The G7 group should work more closely with G20 states to strengthen multilateral organizations and counter a relapse into a polarised world. In addition, it is important that the G7 takes action to bring about an end to the war in Ukraine. These are key recommendations of leading think tanks from the G7 countries – the Think7 – to the German government as the G7 chair. This recommendation is part of the final communiqué that the Think7 presented today in Berlin. At the Think7 Summit, more than 300 researchers from G7 countries and beyond meet today and tomorrow to present solutions to major global challenges.
The communiqué summarises around 70 papers by the Think7 that present policy recommendations for the G7 Summit at Elmau Castle. In their second central recommendation, the authors advocate for common standards for measuring human well-being that take into account not only economic criteria but also the state of the environment and social cohesion. This is the prerequisite for the G7, together with the UN, OECD, and G20, to advocate for a global system change that focuses on human well-being within the ecological limits of the Earth system, the communiqué states.
The third central recommendation of the Think7 to the Heads of State and Government is that the work of the G7 should be more continuously accompanied by research and civil society in the future – until now, the composition and goals of the various G7 Engagement Groups have changed with each new G7 Presidency.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has dramatically changed the geopolitical reality on which our multilateral system is based. Collective action is urgently needed to address global challenges. Against this background, the Think7 call for strengthening multilateralism and maintaining the G20 as an effective forum for solving global problems. The G7, in cooperation with the G20, must resolutely resist a back drifting into a polarised world order. This would include the G7 committing to substantive action – and calling on the G20 to join forces – to alleviate the numerous crises in the most vulnerable countries caused by the war in Ukraine such as rising food prices and increasing national debt.
Aligned with the priorities of the German government’s G7 agenda, Think7 researchers make, inter alia, the following recommendations:
- Strong alliances for a sustainable planet: establishing open and inclusive climate clubs, ending fossil fuel subsidies while expanding climate finance for developing countries.
- Setting the course for economic stability and transformation: establish a debt relief framework that provides all countries with the fiscal space they need to respond to the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis and the war in Ukraine. In addition, G7 countries should align global financial flows with climate and sustainability goals. Indicators to measure well-being should go beyond economic aspects, like the gross domestic product, and take into account social and environmental dimensions to assess the effectiveness of economic transformation measures.
- Enhanced preparedness for healthy lives: Researchers identify the need to establish a Global Health Compact 2030, which should focus on strengthening the global health architecture, investing in pandemic preparedness and response along with the guiding principle of planetary health, and building global equity-oriented research, development, and innovation system in global health.
- Sustainable investments in a better future: More commitment by the G7 to implement the global sustainable development goals and also to tap further financial resources for this from innovative sources, such as a new global tax base with a minimum tax rate, a value-added tax or a financial transaction tax. Another recommendation is to strive for a partnership of the G7 with Africa and to establish corresponding dialogue and cooperation formats focusing on health, climate, and economic growth.
- Stronger together: The G7 countries must promote social values, cohesion, and solidarity through peace-building processes, for example through dialogue between different groups and institutions, including educational institutions. At the same time, the Think7 communiqué recommends strengthening citizens’ rights in the digital economy, for example in controlling who has access to the personal data they generate in the digital economy.
All of the Think7 recommendations mentioned here, as well as many others, can be read in the communiqué. This can be downloaded here.