This year, the leaders of the wealthiest nations have completely failed to meet some of the most troubling challenges of our times. According to Gordon Brown, the G7 summit will be remembered as an “unforgivable moral failure”. We are currently facing one of the biggest health emergencies of the century and a climate catastrophe that is destroying our planet and everything on it.
At the end of the summit, the nations reaffirmed the goal to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees celsius. They also agreed to protect and restore 30% of nature by 2030. Experts told the Guardian that they have failed to provide the funds needed to reach such goals. The rich nations promised to increase and improve their contributions to less wealthy countries to help them adapt to global warming. This promise has been made before (11 years ago) and was not met until this day. They committed to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 but did not call a halt to the exploitation of new fossil fuel resources. According to the WHO, 11 billion vaccines are required to vaccinate the world by the end of 2022. The G7 is only willing to donate 870 million vaccines to other countries, which is less than 10% of the total vaccine doses needed to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control. Most countries do not have the funds to get the pandemic under control and to adapt to climate change at the same time.
While the G7 celebrates this disaster with a lobster-steak BBQ and an air show, climate change will not stop. What will rich nations do when extreme weather, drought and sea-level rise causes mass migration of climate refugees to their doorstep? History has taught us that mass migration goes hand in hand with conflict. Once again, we are left with empty hands – the entire population slowly drowns in empty promises.