Oxfam criticizes lack of G20 action to tackle climate change, vaccine inequality and promote a fair economic recovery

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- Short URL: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/mc/cb2pba/

At the end of the G20 Summit in Rome, Italy, Oxfam criticised the lack of bold and effective action from the world leaders at such an important moment in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oxfam’s Senior Advisor, Jörn Kalinski said:

“This G20 was supposed to be a key global moment for shaping effective, innovative and equitable responses towards a post-COVID world, but world leaders failed to come together and deliver the necessary action to the historic crisis still unfolding.

“G20 leaders could have taken urgent action to dramatically scale up manufacturing and access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world, promote a fair economic recovery, lower dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, and help the poorest countries adapt to the climate change already happening. The bottom line is that this Summit failed to deliver much of anything for people, planet or prosperity.”


“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 goal of the Paris Agreement was a minimum requirement. Without a promise to revise their lacklustre national climate plans to be in line with this goal, it is meaningless. The planet is on fire, and we are running out of time. It is now critical that COP26 agrees to send all countries back to the drawing board to scale up their climate plans immediately, and not in five years’ time.

“The half-hearted words on financing adaptation in vulnerable countries were again not backed up by timeframes or targets. Without these, poorer nations will continue to lack the resources they need to protect lives, homes and businesses from weather disasters. This was a missed opportunity to re-invigorate the $100-billion climate finance target that should have been met last year.

“One of the few positives is the promise to stop financing new coal power plants overseas by the end of this year. But it is disappointing that there was not a similar announcement on domestic coal power and on phasing out other fossil fuels altogether with rich nations taking a lead. This means that climate-killing coal power plants can be built for another ten years, which is incompatible with the goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C.”


“What an abysmal and total failure of leadership. The G20 talked of helping to reach the 70% vaccination target but yet again produced absolutely no plan to achieve it. At this stage in the pandemic for them to have requested health ministers to simply ‘explore’ ways to accelerate vaccine access is a sickening insult to the millions of people who have lost loved ones to this catastrophic pandemic and to the health workers on the front line trying to save lives with no protection.

“It is scandalous that Germany and the UK have acted to silence the majority of the G20 members who support the breaking of pharmaceutical monopolies so that vaccine production can be redistributed and scaled up across the world. It is beyond time that the rights and the recipes for these lifesaving tools were shared as global public goods.”


Notes to editors

For more information or an interview contact:

Oxfam press officer Tania Corbett tcorbett1@oxfam.org.uk +44 7824 824 359

Read the media backgrounder: https://oxfam.box.com/s/fokrcnfmrb7dt4a3lbrzpue1jvkz02rw

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