London, Rome, June 9th, 2021. Today, a diverse group of 13 leaders from influential foundations based in the UK and Italy call for decisive actions on climate, health and biodiversity in a joint open letter to the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. In the lead up to the G7 and G20 meetings the foundations representatives called upon both governments to make the global climate crisis, biodiversity protection and health key priorities of this year’s G7 and G20 summits. The letter states that with both countries assuming the Presidencies of the G7 and the G20, the UK and Italy have an obligation to “seize the opportunity to help bring climate, biodiversity and health on the multilateral agenda”.
The letter further states that “without tangible progress and new commitments through the G7 and G20 meetings, it will not be possible to ensure climate ambition progress and solidarity by COP26.” The success of the upcoming climate summits also critically depends on the G7 and G20 unlocking political will and making new commitments to build trust and solidarity, according to the letter. The signatories also highlight “to ensure fair and free access and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine in addition to new financial resources and reforms.”
The letter to the Prime Ministers also lists six key recommendations:
- Together, the UK and Italy, by their leadership and diplomacy, need to encourage all G20 countries to commit to net-zero by 2050 at the latest; and to send a clear message that the Paris Agreement limit of 1.5C warming is still within reach by setting higher ambition Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) in line with 1.5C, ahead of COP26.
- Together, the UK and Italy have the responsibility to exhibit leadership and demonstrate what “real” net-zero means, recognising that both rapid fossil fuel phase-out and Nature-based Solutions are critical in this endeavour, and that there is no room for unsustainable, unregulated offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Together, the UK and Italy need to coordinate to achieve a global green, resilient, healthy and equitable recovery for all.
- Together, the UK and Italy need to ensure global solidarity with the most vulnerable countries so that these countries have a chance to address the three systemic challenges of health, climate and food.
- Together, the UK and Italy need to work to catalyse a greater recognition of the very serious health threat posed by climate change and the health-related costs of climate inaction, including increased malnutrition, disease migration, heat stroke and air pollution.
- Together, the UK and Italy have an obligation to lead the G20 countries towards undertaking actions to protect the natural systems around the world by addressing the direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.
The Foundations Platform F20 is an alliance of more than 70 foundations and philanthropic organisations from 21 countries. The platform aims to further gather momentum to implement the 2030 Agenda via the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and support the Paris Agreement; in order to build bridges between different stakeholders, including the private and financial sector, politics and civil society. In total, the foundations represent a capital in the double-digit billion range (US dollars).
The open letter was signed by the Executive Management of the following Institutions:
Signatories from the UK: Allison Robertshaw, Director, Bulb Foundation; Kate Hampton, Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation; Florence Miller, Director, Environmental Funders Network; Mark Southwood, Founder and Trustee, The Southwood Foundation; Andrew Tuggey, Chair, UK Community Foundations; Jeremy Farrar, Director, Wellcome Trust
Signatories from Italy: Carola Carazzone, Secretary General, Assifero (Associazione Italiana delle Fondazioni ed Enti della filantropia Istituzionale); Pierluigi Stefanini, Chairman and Spokesperson, ASviS (L’Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile); Sergio Urbani, General Director, Fondazione Cariplo; Alberto Anfossi, Secretary General, Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo; Gaetano Giunta, Secretary General, Fondazione di Comunità di Messina; Maria Luisa Parmigiani, Director, Fondazione Unipolis
Further Signatories: Klaus Milke, Chair, Foundations Platform F20