Policy & Advocacy, UNICEF USA (email@example.com).
As world hunger continues to rise, the need for healthy, affordable, and widely accessible nutritious foods—especially for the most marginalized communities—is more urgent than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic is putting additional stress on global food systems, threatening the lives of those who were already experiencing food insecurity and malnutrition prior to the pandemic. The U.S. Government should work with other G7 countries to:
- Commit to strongly funding food security and nutrition programs to mitigate extreme hunger and prioritize women and children in the first 1,000 days to promote long-term solutions towards recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In a formal statement, preview ambitious, multi-year financial and policy pledges in support of the most vulnerable populations to be released at the U.N. Food Systems Summit and the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit and ensure these commitments are in line with the N4G Commitment-Making Guide and recognize the resource gap for nutrition-specific interventions.
- Fully fund the 2021 Global Humanitarian Response Plan and provide emergency resources for famine relief and mitigation to reach over 30 million people at highest risk of famine.
- Scale up long-term nutrition and food security investments that are aligned to country plans and target the poorest and most marginalized groups.
- Ensure investments are cross-cutting, as to target contributing factors to food insecurity and malnutrition, such as the changing climate and inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services which account for half of the world’s malnutrition.
- In a formal statement, provide time-bound and measurable indices for progress on initiatives that the G7 has adopted to date to ensure that they reach the most vulnerable populations and “will leave no one behind.”
- Incorporate outcome-based indicators (e.g., addressing stunting and wasting) to complement the existing output-based indicators and demonstrate how G7 investments concretely address food security and nutrition.
Lead: Mary Laurie, Specialist, Global Health and Development Policy, Save the Children (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This year, the global community will gather at the Generation Equality Forum (GEF) to make commitments and drive urgently needed progress towards achieving gender equality. We urge the U.S. Government to align its commitments at the 2021 G7 with the themes of the GEF’s six Action Coalitions (A.C.s), as follows:
- Gender-Based Violence (GBV)
- Dedicate at least 2% of ODA to GBV prevention, mitigation, and response, including as essential services in all pandemic response plans, and at least 25% of GBV funding to women’s rights and feminist organizations. Ensure access to shelters and comprehensive and inclusive support services for all women and girls facing violence.
- Ratify ILO Convention 190 on the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work, and incorporate core elements into trade and international assistance programs and policies.
- Urgently increase investments and focus on ending child marriage globally in both humanitarian and development settings.
- Economic Justice and Rights
- Invest at least 2% of GDP into social infrastructure domestically, and 2% of ODA into social infrastructure globally, to reduce women’s unpaid care burdens and increase jobs.
- Ensure paid, safe, and decent work and work facilities for health and care workers, a majority of whom are women, as part of commitments to COVAX.
- Ensure economic empowerment initiatives reach the most marginalized women affected by crisis and conflict, in line with the joint G7/G5 Sahel Communique commitments and promoting women’s entrepreneurship in Africa—as committed to during the G7 in 2019.
- Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
- Safeguard the basic right of and access to essential healthcare, including comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services and information, for all people.
- Feminist Action for Climate Justice
- Ensure that at least 20% of ‘principal’ and 100% of ‘significant’ climate funding promotes gender equality.
- Directly support women’s rights organizations and eco-feminist efforts, including in countries most impacted by the climate crisis, and integrate gender considerations into all climate change plans and initiatives.
- Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality
- Support countries in combating technology-facilitated gender-based violence, protecting women, girls, and LGBTQIA+ persons from online harassment and abuse.
- Feminist Movements and Leadership
- Commit to achieving 20% of ODA for gender equality as a ‘principal’ and 100% as a ‘principal’ or ‘significant objective’ within 5 years.
- Announce intention to draft a feminist foreign policy, in line with commitments from other G7 members, Canada, France, and the European Union.
- Increase funding and programming in support of adolescent girls’ civic and political participation and skills building.
Co-Leads: Lyric Thompson, Director, Policy & Advocacy, International Center for Research on Women (email@example.com); Spogmay Ahmed, Global Policy Advocate, International Center for Research on Women (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We recommend that G7 countries take the following actions:
- Ensure the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerators (ACT-A) is fully funded and commit to investing in research and development for new technologies and scale-up of proven tools to prevent, test, and treat COVID-19.
- G7 countries must help close the resource mobilization gap for ACT-A. An estimated $27.2 billion is required in 2021, including an additional $1.8 billion to support the R&D agenda.
- Build on ACT-A’s response to COVID-19 to ensure robust and sustainable investment in global pandemic preparedness, including through infection prevention and control (IPC), training for community health workers, and tools such as PPE and oxygen therapies.
- Prioritize the equitable global distribution of vaccines by sharing COVID-19 vaccine doses in parallel to the vaccine roll-out in G7 countries, especially those stockpiling excess doses, as well as equitable access to testing, therapeutics, and other health technologies and services.
- ‘Slot swaps’ should be undertaken whereby high-income countries reallocate some of their existing orders immediately, ordering replacement vaccines to arrive later in the year, effectively giving their earlier ‘slots’ to COVAX to help provide vaccines in early 2021 for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to close the current acute gap in supply which is likely to last until at least mid-2021.
- Increase investments to build resilient health systems that provide quality primary health care and can withstand threats, including infectious disease outbreaks, climate change, and political unrest.
- Sustain investments, including for R&D and manufacturing, disease surveillance, workforce development, and other programmatic activities in the fight against major infectious epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases in order to achieve UHC and the SDGs by 2030.
- Prioritize flexible financing and technical support to strengthen the capacity of national health, nutrition, and WASH systems.
- Prioritize support to the most vulnerable countries to enable preparedness, response, and continued delivery of essential health and nutrition services, free at the point of use.
- Ensure additional support and compensation for health responders, particularly for paid and unpaid frontline health workers and women in vulnerable communities.
- Prioritize support for water and sanitation utilities and providers to ensure and expand reliable access to WASH services.
- Leverage multilateral institutions in new ways to provide sustainable investment in innovation to combat global health challenges.
- Ensure R&D investments are eligible for financing from international financial institutions to provide LMICs the necessary resources to strengthen research, laboratory, surveillance, and manufacturing capacities to respond to health emergencies.
- Invest in innovative financing mechanisms such as the proposed Pandemic Preparedness Fund, which would provide catalytic and sustainable global health financing.
- Ensure World Bank lending in the context of COVID-19 addresses human resource challenges.
Lead: Philip Kenol, Policy & Advocacy Officer, Global Health Technologies Coalition (email@example.com).