In the run-up to the group’s summit meeting, the science academies of the G7 countries are “urgently” calling for international measures to protect the oceans and polar regions. They also call for comprehensive climate protection. In the health sector, according to the scientists, better global pandemic prevention is essential. The health of humans, animals, plants and the environment must be viewed as closely linked.
The recommendations are contained in four statements that were presented to the federal government on Tuesday at the “Science7 Dialogue Forum 2022” in Berlin.
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“With our recommendations, we are addressing key summit issues that require immediate international action,” said Gerald Haug, President of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, when the four statements were handed over to the head of the Federal Chancellery, Wolfgang Schmidt.
The recommendations drawn up by the G7 science academies under the leadership of the German Leopoldina are to be included in the deliberations of the heads of state and government, which will meet at the end of June at Schloss Elmau in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
The world’s oceans and the ice and snow regions of the earth known as the cryosphere are changing faster than ever as a result of global warming. In view of “dramatic developments” in the Antarctic and the Arctic as well as in the oceans, the G7 science academies are calling for a massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, global protection of marine ecosystems and more intensive international scientific cooperation for an earth observation and forecasting system.
The goal declared by many countries to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 requires the decarbonization of electricity and heat generation, the traffic and transport sector, industry and agriculture. To this end, the G7 science academies recommend building a carbon-neutral and stable energy system. In order to be able to shape the energy transition fairly, an international trading system for renewable energies and comprehensive pricing of carbon dioxide emissions would have to be introduced.
International cooperation must also be improved in the area of pandemic preparedness. The coronavirus pandemic has shown that the world is inadequately prepared for pandemics, the Leopoldina said. New, specific and broadly effective antiviral drugs must be developed “urgently”. The science academies advocate long-term funding of drug research and international coordination of clinical studies.
The destruction of ecosystems favors the emergence of new diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans. Another problem mentioned is the increase in bacterial pathogens that are resistant to drugs such as antibiotics. The science academies recommend considering the health of humans, animals, plants and the environment in a “One Health approach” and strengthening research with a One Health focus.