Health, Sustainability and Digitization ‒ Science Academies submit recommendations to the G20 countries
In the run-up to the summit of the G20 countries in November 2020 to be held in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), the science academies of these countries have presented their joint statement „Foresight: Science for Navigating Critical Transitions“. The paper was handed over to the Saudi Arabian G20 presidency on Saturday.
In their statement, the academies of science emphasize the necessity to consider global challenges in all their complexity and cross-linkage and emphasize the contribution of science to the management of upheavals. The coronavirus pandemic has revealed a lack of foresight and weak points in the areas of health care, economy, social services, and education. The statement was prepared in virtual meetings of the science academies with participation of members of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.
„The joint statement of the S20 academies draws on insights gained from the current coronavirus pandemic and provides valuable impulses from the international scientific community for all participants of the G20 summit,“ states Gerald Haug, President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. „Seeing a general referral for employing market-oriented approaches to further sustainability and reducing dependence on fossil fuels is a success. This is a good starting point for prospective international consultations, in which we will advocate a global CO₂ minimum price. Without this vital instrument, we are bound to miss the two-degree target,“ Haug continued, commenting on the scientific recommendations of the G20 summit.
According to the statement, science can help master global challenges and manage change and upheaval with more ease. In the core fields of health, sustainability, and digitization, it is necessary to act with foresight in order to recognize impending risks early on, take countermeasures and exploit the existing potential for international cooperation. The academies recommend in the field of health, among other things, an international cooperation framework for monitoring emerging diseases and coping with pandemics, research funding for precision medicine in order to make improvements and provide broader accessibility, and strategies for dealing with demographic change.
Regarding sustainability and reducing the dependency on fossil fuels, the academies recommend the promotion of renewable energies, including sustainable energy systems, storage technologies, and market-oriented approaches. On digitization, the academies recommend, among other things, measures to provide access to digital technologies and the internet for everyone while at the same time maintain privacy protection and ensure the security of digital networks and devices.
The Group of Twenty (G20) summit of heads of state and government scheduled to take place in Riyadh in November brings the leaders of the twenty most important industrialized and emerging countries together. It will be the fourth time that science contributes with their „Science20“ dialogue forum, created specifically for this purpose. Scientific consultation of the G20 summits had its premiere in 2017 as part of the German G20 presidency. Under the leadership of the Leopoldina, the national science academies of the G20 countries had drawn up recommendations for improved global healthcare at that time. For more than ten years, the G7 summits have also been accompanied by the academies of science.