Why Global Citizens Should Care
The UN’s Global Goals aim to end extreme poverty by 2030. But we’ll never come close to that objective without ending the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the planet from the climate crisis, ending world hunger, resuming global education, and moving equity forward. Moments like the G7 Summit are critical milestones to making progress on these issues — and ahead of this weekend’s gathering of leaders in Cornwall, we have to make sure our political representatives listen. Join our movement and take action on these issues here

Every now and then, a moment comes that has the potential to define a generation of change.

We saw it when leaders gathered in Paris to sweat out a global climate deal in 2015. It happened when Greta Thunberg first stood outside the Swedish parliament with a protest sign, and as people around the world marched in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

The stakes couldn’t be higher when the G7 Summit convenes in the UK from Friday.

After months of campaigning, this weekend’s commitments could determine if or when we end the COVID-19 pandemic, whether we win or lose on climate change, or decide the fate of millions who have fallen into poverty in the last year. 

Action has rarely been more meaningful.

From the perspective of world leaders, decisions are still being made. It’s not too late to make an impact.

The G7 — consisting of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US — will meet from June 11 to June 13. Talks will be continuing all through Saturday before agreements and announcements are shared on Sunday. 

It’s therefore absolutely critical that we keep the pressure up. Whether that’s emailing your MP, tweeting leaders directly, or signing petitions, we have to keep the momentum going. Here’s some actions you can take right this second to make sure your voice is heard. 

1. Urge G7 leaders to share vaccines.

You’ve heard the rallying cry: we won’t end the pandemic anywhere unless we end it everywhere. And yet, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that while wealthy countries have vaccinated 1 in 4 of its citizens, for low-income countries, the number is closer to 1 in 500.

Rich countries must start donating vaccines immediately so that there’s a steady supply — or risk them going to waste, as developing countries don’t have the capacity to roll them all out at once. 

Time is of the essence — the more the virus is allowed to spread, the more likelihood of new variants emerging that could be more resistant to vaccination.

That’s why Global Citizen is calling on G7 countries to share one billion doses by September, and two billion doses by the end of 2021. This could not possibly be any more urgent.

Send a tweet to G7 leaders here — including Australia, South Korea and India who make up several non-G7 countries attending the summit in some capacity — and sign our petition to other world leaders, multinational pharmaceutical companies, and wealthy philanthropists here.

2. Target Boris Johnson to donate excess vaccines.

Back in February, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to share all Britain’s surplus vaccines with those that needed it. Four months later, not a single vaccine has been shared.

That’s despite estimates that the UK has more than 100 million excess vaccines. Indeed, analysis from UNICEF has confirmed that the UK could donate all that excess stock without compromising on its target to vaccinate every adult in the country by the end of July. 

The G7 presents a unique opportunity for Johnson: as host of the summit, he can set the pace on ambition, show leadership, and follow through on his pledge to “vaccinate the world.” We want to see bold commitments, and just as importantly, a plan communicated with a clear, rapid timeline. We can’t emphasise this enough: vaccines must be shared immediately.

You can send a tweet to Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock, the UK health secretary, here, or send an email to Johnson here. Alternatively, watch and share our campaign video calling on the prime minister to take action here.

3. Demand Justin Trudeau step up on vaccine sharing.

Globally, there have been 2.22 billion vaccines administered so far. But while 85% of jabs have gone to high- and upper-middle-income countries like Canada — which has offered a first jab to 63% of its citizens so far — just 0.3% of these have been in the poorest countries.

By the end of the month, three-quarters of Canadians will have been vaccinated. Already, children as young as 12 are being immunised, despite a negligible risk of serious illness from the virus, and remarks from many leading experts that it is “morally wrong” to prioritise kids in rich countries over health workers and vulnerable people at high risk in low-income countries.

When Canadian Justin Trudeau arrives in Cornwall, we need to make sure the voices of Global Citizens are heard. If you’re based in Canada, you can tweet Trudeau directly here — or send an email to your local MP here to urge him to share surplus doses with the rest of the world.

4. Get G7 leaders to cut carbon emissions.

We need to be tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis at the same time.

But time is running out on both counts. While experts say we need to stop the planet from warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius, right now we’re on track to double that. If that happens, the human and environmental consequences will be beyond catastrophic. 

In 2021, there are two moments that may determine progress for decades to come. First, the G7 Summit this weekend, and second, the COP26 climate summit hosted in Glasgow this November — the most significant climate gathering since the Paris Agreement.

Global Citizen is calling on world leaders to commit to a promise they first made back in 2009, agreeing to mobilise $100 billion a year to incentivise clean economic growth and help vulnerable communities adapt to the climate crisis. 

You can join a global tweet storm targeting world leaders here — and you can sign our petition urging countries to cut emissions and support low-income countries to build climate resilience here.

And if you're in Australia, you can tweet Prime Minister Scott Morrison to enshrine a target into law to hit net zero emissions here. Yep, that still hasn’t happened yet.

5. In Britain? Email your MP to reverse aid cuts.

Whatever commitments are made at the G7 Summit, we can be assured of one thing: the UK will talk up their policy announcements as if they’re leading the world.

In reality, the UK is going backwards. How can Britain claim to be leading the world when it’s cutting billions from its aid budget — including funding being slashed by up to 85% in areas like clean drinking water projects, sexual and reproductive health services, and basic food aid in countries experiencing famine and humanitarian crises?

Let’s call it what it is: callous and cruel. If Johnson truly wants any real claim to leadership, he must reverse the aid cuts and restore this lifeline to millions of the world’s most vulnerable people. If you’re in the UK, you can send an email to your MP to stand up for what’s right here.

6. Wave of Hope

To get G7 leaders to listen, we need to be one united voice.

That’s why the UK’s biggest charities — including Global Citizen, Save the Children, the ONE Campaign, and more — have come together to form a coalition called Crack the Crises, a movement built to get world leaders to end the pandemic, fight injustice, protect nature, and halt the climate crisis.

Ahead of the G7 summit, the coalition has launched a campaign called “Wave of Hope”, asking people up and down the country to get creative and hang illustrated hand prints in their windows as a show of solidarity, to show leaders that we have to stick together when times get tough.

Join in by drawing your hand, writing a message of hope, and uploading a photo to the national map here.


Demand Equity

6 Actions to Take Right Now to Get Your Voice Heard Ahead of the G7 Summit in the UK This Weekend

By James Hitchings-Hales