Research-based
policy recommendations
for the G7

Publications

The Think7 task forces will produce policy briefs on issues relevant to G7 policy-makers. On the basis of these policy briefs, one or two task force reports focusing on a limited number of key issues of relevance for the G7 process will be produced. This process is led by the Think7 co-chairs. The task force reports will provide a limited number of research-based policy recommendations for G7 policy-makers. The task force reports will be subject to an internal peer review process within each task force.

The finalized publications will be published below by summer 2022.

Call for Action: New Conception of Prosperity and Measures of Progess Needed

To overcome the major challenges the world is facing today – from recovering from the pandemic to mitigating climate change – the global community will need concerted, transformative policy efforts, aligned with collective values and societal goals. To achieve this, a new conception of prosperity, along with a related comprehensive yet concise set of goalpost indicators, are needed. We call upon the G7 to begin systematically measuring progress through internationally comparable, multidimensional metrics that cover (1) social well-being, (2) economic well-being, and (3)
environmental sustainability.

Issue Paper: Saving the Planet

Humans are destroying the planet through unrelenting emissions of greenhouse gases, land use change and pollution, causing widespread biodiversity loss and ongoing land, forest and ocean degradation that are undermining human health and harming agriculture and food production. These challenges can be addressed in a limited window of opportunity. G7 leaders at Elmau should:

  1. Create climate clubs
  2. End fossil fuel subsidies
  3. Expand climate finance
  4. Bolster biodiversity
  5. Strengthen sustainable agriculture, food and water security
  6. Create climate–health benefits

These six recommendations should be implemented in SDG-supportive, jobs-rich, inclusive, equality-enhancing, gender-equalizing, independently monitored and continuously improved ways.

Finding Solutions to Common Digital Economy Challenges under Germany’s Presidency for the G7

Authors:

This policy brief addresses the two goals of better future as well as economic sustainability and recovery goal, which were outlined by the G7 under Germany’s current presidency to the G7. It aims to analyze four distinct digital trends that are existing in today’s global digital economy in both developing and developed countries with various degrees of penetration and adoption. These trends include data as a new type of infrastructure, Cross Border Flow of Data (CBFD), leveraging Private Public Partnership (PPP) business model in the uptake of 5G, in tandem with strengthening the regulatory bodies, leveling the playing field for all market players, and adopting effective market liberalization strategies. Finally, the fifth trend includes ensuring suitable and harmonized governance and regulatory frameworks for digital platforms on a global level.

This policy brief is meant to help developing countries’ policy makers make suitable decisions and drafting appropriate policies in this specific area. By leveraging best practices and international experience distinctively from the G7 context, the findings of this policy brief would help in achieving this goal. Finally, this contribution ends with suggested implementation plan that aims to strengthen the international cooperation and ties between G7 and developing countries by increasing the awareness of the latter with lessons learned and best practices to promote the above mentioned new digital trends in developing countries. This policy brief is consistent with the pillar of strengthening the common good pillar outlined in Germany’s priorities in its presidency to the G7.

Reform Subsidies Harmful to Nature

G7 countries are actively working to repurpose agricultural subsidies to reduce unintended effects on nature (across climate, biodiversity and lands impacts). The G7 has a key role to play on agricultural subsidies discussions in the World Trade Organization. At the WTO and elsewhere, the G7 should move to replace subsidies harmful to nature with incentives that increase agricultural resilience while benefiting the natural environment.

Aligning Climate And Biodiversity Finance

The G7 can provide a powerful signal on resource mobilization for biodiversity and climate change ahead of the Biodiversity Convention COP15 in Kunming to ensure that financing efforts to address the global climate crisis and the global biodiversity crisis are synergistic and mutually re-enforcing. G7 countries should commit to allocate 30% of their international climate finance towards nature-based solutions in order to simultaneously achieve climate and biodiversity outcomes. Furthermore, the G7 should commit to ensure that, in achieving the $100B climate finance commitment, all climate finance is screened to be nature-positive. Additionally, Lastly, the G7 should call upon the Multilateral Development Banks to build on the MDB Joint Nature Statement from Glasgow to become “Kunming Aligned” following the adoption of the Global Biodiversity Framework at UNCBD COP15, just as they have previously committed to become “Paris Aligned.

Using Debt Conversions to Support the Sustainability Agenda

Countries across the global are facing a sovereign debt challenge in the wake of the economic impacts of Covid. This will likely result in an increasing need for debt restructuring and debt forgiveness operations. As global institutions look at this issue, they have an opportunity to ensure that these restructuring and forgiveness interventions are truly sustainable by incorporating climate and nature risk. The G7 countries are influential creditors in the sovereign debt market. As such, setting out a joint statement of intent and direction through the G7 process would be an important market signal. Importantly, the G7 countries – when acting together – can also influence discussions and outcomes at the IMF and other influential sovereign debt fora to ensure that debt conversions and debt forgiveness operations explicitly secure climate and biodiversity benefits.

Accelerating Renewable Energy Deployment for Energy and Nature Security

The current crisis in Eastern Europe highlights, more than ever, the need for a clear pathway for accelerating the renewable energy transition to address the twin challenges of energy security and climate change. However, the deployment of renewables is often slowed down by planning processes that do not sufficiently account for biodiversity, agricultural, and social impacts from the very outset. Proactively identifying preferential areas for renewable energy deployment will help accelerate the required buildout while reducing negative impacts. Identifying these higher benefit, lower risk areas requires integrating ecological and socio-cultural values into planning and procurement processes. G7 countries should proactively identify preferential areas for renewable energy siting within their own territories, guided by the latest climate and biodiversity science. Additionally, G7 countries should call upon bilateral and multilateral development finance institutions to ensure that their financing and technical assistance likewise supports all countries to undertake integrated spatial planning assessments to define preferential areas to harness renewable energy sources for the production of electricity, while ensuring the preservation of natural habitats, agricultural production, and addressing the interests of local communities.

Issue Paper: Ramping up investments in a better future: The need for a refreshed G7 approach to realize the opportunity of global sustainable development

The world’s systems of international cooperation are facing three great conflicts at once: violent conflict in Ukraine, political conflict between great powers, and a fissure between the near-term priorities of the world’s rich and powerful societies and the long-term needs of both poorer societies and the planet itself. The first two conflicts exacerbate the third. Amid massive investment shortfalls, the global sustainable development agenda is on the brink. Next year, 2023, will mark the midpoint to the Sustainable Development Goal deadline of 2030. It’s high time to start preparations for a better “second half” of the SDG era. The G7 needs to be a two-pronged leader, one that lends all its supportive muscle to mobilize required forms of capital while also leading through the power of its own influential example. Three deep structural changes over the past two decades have shifted the context for G7 contributions: (1) the smaller relative power of G7 countries on the global stage, (2) the more complex and fragmented policy terrain, and (3) the flawed heritage of high-profile G7/8 commitments. Amid the world’s deep practical interconnections between the “infrastructure agenda,” the “climate agenda,” and the “sustainable development agenda,” all G7 countries need to prioritize their domestic implementation of the SDGs. In parallel, they need to help mobilize a massive scale-up of public and private resources for global sustainable development. This includes partnering with other countries to instigate profound changes in the scale and business models of the multilateral development banks, while also taking a leadership role to promote SDG alignment in public and private financing systems. G7 efforts relating to infrastructure should be pursued in the larger context of the 2023 moment for the SDGs and existing efforts coordinated through the G20 and elsewhere. The G7 can further consider a range of proposals to boost a partnership-driven approach to international cooperation on specific issues.

Issue Paper: Social Cohesion, Economic Transformation and Open Societies

G7 nations have a significant opportunity to strengthen the social contract between their governments and citizens, reconciling their economies and societies in ways that foster greater social cohesion. Equipping citizens with the participatory tools to navigate through future periods of uncertainty – including the next set of economic and environmental transformations – should be a priority for G7 governments as they continue to strive towards open societies, democratic freedoms, and enhanced political participation. Achieving such objectives will require three actions. First, G7 governments must replace the inadequate social safety nets of the past with new robust and resilient welfare systems, tailored to the needs of economies and societies in the 21st century. We call these systems ‘Universal Social Protections’. Second, G7 countries must leverage the potential of digital democracy, recognising that data is a new form of capital which will be critical to the running of our economies and societies in the future. Redirecting the flow of benefits from the digital transition into the hands of citizens themselves is essential if we are to rebuilding trust and social cohesion throughout G7 and G20 countries, and the wider world. Third, G7 countries need to redefine prosperity to encompass social and environmental flourishing, and develop new metrices to measure progress against these goals.

Our recommendations in this Issue Paper thus reflect a ‘New Multilateralism’ for the 21st Century: the belief that many of the challenges facing us today are inherently global in nature, requiring collective participation and co-operation. This expanded notion of social cohesion will only be achieved through a series of interlocking actions and policies linking social resilience to economic transformation, digital citizenship and multilateral decision procedures. This will require new institutions and new forms of collaboration with citizens themselves.

G7 investment in peacebuilding for the global common good

G7 leaders at the Elmau Summit should commit to investing in peacebuilding efforts through three main avenues: development aid and reform, gender equality, and connecting the local to the global. They should do this through reallocating funds to peacebuilding efforts, tracking their progress on making the world more peaceful, and supporting the reform of UN peacebuilding efforts; focusing on investing in gender equality and access to quality education through peace processes; and supporting local and Indigenous people’s views in a peace process. These actions would directly address the global decline in peace, which the G7, as global leaders and defenders of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, should see as a priority.

This would also build on G7 leaders existing peace-related commitments that have been complied with. Of the G7 commitments that have been assessed for compliance, the average rate of compliance is 73%. The G7 is committed to peace but needs to take strong actions to increase the global level of peace as the global level of peace in 2022 is lower than the global level of peace was in 2008. While different members have different interests to invest in peace, the bottom line is that it is in the best interest of all G7 members to ensure a more peaceful world. Especially now, as Ukraine is ravaged by the illegal full-scale war launched against them by Russia. Conflict and violence do not just cost the world precious lives and resources, but also trillions of dollars annually.