At the end of the G20 summit in Rome, Italy, Oxfam criticized the lack of bold and effective action by world leaders at such an important time in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite the amazing coffee in Rome, G20 leaders had to drink decaffeinated because their collective results were mixed, unambitious and lacked concrete action plans,” said Oxfam senior adviser Jörn Kalinski. “This G20 was meant to be a key global moment to craft effective, innovative and equitable responses towards a post-COVID world, but world leaders have failed to come together and take the necessary action to address the crisis. history that is still unfolding. “

While the G20 intends to help immunize at least 40% of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and 70% by mid-2022, it has not taken the necessary steps. concrete steps to put us on track to achieve this goal, such as a plan to increase vaccine supply in developing countries and remove relevant supply and funding constraints. According to the World Health Organization, 82 countries are at risk of missing this target. Clearly, we won’t get there if we continue the current profit-driven approach of underdose donations, voluntary licenses, generic support for technology transfer that has collapsed and failed miserably.

“What an abysmal and total failure of leadership. The G20 are talking about helping meet the 70% immunization target, but again, they are producing absolutely no plan to meet it. At this point in the pandemic, the fact that they have asked health ministers to simply “explore” ways to speed up access to vaccines is a sickening insult to the millions of people who have lost loved ones to. cause of this catastrophic pandemic and for frontline health workers trying to save lives without protection, ”Kalinski said. “Poor, broken promises of given doses will not end this pandemic, nor will the pathetic hopes that greedy pharmaceutical companies will at some point volunteer to do the right thing. It is scandalous that Germany and the UK have acted to silence the majority of G20 members who support breaking up pharmaceutical monopolies so that vaccine production can be redistributed and increased across the world. It is beyond time that the rights and proceeds of these life-saving tools have been shared as global public goods.

As the world’s largest economies and emitters, the G20 should have provided the lightning bolt that the COP26 climate talks so desperately need. Instead, they responded with vague promises and platitudes.

“Confirming the 1.5 ° C target of the Paris Agreement was a minimum requirement. Without a promise to revise their lackluster national climate plans to be in line with this target, it makes no sense, ”Kalinski said. “The planet is on fire and we are running out of time. It is now essential that COP26 agrees to send all countries back to the drawing board to step up their climate plans immediately, and not in five years. “

The lukewarm words about financing adaptation in vulnerable countries were again not backed up by timelines or targets. Without it, the poorest countries will continue to lack the resources they need to protect lives, homes and businesses from weather disasters. It was a missed opportunity to reinvigorate the $ 100 billion climate finance target that should have been met last year.

One of the few bright spots is the promise to stop funding new coal-fired power plants overseas by the end of this year. But it’s disappointing that there hasn’t been a similar announcement on domestic coal-fired electricity and the phase-out of other fossil fuels with rich countries in the lead. This means that climate-killing coal-fired power plants can be built for another ten years, which is inconsistent with the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 ° C.

G20 leaders were also given the opportunity to pursue a more equitable economic recovery, and hope was growing that leaders would take bold action on debt relief. Growing indebtedness in developing countries poses a significant threat to the fight against COVID-19, as it represents a clear opportunity cost for resources that should be funneled into public health and economic recovery. However, these hopes have been dashed.

“There is no credible reason for rich countries and corporations to continue to extract resources from the world’s poorest countries and people during an unprecedented global disaster,” Kalinski said. “Ad hoc approaches with strong borrower biases should be a thing of the past. Instead, we need to establish an international and autonomous framework to oversee temporary shutdowns and manage debt restructuring, thus ensuring that poor countries do not use their limited resources to repay their debts instead of helping their citizens. to deal with the pandemic. “

Oxfam welcomes the general SDR allocation that the G20 agreed to earlier this year to meet the huge liquidity needs associated with the pandemic and post-crisis recovery and it is good to see the G20 express the ambition to channeling $ 100 billion in SDRs to more vulnerable economies; this should be a bare minimum given the huge gap between what rich countries and low income countries have received. This must now be operationalized through individual national commitments that are still sorely lacking, and most importantly this funding must be provided on terms that work for countries and their populations.

“Recalling that rich countries have received USD 400 billion in SDRs this year, we must now see them making individual commitments to meet, if not exceed, the USD 100 billion commitment on the channeling of SDRs. Today the pledges are only $ 45 billion, less than half of the global ambition, ”Kalinski said. “In addition, the way the pipeline is carried out is of fundamental importance. We don’t want financing that locks countries into high debt payments or risky conditionality that could worsen inequalities. In addition, the channeling of SDRs cannot absolutely replace existing commitments in terms of aid and climate finance ”,

G20 leaders also endorsed the OECD / G20 global tax deal which, according to Oxfam, is far from historic and displays far too moderate levels of ambition and little fairness. While the deal proves that it might have been possible and realistic to tax large corporations on their global profits, the envisaged redistribution of profits is extremely limited and less than 100 mega-companies will be targeted. It could generate only € 10 million on average in additional revenue for 52 of the poorest countries and comes with the condition of removing all existing taxes on digital services. The minimum tax rate set at 15% with generous waivers is a joke: rather than curbing harmful tax competition, it normalizes low-tax jurisdictions and risks turning the race to the bottom into a race for the new minimum.

“At the G20 summit in Rome, G20 leaders could have taken urgent action to dramatically scale up the manufacture of and access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world, promote a fair economic recovery, reduce greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse gases and helping poorer countries adapt to climate change is already happening, ”Kalinski said. “The bottom line is that this summit did nothing for people, the planet or prosperity. ”

Notes to Editors

For more information or an interview contact:
Maria Teresa Alvino in Rome [email protected] +39 348 9803541
Laura Rusu in Washington [email protected] +1 202 459 3739
Florence Ogola in Nairobi [email protected] +254 733770522

Read the media backgrounder: https://oxfam.box.com/s/fokrcnfmrb7dt4a3lbrzpue1jvkz02rw
For updates, please follow @Oxfam and @PeopleVaccine

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