Dear G20 leaders,
Today, we stand at a tipping point.
The world is still suffering through the Covid-19 pandemic. People are dying needlessly while vaccines are hoarded by wealthy countries. Without access to vaccines, people can’t return to their normal lives and to earning a living.
And as climate change rages forward, punishing droughts are taking over regions, food supplies are vanishing, clean water is becoming harder to find, and smog is blanketing our cities. If fundamental changes aren’t made now, our planet may never be able to recover.
If something doesn’t change today, we will be at the point of no return. We are calling on you to take urgent, life-saving action to help the people who need it most and to heal our planet. It’s now, or never.
Will you commit to ending Covid-19?
Collectively share 1 billion vaccine doses with low and middle-income countries by the end of this year, with the objective of vaccinating 70 per cent of people in every country by June 2022. Support an IP waiver on vaccines, medicine, and supplies.
Will you commit to ending the climate crisis?
Fill the $10bn-plus funding gap to meet the $100bn (£73bn) promise made to help poorer countries fight climate change with adaptation and mitigation programmes. Halve global emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050, to keep global heating to 1.5C. Protect 30 per cent of land and sea by 2030.
Will you commit to take urgent action against hunger?
Raise $300m in emergency aid to fight the hunger crisis this year to help the 41 million people on the brink of starvation. Increase support to smallholder farmers on frontlines of climate change to $350m.
Will you commit the financing needed?
Reallocate at least $100bn of the International Monetary Fund reserves, the so-called Special Drawing Rights, you received recently to those countries needing them most.
The G20 has the responsibility to lead, so we call on you to take urgent action in Rome. You have the power to mark the turning point on the three crises.
Ban Ki-Moon, The Ban-Ki Moon Centre
Center for Environmental Peacebuilding
COPAIBA Environmental Association,Mata Atlântica, Brazil
Global Health Council
Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge
National Association of Local Environmental Entities of Brazil
National Network for Conservation Units (Brazil)
Pandemic Action Network
The People's Vaccine Alliance
In the past month I have travelled in France, Italy and England.
In France and Italy proof of vaccination is required on all public transport, in all restaurants, bars and cafes, and masks are obligatory in all confined spaces.
In France the seven day case average is less than 5,000 and deaths are at around 24 per day; in Italy these figures are less than 4.000 and 35 respectively.
In both France and Italy the leadership leads by example with the impositions needed for effective Covid management.
In England the leadership is as indecisive about masks as it is about vaccination proof.
What will it take to get the leadership in England to put the best needs of country ahead of party popularity?
Masking a problem
Halloween, one day when some people will wear masks, but for the rest of the year they won't.
The Budget was a missed opportunity for a tax reform which would raise revenue while addressing the big issues in the economy.
Land value is wealth entirely unearned; it is not created by the owner, but by the community as a whole, not least the taxpayer. All policies to increase general prosperity, all public investment in infrastructure, and all grants to help home buyers, increase the competition for land, raise its price, and result in a transfer of wealth to landowners. Yet there is no attempt to tax land values! No mention in the Budget, and no mention in the response to the Budget. Meanwhile, the council tax, which is a heavy burden on low income groups, increases.
The most effective way to tackle inequality, and at the same time improve public finances, incentivise urban regeneration, stimulate house building, and conserve the green belt, is to introduce a land value tax to replace council tax, business rates and possibly other taxes.
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