Foundations 20 Platform action points to the G20 heads of state and Finance Minister on the current global responsibility

The foundations and philanthropists being part of the international Foundations platform F20 are aware of the negative effects of the unprecedented and deep Covid-19 crisis. They will try to be part of future oriented recovery measures. They encourage decision-makers on all levels of the G20 process, in particular the G20 Sherpa and Finance Minister track, to adopt decisions and programs to build up resilience and to recover better from the current crisis.

It must be clear and well understood, that mankind is able to combat the COVID-19 crisis by our national health services, ventilators or vaccines, but also by making our societies more resilient. We can´t negotiate with nature and the planetary boundaries and the best medicines against inequity, poverty, pollution or the climate crisis are a global just transition and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with the sustainable development goals. We have to acknowledge in the earth system non-linear trends of biodiversity loss or temperature increase and it’s obvious that we are breaching tipping-points of our national health and social systems too.

The year 2020 is central to international climate protection in order to counteract global warming that can no longer be contained. The latest findings from the IPCC show that the CO2 budget that is still available to meet the Paris Agreement’s climate goals is smaller than previously thought. It is necessary to act much faster and more powerful. The opportunity must now be seized to close the glaring gap between the goals of the Paris Agreement (with the < 2° Celsius limit) and the contributions available so far. This must also form the basis of every economic stimulus program in response to the global corona crisis.

We recommend to proceed in line with the following three paragraphs as they were worked out by experts from the International Climate Politics Hub (ICP Hub):

Deepen International Cooperation

  • The G20 has the potential to be the vehicle for ensuring there is a coordinated global response to this and future crises, ensuring cooperation and solidarity. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown our global vulnerability; it will not be over until it is over everywhere. No one country can beat a pandemic alone, just as no one country can successfully address climate change alone. It requires a joint and collaborative international effort.
  • Governments acting today need to ensure the impact of the Coronavirus is minimized, while maximizing the chance of a strong recovery that protects planetary health and makes our societies more resilient.
  • Beyond sharing medical equipment, the G20 needs to do significantly more to provide such a response, both in terms of the public health emergency and the emerging economic crisis.
  • The G20 must acknowledge the imperative to build back better, including by better preparing us to address the interlinked global challenges of public health, climate change, biodiversity loss. The Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement should be the bedrock for designing recovery and stimulatory measures.

Recovery packages for a healthier society and planet

  • Decisions taken today have the potential to either lock-in harmful emissions in polluting energy systems for decades to come – and hence breaching irreversibly more ecosystem tipping points and making our societies even more vulnerable, unhealthy and unstable – or build the foundations for global health through planetary protection.
  • Longer-term stimulus measures to tackle the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak should consider the wider impacts of spending decisions on the health and wellbeing of citizens. The climate and ecological crises will ultimately be more devastating for humanity than the COVID-19 pandemic, if left unchecked
  • More resources and equal access to health systems are essential for building resilience and protecting us against future health shocks, including those associated with the impacts of climate change.
  • Recovery measures should reduce people’s exposure to combined threats and risk factors, such as air pollution and extreme weather events. Both make communities significantly more vulnerable. New analysis suggests that air pollution is a co-factor of the high level of lethality linked to COVID-19.
  • The design of new stimulus packages must ensure that capital flows to workers, communities and local economies that need it most as well as deepen our efforts to build resilience in the long-term and decarbonize the global economy in a just manner.
  • It is also essential that countries act together to maintain vital food supply chains and ensure access to nutrition, including for the most vulnerable countries and communities.
  • Recovery measures should include, in a nutshell: accelerating plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net zero emissions; cutting pollution and creating high quality jobs; implementing just transition plans and investing in adaptation against worsening climate impacts; phasing out direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies at a time of historically low oil prices; catalysing the growth of green industries and incentivizing private sector investment in low carbon sectors; investing in the protection and restoration of ecosystems, sustainable agriculture and food systems.

Recovery and finance decisions

  • G20 Leaders must reaffirm and act on their commitment to phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies at a time of historically low oil prices. These subsidies are not only harming the economy and ecosystems; they are diverting large amounts of tax-payer money from being used to finance better health systems and stronger social safety nets that are at the core of what keeps the economy running.
  • Africa, many island nations and other highly vulnerable developing countries are likely to be hit hardest by the next waves of this crisis and are already deeply affected by the economic impacts of the COVID crisis. They are already stretched to the brink, including as a result of the climate crisis. International support must include debt relief.
  • Greater coordination is needed on the financial responses to the crisis to avoid double-dip recessions in many countries, particularly those most vulnerable, as we come out of this crisis.

The F20 Foundation Platform is a network of over 60 foundations from 21 countries that work with the G20 countries for the implementation of the UN sustainability goals and compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement. The platform was launched in Hamburg in 2017 on the occasion of the G20 summit and has now become an influential player in the G20 process.

Click here to download the ICP Briefing on Building Resilience – G20 Finance, Energy and Health Meetings (April 2020).

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