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Business and government must stand united to tackle great challenges of the age – G7 business groups
Leading business federations issue communique backed UK by Prime Minister ahead of G7 leaders’ meeting next month in Cornwall
As economies seek to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the B7 summit of business federations from the G7 countries have made a series of recommendations to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take forward at next month’s summit.
The B7 have agreed seven critical areas where business and governments worldwide can work together to rebuild the global economy, reduce inequalities and curb escalating protectionism.
The top B7 recommendations include:
- The G7 should commit to a G7 roadmap to roll back protectionist measuresadopted in the pandemic including export restrictions over the next 12 months; and commit to prioritising open global supply chains over restrictions.
- The G7 should enhance cooperation through a multi-stakeholder approach to strive for an open, transparent consensus-based international system of international regulations, standard setting, rules and norms.
- The G7 should facilitate vaccine production and roll out, avoiding counter-productive export bans and uncoordinated national initiatives with adverse effects on international vaccine supply chains.
- The G7 should lead international action on agreed cross-economy net-zero targets by progressing decarbonised power generation. Setting a target to phase out unabated coal in power generation, where feasible by 2040, as a benchmark for policy ambition could be an important signal. Governments will need to implement detailed policy plans and incentives to support industry, workers and communities impacted by the transition, and drive innovation in abatement technologies and alternative zero-carbon power generation technologies.
- G7 nations should prioritise national policies to support the development of markets that value biodiversity, natural environments and natural carbon sinks, and nature-positive business activity.
- The G7 should increase international alignment in developing sustainable finance taxonomies, disclosures, regulations, and policy frameworks to support climate risk mitigation and facilitate the growth of sustainable finance.
On international travel:
- G7 governments need to enact clear, consistent and internationally harmonised standards and procedures for restarting cross-border travel, using mutual recognition of Covid-19 tests and digital health credentials to enable a globally applicable solution.
- The G7 should establish greater cooperation on next-generation regulatory frameworks governing emerging technologies like AI and fintech, illegal goods and content, and digital competition issues.
The full suite of recommendations can be found in the communique: https://www.cbi.org.uk/media/6632/b7-communique-final.pdf
Each is underpinned by a shared commitment to the values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
Tony Danker, CBI Director-General, yesterday said:
“There’s never been a more important moment for the international community to come together as we rebuild from the devastation of COVID-19. The B7 summit brought more than 200 of the world’s leading CEOs and leaders of business organisations together to send a clear, unanimous message to G7 leaders about how to facilitate a sustainable and equitable economic recovery.
“From climate change to digitisation, resilience-building to fighting protectionist instincts, the challenges we face are seismic. It’s simply not acceptable for business to sit on the sidelines. We must stand up and be counted, using our knowledge, experience and expertise to deliver the solutions that will be felt in communities worldwide.
“As host of the G7 and COP26, the UK has a unique opportunity to be the key ‘global broker’, building consensus and mobilising international action. With economic rulebooks being ripped-up around the world, future generations are relying on us to seize the moment.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday said:
“The cooperation between business and government has been unprecedented throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“We must take that same spirit of collaboration and leadership as we build back better, capitalise on opportunities in trade and technology, and fight climate change and biodiversity loss. Together we must push for greater ambition across the G7 to tackle our shared challenges.
“I am grateful to the CBI for hosting this valuable summit and for the Business 7’s recommendations ahead of world leaders coming together in Cornwall this June.”
Emma Marcegaglia, B20 Chair, yesterday said:
"I warmly thank and congratulate Lord Bilimoria for the outstanding B7. Never before business was so united in supporting the global recovery. Confindustria and the CBI, respectively leading the B20 and the B7, have worked intensively together to convey to the G7 concrete and actionable recommendations.
"Business is committed to support governments and make the difference. The B20 will bring forward some key B7 messages on trade, on digital transformation and on climate action, where an enhanced cooperation is urgently needed."
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