Scientists urge action on reaching net zero, biodiversity decline and health data
The national science academies of the G7 nations today launch their science agenda ahead of the G7 leaders’ summit in the United Kingdom in June 2021.
The scientists outlined in three statements the pressing global issues that they believe the G7 states should urgently address: Creating a net zero climate resilient world, tackling biodiversity loss, and improving the use of data in pandemics.
2021 could be a historic turning point for renewed global coordination on climate change, reversing biodiversity decline, and global health emergencies. But the action in these areas must be based on greater cooperation and collaboration between the G7 nations and a greater level of ambition and investment in the technologies and big science and economic ideas that can deliver a more sustainable and healthier world.
The three statements summarised:
A net zero climate-resilient future
Existing technologies and nature-based solutions will not be enough to decarbonise the world economy, and the science academies call on the G7 to apply their political might and resources to support the research and rapid development of technologies in those areas where we are not making progress on emissions, such as aviation, manufacturing and food production.
- Ahead of the United Nations’ climate summit, COP26, in Glasgow later this year the academies call on the G7 nations to:
- Develop evidence-based technology road maps to net zero.
- Increase investment in the research and development challenges on the road to net zero, both nationally and collaboratively between G7 nations.
- Support middle- and low-income countries on the road to a climate-resilient, net zero future.
- Agree policies to economically incentivise carbon neutral options.
Reversing the biodiversity crisis
The G7 nations need to work together to raise the ambition to halt, and start to reverse, biodiversity loss by 2030. Ahead of the United Nations’ biodiversity summit, COP15, in China later this year, the academies call on the G7 nations to:
- Develop and draw on new approaches to recognising and accounting for the true value of biodiversity.
- Join up the climate and biodiversity agendas and address them in a coordinated way.
- Support the development of a global biodiversity monitoring network to help countries meet their biodiversity targets.
Data for international health emergencies
This statement draws on lessons learnt from Covid-19 to call on the G7 nations to work together to establish a commission on data for health emergencies. As a starting point, the commission could identify procedures for data sharing used in response to Covid-19, for longer-term use in G7 and other nations. It should involve meaningful public dialogue to build trusted data sharing systems to support global health beyond G7 countries, and beyond health emergencies.
The G7nations should also:
- Agree principles and systems, technology, and infrastructure to facilitate safe and equitable sharing of data in global health emergencies.
- G7 nations should invest in the data skills needed at all levels in society from basic data literacy to skilled data use among health professionals and others
The Royal Society, the science academy of this year’s G7 summit host nation, the United Kingdom, coordinated the scientific advisory process, inviting the science academies of the G7 nations to work together to develop the statements and recommendations. The participating academies consider these recommendations important for their own countries, and for continuing global development.
The participating academies are:
- Royal Society, United Kingdom
- Royal Society of Canada
- Académie des sciences, France
- Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina, Germany
- Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
- Science Council of Japan
- National Academy of Sciences, United States of America
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